Image flickr @ BagoGames

COLUMN

ZYTARUK: Today’s lack of shopping manners is truly lamentable

Large stores present dependable petri dishes for sociologists delving into the morass of human self-entitlement

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

I rue grocery shopping and going to shopping malls.

For me it has become an increasingly soul-withering experience with each new trip, traipsing through gauntlets of self-absorbed, ill-mannered and astonishingly inconsiderate fellow shoppers.

Large stores represent, figuratively speaking, dependable petri dishes for sociologists delving into the morass of human self-entitlement, self-absorption and other self-centred behaviour.

Oh sure, you’ll encounter nice people as well, bless them, whose smiles cast light into aisles and checkout lines otherwise shadowed by ill manners, though their fewer numbers cannot overcome the dimness surrounding them.

Soon, people will be Christmas shopping, if not already, and with that in mind I humbly offer some suggestions aimed at helping us all get through our respective shopping experiences without descending further into the funk of disappointment and depression.

Let’s begin with shopping for groceries.

First, enter through the entrance, not the exit door. Don’t force people leaving the store with their shopping carts to slam on the brakes to avoid you as you slide in through the wrong door. They might get crashed into by shoppers behind them who aren’t paying attention. A shopping cart to the heel, or hip, is never fun. It is of utmost importance to pilot these things with care.

Be aware of your surroundings. I was once rammed by a woman as I was picking up a banana I’d dropped to the floor. This collision, of course, was an accident but her perfect lack of empathy after the fact was not.

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Ground control to Major Tom, get ready to rocket to mars

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: And just like that, Surrey’s trees disappear

Do not park your shopping cart in the middle of the aisle whilst yakking on your cellphone with Jack, Jill or whomever. Leave people space to get by.

At the cashier, send that checkout divider down the line, so the shopper behind you can start loading their stuff on the belt too.

Never cut in front of anyone, ever. And respect the personal space of the shopper in front of you when they’re paying. In other words, back off.

Use your words. Say please, thank you and excuse me. If you want something, or to go somewhere, don’t just point with your finger without saying anything. This too is rude.

Realize that in any given geographical region there is typically only room for one prince or princess, and statistically speaking, chances are excellent that you are neither of these. So have some humility.

Food courts at shopping malls are often busy. Under no circumstances should you approach a family while they’re enjoying their meal and ask them how long they’re going to be because you want their table.

Don’t do this, ever. It’s rude. Move on. Also, never loiter in the aisle next to a table, with your butt aimed point-blank at someone’s face while they’re eating their meal. This is also rude, and gross.

Never cut diagonally across another shopper’s path, or at a right angle, or stop abruptly in front of people walking close behind you. If you get stepped on, it’s your own fault.

Never become so entirely unaware of your surroundings that you actually walk straight into someone else. Not only is this aggravating, it’s just not at all smart.

When in traffic, gee, where to start? If a driver holds back a bit to let you enter their lane, understand that it’s not because you deserve it – it’s because this stranger is doing you, a stranger, a solid.

Acknowledge it with a wave, or a nod, or a smile, or all three.

I promise your face won’t crack if you do.

So let it be done.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Construction begins on Highway 91/17 improvements in Delta

Project includes new interchanges at Highway 17/Highway 91 Connector and at River Road/Highway 17

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

Outdoor AED unit in Surrey among the first in B.C.

SaveStation cabinet is alarmed and monitored – and hasn’t been used yet

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read