Some people need soap in their mouths! Disgruntled shoppers recount the time when someone said or did something disrespectful to them in the checkout line! Content has been edited for clarity.
Worth The Reward
“I was in Target on a Sunday afternoon with my seven-year-old and two-year-old sons. My toddler was riding in the cart and my seven-year-old was walking with me. He had had a great week at school and received an award in his stem class. He asked me for a seven-dollar dinosaur.
So I said, ‘Yes.’
We walked on and he asked me for something else.
I told him no. He told me he didn’t like me. I told him to put the seven-dollar dinosaur back, I wasn’t going to buy a toy for a little boy who didn’t like me.
He freaked out.
He was screaming and crying like a crazy person. I calmly walked to the checkout with him acting as my personal siren through the store.
He kept screaming, ‘If you buy me the dinosaur I’ll stop screaming.’
Life doesn’t work that way. I wasn’t about to give in to him and reward him for being rude to me or for having a tantrum.
There was an older lady in front of us in line. She proceeded to put her hands over her ears in a very dramatic fashion.
She then looked at me and said, ‘People like you don’t deserve to have children.’
I just looked at her, smiled, and said, ‘I have two more at home.’
If I’m a bad mom for having a kid melt down in Target, or not giving in to their tantrums; then so be it.”
Cleanup In Aisle One
“It was Christmas.
I was all done Christmas shopping, or so I thought. I had to get one or two more items. I also had my granddaughter, Ladybug, (her play name), and had to take her with me. The only place I knew would be open was Walmart, my least favorite place to be, at any time of the day.
We got there, of course, it was packed with last-minute shoppers. I got what we went to get and headed to the checkout line.
As soon as we got there, the line started to get longer and longer; right at that time, Ladybug announced she had to pee. There was a lady in front of us with a ton of things.
She was just about to start unloading when I asked her, ‘Can we go ahead of you, please? My granddaughter has to pee.’
Ladybug started to do the ‘I need to pee’ dance.
The lady looked at Ladybug up and down and looked back at me and said as loud as she could, ‘So it’s now my fault your little brat can’t hold her pee?’
Ladybug started crying.
I don’t know what got into me, maybe I was tired from all the cooking and cleaning for the holiday. But the next thing I knew I was throwing her stuff off her cart to the floor and titled the cart over. I didn’t even realize I was also breaking things. Ladybug stopped crying in shock. I just took her hand and dropped what I went there for and took my baby to the restroom.
When we got out of the restroom, one of the managers was waiting for us. She handed me my things and told me to go to the customer service center and they will check me out.
I did and we left.
I felt bad about my behavior, bringing myself to her level. I felt bad that Ladybug had to hear someone calling her a bad name or seeing her Nana having a meltdown.
Of course, as soon as we got back in the car, Ladybug wanted to know what a brat was.
I told her it was someone who was mean.
For some reason, the little lady was happy about it and couldn’t wait to tell her cousins. “
Talk Of The Town
“I was wearily pushing my shopping cart, lost in my own thoughts, trying hard to remember if I had gotten everything I needed.
Our housewarming ceremony was just a couple of days away and I was running on fumes. There was setting up to do, last-minute worker issues to be managed, and house guests to be taken care of.
The list was unending.
My personal appearance was the last thing on my mind.
I was shaken from my stupor when I saw the woman ahead of me in the checkout queue nudge her companion to point toward me. Their ensuing smirks didn’t bother me much but their continual murmurs made me wonder if I had done something wrong.
Maybe I stood in the wrong queue or dropped something in some aisle and was irresponsible with my behavior somehow.
I decided to clear the air and politely asked them about the matter.
The nudger didn’t hesitate to come clean. She pointed toward my wrists and told me they found the habit very ‘downmarket’.
I had no clue whatsoever of what she meant. I glanced down and then looked at her blankly.
She again pointed toward my hands and said, ‘Those safety pins in your bangles. Eeew! My maid wears them like this.’
That was the reason for her policing!
A little background here. As mentioned earlier, I was too caught up in work. I had elders in my home who would seek safety pins for their use. I would put them on my bangles for safekeeping. With so much going around, those would come in handy for quick nips and tucks too.
It was an absentminded convenience for me and apparently downmarket for them.
While I didn’t pay heed to their snobbish attitude, what I found rude was their judgemental behavior.
The reference to the maid not only reeked of disdain towards helpers, but the insinuations were also nasty and impolite. I simply smiled and told them that I didn’t conform to any ‘market trends’. I lived on terms that made sense to me.
They should try it too.
It would be liberating for them.
As for the safety pins, they were time and resource management in my book. Unless they pricked anyone, they shouldn’t be anyone’s concern. There was not a peep from them after my monologue.”
I’m Loving It?
“One day, being the unhealthy sort I was, I decided to stop in for a bite to eat at McDonald’s.
Now, I wasn’t sure how McDonald’s operates in other parts of the world, but here we had a clear system for ordering food and collecting food.
To the left side of the counter, we had the registers. We formed as many lines as there are registers, and ordered our food in turn. To the right side of the counter, there was the collection point, where people congregated in no particular order or line, while their food is cooked.
Seems simple, right?
So, I walked into McDonald’s, and there were two people in line, and one other person standing off, far to the right, in the collection area.
I noticed the person at the end of the line was a friend of mine, and we begin chatting while waiting to order.
My friend’s turn came and he ordered.
Next, was my turn.
‘Oh, so you’re going to serve him?’ a voice beside me boomed.
The woman who had been standing far to the right, in the collection area, stormed up to the counter and began exploding at the teenager who was taking orders.
‘He pushed in! You have to serve me first or I’ll sue you both!’
At this point, I was trying not to laugh in the face of this woman. She was acting like I’d committed a war crime, when in fact, I had every reason to assume she had already ordered.
She rounded on me and said, ‘Your parents failed when raising you, young man. You should be ashamed for denying me my rightful place in line.’
Finally, I cracked and gave a chuckle.
‘Miss,’ I said, ‘If your chicken nuggets are worth so much to you that you’ll cause a scene like this. Then, by all means, order away.’
Her eyes narrowed, and she looked ready to hit me. But she eventually turned and ordered her food. She complained loudly about the price of the food, berated the cashier again, paid, and stomped back to the collection area.
I ordered my food and moved over to the right.
My friends and I food had arrived at the same moment. Well before the rude woman’s.
As we walked to our table, I looked her in the eye and said, ‘I am very sorry for the inconvenience miss, but in the future, had you simply tapped me on the shoulder and told me I’d pushed in, I would have let you through without a fuss.’
She looked ready to explode at me, and just as she was about to shout again, I butt in.
I said, ‘Have a great day.’
Seriously though, how psychotic do you have to be to explode over a place in a line of four people? A line you were standing a good five meters away from?”
Cause For Concern
“It was November 2020.
A few days before Thanksgiving.
The store was uncomfortably crowded. As soon as I entered, I wanted to leave as soon as possible. There was pushing, shoving, cutting in line, and worst of all, a concerning amount of maskless shoppers. When I finally stood in line to check out, it was no surprise when I turned around to find that the man in line behind me wasn’t wearing a mask.
I try my best to be health conscious due to certain world events.
Thus, my natural inclination was to tell the man to pull his mask up. I did, and he complied without comment.
However, another person passed us, also without a mask on.
Again, I spoke up.
‘Oh, stop being a hag’, said the same man, from behind me, loud enough to be heard over all the noise.
I was taken aback for a moment. I had never been confronted so disrespectfully for such a simple, practical request and in a way that was so disproportionate to the situation.
I turned around and stared at him. I knew that what he probably wanted was for me to respond, and for us to engage in a verbal altercation about masks in the middle of the grocery store.
So, I simply said nothing.
I wasn’t falling for it. I smiled behind my mask, satisfied.
He could put up a fight all he wanted; I still knew I had done the right thing. But it was still shocking.
Only in the US would a global health crisis become a cause for such controversy and political polarization.”
“I was waiting in line with my four sons. They were ages six, four, two, and a newborn.
So yes, I had my hands full.
I was only twenty-five years old, and I looked quite a bit younger than that.
A woman was in line behind us and began to make conversation with my oldest son, asking him about his younger siblings and how old he was.
I was preoccupied with keeping my toddler in the cart, the baby safe, and unloading groceries, when I heard her saying to my son, ‘That is not your mom.’
‘Yes, it is,’ he insisted.
I smile, as this is common that people to assume that I was the babysitter and wonder who in their right mind would let a 14-year-old babysit four little ones.
I completed the payment and was beginning to walk out of the store, but the woman continued to follow us. She raised her voice now and insisted that there was no way I was his mother; I must have kidnapped them.
My son was clinging to me by now. I was disturbed, but just quietly got my children into the safety of the car and thankfully she did not try to stop me from leaving.
In her mind, I guess there was no way I could have given birth to four children in six years’ time. And there was no way I was twenty-five years old.
I had this happen many times, while nothing this extreme. I expected her to call law enforcement and wondered if they would allow me to produce birth certificates, show my stretch marks, DNA tests, and whatever other evidence might be required to prove that I indeed, carried and birthed all four children.”
“I was grocery shopping.
I normally shopped every two weeks and bought a cart full. It was enough food to prepare full meals, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables for my husband and two teenage sons. At the checkout line, this elderly lady in front of me asked me if I was buying food for the community center.
I told her no, it was for my family, and jokingly said it took a lot of food to feed teenage boys.
She scoffed and said surely I was taking some of it to the community center as if a family couldn’t possibly eat that much food.
‘Um, yes,’ I told her, ‘We actually do eat this much food, as it takes a lot to prepare balanced meals every day along with after-school snacks.’
Her demeanor totally changed, and she looked me dead in the eye and told me I was an ungrateful person and that I was selfish and stingy.
Then she said I was lazy and worthless because she was sure I was using food stamps to buy it.
‘Wow,’ I said, ‘that’s quite an assumption, but I work full time and am buying all of this with my own money.’
‘Oh, well that figures’, she said, I was out working when I should be at home taking proper care of my children.
At this point, I was beyond mad.
I told her that first off, what I buy with my own money wasn’t any of her business, and I worked hard for my family since my son’s father passed away several years ago, I had only recently remarried.
I then told her to turn around, and if she said another word to me I would go to the community center and tell everyone what a horrible person she was.”
Patience Is A Virtue
“I was at the Dollar Tree with my boyfriend.
He’d never ventured inside one of those magical stores before, and I had just finished leading him through every single aisle, giving him all the details about what was worth it and what was not.
My boyfriend was in the long line. There was only one cashier and everyone was buying a lot. He was holding an overflowing basket of treasures, very pleased to have learned about this place. I was standing a couple of inches behind him, staring at the snacks just in case there was anything good. We were chattering to each other about stuff at home and playfully poking at each other while we waited.
This was towards the beginning of a health-related world event.
Everyone was wearing masks and gloves. And though they weren’t officially enforcing the distancing rules yet, most of us were giving each other space just because. This made the line seem longer than it really was.
I think it’s important to note here, that I was literally in my pajamas at the time, flip flops on my feet, and also holding a few items. It was my day off and the shopping trip was kind of unexpected.
Everyone in the line was calmly waiting.
Until this 60-ish man shoved his way past everyone and got so close to me that his chin was touching my shoulder.
Spitting in my face as he shouted, ‘Ya know, you really need to move this line! I’m tired of waiting!’
I really stared at him for a second.
Not only did he startle the bejeezus out of me, but I also couldn’t for the life of me imagine why he was mad at me and what exactly he expected me to do about anything.
I said, ‘Do you actually think I work here?’ and motioned at my outfit and the boyfriend poking and giggling at my messy knot of hair.
‘Move the dang line. Open another register. Dang lazy cashier,’ the man barked, and made his grand huffy exit from the store while still glaring over his shoulder at me.
He was so busy trying to stare me down that he walked straight into an empty display with peg hooks that caught on his shirt. He looked like he was struggling out of a giant spiderweb for a second.
It enraged him.
He kicked the door open and stormed into the parking lot. I saw him a few times while we were checking out. He was pacing and staring at me through the window. I’ve worked a million customer service jobs (but not currently, or ever, at Dollar Tree). This foolishness doesn’t work on me anymore.
So I stared right back while my boyfriend paid for the stuff.
I even stayed a moment and chatted happily with the cashier while the next couple was unloading their basket and giggling at the rude man.
By the time we walked to the car, he had gone back inside the store and found himself at the end of an even longer line. Hopefully, he learned to be smarter about it this time.”
Too Close To Touch
“This happened to me in 2015 at a tiny store selling parathe (stuffed Indian bread) at the entrance of a shopping mall in Bangalore.
We were all standing in a line to order. There was this lady along with her son right behind me.
There were two lines.
One to order and the other to collect the order once you’re done ordering.
So I ordered and shifted to the second line followed by the lady and her son.
After a few minutes, I reached the counter to collect my tray of food. Now, as I held on to the tray and turned, my elbow had hit her chest.
‘Oh, I’m so sorr-‘ I immediately reacted.
‘Excuse me, what is this?! Learn to behave! What kind of behavior is this?’ She was fuming.
Everybody turned towards me. All eyes were on me.
‘I’m really sorry, but I didn’t know you were standing this close, I didn’t intend to do it.’
I was polite.
‘What you didn’t you know? Huh? Couldn’t you turn and see first? Is this how you were brought up? Is this how you treat women? Ah? And you blame it on me, shame on you!’
At this point my entire body froze yet at the same time, I could feel the heat rise up in my ears. I was hoping no one was recording this.
Before I could react, this young couple right next to us but who were not a part of either of the lines, I suppose they were deciding on what to order, jumped in to rescue me.
‘I’m sorry ma’am, but it was not his fault. You were standing quite close for him to even turn properly. I think you should let him go and forget it. It was not intentional,’ the young lady commented.
‘You don’t get into this, please, this has nothing to do with you! And you being a woman are supporting such behavior!’ she urged.
By then, the older lady’s order was ready, and the shopkeeper instructed her to collect the order as soon as possible as other customers were waiting. She kept grumbling and staring at me for a while.
I thanked the couple and moved on.
And had sat as far as possible from this lady and her kid. I was shivering and almost on the verge of tears.
But I’m sure it was a simple misunderstanding that could have been handled in a nicer way.
On the plus side, I’ve been very careful of myself every time I stand in a queue.
“Once, late in the afternoon, I was out on a small shopping trip in a mall with a friend; we were roaming in a Walmart and had just finished shopping for our stuff. Standing in wait in a painfully long and crowded line at the checkout counter, there was a kid—probably seven or eight years of age—fluttering about behind us.
I should mention that the band I chose to wear that day happened to be one of a very conspicuously vibrant, enchantingly rose-pink color because it was awareness month for that particular cancer.
Expectedly, it caught the eye of the kid behind me—who, unprompted, imploringly asked me if she could step forward to feel it. I gave her a cordial nod of approval and off she went rubbing her fingers over its fleecy, woolish softness in adorable childish captivation, her ecstatic wonder shiningly evident in her ebullient eyes, which appeared to brim with gladness and zest as if my band emanated endless euphoria.
This kid also had her mother with her, who, alas, didn’t possess even a minute fraction of the heart-warming kind-heartedness that her daughter merrily sprinkled out in so much sweet abundance. Even more, regrettably, it turned out she was a spiteful knucklehead that didn’t take it very well that her kid was touching me, a stranger.
I immediately got the impression that she was a quintessential Karen—a Karen who seemed to be having an exceptionally bad day, and I must’ve seriously pushed her off the edge because she decided to dump her frustrations out on me in what was an atrociously beastly, ferociously fist-clenched fit of fanatic fury that progressively worsened in its unbelievable acrimony.
The first thing she did to express her infuriation at me for letting her kid touch me was she had exploded into a stunningly disrespectful tirade about how wearing pink for chest cancer is the single stupidest thing in the world—ranting, to the point of near breathlessness, about all the various reasons as to why she’s of that opinion. And for a reason beyond me, she even went so far as to straight-up deny the existence of chest cancer.
She continued to scream her mind off. Her shouts soon transformed into thunderous bellows seething with the sourest disdain—that challenged us to a verbal battle, but my friend and I just stood there unresponsively. Our backs were firmly turned towards Karen to make her think we were ignoring her, unaffected by her coarse language—when in truth, we were aghast to the core.
Her anger also seemed to be primarily concentrated on me, as if my very presence supplied gallons of fuel to the fires of her feral rage.
But however detestable her verbal belligerence was, it didn’t even come close to the absolute rudest thing she had the audacity to do. More heartless than rude, really.
Seeing how I wasn’t paying her any attention at all, she forcibly seized my right arm, and in the most monstrously violent show of pure wrath I have ever beheld, she literally ripped off my band—revealing my grim scar, and then immediately started waving my forearm around to all the stupefied people in line, while repeatedly shouting something to the effect of how I was a coward for choosing to show such cowardice under the pressure of life’s tribulations.
I went into an extreme paralysis of shocked disbelief that this was actually happening, while Karen continued maniacally tugging my forearm to and fro; she even began swinging me around with my shirt, ruthlessly tearing it off me in the process. In the process, she had also assaulted me with sporadic flurries of punches. It was only after my friend and others intervened that I was saved from her and the piercingly mortifying looks of the people in proximity. Filled with dread, I scurried out of the store and took refuge in a nearby bathroom. I had a panic attack thereafter.
It wasn’t more than perhaps ten minutes before my friend, after paying for the things, found me, and consoled me into coming out. After she helped me get a hold of myself, we just hurried out of the mall without doing much else and went home. We did not want to escalate the situation further by retaliating.”