It's Bad Etiquette To Bring Booze To The Grocery Self-Checkout

Modern grocery shopping is very much the epitome of a self-guided experience. Since the invention of the supermarket, you simply pick your own groceries, and throw them into a cart or trolley bag, before proceeding to the only place that you have to interact with someone: the checkout counter. Or maybe not thanks to self-checkout lanes.

The rise of self-checkout has made the experience that much faster and less stressful for those of us who are introverted. Indeed, it's especially speedy for light shoppers. Now all you have to do is go to an empty checkout booth, scan your merchandise, pay for everything, and leave while maintaining self-checkout etiquette. However, if you are buying alcohol, going to the self-checkout booth is going to make everyone behind you annoyed at best. Thanks to the age verification requirement, a staff member will have to be dispatched to check your ID. This slows down the speed of the self-checkout lane, and it inconveniences all the shoppers behind you.

Don't slow down the fast lane

Have you ever spent minutes — even hours — stuck in a traffic jam on a highway, only to find out by the time you are free that it was caused by absolutely nothing? These "phantom traffic jams" are an actual phenomenon, and they are caused by minor traffic disruptions, such as someone panic braking in the middle of the highway. Although that driver will be long gone, the disruption creates a wave, leading to every car behind it also stopping for no reason, and a traffic jam is formed.

When you try to purchase alcohol at the self-checkout lane, you are creating the same type of disruption to the rest of the line behind you. As the staff member gets paged to check your ID, you are creating the sudden stop that prevents other shoppers from going ahead, and you create the initial wave of traffic. Although you will soon be cleared to proceed, the delay is done, and now every person behind you will be delayed because of your choice of checkout lane. So, if you decide to buy a bottle of wine, go to the regular checkout lanes, and avoid causing a traffic jam for those who are in a hurry.

Be a good shopper with a few grocery tips

Outside of not taking alcohol through the self-checkout lane, there are some more tips to make your shopping experience much less stressful. For example, if you cannot find something, instead of running up and down the aisle trying to search for it yourself, you can get help at the customer service counter. As professionals, the staff at your local store is more likely to know the location of an item better than you, and they will show you — some will even walk you — to the location of the product you seek.

Another tip is to park your cart on the same side as other parked carts. That way the multiple carts will not create a curvy course for other shoppers with their carts, which makes accidents and traffic jams more likely.