There are few things on the planet more torturous than shopping. And I mean any kind of shopping. Clothes, groceries, household items, electronics—doesn’t matter; shopping sucks. Because unless you’re shopping on the Internet, you’re basically willingly subjecting yourself to other people. And most of those other people are going to be self-involved assholes who left their manners at home.
But let’s face it: shopping is necessary. Most of it can be done online now, thank goodness, because I’m pretty sure that’s what keeps the homicide rates down.
I find grocery shopping to be the most annoying, personally. And of course I’m going to tell you why! Everyone needs food. Our new grocery store is gigantic and is literally a two-minute drive away, so it negates the potential usefulness of using Fresh Direct or some service like that. So we go shopping in person, once a week, because we need food, just like everyone else. And every week I want to die in the middle of the grocery store because people are so oblivious to their surroundings.
The aisles at our store are pretty wide, but they have some displays and things that make it so only one cart can pass certain areas at a time. So when someone’s perusing the aisle, guess where they like to park their cart? EVERY TIME. Right in front of the fucking display. So NOBODY CAN GET AROUND. Because clearly their time and convenience are all that matter; not the fact that they’re fucking blocking the aisle as they meander around like a drunk looking for exactly the right type of bread. Breaking news: This isn’t your fucking personal grocer. Move your damn cart before I ram mine into your shins.
And you can’t even imagine the clusterfuck that is the butcher’s section. People just leave their carts scattered around that area like it’s a war zone, and there’s no way to get around them. I usually take my cart and wait in a completely different aisle while Significant Other picks out various types of meat because it’s impossible to navigate that area without either hitting another cart or hitting a person. It’s like all the other shoppers got ADD as soon as they arrived at the meat section and just left their cart wherever it was when they wandered off to look at something shiny.
However, the most frustrating part of shopping, and I’m sure you saw this coming, is checkout. The invention of self-checkout is glorious, but most people are too fucking stupid to use it. There are about 6 self-checkout aisles at our grocery store. I think two of them are clearly labeled “25 items or fewer” (which, to me, is still too many items for a self-checkout, but whatever). And then the rest are just for whoever wants to use them.
The problem is that WITHOUT FAIL the people who want to use these lanes are IDIOTS. They have a cart that is literally overflowing with food, they can’t read the screen or work the machine, and they take their fucking sweet time doing everything. Also, apparently most the people in this area are illiterate because every time I’ve gone shopping, I’ve seen people using the “25 items or fewer” lanes who quite obviously have more than 25 items. Breaking news: Those are supposed to be express lanes, for people like me who ran in to buy three items and don’t want to wait five days to check out because you don’t know how to spell “peppers” on the machine to look up the price. Go to a regular checkout line and save yourself from the dirty looks people like me are going to give you for being an idiot.
The other day I ran in to buy one thing that we had forgotten during regular shopping, and I got on line at the self-checkout behind a woman who appeared to be almost done with her stuff. Her cart was fucking full of bags of things already scanned, and she was finishing up. Little did I know she had actually been there for two days because of the pace of her scanning. It was: Scan….beep….pause to examine the item in her hand….look at the price on the screen even though the screen SAYS the price when you scan it….look at the item again….stick it in a bag….take the next item….scan…etc. After two fucking items I wanted to shove her out of the way and do the rest of it myself. It was unbelievable. It took her 15 minutes to scan like 6 items. How is that even possible? It’s possible when people don’t give two shits about the other people around them or when they don’t want to admit they need help. Look, there’s no shame in having (or wanting) to go to the regular checkout. Plenty of people do it. So leave the self-checkout for people who know what the fuck is going on around them.
Then two days ago, I again had to run in for something (what can I say, SO and I are shit at making grocery lists) and I got behind a woman who was scanning her last item. Then she goes to pay and realizes she forgot her credit card. I can’t even fathom the idiocy involved here. My credit card is always in my wallet. Where the fuck else would it be? And if I’m fucking going shopping, I’m certainly going to check that it’s there before I leave the house, especially if I have a penchant for doing ridiculously moronic things. But I guess that requires forethought, which most people seem to lack. But on top of this act of stupidity, the woman then had to turn to me and be like “I forgot my card!” There was a minute where I thought she was going to ask me to pay for her groceries, no lie. Asshole, I don’t work here. I don’t care if you forgot your card, and I certainly can’t do shit about it. Go get an employee and ask them what to do. Next time, try using the one brain cell you have to remember before you get to the store that you need some form of money to buy groceries.
I don’t know what it is about the self-checkout that attracts the most idiotic of all the shoppers, but this has got to stop. I think we need to start giving people IQ tests before they can use the self-checkout aisle. It might sound like an inconvenience, but I bet it would actually make things go more quickly. At the very least it would stop me from wondering if starvation would be preferable over food shopping.