Sunday, February 12, 2012

How to Avoid Crashing Into People at the Store

You know how it is - you're in a crowded supermarket with narrow aisles, trying not to crash your cart into anyone else's as you weave your way to the back of the store (where they always hide the milk & meat & vegetables).

Then, inevitably, you see someone coming straight for you, they see you, and you both zig in the same direction, followed by an equally awkward zag, then you're both at a dead stop - the ol' Piggly Wiggly Mexican Standoff.

Simple solution: don't look at the other people, look at the gap where you want your cart to go.

People cue off where your eyes are looking to determine your directional intentions. If they see you're looking to the side of them, they'll know you're turning and continue straight instead of feeling the need to swerve to the side to avoid you.

I've been testing this for a while now, and it works so well I no longer even feel the need to schedule all my shopping to avoid the "when the old folks aren't there in droves" hours.


  1. I've been doing this same thing for years and years. It works perfectly. I even do it at intersections where people are too stupid to know their right-of-way. I simply turn my head away from them. If you look at them, it has the same effect as the grocery store dilemma: they freeze up like a rabbit in February or juke like a jitterbugger.

    Just pick where you want to go and leave no doubt about it.

  2. 'Piggly Wiggly Mexican Standoff'...LOL!!! PERFECT description.

    I'll have to practice this...years of being a teacher and perfecting that 'teacher glare' will make it hard to change. Although, come to think of it, the 'glare' actually works out in public, too. People get out of my way usually. 'Course, I'm usually carrying, too, so maybe that stance comes through, also.

  3. I've been a fan of placed lines down the middle of the isle, with arrows pointing the same direction you should be headed as if you were driving a car on the road. Everyone stays on the right side of the isle, except to pass someone.

    This would also avoid those annoying people who keep their cart in the middle of the freaking isle.

  4. I am soooo going to try this. Thanks for the tip.

  5. It also works if you dress like a homeless person, smell like stale tobacco and fresh urine, talk loudly to yourself and make direct eye contact with the othe person. They will make room no matter where you go.

  6. I kinda like the Grocery Cart Mambo.