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ASK EDDA

By The Book
updated: Jun 05, 2010, 10:40 AM

Dear Edda,

The other afternoon, I went to the grocery store to buy a bag of cat food and some pudding cups. I got into the ten items or less line and saw that the person in front of me obviously had more than ten items. I wouldn't have minded if the store wasn't so crowded. But every line was full, and the ten items or less line is so that people like me, with my two items - seven if you count each pudding cup - don't have to wait behind someone with a whole weeks worth of groceries and loud children climbing all over their cart.

Well, I politely pointed out to the person in front of me that he had more than ten items, and was at the same time, trying to count them so that I could be accurate. At first, he just ignored me, but when I tapped his shoulder and informed him that he had twelve items (obviously, he was counting his three cans of dog food as one item), he smiled and then turned back around. I tapped him again and told him that this line was for TEN items or less, not twelve. He glared at me and told me to mind my own business! So, I went to the store manager and complained. She said she understood but that generally when the store is so crowded, no one minds if a person has a couple of extra items. Then when I tried to get back in line, the other people told me I had to go to the end of the line. I felt completely misunderstood. I was just trying to help.

Do you think people should be allowed to bring twelve items into the ten or less line?

Signed,
By the Book

---

Dear By the Book,

No, but I think it might be a judgment call.

Edda


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 80259 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 12:50 PM

Two extra items I do not consider threatening, but when a woman sails in front of me with a piled up her cart,plonks her whiney kid in the front and stuffs a sticky drooley sucker in it's mouth,that does irk me a whole bunch.

 

 COMMENT 80270 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 02:26 PM

It's a bad example to set. First a child see their parents flaunting rules like that and the next thing you know they are out back of the junior high with a can of spray paint in their hands and getting lips tatooed on their necks.

 

 COMMENT 80276P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 03:05 PM

I'm more concerned about whether I have the appropriate number of items in MY cart than what my fellow shoppers have. (Be the change you want to see.)

 

 COMMENT 80285 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 04:53 PM

I like to count the items aloud. I can count in several laguages, so I get to show off. Une,deux,trois...ici,ni,sen...mot,hai,ba..and the ever popular uno,dos,tres...People may also appreciate it if you read the sign to them , since they are clearly unable to read. Of course the shopper can always tell you that she/he is buying only 10 items and the whiney kid is buying 10 more. (As long as we remember that publicly disrespecting a stranger is reason enough for that person to stab you.)

 

 COMMENT 80292 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 05:46 PM

Pointing out a stranger's error to their face is rude (in any situation). Only two extra items? Most people have more pressing concerns. Let it go. I'm very happy for you if this is the worst thing that you have been through.

 

 COMMENT 80295 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 06:14 PM

80292. I second these sentiments. One can pick up a newspaper or go online and read and see terrrible things. Not the least are those tragic Pelicans, Dolphins and other doomed wildlife, trapped and struggling for breath and then finally weakened, succumbing to man's latest egregious and criminal attempt to destroy this planet.

 

 COMMENT 80320 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 09:02 PM

There is a grocery half way between Harvard and MIT. Most in the express line have too many items. The explanation is that the students from MIT can't read and those from Harvard can't count.

 

 COMMENT 80324P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-05 09:19 PM

Unfortunately, boors are everywhere. Rules simply don't apply to them. Their thoughts are for only their own convenience and comfort.

These are the same kind of people who will purposefully run a red light, park in handicapped slots without a permit, or bring 5 loud relatives into a cramped 2-bed hospital room.

You just have to pick your battles wisely.

 

 COMMENT 80352 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 10:39 AM

I recommend you try to fix the world, one scofflaw at a time. Pull out your gloves and slap the offender across the face and challenge him to a duel. I'll bet he thinks twice before he tries to sneak 12 items into the 10 items or less lane next time!

 

 COMMENT 80358 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 11:05 AM

I get more outraged in the Costco Returns line. Many people use it as a free rental service! I once saw a man returning all the stuff he probably used at a big BBQ the night before: outdoor heaters, music systems, chairs, etc. Once I stood behind a women returning a stack of 8 or 10 novels. I was flabbergasted at her lack of shame! My brother-in-law said I should have tapped her on the shoulder and asked, "What? You didn't like the endings?"

 

 COMMENT 80359 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 11:09 AM

I feel sorry for you "By The Book" if something as trivial as a person having 2 extra items in their basket was enough to cause you so much distress. Was it really worth confronting the person and then going to find the Manager to complain? All you did was raise your blood pressure and loose your place in line. People have no patience!

 

 COMMENT 80362 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 11:31 AM

It's an automated computerized system. Grocery stores just need to program those 10 (or 15) items or less isle registers to add 10 cents per item for every item over the maximum. This must be posted as well. Somebody has 2 extra items, they pay for it. You'll see less abuse and perhaps more justice. Just an idea.

 

 COMMENT 80375P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 12:08 PM

They should just ring up the first 10 items and make the shopper get back in line for the rest of the items.

 

 COMMENT 80376P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 12:53 PM

@80375p for the win

 

 COMMENT 80385P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 02:03 PM

Shorebird, you are so right! That's exactly how I ended up with the tattoo on MY neck (ironically enough, it's a shopping cart)!

 

 COMMENT 80460 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-06 08:01 PM

Dear Edda;
NEVER go to the grocery store for cat food.

 

 COMMENT 80548 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-07 09:13 AM

Haha! Got out of line to tell the manager. How long did that take? Probably longer than the two additional BEEPs of the scanner. I say pick your battles.

I love the idea of counting and reading the sign. I'm just not sure I could do it with a straight face.....or proper pronunciation.

 

 COMMENT 80676 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-06-07 02:48 PM

I think it took longer to scan those two extra items than it took Edda to reply to this letter. Edda's last few responses have averaged about 5 words each. What gives?

 

28% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

 

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