Monday, February 01, 2010

Grocery People

I decided to create an overview of the typical characters of grocery-shoppers. Every person who enters a grocery falls into some kind of category. When we are in a grocery, we are not ourselves, the way we would walk through the living room confidently, wearing a bathrobe. No, we are in a different environment and act more like squirrels trying to find food to stash. For the sake of political correctness, I will address every type as "he".

The hesitant customer

He is famous for two things: Blocking you from taking the most desired item from the shelf, only to move away minutes later because he decided not to get what he initially had in mind to buy. Especially common when you are in a hurry.

The slow-moving customer

What makes this one different from the first is that he walks around like a ghost. You might just bump into him around the corner because you had no idea he was there. He really takes his time and always walks in the middle of the aisle. Very annoying in the narrow parts of any grocery.

The slow buyer

Mostly old people. This kind of customer will take a very long time paying for the goods. Something is always wrong. Either he doesn't hear what the price was, or he finds out he doesn't have the exact change, or something else is wrong. Worst option: When he starts talking about the weather, the good old times, or the history of the coin he is picking out of his pocket:"Oh yes, I remember exactly, it was in the year 1969, and we had just landed on the moon. Nixon was the president, who, at the time, we thought would be a good president. It was also the year when the Beatles had their last concert. Where was I? Oh yes, the coin..."

The double encounter customer

No matter what you do, you get to see this customer at least twice during your walk through the grocery.

The acquaintance

You suddenly see a familiar face in the grocery, someone you know from another place: Work, school, anywhere. There is something odd and uncomfortable about it. You either try to avoid the person or, unlucky enough to run into him, try to find small talk topics to escape the awkwardness. It hardly ever works.

The chaser

This hectical customer, for some reason, always happens to appear when he is behind you, and he always tries to go where you are going, just from behind you. So what does that lead to? He chases you through the grocery because you are ahead of him and getting infected by his hurry. You try to give way, you try to let him pass, but the aisle is suddenly too narrow for both of you to fit through. You walk and walk and walk, trying not to run, and your heartbeat goes up. Finally you find a corner where you can let him pass. Trying not to make it obvious, you act as if you were interested in whatever articles you are now facing. While you catch your breath, you turn around and realise you have now been standing at an akward corner for long enough to make everyone notice you (as a guy: toiletries for women; as a woman: the porn section).

The last-minute snatching customer

You see what you've been looking for, and no matter if it's directly in front of you or down the aisle, you will always see this guy's hand touch it first and take it away from you. Most common version: It's the last item of its kind that's still available.

The toucher

Similar to the one above. Your hands meet when you try to get something at the same time. Sometimes awkward, sometimes funny, often leads to romantic situations. A lot more awkward when it's people from the same gender, unless you're into that kind of stuff.

The staring customer

He is the kind of customer that you can always notice looking at you. You walk through the grocery, and he is still looking at you no matter where you go. You are not sure whether it's your imagination or the guy is a real creep. It only makes you think that you want to murder him, it drives you nuts, this stupid staring.

The closing-in customer

You can see a person in front of you, and you just want to walk past that person. But while you are approaching the person, he either backs off or walks toward a shelf, in either case always closing you in between an obstacle and himself, and you have a hard time barely walking past before hitting expensive bottles of wine or an unstable looking array of cans. *sighs* That was a close one again...

The impolite one

Sorry to say, but often a role played by foreigners or morons who didn't go to school very long. He behaves like the grocery is his living room, screams, says stupid things, behaves like the "checker" of the "hood". You can't stand that person, and it makes grocery-shopping a lot less fun.

The phone guy

Related to the one mentioned previously, only with a lot more "HELLLLOOOOO???? HELLO??!?!?!?! Oh yes, sorry, the phone got disconnected" kind of stuff.

The egoist

When the goods are on the conveyor belt, he is the only one who does not help other customers by giving them space to put their goods there, too. He also doesn't move forward so that other people could access it. He only cares about himself and other people behind him have to keep all the heavy stuff in their hands in the meantime. He additionally confuses people by walking back and forth near the cashier, looking for cigarettes or chewing gum.

The stop and go customer

He walks at a normal pace and doesn't show any signs of trouble until BAAAMMMM! He suddenly stopped walking. And you were walking directly behind him and had to hit the brakes full power to not walk into him. How can a person just STOP out of nowhere? This one is the ninja of all annoying customers. You don't see it coming.

The blocker

Often an old grandpa or a mother goddess: It's the kind of customer who will just "wait" somewhere for something to happen. It's either a person who is having a conversation, or someone who needs to re-pack their bags. Something is always going on that causes the person to stand still. If a grocery was a living organism, the blocker is what causes the heart attack.

The nervous one

Maybe the most annoying of all, because he combines several characters in one: The chaser, the stop and go customer, the hesitant one, and so on. The nervous one is usually very fast at walking, very spontaneous in stopping, and very indecisive in... well....deciding. He changes directions very quickly, sometimes makes 180 degree turns, and, if he has traces of the impolite one in him, will blame you if you walk into each other. The nervous one is the Antichrist of shopping. Shopping is supposed to be relaxing, even the music suggests that you take your time, it's all part of the supermarket psychology. The nervous one makes it hard to let go of every day life.

So which grocery person are you?