Monday, February 18, 2008

It's the Little Things...

When I was at Blockbuster this weekend, I had an amazing experience. I had an encounter with someone with manners! I was just browsing the movies on the shelves, and a lady and her son were browsing in the opposite direction. The lady said, "excuse me" and admonished her son for walking in front of me while I was looking at the movies. She most definitely was not from around here. Now, this isn't intended as a slam against Hawaii in particular. I made the same observation soon after we moved from California to Virginia. That time it was in a grocery store that someone said "excuse me" before walking between me and the dozens of varieties of laundry detergent at which I was looking. It's such a simple little thing, really. I don't know why it's not customary in California or Hawaii.
Tangent: This is making me think of one of my favorite movies - Blast from the Past. There's a great line in there about how being polite isn't meant to sound snooty or superior, it's just a sign of respect and courtesy.

Speaking of grocery stores, they should seriously hire a traffic cop for the commissary here. I went to the commissary yesterday, and it was an absolute ZOO. It was just so congested with people going in all different directions and totally clogging the aisles. I had a flashback to the commissary in Groton where they had a defined traffic pattern with one-way aisles. As a young JO, I used to laugh at the little old ladies who would get mad at you if you violated the traffic pattern. I guess maybe it's yet another sign that I'm getting old, for I would now side with the little old ladies and tell other arrogant young whipper-snappers like use-ta-me to follow the arrows. Not following the arrows just leads to chaos and anarchy!!!

Getting back to yesterday's commissary experience... Normally, the checkout lines are horrendous and wrap counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the store past the frozen food deserts in the front, past the dairy products on the side, and into the meat section along the back wall. Much to my surprise yesterday, the lines actually weren't that bad. ...but you wouldn't know that unless you walked by the FRONT of the store.

Luckily for me, I couldn't find the apple sauce. I got to the end of the store and hadn't found any, so I started back-tracking. As I walked from the dairy section back by the front of the store, I noticed that the REAL checkout line was only like ten people long. [Aside: In this commissary, like some others, you get into one line, and when you get to the head of the line you go to the next open cashier for checkout.]

However (comma), a few people who obviously were familiar with how bad the lines normally get at the commissary were strategically staging themselves with their shopping carts right where the line normally comes out of the rope-cattle-chute-things at the front of the store and back along the frozen foods. They did this so if the line DID start to get long like it normally does, they could then quickly get in line and hold a spot while their significant other was off grabbing whatever remaining odds and ends they needed.

Unfortunately for some other people in the store who didn't forget where the apple sauce was, they expected the line to be long and wrapped back into the dairy section, so when they saw a few people with shopping carts standing there, they thought that was the line and they got in line right behind those . I'm mildly curious how long it took for either (a) those poor people to realize they weren't really in line and go on up to the REAL checkout line, or (b) the line got long enough that those people suddenly BECAME the real checkout line.

LW chastised me for not going to the Hickam commissary instead. (See last paragraph of previous post on how the Hickam and Kaneohe commissaries are typically a lot less crowded).


Sagey said...

Ah, another plus for Groton and/or Norfolk. Arrows in the aisle. I remember seeing them there in Norfolk this past summer and being annoyed that I had to go down the pet aisle, when I don't have a dang pet! :-)

Ooh and Rhode Island has SHAWS! Now there is a grocery store I miss!

One Crazy Adventure said...

Laughing about the arrows... I forgot about those.

And CT has Abott's Lobster in the Rough... ever go there?

blunoz said...

Yes! Abbott's is AWESOME! Loved the lobster rolls there.