This post may not sound Christmassy enough for Christmas Eve, but it was inspired by my visit to town just days before Christmas. Every year I meticulously plan my Christmas shopping, specifically so that I will not need to visit the shops during Christmas week, but this year something went horribly wrong. Three days before Christmas I discovered that Grumpy Teen and Child both have God sized Christmas stockings and I had not bought anywhere near enough stocking fillers to do the job. So, with panic in my eyes, I bundled up Grumpy Baby and headed into the hell that is the Town Centre days before Christmas.
With the popularity of shopping online, there were less people to contend with than I had expected. But even so, town was a heaving muddle of people dashing about, trying to get last minute presents or scope out the early sales which I’m sure used to start on Boxing Day!
Among my fellow Christmas shoppers I found the following people. Every one of whom caused me to take a deep breath and remind myself that they are not worth the jail time.
People who smoke around babies and toddlers
This one may upset a few people, but smoking around babies, toddlers and if I’m honest, children makes me so angry. There is so much evidence about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke that I just can’t imagine what possesses people to walk along pushing a pram with a fag hanging out of their mouth.
People who use the lift because they can’t be bothered to use the escalator
Don’t get me wrong, I would never call anyone out for this because you never know if they have a hidden illness. But that being said, if you can run in order to get to the lift before the pram or wheelchair that was obviously heading for it, then I think you can probably manage to use the escalator.
People who use the parent and child parking spaces who don’t need to
How often have you seen someone pull up in the last parent and child space only to hop out with their near teenage child? Even worse are the vans and cars belonging to people who are just popping in for a minute. Meanwhile parents with babies and toddlers end up searching the the dark reaches of the car park for a spot as far away from any other car as possible in the vain hope that nobody will park next to them.
People who are incapable of holding a door open
Holding the door for the next person is the most basic form of manners, so it drives me crazy when people don’t bother. I’m not talking about the people who are in a massive rush and give you an apologetic look before dashing off, or the people who don’t realise you were there and give a little “sorry” gesture after dropping the door. I’m talking about the brazen, couldn’t care less people who turn and look you straight in the eye before dropping the door.
People who ignore you when you say “Excuse Me”
I remember how much I hated people with prams before I became one. I just couldn’t understand why they looked so flustered as they took your ankle off with a well placed wheel. Now, however, I understand. It would seem that no matter how loudly you say “Excuse Me” many people wont actually acknowledge your existence until you have bellowed it 3 times, at which point they will scowl at you before moving no more than two inches out of the way. I imagine most people get to a point where they just think sod it, if I’m going to be scowled at I may as well do something to deserve it.
People who jump the queue
So there’s a massive line full of people looking at their watches and jiggling from one foot to the other, desperate to be somewhere else. Most people understand that this is just one of the wonderful things about shopping in the real world, however there is a special brand of person who for whatever reason, doesn’t believe they need to stand in the line. These people are particularly annoying when there is one queue for several tills, as they will inspect the line and then walk straight past it to stand directly behind a person being served, as if they think that the 20 fed-up looking customers had completely missed the fact that this till was about to become free.
I reserve extra irritation for the people who innocently say “were you in the queue?” when challenged, and shop assistants who serve queue jumpers despite knowing they jumped the massive queue.
People who allow their children to run wild
This is another one which I’m sure will be controversial. No one expects children in shops to be perfect angels, after all, shops are usually very boring. However, some parents allow their children to run around, driving everyone else mad, just so they can have five minutes peace themselves. These parents completely ignore their children climbing on shelves, opening packets and throwing things at other customers, and can usually found chatting on their phone or to a group of friends while pretending they can’t see the trail of destruction being left by their child.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone I came across while shopping was a rage inducing nightmare. There was also the old ladies who insisted on entertaining themselves and Baby while we waited in one of the monstrous queues, and the extremely helpful assistant in the music shop who ran over to help me with the door and spent several minutes helping me to decide which almost identical accessory I should buy as a gift. I just wish that there were more lovely people like this to make Christmas shopping a less stressful experience.
So, do you get shopping rage? Do any of the people above drive you mad, or do you have your own shopper pet hate? I’d love to hear about it!