18 Things People Do at the Grocery Store That Are Actually Rude

Going to the grocery store can be a pleasant experience, but annoying shoppers always ruin it. These people infuriate everyone around them with their ignorance, so if you’re paranoid about your own grocery store etiquette, watch out for these 18 common things that are actually rude.

Invade Personal Space

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There’s nothing worse than someone invading your personal space, but many people seemingly have no concept of it. This happens regularly in the grocery store because of checkout lines and busy aisles. Invading people’s personal space is a huge sign that someone has no respect for others.

Jump the Line

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It’s one thing to ask if you can go ahead of someone in the line because you’ve only got a few items, but pushing in is inexcusably rude. People who do this know that others don’t want a confrontation, so they get away with it–don’t be that person!

Leave Empty Carts in the Parking Lot

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The ‘shopping cart theory,’ as recounted by Delish, is a behavioral test to determine whether you’re a good or bad person. A good person returns their shopping cart, while a bad person doesn’t. It’s universally accepted that abandoning your cart in the parking lot is rude, so those who ditch it deserve criticism.

Refuse to Hang Up the Phone

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People who loudly talk on speakerphones in public places have no courtesy for those around them! This is clearly annoying, yet they’ll ignore any employees or other shoppers in favor of their conversation which is incredibly arrogant, especially when they continue whilst checking out their items.

Hand Items to the Cashier

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It’s kind to try to help the cashier, but sometimes, your help might actually make their job more difficult. If your items are on the belt, let the cashier pick them up and scan them. Trying to hand them items will make things go more slowly and irritate them.

Dump Items Across the Store

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Sometimes, you might pick up an item but decide later you don’t need it, and whether or not you return the item to its correct aisle is a test of character. Dumping items across the store forces workers to search for them, and perishable items, like milk, are often ruined this way.

Touch Fresh Produce and Not Buy It

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There’s a reason we wash our fruit and vegetables after we buy them. Forbes calls this compulsion the ‘touch and feel’ argument, with shoppers feeling that they must physically check the food before buying it. The problem is, you never know if someone has good hand hygiene, and they never wear gloves!

Take From People’s Carts

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When the store runs low on certain items, it becomes a game of ‘first come, first served.’ However, even if there’s something you specifically came in for, it’s still rude to take things from other people’s carts. If someone sees you do this, they will be shocked by your audacity!

Make Entitled Demands

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It’s okay to politely ask workers if any more items are in the back, but making entitled demands crosses a line. Customers who demand things they’ve been told aren’t in stock make the workers’ jobs more difficult and will only lead to gaining a reputation for being rude customers.

Use the Express Checkout Line With Too Many Things

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The express checkout line is specifically designated for customers with ten items or less, yet you’ll often see people join that line with a full cart. This is incredibly rude because it disrupts the system completely, forcing people with only a couple of items to wait longer.

Let Children Run Wild

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Letting children scream, run around, and make a mess is considered rude everywhere, and that’s no different in the grocery store. The American Psychological Association recognizes it’s normal for children to do this when learning how to behave, but it’s still important for parents to tackle misbehavior rather than pretend they don’t see it.

Bring Animals In

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State laws usually prohibit animals, including dogs, from entering grocery stores. Service animals, like guide dogs, are allowed, but people attempting to bring other pets into stores show a lack of respect for the workers and other shoppers. It’s unhygienic and disrespectful behavior.

Hit People With Carts

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Most people don’t deliberately hit others with their shopping carts, but it shows a lack of self-awareness when they do. Grocery stores are always busy, so it’s common sense to watch where you’re going and avoid losing control of your cart, just as you would be aware of other shoppers’ personal space.

Try to ‘Hold Their Place’ at the Checkout

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It’s frustrating to realize you’ve forgotten something at checkout, but leaving your cart in line to run back for it is rude. If you need the item badly, just queue up again. Trying to ‘hold your place’ by leaving your cart stops others checking out and wastes the cashier’s time.

Block Aisles

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People who block aisles with shopping carts are so rude! Nobody wants to maneuver their way around carts strewn across the aisle, nor do they want to be confronted for moving someone else’s cart. Keep your cart close to you and graciously move it if you’re blocking someone.

Try to Haggle

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Haggling is appropriate in some settings, but the grocery store is not one of them. The Corporate Finance Institute warns that haggling isn’t socially acceptable in larger markets, so badgering for a discount is rude. Workers are also probably not allowed to give discounts, so you’re wasting your time.

Make a Mess in the Bathroom

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Public bathrooms have a reputation for being disgusting because of how people leave them. Not cleaning up your mess is really bad-mannered, especially if the bathroom was clean when you arrived. If you wouldn’t treat your home bathroom like that, why would you be so careless in public!?

Open Products

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Finally, while not illegal, opening products to ‘sample’ them before paying is very rude behavior. It’s even worse if you open something and then decide you don’t want it, as the opened products will now have to be thrown away. This only makes more work for the staff and creates unnecessary waste.

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