The absence of shopping manners especially during the festive season is truly calamitous.
The holiday season is already on us, and strangely enough large department stores, shopping malls and food courts, figuratively speaking, are presenting dependable petri dishes for sociologists burrowing into or ferreting out the morass of human self-entitlement, self-absorption and self-centered behaviour.
The crux of the matter lies in the fact that the most conscientious of people, those who know the spoken and unspoken rules of what constitutes good behaviour in a polite society, automatically morph into subnormal dolts while out and about during the festive season.
Strange, but nonetheless true, there are Christmas shopping manners. If everyone used them, shopping would certainly become a more enjoyable and less stressful event. Simply put, manners are the best practices for handling any interaction—even Christmas shopping.
I have even arrived at the conclusion that many people should undergo forced lobotomies, as I am easily irritated by blatant stupidity; therefore, Christmas shopping in a public store/mall is a true ordeal for me. I have had to endure many trips to public places where, much to my chagrin, I encountered several rude and entitled miscreants. So, from hereon let it stand for the records, I deplore Xmas shopping, for it gradually became an increasingly soul-withering experience; meandering through gauntlets of self-absorbed, ill-mannered and astonishingly inconsiderate fellow shoppers.
It is this lack of interaction with dimwits that has allowed me to keep my good mood and Christmassy cheer intact! However, let us not be mistaken, one does from time to time, encounter nice people (bless them) whose smiles cast light into aisles and checkout lanes otherwise shadowed by ill manners.
I want to remind everyone of a few Christmas shopping rules of etiquette:
For the naysayers, yes, rules do exist.
Please enter through the store and mall entrances and not the exit doors. Do not 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 (It is not a what’s open can enter system).
They might get crashed into by shoppers behind them who are not paying attention.
A shopping cart to the heel, or hip, is never fun. Be always and at all times aware of your surroundings. I saw a customer get rammed from behind as she bent to retrieve an object that had been dropped to the floor. This collision, of course, was an accident, but the displayed lack of empathy after the fact was not. Remember also, it is of utmost importance to pilot these things with care.
Please do not walk around in circles like a dimwit talking on your cell phone in the middle of the store, like you would if you were home. Why? Simple and elementary—because you are not at home! You are in a public space where people do their shopping and they do not need, and most importantly, are not desirous of hearing your banal conversation about…anything.
Additionally, do not park your shopping cart in the middle of the aisle whilst yakking on your cellphone with Jack, Jill, Dick, Harry or whomever. Leave people space to get by.
Avoid texting while standing in the middle of an aisle in a store as others are trying to shop around you. What shocks me about this is that most of the offenders I encounter are not teenagers; they are the moms of teenagers.
Please Mom, I know you are trying to show everyone what a hip cool woman you are, and that you have an iPhone (that your kids have to keep showing you how to use), but holding up other shoppers and forcing them to go around you is certainly not cool. Put it down, or go sit on a bench, and text your ‘bff’. Maybe you think you can shop and text at the same time, but you cannot.
When at the check-out, please send that checkout divider down the line, so the shopper behind you can start loading their stuff on the belt too.
Never, and I repeat even louder, cut in front of anyone. And respect the personal space of the shopper in front of you when they are paying. In other words, back off.
Use your words. Say please, thank you and excuse me. Should you want something, or need to go somewhere, please do not just point with your finger without saying anything. This too is rude.
During regular days and under normal circumstances, Food Courts at shopping malls are busy, now further compounded on account of the time of the year. It is the Christmas season, and people will be shopping, stores will be crowded, and try to remember that you are not the only one in the store. There will be lines at the cash registers, lines for the bathrooms, lines for food, lines for gift wrapping etc. etc.,
You are not entitled to ask others in line if you can go ahead of them because you have less items than them. Stop huffing and puffing in the line (like an untreated asthmatic) because you, the Queen of Faux Cheveux and YSL handbags, have to wait. Realise 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 display some humility.
In the food court, you should never approach a family or persons while they are enjoying their meal and ask them how long they are going to be because you want their table. It is rude. Simply move on. Furthermore, never loiter in the aisle next to a table with your derrière aimed point blank at someone’s face while they are eating their meal.
Please! Please! Listen up and let it stand for the records— I am in no way, shape or form a hater of babies (pedophobic) or young ones,(mesopedia) nor is it my intention to offend anyone, so please take your finger off the trigger, and let the pistol remain undigitised. Just merely giving a word of advice—Baby strollers that are 6 feet wide—- Ladies, if you are unable to get a babysitter and you do not possess an “appropriate for tight quarters” stroller, then please remain at home and consider shopping on line. The monstrous strollers that could double as freight haulers are not befitting for crowded stores
And finally as you exit the mall, if a driver holds back a bit to let you enter their lane, understand that it is not because you deserve it – it is because this stranger is doing you, a stranger, a solid. Acknowledge it with a wave, or a nod, or a smile, or all three. It would not crack your face.
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