Fri 27 Apr, 2018 05:46 pm
A woman (with a vacuous expression) in the store stalked me.
When I walked into the vegetable area she seemed to awaken and then she followed me to the carrots and the cauliflower. She just stood behind me like she really wanted cauliflower and was interested in nothing else in the store whatsoever. Her sole intent was cauliflower. Until I moved to the deli. Lo and behold, her cart followed me and waited. She just waited and waited. Just waited for me to move. Then I moved on to the pistachios. Here she comes. I tried to trip her up by circling back to the cucumbers. Here she comes.
I made a beeline to the meats and quickly went down that end aisle. Then I went back to aisle two, skipping aisle one to avoid her. At the end of aisle two, I found the dried fruit. Perfect for my camping trip. I searched, but couldn't find any whole dates. As I lifted up from the bottom shelf, she turned the corner. She stopped. Looking neither left, nor right. She just stopped right next to me, staring ahead and waited.
So I asked her, "Can I help you?" And she said meekly that she didn't know what she wanted. So I suggested we move at least one of the carts, because we were blocking the entrance. And I moved my cart back some and continued my search for dates. After a bit, I gave up on the dates, and seeing she had finally moved on, grabbed my cart and continued.
At the other end of the store, I saw that I had her cart. The woman had taken off with my cart!
I looked in her basket now in my possession. She had bread and pasta. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) There was no cauliflower. No cucumbers. No deli. No pistachios. No dried fruit.
She was just following me and badgering me to move for no reason!
About the time I saw that I had the wrong cart, it seems she did too, because a man spied me returning my cart to me for hers and so forth. I asked her, "How did this happen?" And she said nothing. I just got that now-familiar vacant stare.
When she walked off, I told the clerk that she was stalking me. His reply was that she just probably wanted my avocados.
The thing is, I must have looked like the crazy one to him saying that. But OMG, she annoyed the hell out of me and I can't figure out why.
So, I know you guys will help me figure out the possible reasons for this, and also a compassionate yet effective way to handle this in the future ... but before we get there, I want some cathartic over-the-top ideas too.
I'll go first. Next time this happens I will move my cart behind hers and wait for her to look over the grocery offerings. When she asks if she can help me, I'll just say, I prefer to wait right here, right behind you. So please, take your time, because I am very happy waiting right here behind you.
I should add, there weren't more than five shoppers in the entire store which made it all the more weird.
Help. It's been several days now, and I'm still peeved.
I'd find that unsettling as well. It may not be a good idea to engage her, if she's unstable no telling what she might do. It's better to remove yourself from the situation. I've attracted odd people in the past, and if I were you I'd stay alert and if it happens again make a note of the date and time.
Sometimes the store employees don't want to get involved or may not understand. I'm sorry that happened to you and I would have been uncomfortable as well.
My boyfriend's take is that she might be mentally ill. Or she was hoping that I would buy her some food. But to me, she didn't look hungry.
I was wondering if this were some kind of new security option for stores.
I thought maybe she was on drugs. She looked out of it.
I thought maybe she was taking a college course in psychology and this was a part of a subject for a paper. How do people react to being badgered at a store ...
Or a marketing course. How do people make their selections at a store ...
Seems to me we are living side by side now with people who are quite comfortable trying to go about their business in public stoned out of their mind.
What's wrong with stoned people staying home for a few hours?
my guess would be that they are constantly stoned.
I would go to the manager and explain the problem as soon as it started up next time.
Believe me, I wanted to. I wanted to talk to security. Was she after my purse? But after the way my concern was brushed off by the staff, I thought against it.
What had she really done except annoy the hell out of me. She has a right to stand anywhere she wants in the grocery store, right?
It seems to me we are living parallel realities between sober people and stoned people. The old rules of etiquette are tossed aside. New rules or strategies need to be developed.
I saw both retired academics and meth heads on the beach during my camping trip. Side by side. Well, sort of. The academics were in RVs. The meth heads were walking through their beach campfire.
As you mentioned before, it could be store security performed badly. She might have mistakenly thought you took something and talked to a store employee, that's why a man brought your cart back. I believe store security are usually low wage people and she might not have been good at it.
Let her follow you to the check out lane - express lane. Be sure to have one more item than allowed, and let it be known you will be paying with New Zealand food stamps backed up with a Canadian ID.
We'll just see who wants to play the game now.
Yep. I think you nailed it. This is a small town and a new medium-sized grocery store. They must have had some theft there. I don't know how I feel about being followed around for this. But if they've had thieves, then I don't blame them at all.
I think this is the most logical explanation for what happened.
Store security is usually more stealthy. My rule of thumb is if you feel uncomfortable, be very careful, something is probably wrong. I don't want to sound overly suspicious, but thieves target grocery store shoppers because women especially tend to leave their purse unattended in the cart while looking around the aisles.
Man, it IS a confusing world when you can't tell the thieves from the security!
She was secretly filming a new documentary to be narrated by David Attenborough.
"Here we see the native hunting, stalking her avocado prey. Now, for many years these natives would make a concoction that scientists refer to as 'guacamole'. However, these days the newer generations are consuming a new treat called 'avocado toast'. Behavioral scientists are still trying to determine exactly what caused the change. It's very possible that habitat encroachment is playing a part."
(documentary is then interrupted for a 3-hour pledge-a-thon)
Funny! I tried over the last day or so to top this and couldn't, so I pledge $100.
Well, thanks! I take PayPal.