Courtesy and Decorum, to the front please

Why do we have to be oblivious to where we are when we’re out in public?  My wife and I were shopping yesterday afternoon at the grocery store. She mentioned more than once those other customers tended to be oblivious of where they were in the store, standing in the middle of aisles, sometimes looking at their phones for one reason or another, but mostly just standing and staring off into space, or just not being aware of where they were.  Or if indeed they might be in the flow of traffic.

The most egregious instance of this was when we were at the checkout.  Walking up to the check stands, I just happened to choose the one where the customer in front of us didn’t have an extremely full cart, she had a plant taking up the majority of hers and seemed to be moving at a rather quick pace.  I started to unload our cart and the woman was chatting up the cashier, who was ringing her through rather speedily.  It was only when she finished her transaction that things changed.  As it so happened, the cashier at the next stand over apparently knew the customer, so they stopped to have a conversation.  Which meant the customer was blocking the end of the check stand, where I wanted to be in order to bag OUR groceries.  She didn’t seem in any hurry to move, either.

So there I am, standing with my arms full of my reusable bags, and the cashier reaches over and takes one, helping me to bag the groceries that are piling up now at the end of the check stand.  The woman glances at me, then goes back to her conversation.  Now I’m getting pissed.  I clear my throat….loudly.  She ignores me.  I really really want to tell her to effing move.  But I don’t.  FINALLY she finishes her conversation, doesn’t apologize for blocking my way and moves on.  I glare at her, and start bagging my groceries.

The cashier, having watched the whole scene, commiserated with me.  “Why do people think they have the right to be self-absorbed?” was her observation.  I couldn’t have agreed more.  Sadly, my wife saw a lot of this, but couldn’t hear the gist of the interaction, and I had to explain it to her when we got out to the car.  It really put a damper on an otherwise good day.

Boggles the mind, sometimes.

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