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The 11 Worst Things About Every Grocery Store in Existence

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For all the magic contained in its automatic doors — the free samples, snacks, the Luna bars you definitely don’t eat, the super fun coin-operated horsey machine — going to the grocery store can be a huge headache… a non-stop barrage of cart traffic jams, blank-faced zombies trying to operate the self-checkout, and horrible temptations. These are the reasons you resent the grocery store, making it barely worth it to get on that horsey and have the gdam best time of your life.

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The Produce Section

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You’ve decided you want to try vegetables… good for you. Just get ready to get wet as the auto-waterers spray out of control and hit you in the eye. Some stores try to be cute and play thunder-noises as the rain falls, which is either annoying or terrifying. Worse still, the wetness makes it impossible to open the little plastic bags you’re supposed to throw your tomatoes in. Between that and shaking from thunder fears, you’re screwed.

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The Center-Aisle Dominator

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We can sympathize with the plight of choosing between so many pasta sauce options (Italian sausage w/ garlic? Just straight up SpaghettiOs?), but that doesn’t mean you need to park your cart perpendicular to the aisles smack-dab in the middle, blocking the flow, and forcing us to make a detour into the next aisle full of impulse buys like Luna bars.

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The Expiring Items Trap

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Hell yes you’re gonna buy 36 donuts for $1, especially when they’re right next to the checkout to remind you that you totally forgot to buy 36 regular-priced donuts. But you get in the car and discover they’re going to expire in an half-hour. Time for a donut-eating binge… waste not, want not.

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Aisle Gentrification

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Beans are beans. Except when they’re refried, in which case they’re not allowed to hang out with baked beans or limas, and instead are put way across the store in the “Latin” section. And lord forbid spaghetti share an aisle w/ yakisoba noodles. They’re in the “Asian” section. The grocery store is a textbook example of gentrification gone wild.

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Bag Shame

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Want a clerk at Whole Foods to look at you as though you spent your morning pouring gas on a burlap sack full of kittens? Ask for a paper bag to carry your stuff. You’ll be charged $.05, but the leering condescension is an even stiffer penalty. Next time, consider re-using that burlap sack.

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The Cell Phone Wanderer

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Because there’s no better time to answer a random call than right this minute, this species of jackass will immediately abandon his cart in the middle of an aisle, then spend 15 minutes wandering around the store, picking up random crap, looking at it, and putting it back as he talks about everything from socks to weekend plans. It’s best to relocate his cart for him, then track him as he gets even more confused and frustrated.

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Cart Clog

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Even the most miniscule amount of debris can turn a normal cart into a squeaky-wheeled nightmare that simulates pushing a car through wet sand.

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The Temptation of Off-Brand Chips

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They’re $1 less than the real deal, and there are 499 different variations on them, so why not try the Fauxritos to see if they match up? Ugh. Nope. But you’re still gonna try 498 more times.

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The Self-Checkout Clusterfu*k

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The idea of self-checkout is an amazing way to make the experience of shopping quick, independent, and efficient. Sadly, its designers forgot to factor in the fact that people use them. Some ignore the 12-item limit and empty an entire cart. Others are buying 30 kinds of produce, and can’t figure out how to key in the bar code. Others just stand there, staring at the screen. Nobody notices the three express checkout lanes to the left manned by bored clerks.

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It’s So Cold!

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You expect to get chilly in the beer section, or while you’re scouring for the biggest bag of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets. But even the blanket aisle is cold. How are blankets cold, unless they’re the delicious ones with pigs inside… like in the frozen section?

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Kids Carts

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Seriously, why can’t I fit into these?! Stupid kids have all the fun.

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By Thrillist

Thrillist is a trusted recommendation voice in food, drink and travel for men across the world.

10 replies on “The 11 Worst Things About Every Grocery Store in Existence”

I buy off-brand potato chips because they have a better chance of being better cooked and salted. Someone apparently decided that real potato chips should be pale yellow and minimally salted. Probably the same person who decided everything should have pepper in it.

Should’ve made an entire article out of the terrible parents that let their little minions run amok and get in the way of people who don’t want to waste extra minutes waiting for the little brats to get out of the way.

OMG, you’re not kidding. There are SOME people who will say to their kids “hey, get out of the way, the lady is trying to pass.” Which is cool. Others just don’t give a rat’s ass. They’ll even notice you standing there waiting for the kids to move and say nothing.

As for the people who block aisles with their carts, I don’t waste my time going to another aisle just to get around them, I’ll politely say “excuse me” and make them move. If they don’t move the first time, my politeness level drops.

Not long ago, two 30-something yappers decided to stop and have a conversation, right in front of the lunch meat. I stood there for a couple of minutes, wondering if they’d even notice me. They didn’t. I had to say “excuse me, but can I get in here?” The two zombies simply moved over ‘just enough’ for me to squeeze in, continuing their jawflapping and not one of them uttered “oh, pardon us, we’re very sorry.”

People are freakin zombies.

I cant stand unsupervised kids, I probably shouldn’t be unsupervised around unsupervised kids… I might just start dishing out spankings to every kid that looks at me funny.

I think the whole idea “its my child”, is a stupid human trick. The child is everyone’s, who cares where it came out of. Culture is sometimes not inline with science and the facts, and this is a prime example. I’m pretty sure spanking is illegal ;P, or very close to be. We all want to live in this perfect violence free environment, but frankly we are light-years away from having that much self control. I love the self righteousness of this species though, my thoughts are better than yours BS. Example: Fatty talking ill of say a “drug addict”. Another would be Christians, and how in the bible its all about how it wasn’t always legal to be a Christian and all that, but we have laws based on the beliefs of Christians in the US rather than strait facts. I’m getting off topic so lets get even further off topic: I don’t know about you but this whole democracy layout where a president can win an election by a few percentile and we are all proud of how well democracy works when a little under 50% of the population didn’t get what they want… Here’s a mind blow for you, I am not religious, but I HATE abortion. Facts are facts, murder is murder. But people like to drop the “rights” bomb. And then we go full circle back to the “it’s my child” BS. Enjoy the paragraph of headaches I have just typed.

Not headaches, because I agree with you. I’m personally sick of the whole “entitlement” attitude going on these days and the whiners who want to sue everyone and their brother if they don’t get their way.

I’m not religious either, in fact I’m an agnostic. But the sad part about all this is there is so much hypocrisy in the world today that it completely overshadows what matters the most. What’s even sadder? I don’t think anybody KNOWS what matters the most anymore.

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