The Making of "We’re All In This Together"

The other night, I tweeted the following:

Attention shoppers: Please keep your cart to the right so others can pass by while you study canned peas, which are a bad idea, anyway.

Most of my tweets go unnoticed, but this one attracted immediate attention because it touches on a much larger issue–people increasingly fail to acknowledge that they are not alone in this universe! 

Matt Hunter, Editorial Director of Zouch Magazine, enjoyed the tweet and suggested that there was room for expansion there. I agreed, said I’d already begun, pointed him toward some of my earlier posts (Three [Simplified] Rules for Attending School Performances and the original Three Basic Rules for Attending School Performances), and began making lists.

It’s been super busy, and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write (freshman research season, you know), but I thought I’d briefly revisit the “how to behave in a grocery store” idea to give you a taste of what’s coming and try to build some momentum. I think I’ll call this series “We’re All In This Together.”

So, here we go:

Attention shoppers: Please keep your cart to the right so others can pass by while you study canned peas, which are a bad idea, anyway.

If you made it to this suburban store, chances are you drove here and are familiar with the concept of staying on your own side of the road. The same applies when you’re pushing a shopping cart. When you park yourself in the middle of the aisle, other people (yes, other people) cannot pass by.

Most of us are not there window shopping; we’re there to find what we need and get out. We do not want to wait three minutes while you study the nutritional information on the side of canned vegetables or breakfast cereal, or while you calculate whether it’s financially sound to by the “family size” brownie mix. We want to keep moving, get what we need, and get on with our lives.

We all forget to pull our carts over sometimes. It happens. But when people are lined up on either side of you, it’s not because we want your autograph. You’re blocking the aisle–get out of the way.

Attention shoppers: Lines are there for a reason. Take turns.

It’s happened to all of us. You’re standing in a long line at the grocery store, when the light comes on in the aisle next to you. However, before you know what’s happened, three people who had not even been  on line race over and clog up the newly opened lane. 

I know that some people feel that an open lane is fair game, but I disagree. Think about what that says to the folks who have been standing there for ten minutes while their ice cream melts. Were they not on line already? Does it not count because they weren’t on that particular line? And more to the point, is your time so much more valuable? What are you rushing off to do that’s so much more important than what the rest of us have going? I doubt highly that you’re not (basically) cutting the line because you’ve got to pay for your frozen broccoli on your way to do an emergency heart transplant.

Even my kids know that when a new lane opens up, you do the decent thing: give the people who have been waiting longer than you if they’d like to scoot over to the new lane. They aren’t cheating or getting away with anything if they change lanes. They’ve done their time already. 

There’s more to come, but I just looked at the time (I love that it flies when I’m writing) and realized that if I get offline now, I can get almost six whole hours of sleep before my alarm goes off and another day begins.
But check back. I love to vent about the condition I like to call “hedupyerasis,”  and now I’ve got people encouraging it. That’s all the invitation I need.

3 Comments on “The Making of "We’re All In This Together"

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