DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was in line at the checkout. I had put my items up on the belt for the cashier. A 50ish-year-old woman came up behind me, took a divider and PUSHED all my items together up the belt to make room for hers!
This is a TOP PET PEEVE for me! I was taught to be patient and wait my turn! I'm a 67-year-old woman and physically disabled with M.S.
I said to her, "Nervy!" She then turned the situation around to make ME the bad guy instead of her ignorant behavior! I would NEVER touch anyone's items, either by hand or with a divider. That's just plain pushy and wrong!
It became a war of words! The older cashier in the next aisle took her side! I was very angry! Who do these people think they are? They have no right to do this to ANYONE! I asked her if she felt she was more important than me. Please respond, as I'm still fuming!
GENTLE READER: Let us suppose that the shopper behind you did do something rude -- though Miss Manners is inclined to think she did not, given the lack of supporting specifics (damaged objects, muttered commentary). Was there no polite way to solve a disagreement about personal space?
You could have said, "Excuse me, but would you mind waiting until I've completed my transaction before unloading your cart?"
One rudeness does not justify another -- an opinion Miss Manners holds strongly, even though she is able to punctuate it with a period.