Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It's ugly

I think the continued poor economy is affecting people badly. It seems lately I've seen more rude, awful, pushy and even dangerous behavior - both in stores and on the road.

I had to run to the grocery store this afternoon for some supplies for feeding my women's group this week. The store had marked down all the leftover halloween candy and had it set out in carts near the checkout line. People were pushing and shoving to get to the candy. I don't know if it's just the "bargain" mentality kicking in, or if people are buying into the news about shortages of things like peanuts and coffee and chocolates, or what. I also saw some rude behavior in the "regular food" aisles.

And I got behind my first "extreme couponer." I should have been tipped off when the woman behind her (herself with a full cart) pulled out and left, but I didn't, and got in the "shorter" line.

(To my credit, I didn't get angry, didn't say anything. I just stood there and told myself that (a) you chose this line and (b) you don't really have to be anywhere for a while, so while it's annoying to wait, you can wait).

I do think that if that sort of extreme couponing becomes a bigger trend, it might be nice to have lanes for "people without coupons" or for them to more closely police the "20 items or fewer" lanes, and really ask the people with a full cart to leave that lane free for the people with just a few items. (If they asked it that way - in the sense of "Please leave this lane open as a convenience to people who only have a few items and are in a hurry" that might work better than "No, you cannot bring more than 20 items through." Though, I don't know. Someone with a real entitlement mentality might not care about the other people.)

I don't know. It just makes me sad and tired to be out among the general public these days - it seems there's so much bad behavior. Recently, driving through a construction zone where you have to merge down to one lane, I guess I wasn't moving fast enough for the guy behind me, because he pulled out, ran down to the merge-point, and then very pointedly cut me off. (I was trying to leave a car-length between me and the car ahead, just for safety reasons). I hit my horn and shook a finger (my INDEX finger - the finger you wag at a small child when they misbehave - not that OTHER finger) at him, but really, what's the point? Someone who thinks that's okay probably thought it was funny it ticked me off.

I don't know. The funny thing is, my response to seeing bad behavior is to (generally) try to be nicer myself - to let people pull out of parking lots if I'm out on the street and they're trying to get out (ESPECIALLY if I'm at a stoplight where stopping and hanging back a car-length to let them out makes no difference in my travel time), stuff like that. Or being as polite as possible to cashiers after the previous person unloaded on them. (Hint to the complainers: the cashiers are not the cause of the inflation in food prices.) Like, I think maybe I can try to undo some of the rudeness by being extra nice. I don't know.

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