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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, read this »

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Do people choose not to read signs? Do they read them, then choose to ignore them? Or, as I suspect may be the case after my latest trip to the grocery store, are people just rude, inconsiderate BOOBS?!?

Here’s the thing: I had seven items in my little basket. That’s right – I was there to get so little that I didn’t need a full-sized cart. Just a little plastic basket, thank you.

As I approached the U-Scan aisles, the first thing that caught my attention was the line. Four self-check-outs, all occupied, with three people behind them in each of the two lines.

In an effort to stop sweating the small stuff, I got in line as well. Which is when the second thing caught my eye. Three of the four people checking out clearly had more than their fair allotment of items. I continued inspecting each cart in line, deducing that this “cheat the system” tactic was about to be put to use by four of the six people waiting their turn, as well.

Are you kidding me?

Maybe that alone should’ve been enough to prod me into a “normal” check-out lane. But no. I stayed. Probably a good thing, in retrospect, because if someone else was telling this story, I wouldn’t have believed them. Because that’s about the time things really got out of control.

Enter some man and woman and their two kids, pushing one of those oversized, impossible-to-drive carts with a toy race car built into it. Down through the middle of both lines they went, ignorant and unfazed by the two lines of people they were breaking in front of.  They continued until they were positioned beside a man who was paying for his order (which, I would like to point out had clearly been under 15 items. It’s a miracle – someone else can read!).

My son was watching, too.

“Did you see that, Mom?”

“Yeah – pretty hard to miss.”

“Isn’t that RUDE?”

“Yes, dear. Look around you.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’ll tell you when we get out of here.”

Because had I told him inside the store, I would likely have gone to the front of the store and asked for the intercom system.

“Good afternoon, shoppers,” I would have said. “There are several things that need to be brought to your attention. Today, I’ll serve as the attention-getter. First, U-Scan aisles are clearly marked ’15 items or less.’ What this means is you are responsible for counting the items in your basket or buggy prior to entering the check-out lines. If you didn’t pass first grade math, that’s not our problem. It’s yours. Go back to school and pay attention this time.  Should you find that the amount of goodies exceeds stated limit, you will have two options: put some of the junk food back and adhere to the rules, or go to a regular check-out line, following the example of other, more courteous shoppers.

“Second, there is a reason that lines are formed in front of the check-out aisles. That reason, should you be too dense to comprehend on your own, is because other shoppers were in line before you. Which means you need to march your lazy butts to the back of said line and wait your turn. Yes, I mean you people at the far check-out with the kids and the race car buggy.”

(Cheers and applause from the well-mannered in the store would begin to erupt, which would serve to fuel my fire, and I would continue.)

“It appears that some of you have lost all sense of decorum. Maybe you never had any to begin with. So I will explain, just so you’re clear on this. Your actions are not only an insult to the other shoppers, you have just taught by example. You have shown your two children that rudeness, irresponsibility, and a general disregard for society is A-Okay with you. But it’s not okay with the rest of us – and that includes my own child, who is also questioning your unacceptable behavior.

“Is this a teachable moment? Is this something all shoppers can learn from? Indeed. Take a look around you and count the items in each person’s basket and ask yourself what kind of person you want to be. Ask yourself if it’s that difficult to play by the rules everyone else plays by. Ask yourself what sort of example you want to set for your children or grandchildren – or the children of people next in line.

“In case you’re still scratching your head in confusion, here’s your sign. If you can’t play by the rules, don’t leave your house. Better yet, start employing a little bit of common sense and learn to live within society, just like the rest of us. If stupidity rules your actions, understand you have no excuse.”

And understand a “15 Items or Less” sign means 15 items or less. It’s clearly posted. Here’s your sign.

liz pic – Liz

Enjoy your Coffee Break!

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