Sunday, September 21, 2008

Out of line

Friday, I went to the Coney Island avenue Paperific. I quickly got the few items that I needed and headed for the register. I spent around twenty seconds choosing a line and settled on the leftmost one. Half a minute later a woman comes over and the following conversation ensued:

Woman: I was after the woman in front of you.
Me: No you weren't, when I came here there was no-one after her and I didn't see you standing in line.
W: I was standing after her and then I went to get something.
M: Right, you left the line, your cart or basket aren't here and your stuff isn't on the conveyor belt.
W: But I was after her.
M: And then you weren't.
W: So can I pay?
M: No.

Was I being an asshole, yep, but so was she. She didn't just turn around to get something nearby, she went, with all her stuff, into one of the aisles and fully expected for her place to still be there. I should've told her I reserved the place when I came into the store.


  1. I'd probably have the same conversation, except I would have let her pay...I get to say my piece, let her know what I think, then I get to be the "bigger" person :)

  2. i hate people like that.

    I once asked my coworker to buy me something from the supermarket across the street from the office, and she returns back with nothing.

    I asked her "what happend?"
    And she says she was standing in line like a normal person, and then this lady cuts in front of her. So she goes "What are you doing?"

    And the lady says "I have only one item, you have about 5, I should go first"

    So my coworker freaked out, and just left the store.

    I probbaly would've thrown a fit and been like "I would've let you first if you asked nicely, but since yo didn't, i want my spot back" but coworker just got annoyed and left.

    I hate annoying people!

  3. Moshe: would have helped if she had kids to wait in line for her while she got the stuff, or to send them off to get it while she waits in line. But I understand that she wasn't technically on line. But if she just had a few items then I would of let her go even if she wasn't anymore before you.

    Sporadic Intelligence: that's the best way to teach a lesson!

    Another response, is to avoid machlokes at all costs and let it go no matter who is right.

    The people that are annoying are ones who know they are wrong and just push their way anyways and don't listen. Like a cashier said that the line was closed, but one lady didn't listen, and just put her stuff down anyways so the cashier rung her stuff up anyways.

  4. Heh, as the guy at the Pharmacy I was at said,"THis is america, the one who yells the loudest, wins"

  5. FrumSkeptic: If I would have been your co-worker, the gloves would have come off. Forget about teaching a lesson, she would have been the one freaking.

  6. Babysitter - these people never learn a lesson. They know they are wrong but try to push their way in anyway. If you start up with them, they will back off and try next time. If you don't they will just brag about it to their obnoxious friends and repeat next time.

  7. I cut the line at the pizza shop. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Some people just think that we all live in a third world country and that they can go as slow as they please.

  8. My favorite is when the person who is cutting says I am with that person (who is in front). I never say anything except this one time I was ina rush and shoved the guy out of the way. He decided to go to a different line.

  9. I didn't have a lot of items either. And if she would've put her items on the conveyor, that's enough to reserve your place in line.

  10. I hate people cutting lines, and they're truly assholes (I'm sorry, fellow contributors, for such harsh language coming out of a typically gentle me). If I have one item or just a few, I will politely ask, "May I/Would you mind if I go ahead before you?" If a person gives me a go ahead, I'll only thank him/her profusely; otherwise, I will wait - this is not going to be a catastrophe of earth-shattering proportions. Pushy, impatient New Yorkers are such a turn-off; when they're frum Jews minging in with goyim, the potential to be mechalel Shem Shomayim is HUGE.

  11. mak,

    no. The guy who runs loudest does not win. He will get a punch in his teeth from me, and silence and serenity will once again reign.

  12. I meant to say WHO YELLS LOUDEST in the previous post.

  13. Actually Alan, he most probably will win, becuase people either are just too horrified to respond, to annyoed to respond, or simply don't care. There are few people who actually stand up for what's right. (which is why this society is going downhill)

  14. Sporadic,

    perhaps, perhaps. With me, though, he won't win, rest assured. I have very low tolerance level for taking crap.

  15. If you're typically gentle, I don't responding back. Unless this whole commentator thing is a persona.

    Also, it's easy to stand up for the small things, like line cutting that affect you directly, but what about the medium things, like people talking on cell phones in shul, doesn't really affect you, and the sex abuse scandal, I hope it doesn't affect you, but how loud have you yelled about that?

    This is not directed at you alan, but people in general.

  16. Sporadic Intelligence: that's exactly it, no amount of yelling is going to change anything, it has to come from the person themselves. on the receiving side of things. If the person honestly wasn't aware they were doing something wrong then you can inform them of the situation. If they don't change anything, then from that point forward no yelling will help. So in this case if the person knows better not to cut in line, then there's no point in fighting back because no matter how much you fight, it will be just that a fight, the person won't willingly change.

  17. babysitter,

    I do like your peaceful nature, and listen, it does that "Derachecho darchei noam v'chol nesivochecho shalom" referring to Torah and, parenthetically, religious Jews who carry ol mitzvos. Nevertheless, we're not Christians, and I do not believe in turning the other cheek (in actuality, neither do they turn their other cheek - just lip service). What I'd say, though, one has to choose his/her battles and not exhaust all of his/her energies on something small (however, I don't think letting someone in before you with a full shopping cart because of another person's chutzpah, and thus being disadvantage of such a valuable asset as time qualifies as a small deal.

  18. Alan: right you have to choose your battles. If the person has a whole cart full of stuff, then I would say it's unkind of them to push their way in if they weren't really on line. I would try a nice approach first though. If you explain kindly then they should move back. I mean I've never had such an encounter where they were mean. Usually if they realize they are cutting then they ask me if I was before them and they offer to go behind me.

    But if they don't listen when you say it in a nice way, then they for sure won't listen when you say it in a mean way.