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

White Rock’s top cop calls for ‘healthcare led intervention model’

Review aims for better understanding of crime related to mental health, substance use

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

New collective debuts with Crescent Beach show

Nela Hallwas and Lyn Verra-Lay team for ‘Flow’

Former students’ mural showcasing Delta elementary school’s new logo on hold, for now

Ashriya and Karam Purewal painted the spirit logo last spring; formal logo mural delayed due to COVID

Police ask for help to identify suspect in alleged Surrey break-and-enter

Surrey RCMP say two men ‘kicked down the front door’ of the home

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read