yesterday afternoon on the way home from church Michael and I stopped at Sams to pick some things up for the coffee shop. As we and our shopping cart made our way down one of the aisles, we were faced with the obstacle of three people on one side of the row trying to decide what kind of cake to buy, and their shopping cart on the other side of the aisle.
approaching the first of the three shoppers, I said a polite "excuse me" expecting that he and his companions would simply step out of the way or move their cart so we could pass.
instead of this simple thing, his response: "why?"
i was dumbfounded by the question. I responded by stating what i thought was obvious: "um...because you're on this side, and your cart is on the other side...so we can't get by"
he said something about trying to look at cakes and sounded as though we had inconvenienced him to a high degree...but did move aside for us to pass
on the way back up the aisle, we found that he was still staring at cakes and again had the aisle blocked with himself, his two shopping friends, and their cart. shoppers without carts were barely squeezing by..without this group making any effort to clear a path.
i kept thinking about this man's reaction all the way home. is it so uncommon to be asked to move out of the other shoppers' way when you're completely blocking the way? was i supposed to wait several minutes on him to decide what kind of pastry items he needed? would he have rather we moved his cart for him? (that is what would seem to be more bothersome to others, id think)
so..as i pondered the question and response : "excuse me" and "why?"
1. because you're taking up the entire aisle and not moving
2. would you like to take a survey?
3. why? why??? why???????
4. because other people are trying to shop, too
5. i hear that in some cultures it is more acceptable to nudge people with your shopping cart rather than verbally ask them to move. would you prefer that method?