Okay, I stole that subject header from the chapter titles of Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford and Valorie Fisher…which is a fabulous chapter book and you should read it! But anyway…I was in the Stringtown Grocery store yesterday. The Stringtown Grocery store is located outside Kalona, Iowa and it’s run by Amish/Mennonite families for Amish/Mennonite families, but fortunately they let the rest of us shop there, too. They carry all kinds of bulk foods, natural foods and homemade baked goods, so I try to make regular pilgrimages there for my bread baking habit. There’s no electricity in the place — just gas lamps. There are hitching posts out front for horse and buggies. And there’s a sign just inside the door that says “we appreciate a modest dress.” (I love this store!!!)

Yesterday happened to be an incredibly busy day at the Stringtown Grocery store. I’ve never seen so many people in there. It’s a small store (just four narrow aisles, a separate room for produce, and ONE cash register/check-out). Did I mention there’s just one cash register in there? So there was a long line pretty much the whole time I was in there. I waited ten minutes in line before it was my turn, which really isn’t a big deal. It’s worth it (you should see how much stuff I got for $63!). But when it was finally my turn, this lady comes rushing through the door (let’s call her Blanche…no offense if you happen to be reading this and your name happens to be Blanche or you happen to know a very nice lady named Blanche)…Blanche comes right up to the counter where I have already stacked up all my stuff and says to me, “do you mind if I just sneak in ahead of you? I’m only getting one thing and I’ve got someone in the car who really didn’t want me to stop here.” THEN, without even waiting for a response from me, she turns to the nice Amish girl and asks for…actually, I don’t remember what she asked for. But it took the nice Amish girl another 4 1/2 minutes to go in the back and get it for Blanche!

Why, oh why, didn’t I just speak up and say, “yes, actually, I DO mind. And I’ll bet the five people who are waiting in line behind me aren’t real excited about you budging in ahead of us all, either.” I didn’t because she didn’t give me a chance to…but as my husband pointed out, that’s exactly why I should have spoken up. I should have just said, “Excuse me, but yes, I do mind!” There’s nothing wrong with letting polite, reasonable people go ahead of you in line, especially if they’re older, or they’re with young, impatient children and they only have one or two things and you have a whole cartful — I certainly HAVE let nice people go ahead of me in line. But Blanche was not a nice person. She wasn’t all that old…she looked pretty able-bodied the way she rushed in…she did not have young children with her…and SHE DIDN’T CARE whether I, or the five people behind me, were a little ticked off with her or not. In fact, she had already proven she’s an insensitive, self-centered sort of person anyway by admitting she’d already come to the store with someone who didn’t want to stop there (apparently that person’s feelings didn’t matter to her, either), and somehow that was supposed to make it okay for her to cut in line in front of six other people.

If someone is being RUDE to me, why in the world do I still feel like I should be NICE back to them??? I’m sure Blanche has long forgotten the incident, but it still ticks me off 24 hours later. Probably because I would never do that to someone else. I can’t imagine any situation in which I would go into a store and ask to go ahead of anyone else in line. In fact, when other people offer to let me go ahead of them, I almost always say, “thanks, but that’s fine. You go ahead.” Because that’s the way things work…you go into a store, you find the things you want and then you get in line to pay for them. It doesn’t matter how many items the person ahead of you has, if somebody else was there ahead of me, they should go through the check-out ahead of me. I get really, really irritated by people who think they are more important than anyone else or that their time is more valuable than anyone else’s…


…in which the incredible rudeness of some people never ceases to amaze me

13 thoughts on “…in which the incredible rudeness of some people never ceases to amaze me

  • September 16, 2007 at 8:26 pm
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    I don’t blame you at all. I’d be pretty irritated (24 hours later), too. Except, I probably would’ve muttered something like, “uh, yeah, sure, okay…” and then kicked myself later for THAT. I’m like that if someone catches me off guard. When given time to think about the injustices, I can coherently argue my point and stand up to people…but not in situations like this.
    You’re normal and she’s rude. But, I believe in karma. If you do too, you know she’ll get her own someday soon–if she hasn’t already.

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    • September 17, 2007 at 5:34 pm
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      Honestly, if she’d given me a chance to say anything, I probably would’ve muttered “yeah, sure, okay…” too. The fact that she didn’t give me a chance just ticked me off even more.

      But you’re right about karma…thanks for the reminder there!

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  • September 16, 2007 at 9:46 pm
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    Oh my gosh, can I tell you some stories. I’ve told a number of people that I’m busy too if they try to cut in line in front of me. I’ve gotten rude looks and comments from that person, but I don’t care. I’m usually the one who offers my space to someone with only one item( but that’s if I’m not in a hurry).

    What I hate is when you are checking things out and the person behinds you gets up so close to you, that you can’t breathe. And then drums his/her fingers on the counter letting you know you’re wasting his/her time.

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    • September 17, 2007 at 5:36 pm
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      Oh yeah…like YOU’RE the one who’s rude for not letting them cut in front of you!

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  • September 16, 2007 at 10:30 pm
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    I did not know about the Stringtown Grocery! But will have to go there soon. I’ve never even been to Kalona, so sad.

    It was good to see you yesterday!!

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    • September 17, 2007 at 5:37 pm
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      I lived in Iowa a couple years before I knew about it, too. It’s just off highway 1 (you turn left when you see the cheese factory and it’s just beyond the cheese factory). It took me 20-25 minutes to get there from the coffee shop when I left you all on Saturday.

      How long have you lived here, anyway?

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      • September 17, 2007 at 9:26 pm
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        One of these days I’ll drive out there. And a stop at the cheese factory might be a good idea, too (if they sell cheese, that is)

        We moved here in 2001, and we knew within a couple of months that we wanted to stay. J got tenure just last year, so we’re not going anywhere…

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  • September 17, 2007 at 8:22 am
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    it is very hard to forget the Blanches πŸ™

    it makes me blanche to think about them πŸ™ πŸ™

    YOU are not, definately not, a Blanche!

    I hope you have a good writing week

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    • September 17, 2007 at 5:37 pm
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      Thank you. (Ha! I chose that name for a reason!) I hope you’re having a good week all around…

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  • September 18, 2007 at 2:17 am
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    Is this the place with the chicken coop in the front yard? And it has kitchen items, too? I used to go to an Amish store out past the cheese factory and maybe it’s the same one!

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    • September 18, 2007 at 2:37 am
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      No, that’s the General Store. That’s further down whatever the road is when you turn off highway 1. They’ve got amazing knives in there. And the best vegetable peeler I’ve ever had came from there.

      The first time a friend of mine and I tried to drive out there, we weren’t sure where we were going. So we stopped and asked a guy we saw out working by his barn. He literally drew us a map in the dirt. Didn’t help us much since we couldn’t take the dirt map with us. But we eventually got there. (And bought knives and vegetable peelers.)

      Reply

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