The bar is there for a reason- grocery shopping vent- long


DIS Veteran
Feb 28, 2003
Let me just preface this by saying, I consider myself to be a rational person with quite a bit of patience. I try not to let the little annoyances of life bother me. I understand that we all don't think and act alike.

But, this one little petty thing annoys the heck out of me! If it happened only occasionally I could look the other way, but it seems to happen to me almost every time I go to the grocery store.

Why don't people feel the need to use those bars of wood or plastic that separate MY groceries from THEIR groceries!?! I can't begin to tell you how many times I've watched the person in front of me put their groceries on the checkout counter then just stand there. I wait for them to pick up the bar and place it after their groceries. I wait and wait.

HELLO! The bar is right in front of you! I would like to start putting my groceries on the counter. I don't WANT to lean over your groceries to reach the bar that is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! I'm fairly certain that YOU don't want me hovering over your groceries. I don't LIKE the icy stare you just gave me as I brushed up against your pork chops and hemorroid cream in order to reach the bar.

This morning was especially trying. I was at the grocery store. The lady in front of me placed all her groceries on the counter. I waited. She made no effort whatsoever to take the bar and place it after her groceries. Not only did she not bother to put the bar in place, she failed to notice that all of her groceries were going down the conveyor belt except for a box of crackers. The box wasn't placed all the way on the moving part of the counter. I could not reach the bar to place it after her groceries, but I also couldn't put my groceries up unless I moved her crackers.

I assessed the situation and realized that she was oblivious to the fact that the crackers were stuck. So, I picked up the box and moved it the inch or so required for it to go down the conveyor belt. Quicker than I had time to put one of my items on the counter, she turned to me and coldly stated, "I would prefer that you didn't play with my food."

WOAH! Up until that point she never even acknowledged my existence! She never made any effort to move her cart so I could move up. She never so much as glanced at the spacer bars. PLAY with her food! Um, yeah, that's why I go to the grocery store, so I can fondle other people's purchases.

I told her I was sorry but the crackers weren't moving down the conveyor belt. I really wanted to tell her that I PREFERRED she took the responsibility to see that her own food was going where it should go, and that I wasn't 'playing' with her crackers, whatever that means.

I know it's just a little thing and really not all that important in the entire scheme of life, but IT JUST DRIVES ME BANANAS that people don't use those dividers!!!

Am I the only person who assumes those little wooden/plastic bars are put on display for people to actually USE? Am I also the only person who feels that the person who finishes putting their groceries on the counter is the one who should be courteous and place it AFTER their groceries as opposed to the next person in line putting the bar in FRONT of their own groceries?

Because if I've been doing it wrong my entire shopping life, then I need to rethink this whole thing! :teeth:

I think I'll go play with some food now.


DIS Veteran<br><font color=teal>Needs to lay off t
Sep 30, 2001
I've always assumed it was the responsiblity of the next person in line to place the bar on the conveyer belt prior to loading their groceries. I don't think I have ever had the person in front of me put the bar on the belt. I usually do it myself and don't think twice about it. Nor do I ever put the bar after my groceries so I've probably annoyed a heck of a lot of people who think it should be my job!

Miss Jasmine

Time for something new!<BR><font color=limegreen><
May 23, 2001
I always grab the bar and place it before my groceries. I never place the bar after them. :confused3 Usually one is pushed down to where I can reach it.
  • RickinNYC

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 22, 2003
    Whenever some snot nosed person gives me attitude like that, I generally tell the offender to cram it where the sun don't shine. That always makes them shut up. 'Nuff said.

    And you people think I'm such a goodie goodie!


    <font color=blue>Heh Heh, you're all gonna die<br>
    Oct 28, 2003
    I always put the bar on for the next person after I'm done loading mine. But it's rare I see someone else do it. Doesn't really bother me either way, I guess.

    But for the woman to confront you about playing with her food...well, then wake the heck up, honey, and make sure your food goes where it's supposed to so I don't have to play with it.
  • Texan Mouseketeer

    DIS Cast Member<br><font color=blue>I hurt people'
    Mar 20, 2005
    From the other end, I worked in a grocery store for two months when I was 18. One morning I had to start work at 6:00AM after a night of heavy drinking. There were literally six people in a row that did not use the bar and in my tired and hungover stupor I combined and checked out the next person's items six times and had to get the manager over six times to clear the items off the list! I got in so much trouble from the manager and angry customers. Not my proudest moment, but I can kind of laugh on it now. :blush:


    <font color=deeppink>There is hope for the helples
    Oct 23, 1999
    The rare times I put the bar after mine is if the bar is way down in the front and I can barely reach it. But I can count how many times I've done that!

    I always just pick up the bar myself. I never knew it was my responsibility to do it for someone else on a regular basis :confused:


    <font color=blue>Males with udders? What WERE they
    Jun 12, 2005
    Well, since I have had a lot of experience on this subjest I must weigh in.

    Frequently, there is only one separator bar on each conveyor in the stores I shop. If there is only one bar, and the person in front of me doesn't want to move it to the back of their groceries, I make a little "barrier" our of my food items, leaving a good bit of space between my "barrier" and the customer's food that is in front of me. Then the cashier will look at the space between orders, and ask the customer ahead of me, "is this the last of your order?" or something to that effect.

    SOMETIMES, and only sometimes, does the person move the bar themselves, usually it is the cashier and s/he will send it "flying back to me" so I can put it between my order and the one in front of me.

    NEVER have I had someone accuse me of playing with their food. :rotfl2:

    Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, Shake your crackers, Shake your crakers! :rotfl:

    ETA: :grouphug:

    always quiet

    Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the hyd
    Jun 9, 2003
    If I can't reach the bar, I normally just leave a large space between my order and the person in front of me. If the bar is in reach, I'll grab it. I also, once my order is started, will place the bar behind my order. Normally, the person behind me will say 'thanks'.

    I also would of moved the stuck box of crackers....some people are hard to do anything nice for! :confused3 Now please leave my box of chocolates alone!! ;)
  • Bob Slydell

    DIS Veteran
    Mar 25, 2004
    Miss Jasmine said:
    I always grab the bar and place it before my groceries. I never place the bar after them. :confused3 Usually one is pushed down to where I can reach it.
    Same here. Most of the time, I'm up by the register and too far from the back of the checkout line to reach the back of my stuff even if I wanted to put the bar there.


    DIS Veteran
    Feb 16, 2000
    I know where you are coming from! We grocery shop at Target and people are so bad about using those spacers! Just a few days ago a couple came in line behind us carrying a basket full of only deli products (??) and proceeded to just turn the basket upside down and left everything fall out of it. Well, it all scattered, including a few things that mixed in with our stuff. They didn't even care or try to get their stuff together! Then they got huffy when I gave them a dirty look, put the spacebar down, and removed their products from my purchase. The girl told the guy I was uptight! I wanted to scream at her, but the cashier and I just rolled our eyes.

    What is with people??


    Sep 25, 2000
    I usually put the bar behind my groceries for the next person. It's about 50/50 whether people do the same for me.

    Rex Rules

    Missing Florida every minute I am not there!<br><f
    Feb 3, 2002
    I always go ahead and just put the plastic or wooden bar up, even if no one is behind me.

    I don't really get too upset about it, but a couple of months ago, I happened to go through the self check out lane - scanned my stuff, paid and proceeded to the end to bag my stuff, this guy comes up and started scanning his stuffand sending id down the belt. Meanwhile, I was trying to bag my few items as quickly as possible, but here is this stuff coming down the belt at me. I was miffed, to say the least. Finally, I looked up at him and said would it kill you to wait until I was done? He just looked at me like I was from Mars.

    I also like to have all the refrigerated items together and so on - like items like pet food, cleaning items I also like to keep together, but I am crazy and OCD and I know it.
    I can handle putting the bar up in front or behind, it is the stinking rude people that drive me bananas, you know the ones, the ones that act like they are the only ones that count and you should be getting out of their way.


    Can speak food in German
    Oct 25, 2000
    luvflorida said:
    Um, yeah, that's why I go to the grocery store, so I can fondle other people's purchases.
    Well, that is EXACTLY why I go to the grocery store. It's no fun just fondling my own purchases. :rotfl2: :rotfl2:

    You can come shopping at my grocery store. I always put the separator bar on the belt after I'm done unloading my groceries. Most of the other folks that are shopping at my grocery store put it on there as well.


    Knows who did it and why
    Jul 19, 2000
    This is why I use the self check-out!

    I'm trying to remember which I do--but I tend to put it before my groceries, not after.


    Patiently waiting for my place in the castle..
    Feb 5, 2003
    On the other hand…

    This past Saturday I stopped by a store to pick a few items. As I was standing there waiting for the person in front of me to check out I spaced out and started thinking about other things besides reaching for the divider when I could reach it. The woman that was standing behind me became very annoyed by this and proceeded to reach for the divider lengthwise of the conveyer belt. Once I realized what she was doing I apologized and asked her if she wanted me to get it for her, because a) her hair was literally brushing on my food, and b) she was inches away from squishing items on the belt and c) she was obviously having a hard time reaching for it. She ignored my question and at this time proceeds to squeeze the loaf of bread with her sizable Pretties. Now I am getting a bit angry and speak a bit louder asking her if I could get the divider for her and if she would please get off my food. At this time she stands up victoriously with the divider firmly in her hand and says “I GOT IT, NO THANKS TO YOU”. What ever lady, you choose to do that yourself. You could have just as easily asked me to hand you over the divider which I would have gladly done. As for the now flat bread, the cashier was lucky enough to observe the whole thing and when it was my time she asked me if I would like my bread replaced to which I happily obliged.

    Not looking to start a debate about whether the divider should placed in front of behind everyone’s groceries nor am I making any suggestions that its what happened to the OP, I’m just making a public service announcement in case someone happens to forget like I did please ask the person in front of you to pass it to you instead of displaying immature behavior just to prove a point.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 7, 2005
    KimR said:
    I've always assumed it was the responsiblity of the next person in line to place the bar on the conveyer belt prior to loading their groceries. I don't think I have ever had the person in front of me put the bar on the belt. I usually do it myself and don't think twice about it. Nor do I ever put the bar after my groceries so I've probably annoyed a heck of a lot of people who think it should be my job!
    I always put the bar in front of my groceries behind the person in front of me. I have never even thought of putting it behind my groceries. I guess I didn't realize there was a "proper etiquette" to grocery bar bad. :rotfl:


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 8, 2003
    I can honestly say I have never ever placed the bar behind my groceries or had it done in front of me. If I am behind someone and need the bar and cannot reach it, I just politely ask for it and have never once been turned down and reversly have always given it to someone behind me who needed it. I always thought it was the responsibility of the incoming person to place the bar. In a crowded check out line I guess I can see doing it because you know someone is behind you.....but when it is not crowded how am I supposed to know when someone might come up next. I guess that is why I always thought it was the next person's job.


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