Before I get down into the meat and potatoes of this post, I need come right out and tell you that I hate shopping. Hating shopping may seem a little extreme and requires some clarification, I hate shopping at big box stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Visiting local mom and pop stores is far less frustrating and can be fun at times.
My distaste for shopping has nothing to do with spending my hard earned money, but has everything to do with the behavior of my fellow shoppers. I can remember a time as a child where I would be reprimanded for not having the common courtesy of holding the door for the person just a few feet away.
Holding the Door:
Having gotten into the habit of holding the door for strangers as a child, I don’t even think about it today, I simply hold the door and wait a couple of seconds for my fellow shopper to make it to the door. More often than not the person that I hold the door for doesn’t even have the common courtesy to say thank you. Often times they avoid eye contact and continue walking, as if I had just done something embarrassing.
Depending on the situation, I take it even a step further. Not all that long ago an older couple was approaching the doors to a local store (I don’t recall what store it was). The couple was just a few steps behind me, walking hand in hand. Rather than walking through the door and passing it off to the couple before I continued on, I opened the door and stepped to the side, holding the door so that they didn’t even have to touch the door themselves. I didn’t find it to be a big deal but the older man insisted on thanking me and shaking my hand, as did his wife.
When roles are reversed, I become agitated quickly when the person approaching a door ahead of me lets the door go without passing it on. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had doors slam shut mere inches from my face because my fellow shopper couldn’t be bothered with holding the door for a couple of seconds.
Blocking the Aisles:
This simple door situation is enough to put a damper on the shopping experience, but it gets worse after entering the store. Depending on the store that I am visiting, the frustrations change a bit. The most agitation comes from my local Walmart, where children run wild in the aisles and the parents pay little to no attention.
While I understand that kids are going to be kids, I also feel that parents should take responsibility for their children’s actions. It is a common occurrence to find a couple blocking up an aisle as they carry on a conversation, meanwhile their kids are pulling items off of the shelves so that they can play with them while seated on the floor. In an extreme case, I’ve seen a child pull a bike off of the rack and ride it around the store, completely ignored by their parents.
In the local grocery store, where playing children are less of an issue, I always seem to run into the person that must turn their cart sideways, blocking the aisle completely, while they select their items from the shelves. What is even more frustrating is that these people don’t seem to be bothered when I physically move their cart so that I can pass.
When shopping for groceries with my wife, which is rare, I tend to frustrate her by how anal I am in making sure my cart is oriented so that people can easily pass us in the aisles. I also keep a watchful eye on the cart so that I can move it in the event that I am preventing someone from pulling an item off of the shelf.
I Hate Shopping:
The examples outlined above are just two of the many reasons that I hate shopping. Each visit to the local big box store seems to reinforce my thought that people are becoming more and more rude as each day passes.
Perhaps if everyone took just a few seconds out of their day to do something nice like holding a door or not blocking an aisle, shopping would be a more pleasurable experience and fewer people would walk around with agitated looks on their faces.
Maybe I’m one of the few remaining people in a dying breed of shoppers. If this is the case, I’m more than happy to spend my money online where I do not have to deal the frustrations of shopping in a physical store.