Monday, October 21, 2013

I Finally Figured Out Why I Hate Grocery Shopping

I moved to this area of town in 2006. Prior to that time, I don't recall any particular feelings about grocery shopping. I do recall visiting this area of town once and stopping by the only grocery store in the area, Kroger. I commented to my mother, who lived nearby, that their Kroger was horrible. She said yes, this is the worst Kroger she's ever seen.

After moving here, grocery shopping became a highly stressful experience. If I worked all day and came straight home, I was fine. If I worked all day and stopped by the grocery store, I was exhausted and tense. I just assumed I'd developed some intolerance to grocery shopping at some point.

Then, a few months ago, a competing grocery store opened. Now we have two grocery stores to cover an entire 15-mile radius. The new store, Publix, has wide, open aisles and is meticulously clean. Here are Publix's aisles:

Kroger aisles look a little closer to this:

Including those cardboard stands in the middle of the aisle. Does anyone actually buy products from those things? I never look at them--just try to summon patience as I wait for the person coming the other way to pass so I can veer around them.

And now it's time for the biggest grocery store stressor of them all. It goes without describing...

...but I'll describe it anyway. People who block the aisle and refuse to move make me want to have my own Norma Rae moment. I'm not just talking about couples and families who spread out and act like each decision will impact the next 20 years of their lives. I'm talking about the one person who stands next to his or her cart, ignoring everyone else.

I just have one question. Do they really have the ability to tune everyone else out? Or are they simply rude?

What are your grocery store annoyances?


  1. I can't stand it when I'm walking up to a checkstand with a few items and someone races in front of me with a huge cart full of groceries. Really?

  2. The people blocking aisles is weird and annoying. It's like they're the most important people in the world and they are oblivious to others around them. The thing that sometimes bugs me more is that it seems like most of the times when I go to shop the store stockers are totally blocking the aisles with pallets and carts as they stock shelves. They used to do this at night but then the stores stopped being open 24 hours and having a night shift. I guess maybe I just always go at the wrong time, but it seems like those employees are always blocking some aisle or other.

    A Faraway View

  3. @Jaimie: I know. I always try to allow those people to go ahead of me, though, if I'm the one with the high # of items.

    @Arlee: Ours are ALWAYS stocking shelves. I thought it was because I was going early in the morning, so I started going later. They're still there. I thought, okay, maybe they're trying to avoid the Mon-Fri after-work crowd by stocking on weekends and during weekdays. Nope. They're there at 5pm. I bypassed this potato salad one week because stock guy had the whole area blocked. Next week, I went back and, sure enough, he was camped out in front of the potato salad. I pushed my way in and got my darn potato salad!

  4. Walmart is the KING of blocked aisles and endcap displays.
    Your problem is the problem of many people including myself.
    Especially when their kids are running circles around their parents ankles making it impossible to EVER get a passage through.
    I definitely feel your pain!

  5. I always give parents a tiny bit of extra slack because I can't imagine how hard it is shopping with young children! If kids are blocking the aisle and parents don't make them move (which happens), it annoys me...but not as much as grown people who do the same. I guess maybe that's what happens when you don't tell your kids to show courtesy to others--they grow up to be adults who don't show courtesy to others.

    I knew someone who would ram into someone's cart if it was blocking the aisle, pretending not to pay attention. "Oops. I was looking the other way. Sorry." People usually move the cart then! You just can't really do the same with people without being charged with assault!

  6. Oh my, I loathe grocery shopping.

    And don't even get me started on people who block the aisle with their cart. I will go off. I have no idea when we became a society that could tune out everyone and lack even the smallest amount of courtesy for a SHARED public space.

    However, I'm wondering if my rage at the grocery store is related to where I shop. I have Food Lion and Walmart as my only options out in the country. And my Walmart is just hell. A couple months ago, I started driving ~25 minutes away to the "rich" part of town, to a Walmart that is MUCH nicer. And my rage has diminished. I still hate grocery shopping with a passion. But I don't come home ready to punch the wall.

  7. I buy everything I can online. To save 10% we run the Kroger gauntlet once a month, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the pain. Last month, I checked out in the middle of shopping and finished my list at Publix.

  8. ***People who block the aisle and refuse to move make me want to have my own Norma Rae moment.***


    Why do people do this? I don't get it. Perhaps, they are just RUuuuuuuuuuDE))


  9. First of all, Hi Stephanie! I'm a fellow client of Natalie's :D Lovely to meet you!

    On topic, we have a store called Woodman's here, which I mostly love. The building itself is HUGE. And they have Everything that is Food, which is awesome, but really, the store is H-U-G-E. It took me many trips to figure out where everything was, and how to navigate without being in there for three+ hours. And despite the size, on the weekends, it's a madhouse. We're right on the state border, and on weekends, all the out of towners from the south come up to shop. It's like black friday every week in there.

  10. I dislike it when there are 20 checks stands but only one or two are open with a line of 20 people at each.