Justice at the Grocery Store

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


It was Monday morning and I made my trip to Trader Joe's a little earlier than usual. I had a busy day ahead of me. Who didn't though, it was a Monday.

I was scurrying around the store grabbing my staples, hoping to get in and out within twenty minutes. Mind you, I had enough time to snap that fancy little pumpkin pic above because priorities, you know?

Staples include: Pumpkin cereal, pumpkin bread, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin bars, pumpkin chips, pumpkin butter and pumpkin pumpkins. I'm kidding, kind of. But TJ gets a little over zealous with their pumpkin selection this time of year and I did not make any of those items up.

As I made my way to the front it became clear I wasn't the only woman in yoga pants on a mission to get in and out on a Monday morning. The three checkers open were four people deep and it did not look like anyone would be ringing the Trader Joe bell of freedom anytime soon. The only short line was the "12 or Less."

As we were all waiting our turn a woman pushing a cart full of items strolled up to the front and exhaled loudly when she saw the lines before her. Her child was a mini-me of herself and also sighed heavily at the long line of customers, while pushing her own miniature cart full of items.

The woman, who we'll call Busy Mom, eyed our lines, then the short line for the 12 or less, and then acted extremely distracted while casually inching her cart toward the express line. And every other customer bit their lip while screaming oh HELL NO, in their head. At least I did.

Busy Mom pushed her way right up to the express line while we all looked on wondering what was going to happen.

And then I saw who the checker was, my main gal Marta, the Russian TJ worker who takes no shit. Marta works every Monday I'm there and the small talk we make upon checkout is always very cordial, but right down to the point.

"You like these? I have not tried. Okay, bye."

"These are healthy. Not very good, but good for you. Okay, bye."

She speaks in a heavy Russian accent and I am quite fond of her.

Marta takes one look at the woman's cart and points to her express sign and says, "No. Twelve items or less. You have more."

And the room erupted. Women started throwing pumpkins at each other. I tossed my cart out the glass window. Children were biting the heads off the spiky gourds. The sample guy was throwing tofu nuggets everywhere. It was wonderful.

Busy Mom did not think it was wonderful. She looked at the sign, then back at Marta and was pissssssed off.

"Well I didn't see that," she said, still expecting Marta to budge. As if. She clearly had never met Marta.

Okay Busy Mom, why would we all just choose the long lines if there was one quick one open? Riddle me that.

Marta was not rude, just matter of fact.  "Too many items, go to other line. Okay, bye."

And Busy Mom and Busy Child stomped off, joining the longer lines with the rest of us. Grocery Store justice had been served.

And it gave me far too much joy to see it happen. Am I a terrible person for enjoying this? Probably. I also really enjoy airplane justice, traffic justice, and any other type of justice where someone is blatantly being an asshole and gets called out for it.

Coming up tomorrow: What To Do When You've Become The Asshole In Workout Class Who Can't Stop Judging Everyone Else's Form.



31 comments:

  1. Marta won't be bullied by Very Important Busy Mom and Very Important Busy Child. Go Marta!!

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  2. I wish more people at the stores were like that. No you are not alone in your "justice" pleasure. There are way too many people getting away with way too much.

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  3. I'm laughing so hard at this post! I also love to see justice being served and then always feel bad for liking it so much. But still, the rest of us polite, law-abiding, respectful citizens need the long end of the stick sometimes! XO -Kim
    www.thethirtysomethinglife.com

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  4. this brings me lots of joy. I was waiting for Marta to just be like i check you out? ok bye. justice is the best.

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  5. I don't feel bad for enjoying this a little too much. We need more "Marta's" in the world :)

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  6. Do not feel bad. I get more enjoyment than I should out of the assholes that speed past me/cut me off/what have you and then have to slam on their brakes at a red light and look at that, we are all in the exact same place again

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  7. I am with you! and also cheering for your girl Marta on this one! not ashamed to admit this stuff makes me genuinely happy. one for the good guys!

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  8. I already love Marta. Please give us more Marta stories.

    Also, please stay away from my Barre class, because I'm the worst one in there. But I'm trying ok, SO LEAVE ME ALONE!

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  9. Can Marta please come to my children's school and take care of the mom who elbows her way to the front row of every play (along with her nanny/housekeeper) and they both proceed to photograph/video the entire event? I was actually bruised once.

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  10. Omg this would totally bring me joy! Good for Marta!

    Her Heartland Soul
    herheartlandsoul.com

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  11. Oh god, the Whole Foods near me has two lines that merge into one line and it's a disaster every time. The last time, one lady kept letting people from the other line go ahead of her which of course incensed the guy behind her who had to freak out and point to every sign that said, "Lines merge" I thought he was going to toss his cart out the window but he just had a hissy fit.

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  12. Seeing this would have been the highlight of my day! (Is that pathetic?) I love some shopping justice but my favorite kind is when people get pulled over in the carpool lane for not carpooling. I'm always tempted to pull over just to give the cop a hug.

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  13. Way to go Marta! I'm glad that she said something because that's just rude for Busy Mom to try and cut like that! Everybody else is busy too!

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  14. Interstate justice is my favorite. When there is some asshat that is driving like a maniac and takes to the slow lane to pass everyone in the fast lane. I love it when all the fast lane driver unite and start tailgating each other so the asshat can't get over like he intended to. Even better if he subsequently gets stuck behind a semi and we all pass him and he's forced to get back behind all of us WHERE HE STARTED.

    What a rant, man. Sorry! Clearly interstate jerks get to me.

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  15. OMG I get so much joy out of things like this too. I mean, rules are rules!! I really enjoy it when someone is driving like a total crazy person and weaving in and out of traffic on a highway and then you see them right in front of you stopped at a red light. Like...we're all here at the same time now! haha.

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  16. Hahahaha this is so perfect! I LOVE when things like this happen. Go Marta!

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  17. Insert crying laughing emoji - I bought the pumpkin butter!! Hahahah! Anyways, I work full time, blog, am 7 months pregnant and have a 1 year old and I still get so pissed off when I see a parent using their parent privileges to skip in the short line. I will - and have - called folks on this. Ugh makes me SO mad!

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  18. Every grocery store needs Marta. I can't stand when cashiers won't send people to the other line!

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  19. Oh my god, yes!!! Slow clap from me over here. I already love Marta.

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  20. Love that Marta did that. Too mnay people try to get away with stuff.

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  21. Ha! I love justice like that too. Like hey, I took the high road here, I expect you to do the same. Go Marta!

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  22. Love this! I wish my grocery store had a Marta :)

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  23. I wish our grocery stores had a Marta -- she sounds like my kind of gal. I would have smiled during that whole exchange.

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  24. "Women started throwing pumpkins at each other. I tossed my cart out the glass window." I literally just cry-laughed so hard right now and told everyone I know.

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  25. Raising a fist in the air!!! I too am a fan of witnessing everyday justice stories - mostly because I'm too chicken to do anything about any situation myself, but I provide excellent silent commentary when I do see it happen!!

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  26. I have spent the last five bloody minutes trying to read this I start Leo calls I stop I see to Leo I start Leo yells I stop to see to Leo add to that Natasha is busy vacuuming making so much bloody noise but I got there is the end and thought way to go..............

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  27. HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAH omg yaassssss this made me way too happy.

    also, i normally don't buy in to all the pumpkin things (TJs always over does it...first the mango things now the pumpkin things), but at the TJs check-out the other day i saw pumpkin spice caramel corn, and the cashier basically told me it was his LIFE, so i couldn't NOT but it)....polished off the whole bag in 2 days and am counting down the minutes until the day is over and i can go back to get more....just saying, you should probably try it.

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