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by Abigail Van Buren

Customer's Pet Peeve Is Being Crowded in Grocery Checkout

DEAR ABBY: I have a grocery store etiquette question. I become really offended when I'm unloading my groceries onto the conveyor belt at checkout and -- before I'm finished -- another shopper comes up behind me and begins unloading hers. It leaves me not enough room to finish unloading mine! I think it's rude, and it baffles me that so many people do it. Is it impolite to tell them they are being rude? Or is it dangerous these days? -- GOING AS FAST AS I CAN

DEAR GOING: It wouldn't be impolite or dangerous to tell the person behind you that you haven't finished unloading your purchases and to please stop. I do, however, think you should suppress the urge to lecture the person about manners unless you're looking for an argument.

If this happens often, talk to the store manager about it. In some businesses there is a mark on the floor indicating where shoppers should stand while waiting for the person ahead to complete his or her purchase.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics