February 17, 2009

On being rude

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and had an interesting encounter in the checkout lane. Just as the high school check out girl began to scan my items another high school girl approached the woman who was bagging. This new girl (I'll call her Sarah) asked to relieve the bagger so she could warm her hands from bringing in carts. The woman agreed and then Sarah just stood there talking to the check out girl (named Erin) talking about how she would bag for Erin because Erin needed a bagger.

Sarah finally began to bag my groceries when they were almost all scanned and there wasn't much room left to put them. She then began to open my reusable bags and said to me, "Sorry I'm slow with these bags, I don't usually bag." I smiled and forgave her, glad she was at least finally putting my groceries in the bag.

However, she slowed down even more when she began to talk to Erin. "Is Jake mad at you or something?" Erin shook her head, confused. "Well, he was like, 'Erin needs a bagger' and then he said a not-so-nice word. Like, 'Erin needs a bagger, s----.'"

Erin looked at Sarah, looked at me and looked away. Clearly she was embarrassed. She asked, "Like he was talking about me? He said it in the same sentence with my name?"

Sarah said yes and then told the story again.

Erin got quiet and Sarah then picked up my Duetto ice cream and asked Erin, "OMG, have you ever had this? It's so good." She went on about the ice cream for a little bit before finally putting it in the bag and continuing her job. She finally noticed that Erin seemed a bit sad and quiet and asked her if she was okay because she seemed a little off.

At this point I spoke up and said, "Well if I were her I'd be mortified that you just said what you did in front of a perfect stranger. How embarrassing for poor Erin."

At the time I felt like I was pointing out to Sarah how inconsiderate she had been. I also wanted to stick up for Erin a little bit. However, if Sarah had been a better bagger I might not have been annoyed with her in the first place and wouldn't have said anything. But then on the other hand, I'm always opening my big mouth.

So, all this to ask, do you think I was rude?


  1. I would have said something to the same effect. Not rude at all.

  2. I probably would have done something similiar. Rude? Maybe, but not unwarranted. Kids these days don't have much of a concept of privacy (I blame the internet).

  3. I'm proud you said something. I probably wouldn't have. I have a tech that always tries to have conversations with me at work while we're working with a patient. They usually are not odd (like in your situation), but it always makes me feel uncomfortable when a patient is just laying there hearing our private conversation. I keep my responses short, act as disinterested as I can, and try to bring the subject back to the patient. I think it's rude to talk over them without including them in the conversation.

  4. Good job! Sarah needs to know she was being totally inconsiderate. We can only hope she has the brains to realize what she did wasn't cool.:-)