Oh No, She Didn’t!!!

What am I, a magnet for cranky-a$$ed people? Seriously, I had a bizarre experience at the grocery store yesterday that is beyond comprehension.

We normally try to avoid visiting our local Meijer grocery store. A so-called “Hypermarket”, you can get everything from groceries to furniture to office supplies to electronics to clothing to fish for your aquarium. At first (when it opened several years ago), it was a big family joke, initiated by Julesie:

“Where you goin’?”


“For milk and a sweater?”


(Guess you had to be here.)

Over the years, Meijer has gotten very crowded, and S-L-O-W. Jim has boycotted the store since the day he and the older boy were in the checkout line for more than forty-five minutes. We don’t EVER go on Sundays. We don’t EVER go in the evenings. We would avoid it altogether if it weren’t for the prices. I have found that around 2 p.m. during the week is a pretty good time to go, because it is naptime for the younguns and school lets out by 3 or 3:30, so most at-home parents are, well, at home.

I decided to go there yesterday, to stock up on things we’re out of. (Is there any other real reason to go to the grocery store? That was kind of a dumb sentence.) I had about half a cart full, and was happily walking towards the checkout (happy all except for the fact that Christmas music was playing: UGH…does it have to start this early?) when I decided to do the self checkout. Normally grocery stores that have self checkouts limit the item count to ten or less. Meijer still has some of those, but they’ve also got “No item limit” self checkouts now, which is, as I read, a cost-saving (and supposedly time-saving) measure.

Now, I find it hard to believe that this is a time-saving measure. The “10 items or less” self checkouts? Sure. But if I (or any other customer) am walking towards the “No item limit” self checkout, not only am I not expecting it to be quick, but I’m expecting to go at my own pace, just as I would expect the person in front of me to do. If I wanted to get out quickly, I would either bring someone with me to help bag the food, or I’d go through the checkouts that have a cashier.

Back to my story.

I was scanning my foods: beep….beep….beep….

When I was about halfway finished, a woman got into line behind me. She had a cart that had about the same amount of food that I started with. Because I now had someone behind me, I picked up the pace of my food scanning as much as I possibly could without venturing into the ridiculous. Unfortunately, the machine was being a bit cranky: I was scanning the food faster than it could sense the weight of each item when I put it on the conveyor belt. I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that the woman was sort of pacing in her own little area. At one point she left her cart and walked to the end of the belt. I had bagged some of the stuff before she arrived, and now had a pile of unbagged stuff waiting for me as I continued to scan. She moved my bags a little bit, to make more room for the food coming down the belt.

“Hmm. That’s nice of her,” I thought.

She went back to her cart for just a minute, and then went back to the end of the belt to lift up the bar that can be placed in between orders (it’s connected–not one of those little plastic sticks). She left it in the vertical position because my food was blocking the area where it would cross over the belt.

I quickly finished scanning, quickly pulled out my debit card, and quickly grabbed my receipt. As I went to bag my stuff, I started with the stuff that was closer to the scanner, so I could put the divider down for her. She huffed her way up to stand next to me and–I can’t even handle this–

she started handling my meat and salmon packages!!!

She was haphazardly grabbing them and TOSSING THEM ON TOP OF ALL MY OTHER FOOD! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

Oh no, she didn’t!!

Sidenote: Contrary to the few posts I’ve written in which I’m cranky and riding the rage, I am normally a very agreeable person. I live occasionally in a state of denial, and I am extremely talented when it comes to laughing something off to avoid confrontation, or smiling through gritted teeth. It’s not always a good thing: it’s taken me forever to learn to stand up for myself and what I want. I am finding that, in light of recent events in my life, that ability is either leaving me or I am caring less about what others think and more about what I think, and I seem more likely to say, “Whoa!” if there’s a problem. Lessons learned? Old(er) age? You be the judge.

Back to Meijer…

She was–literally!–tossing my food and I say to her, “Hang on, I’m trying my best to get out of your way…”


I said, “Yes I am; I’m trying to get this food out of the way so we can put the divider down.”

At that moment she picked up my roast so angrily that I saw her fingers press into it (through the plastic, of course) as she tossed it to the end.

I have to take a break for a minute so Michelle and I can regain our composure.

Ready Michelle? Okay.

I raised my voice–people were LOOKING–and said, “Could you PLEASE NOT TOUCH MY FOOD!”

Seriously folks, major pet peeve. Do not touch my food once it’s on the conveyor belt. Don’t be disgusting. Hands off.

Then, continuing to toss food, she sputtered something about me not understanding how this thing works.

Okay, you know what, lady? I am good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. I totally DO understand. Which is what I told her.

And as she marched back to her cart, she hissed, “No, you DON’T understand. I had to MAKE you understand.”

I was so angry that I was shaking. As I bagged the rest of my stuff, I blocked her food from coming all the way down for a minute, because there wasn’t anywhere else to set the bag I was filling. When I put all of the bags in the cart, I walked away and yelled sarcastically over my shoulder, “I hope whatever is bothering you gets better. Have a GREAT DAY!”


Then I intentionally loaded up my trunk as slowly as possible, hoping to catch her exiting the store. Why? I don’t know. What would I have done? Well, I’m a lover, not a fighter, so I certainly would not have touched her, like she touched my meat. But I was totally ready to shout out some heavy-duty profanities.

I had to vent to somebody, so I called my friend Kate. Luckily, she was at home today and had a few minutes to listen to me. When I told her the story, she had one question for me, which she asked in all seriousness.

“Do you think you would have reacted the same way had she been throwing cans instead of meats?”

She cracks me up. And yes, she is a Psychologist. (BTW, the answer is “YES, I would have!”)

Want to read more about Grocery Store Rage? It really does exist: Click here!

While you’re reading, I’m gonna go check on my salmon.



  • House of Jules

    Good job saying something to that dirty whore. I only wish I could have been there with you. While you were telling her not to touch your food, I would have been next to you in the crane position, doing my best Jack Black impression… all, SKEE-DOOSH with my karate kicking and yelling obscenities and stuff.

    Sidenote: There are at least 4 phrases in this post that could be euphemisms; I will likely giggle all day thinking of you not wanting anyone to handle your meats.

    House of Jules

  • Melisa

    Ha! I totally would have LOVED it if you were there. In fact, I was thinking of you in the car on my way home and trying to figure out what you would have said to her. This totally replaces my former “worst grocery store experience” story, you know, the one where the cashier thought I was YOUR MOTHER.

  • Mom24

    I would have been extremely angry too. That stinks. In my zen-like blogger commenter mode though I would say I feel sorry for her. Can you imagine going through life being like that? How angry she must be? How unhappy she must be? That really stinks.

  • nukedad

    I’m with Jules; waaaayyyy too many opportunities here. I’ll be good.

    I’m in touch with that emotion. A man once touched my summer sausage. You can now find him in the dairy department. On the back of a milk carton.

    OK, so I was MOSTLY good. 😉

  • Kat

    I have to send Holger over here to read this because honestly two weeks ago I was going to blog about the self-check out when we were shopping. And you know how much I hate shopping!!!! but the self-checkout angers me no end.

    I admire you for (kinda)staying calm because would that have been me I would have been in that woman’s face faster than you can say “scan”.

    That woman’s rudeness is unprecedented. I hope karma comes to bite her in the a$$.

  • Melissa

    I tried but I can’t help myself.

    I would have beat that beotch with my meat…yeah, maybe that doesn’t sound quite the way I want it to.

    Touching your meat…shame on her!

    To bad you didn’t have a can of whoopa$$ on that conveyor belt!!

  • Melisa

    Stacey: In all seriousness, I was thinking about that as well, when it was all over. Though I was highly peeved, I found myself wondering who or what made her into such an unhappy person that she had to unleash her frustrations on a stranger’s groceries. But she was still a be-otch.

    Nukedad: I can always count on you to bring the funny! But only in halves, as you displayed today by telling HALF a story on your blog and making me wait for the rest! (Seriously everybody: go to http://nuclearfamilywarhead.com for a hilarious post!)

    Kat: I have a feeling that she’s got bigger immediate problems than karma coming back to get her, but I bet you’re right. I wish I could have had ALL of you with me…of course she probably would have been quite scared of us! 🙂

    Melissa: Bwahahahaha! Yeah, I totally would have used that can. Next time I’ll put it on the list.

  • Dea




    I would have SCREEEEECHED!!!

    I would have lost it on her. No way, no how – you are a calmer, better woman than I – I would have made the news. You DO NOT touch people’s stuff….UGH! That’s awful….what a beast!

    I need to teach you a wrist lock…you could have incapacitated her hand when she touched your meat….and not been charged with assault….:D

  • Don Mills Diva


    I would have freaked out. That’s the kind of thing that would have me sputtering for days, as I’m sure you are!

  • Michelle

    Wow. Ummm. Wow. I assume you’re talking about the Meijer on Randall, right? If so, I AM NEVER going there — not that I have to date. Primarily because 1) I buy a bunch of stuff at Costco and 2) I head down the street a block and buy the rest of the stuff at Caputo’s and 3) then cross the street if necessary to Aldi’s. No yucky people, Costco and Caputo’s have samples, and they’re all cheap! 12 cents/pound for cabbage this week! 98 center/pound for strawberries! May I suggest a new store? 😉

    And good for you for saying something to the yucky crabby lady.

    But ummm how did you know I was going to be the one most grossed out by the fact that she was touching your food?

  • Momo Fali

    I’m enraged for you! What is WRONG with people? When did everyone start being so rude? I recently got called a bitch because some woman walked off the curb, on a busy, four-lane road, right in front of my car and expected me to just STOP. I wasn’t at a light, there was no crosswalk. I was just DRIVING! Unreal.

  • Melisa

    Deanna: Can’t wait to learn the wrist lock. Are you coming to class tomorrow? 🙂

    DMD: Sputtering only when I talk about it; to be honest I didn’t let it ruin my entire day or anything: probably because I let myself yell at her. But my blood pressure soars each time I tell someone about it! 🙂

    Michelle: Nope, the one on Rt. 59. And I don’t have a Caputos super close, otherwise I’d be there in a heartbeat! Finally, to answer your question, how did I know you’d be most grossed out? How quickly you forget: we ate lunch at the same table two Fridays ago. I watched you carefully eat your lunch, and then the cheesecake in your little way. 🙂

    Momo: Thanks! I know! I have no idea what is wrong with people but I think they need to just chill out. And how dare anyone call you that just for driving! Seriously!

  • Melissa

    How I miss Caputo’s…and there is one about 25 minutes from me…but the crowds make it prohibitive unless I bring my padded elbows with me…that and my attitude.

    Ahh for fresh produce!!

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    Holy crap! WTH?!? I would have been peeved, whether it was cans or meat or fruit loops! Some people’s kids – sheesh!

  • QuJaBaKa

    De lurking to say hi and I absolutely share your outrage.
    We don’t have self scan checkouts here so I will never have that to deal with that kind of horror.
    Its a crime that is akin to the random strangers who decide that its ok to touch your baby in the supermarket or equally as terrible the ones who walk up and touch your pregnant tummy without asking.
    I suggest your learn that wrist lock!
    Oh and maybe suggest the store gets hand held scanners for customers to self scan as they go round!!

  • Melisa

    Qujabaka: Thanks for delurking! 🙂
    Hey, you never know…you just MAY get those self-scanners someday…I agree about the pregnant belly-touching. I hated that too! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    “Dirty Whore” – JULES CRACKS ME UP! This is so TOUGH! I would have been all ABOUT MAKING A SCENE because once I boil over, there is no putting the foamy pasta water back in the pot! But then “tv kim” might have ruined everything with my thoughts of “oh no, does she recognize me? Will i end up on the news over a check out brawl?” These stupid kind of outbreaks can get a weather girl fired AND THAT SUCKS! I would have been like you, too, waiting in the parking lot to stare her down… THEY KNOW WHEN THEY’RE WRONG! Bad dirty whore!!!

  • oh my GOFF!

    Oh MY GOFF! I’ve tried 4 times to post.. I feel like MEAT TOUCHER is blockin’ your comments now. All I have to say is that next time you need to ponytail punch the broad with a pork chop!

  • Anonymous


  • abritdifferent

    I’m freakin ticked off here for you. I would have totally clotheslined her for you. You know what would have been cool though (and don’t we always think of the best things AFTER the situation?), to go complain to security and get in her head. I can’t believe there are people out there who react like that, especially ones who obviously don’t know how technology works. Good for you.

  • Mrs4444

    What a nutjob! I think you should write a post that includes 5-10 things you would have LIKED to have said to her. Crazy bitch! (her, not you, LOL)

  • Sue

    Total pet peeve! Isn’t grocery shopping painful enough without a bitchy witch behind you?! I think I would have shoved the salmon up her ass. Well probably not, but I seriously would have thought about it.
    I love how you live in denial, so do I.I want everyone to be nice.

  • Tom

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say. But I admire your fortitude in not bludgeoning her with a baguette.

    Still… her eternal penance is that she has to live with herself.

  • Karen

    I would have slowed down on purpose, and if she had touched MY meat, I would have been screaming. She has no right to touch anything of yours. or mine.

  • The Microblogologist

    Meat gets its own bag, it NEVER shares EVER! Food safety 101! I believe I would have dropped an F-bomb on her. This is one more reason to add to my list of reasons I will NOT do the self-checkout thing, I hate those things and after trying them a couple times will NOT use them, I’d rather wait. My #1 reason though is that we’ve already outsourced and outteched enough jobs in this country, which is a huge reason we are in the economic mess we are in.

  • NYCitymama

    O-M-G. I would have totally lost my shit. Seriously..am swearing because though this happened A YEAR AGO, I am pissed off for you! I swear that, though I am not a religious person, I believe God has spared me from these experiences because I would have taken the freaking meat and slapped her right across the face! LOL! Ok, that made me laugh…hope she chocked on a pea (didn't die or anything, but lost some oxygen and got really scared).

    Love ya!