Minor Irritations in Grocery Stores

Does grocery shopping irritate you? Maybe I’m the only one.

Years ago my spouse (Captain Mark the engineer) decided I needed an aisle-by-aisle grocery list for our local market. Enter the door, turn left toward Produce, then go down each aisle moving clockwise through the store until aisles end at Deli. Then back along the wall for meats and finally, a trip down to frozens.

He put it on the computer so I can type my needs by aisle, print out the list, and take it with me. Convenient and it saves time.

Maybe. I humored him.

How many times have you rounded a corner, stopped cold by two people chatting in the middle of the aisle, their carts impeding forward progress as effectively as a flashing red light zooming up behind you and camping on your bumper on a freeway?

Then there’s the shopper with two carts. One has two little kids in it munching on handfuls of breakfast cereal. The mom stops every three feet in the center to stop an altercation. Plus she parks the other cart with her groceries right in front of the shelf you need.

My favorite has nothing to do with shoppers. The grocery store loves to frustrate me. It knows I’m carrying the list, so it changes product locations. Yup. It moves the large boxes of K-cups to the end of the pharmacy aisle instead of putting it in the coffee section.

How am I supposed to find things if they’re moved, especially if I’m in a hurry? Which I always am.

And then there’s the checkout. Two open checkout aisles on a busy day. Lines form. No baggers. Even the self-checkout stations have lines. Can’t go there, because there’s wine in the cart.

This story has a moral. Don’t grocery shop when: 1) school’s just let out, 2) you’ve got a pressing appointment after you shove the ice cream in your freezer at home, leaving the rest for later 3) you’re having a rotten day.

Or go at six o’clock in the morning. Oh wait! The aisles are clogged then with employees restocking shelves.

Guess it has to be midnight.

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