The Best Grocery Trip Ever

Hello dear reader(s)!

Yesterday afternoon (closer to evening) I was released from the hospital.  My dad took me to the pharmacy and then home.  It was a very happy occasion.  There was much rejoicing.  Being that I was in the hospital all week, I knew that I would have to pick up a few things such as water and food because I knew I’d be out.  So I grabbed enough for dinner that night and a jug of water which should last a few days.

But I forgot to get anything for breakfast or non-dinner type food.  Knowing I need to balance between rest and keeping moving, and knowing the antibiotics have kicked in enough to make me not super-contagious, I decided I would venture to the store of gross and pick up some groceries.  Plus, I needed to get Kleenex so as not to use up my entire toilet paper supply on blowing my nose since that toilet paper might come in handy for its intended use.  I ventured out into the spitting snow, aware that today is Saturday.  Saturday at the grocery store means long lines and annoying people who think they are the only people on Earth that matter.  I knew what I was in for.  But I had a plan.  Pick up a few specific items, use the self-checkout and get out as soon as humanly possible.

I entered the grocery store and and began to acquire the few things I would need to sustain life the next few days.  I was doing well until I rounded the corner by the juices and saw them.  On one side of a holiday display was a woman who appeared to be fresh out of a hospital stay for chemo.  She was blocking the whole aisle on the one side of the display looking at cottage cheese labels.  I didn’t fault her, given the look of her condition.  I decided to go around the other side of the display and that is when I encountered them.  A man in his 60’s with a serious Dog the Bounty Hunter haircut (no joke) and his clueless bitchy old wife who appeared to be 70.  They could not be bothered to move to one side allowing me passage so I pushed through and bumped their cart with mine.  As I did, I said, “We get it.  You’re old and feel entitled.  But there ARE other people on Earth.”

I continued walking and acquiring my goods.  I rounded the corner to the front of the store and toward the self-checkouts.  They were full, two were out-of-order, and there was a confused group near the front that I would call a line were it linear.  So I checked for the shortest line with a checker and found two that only had one person in each.  I looked and both carts were full beyond full.   I knew it would be a time, but joined the line where the checker seemed to be moving the fastest.  I resigned myself for a bit of a wait because it was Saturday at the supermarket and that is how that goes sometimes.

And then they got in line behind me.

Now, I have worked retail, and so I know that (provided there is staffing) a new register is typically opened when lines become over three people long.  Our line just had three, if you count them as one entity.  The line next door only had one, but that person was buying the entire store’s merchandise and the checker moved like Wade.  Wade is the word’s slowest checker, in case you aren’t all aware.

From the minute they stepped behind me they started bitching about how long the lines were, and how they didn’t want to wait.

The store was busy.  There were plenty of registers open, and it was actually running as smoothly as one could expect on a Saturday afternoon.  But they bitched, and they bitched, and they bitched.  I turned and glared.  At first.

Dog left his bitchy wife behind so he could go and complain to the poor guy watching the self-checkouts that the wait was unacceptable.  When he returned, a beautiful brunette clerk with haunting eyes came to me and asked me to go with her down to 11.  I smiled and said, “Thank you!”

I pushed passed Dog and his wife who followed me down to 11.  As I did, I looked at them and said, “And I didn’t even have to bitch.”

As we made it down to 11, she began to empty the items out of my cart.  I heard Dog’s bitchy wife bitch, “Really bad customer service when a customer needs to ASK to have another checker.”

I turned right to them and said, “Yeah, because there is no such thing as staffing, or other things that need to be done.”

The couple looked down, but continued.  “I just think this place is going down hill.”

This time I turned to them again, squared up, and said, “Oh my God, poor you had to wait a full extra minute!”

I looked back toward the screen to see if it was time to pay and the cashier was beaming at me.  I smiled back and said, “I wonder what it must be like to think I’m so much more important than everyone else all the time.”

The cashier smiled at me again.  I think I became her new hero.

She handed me groceries and I told her, “Thank you very much.  I really hope you have an amazing day.”

She smiled back and thanked me, but not in that generic, “Thank you for shopping with us.” sort of way.

I’m sure I could’ve asked her out, or something like that.  I made a good impression.  But I didn’t.  For one thing, I wasn’t being fake in my standing up for her and her co-workers against detestable scum like them, and for another, I am moving soon.

But I think the biggest reason, is because I got to walk out of there with my head up like a white knight who had just slain the evil customer dragon with nothing in it for me except my own nobility.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

27 thoughts on “The Best Grocery Trip Ever”

  1. Loved this. We all need that white knight from time to time. Good for you for standing up to those life-draining, entitled pessimists. I am sure that cashier shared her experience with friends and co-workers. And what you did made them all smile.

    Glad you are back home recovering!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I went out today, to two department stores and had nothing but positive experiences. Employees were helpful and pleasant, fellow customers were chipper, children were adorable. I felt…slightly suspicious and delighted.
    I’m the main shopper in my household, so I’m no stranger to standing in lines. I expect it. And while I’m in line, I make idle chit chat and be kind to people so we all have a better time. If I had to spend time with Dog and his bitch wife, per your experience today, I’d likely switch lines. I’d rather wait longer than be around negativity.
    You are EVERYONE’s hero 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t know what got into me. I usually stare and say things under my breath, but I just felt like taking them on. Not violently or anything, just kind of a, “Hey! It’s Saturday at the store, you jerks! Quit making it worse!”

      Liked by 3 people

  3. *slow clap*

    It’s nice to see someone actually say the things I think in my head while shopping. I’m a master of the dirty look, but I’m chicken shit when it comes to saying anything.


  4. I wish I had the courage to do something like this!! I’ll always imagine these kind of conversations with people, but if I actually try to say anything it comes out more like:

    Me: *mumble mumble* You people make me sick.
    Annoying People: Wha?
    Me: … because your… hair is so awesome… I’m so jealous…

    Then I run away in shame, embarrassed for being weird AND for not actually standing up for whatever it is I was trying to do.

    Ah well- at least there are people like you out there! Hope you get well soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Catching up on posts now. Glad you told those pieces of shit the deal. Even more glad that you’re not only out of the hospital, but well enough to brave the grocery store at all. And even more-more glad that you were, most likely, the bright spot in that cashier’s day. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

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