Friday, November 27, 2009

What Is It About The Holidays That Brings Out The Best And Worst In People?

I just realized I only have 3 days left (after this post) on the NaBloPoMo commitment. I still can't believe I've stuck with something this long. Okay, on with today's post.

Today I was thinking about the few times I've had *Encounters Of The Ugly Kind* in public, with strangers. I mean, I'm such a non-confrontational type person. When I say I'm Confrontationally Challenged, I'm quite serious.

However, I suppose everyone, even me, has their breaking point. The most recent occurrence of this odd Snooty Primadona phenomenon happened during one of my countless trips to the grocery store before Thanksgiving.

It was 11:00 PM and I was convinced the store would be deserted, so off I merrily went to get the few items I'd forgotten earlier in the day. As usual, I can never actually stick to a grocery list although I really do try.

So, I get to HEB, grab one of their mini carts and I'm off to make this as quick a trip as humanly possible. The store was still jam packed with people, so having a mini cart is a good tool for weaving in and out of the brain dead people who seem to block every single aisle when you're in a hurry. They. Make. Me. Insane. I secretly want to ram my cart up against their heels (hurting them), profusely apologizing as if I mean it, explaining that I thought I could slip past them even though they were blocking the entire aisle.

The ones that really make me crazy are the families that shop *en mass*. You know the ones. They have like three to six little monkeys running up and down each aisle they go down, making it difficult to pass them without running over them with my cart. (Hmmmmm... I wonder if there's a law against that.) They always seem to have one or two rug rats inside their grocery cart while the rest of the menagerie works at being an obstacle course for other shoppers. It annoys the daylights out of me. And these people are so freaking slow that I find it almost amusing. Almost. Can they not read, or what?

Okay, so I race around the store, proudly dodging one moron after the other, smiling as I go. That always seems to piss people off. Hey People! It's just a smile, okay? I'm not smiling at you because you are polite or look nice or offered your smile first, so get over that right now. I always smile at toddlers and babies because I can't help myself. I'm not looking to kidnap or molest them, so quit looking like I am when I smile at them. In other words, GET OVER YOURSELF! Learn to smile at others and be polite and this world will be a much more pleasant place to live.

I got a bit sidetracked there and could have gone even further, but I'll save that for another time.

I finally finish getting my items (along with a few extras) and head toward the front of the store where the checkout lanes are. As crowded as the store was, they only had THREE LANES OPEN. During. A. Holiday. WTF? Two lanes were for the regular BIG basket shoppers and the lines were really long (like maybe a 20 to 30 minute wait) so I headed to the 10 items or less checkout. I counted my items and had 11 instead of ten or less, but noticed the guy in front of me had even more than that, so obviously it was okay, right?

While the checker is still adding up the guy's MANY purchases, the line begins to grow with 1 to 3 item shoppers, who all seemed to look really ticked off by having to wait for a few minutes. Hey, I understood. I wanted to get out of there and back home too. I had lots of baking to do before bed.

So, this guy that was two people behind me says, "You have more than 10 items lady. Go to one of the other lines." I turned to him and replied, "Have a heart, man. I'm only one item over and the other two checkers open have people with the equivalent of 2 shopping carts full."

So then he starts to berate me, going on and on (very loudly, I might add) that I must be one huge jerk to come with one extra item. I ignore him. He continues. "Why do you think they have the sign for 10 items or less up for all to see?" "Can't you read?" "We're all having to wait longer because of you being an inconsiderate jerk." Then he crossed the line. He said, "What? Do you just think you're better than everyone else and so you just make your own rules?"

That did it. I was really getting hot under the collar at this point, but I still (amazingly) kept my mouth closed. He still continued as the checker was scanning my items. She was avoiding any kind of eye contact because she obviously did not want to be any part of this public spectacle. Thanks a bunch for your help, missy! Little coward.

This guy ranted and was still ranting as I walked toward the exit with my items. Then he yells after me, "You just think you're an elite type and that you're better than everyone else." To which I replied, "Well, I'm certainly a better person than you." Then I did the unthinkable. Something I've never done in public before. Ever. I gave him the bird... bigger than life, for all the uncomfortable onlookers to see, cheerfully saying, "Have a great Thanksgiving holiday... if that's possible."

I had no idea if there had been anyone in that line that I knew, and frankly, I didn't care. That man deserved the finger more than any human being I have ever come up against in my life and I didn't care who saw me. Sometimes being nice just doesn't work...


Queen of Halloween said...

Sometimes one has to do just what you did! Your definitely a better person than me...I would have done worse! What right did he have to judge anyone? My best trick is to write a check...real slowly! Then I would give them my biggest smile! Love your blog!

Green-Eyed Momster said...

My breaking point was this post I did on November 11th after shopping at my Walmart Supercenter:

I've only been to a Walmart once since that post and I didn't go to the Supercenter. I went to the mini gigantic one.

That guy was a jerk. Why didn't you tell him about the guy in front of you? He had more items than you did...
I'm sorry that happened to you Snooty, you handled it very well IMO!

I remember when smiling was contagious. I miss those days.


Green-Eyed Momster said...

s/b November 9th for my post. Sorry!

Mental P Mama said...

What a charmer. Aren't you glad you don't know him?

Pam said...

Well, now. I am a stickler for following the number of items posted on the check out line. But at least twice I have been over the limit, significantly, not just by one, and been sent to the "speedy lane" by the manager or whoever it is that supervises that. I always want a written excuse from them to show the checker and anyone who comes up behind me...which inevitably happens just after I've put all my stuff on the counter and I've made my apologies to the checker.

Clippy Mat said...

you are indeed a lady. I would have flattened him. Everyone else in line should have come to your defence too.

imom said...

I'm glad you said something to him on your way out! What an a**. At the store I shop the express lines say "about" 12 items. This makes it easier on everyone.

Heather said...

I'm sure my mom read this cheering and saying, "See Heather, if Snooty can do it, so can you!"

Heather said...

BTW, this adds to my theory that Black Friday only brings out the worst in people and encourages drunk shopping. I'll continue to pay premium to avoid a@@holes!


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