Social Question

silverfly's avatar

Does it annoy you when people don't place a separator behind their groceries?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) July 27th, 2010

I didn’t do this the other day because I don’t really think it’s a huge deal and the guy behind me grabbed one and put it down (rather forcefully I thought). There was a moment of discomfort between us, but I stood my ground. I don’t believe in these things you see.

But some people seem to very adamant about placing a separator between their groceries… As if a catastrophe might ensue otherwise. How do you react when people don’t do this for you? Are you a frequent grocery separator yourself?

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31 Answers

Jude's avatar

I always do it (put the separator inbetween. It’s a force of habit).

The guy, though, putting it down forcefully? A bit much.

Blackberry's avatar

No. If the unspeakable and horrible event happened that required me to simply tell the cashier that my items start here, I would have no problem with that lol.

silverfly's avatar

@Blackberry Yeah, this has happened to me a couple of times. It’s just awful. :)

Coloma's avatar

It’s not.

Some people are just grievances looking for a cause.

I just put one down if I feel I need to.

Leave the theatrics at home….puhleese…lol

Aethelwine's avatar

It doesn’t annoy me, but I always use them. I’m even kind enough to set one down if someone comes up behind me to put their groceries down. I’ve had to wait for the cashier to delete items because she accidentally took groceries that didn’t belong to me. It can be time consuming if the cashier is new and doesn’t know what she/he is doing. Especially if they have to call in the manager. ugh

WestRiverrat's avatar

Around here it is customary for the person behind to put the up divider before placing their products on the belt. But it is a small town and usually there are not more than one or two people in line to check out. So putting it up behind your groceries is usually more trouble than it is worth.

Blackberry's avatar

@silverfly Usually when things like this happen, I tend to think that the person maybe had a bad day, or week, or life lol. I don’t let it get to me if I just think that.

chyna's avatar

I never think about doing it. If the person behind me wants to put the separator down, he can, but to make a big deal out of it is silly. These people need to learn not to sweat the small stuff.

Likeradar's avatar

I put one behind my groceries and in front of my groceries if the other person hasn’t. It makes life a tiny bit easier for the reasons @jonsblond said. And then I can flip through the tabloids without needing to pay attention to if I’m paying for someone else’s Windex or if my yogurt is going home with that dude.

But seriously? To some people it’s become a matter of standing one’s ground and putting things down forcefully and discomfort? Oy.

Austinlad's avatar

I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does. But only a little, and not as much as people pushing carts screaming into their cell phones and still talking when they get up to the checkout person. It seems like such a simple common courtesy, especially since we’ve all been in supermarkets a million times and know the ropes. I try to do it all the time, especially for women with kids, senior citizens and shoppers who look particularly frazzled.

Coloma's avatar

I had a woman go psycho on me recently in the grocery store.

She had one of those little kid mini-carts and it was pushed aside and barely even noticible while she wandered off with her child for a minute.

I didn’t even notice it and just got in line.

I only had a few things and was in the middle of checking out when she came back and went nutso on me. lol

Unbelievable…I just remained calm and said, ” I’m sorry. I didn’t see your little kiddie cart.”

She was STILL bitching at me under her breath all the way out to the parking lot!

Jeez…..must suck to be you lady! lolol


Jude's avatar

Over here (Canada), I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone not put one down.

It doesn’t bother me either way, though.

perspicacious's avatar

No, it takes more than that to annoy me.

Luffle's avatar

I like them but I don’t see why they’d cause you discomfort. I think it’s just the nice thing to do whether or not the person prefers them or not. Usually when they see the separator put down, they feel more at ease to load their groceries onto the conveyor belt. Sometimes, when you put down your groceries even when there’s enough space, people give you an awkward glare.

Afos22's avatar

It should be the responsibility of the next person to put the separator at the end of your groceries/In front of theirs. This, then, allows that person to put down his/her groceries without any confusion

jenandcolin's avatar

It kind of annoys me when people do that…
But, it annoys me so much more when people take more than 20 items in the 20 or less lane. Seriously, I have to hold myself back from saying something along the lines of “well, I guess the rules just don’t apply to you. You must be such a special person”. I think of doing it all the time but never do. Don’t get me wrong—if someone has 21 or 22 items, whatever. But, for example, I was at the market the other day and an older woman cut me off (I was walking to the line and she did some sort of old woman shuffle and came before me perpendicularly really fast). I am nine months pregnant and was attempting to buy one gallon of milk. She had an ENTIRE cart. Actually, her husband had the cart. She butted in front of me and her old husband then butted in front of me (to be with her) and had the cart. I counted. She had 34 items in the under 20 line. Really? She couldn’t wait for the nine month pregnant woman to get her gallon of milk before disregarding the 20 item sign? It really upset me.

downtide's avatar

There are rarely enough separators in the supermarkets here (I think the chav kids steal them). I’ve never seen anyone not use one, if one was available. But I’ve never seen anyone complain about it. That man was just plain rude.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@jenandcolin That happened to my mom once when she was pregnant with my brother. She hollered Oh lord I think the babies coming…the lady got out of her way in a hurry.

jenandcolin's avatar

@WestRiverrat that is so funny! Seriously, I look like I am ready to go at any time- it would have worked for me. Next time (if there is one) I am definitely doing that!

mrentropy's avatar

If the person ahead of me doesn’t put it down, then I go ahead and do it when I can without reaching over their stuff.

If there’s someone behind me I’ll put one after my groceries. If not, then I won’t.

I hardly think it’s something worth stressing over.

ragingloli's avatar

If there is enough space between their load and mine, it does not matter anyway, the cashier will know.
If there is not, then I put a separator there myself. No need to get all worked up over such trivialities.

YARNLADY's avatar

I always put the separator down myself, on both sides if necessary. I’ve been stuck in a line twice because the people in front of me had their groceries rung up to the wrong person. It is extremely annoying. How else would the clerk know when to stop ringing one person?

In one case, they almost came to blows, and the manager had to come out. The first person was yelling that they were trying to cheat him, and make him pay for someone else’s groceries, and he was going to call the cops. It was kind of scary.

tranquilsea's avatar

I don’t mind that. But as @jenandcolin stated I have a problem with people take advantage of the 15 item and under checkout. I don’t see that very often, thankfully.

charliecompany34's avatar

nah, not annoyed at all. i’d place a separator too. i don’t want billy bob’s sage souse and lard bucket to be tacked on to my grocery bill of fruits and vegetables. it’s like when you dont want the juice of a certain food mixing with the dry item on your dinner plate.

AmWiser's avatar

It doesn’t annoy me, but I think its just common courtesy to just put down the separator. How much effort is it to put it down in order to avoid unnecessary mix ups for the cashier.

Flowergurl's avatar

I’ve had that separator-thing slapped down in front of me a few times too. What I usually do is stand there and wait until most of their items are checked and then I start unloading my cart leaving a large gap between our items. Of course I give the person in front of me a sweet smile when they look back at me. My other pet peeve in the grocery line is when a person in back of me keeps bumping into me with their cart. Hello… I’m not invisible!

Coloma's avatar


Hahaha….Sooo, is the sweet smile real or fake? lol

Berserker's avatar

I don’t really mind either way. The person who’s gonna try and hornswaggle you and make you pay for his shit is probbaly rather rare.
What I don’t like is how the conveyor or wtv you call it keeps functioning as you put your things on and they get all bunched up with everything else that’s on there already, so I just add separators to avoid confusion.

Coloma's avatar


So you use multiple separators?

Like how many, 3, 4, 7 ?

Do you go ‘round and collect extras from other registers to segregate your items, like color coded, or veggies only, or ?

This is a whole new question. lol

Berserker's avatar

No, I just meant in between my stuff and the person who’s ahead or behind me’s stuff slurpees.
It’s not like we’re not gonna know who had what, but it’s still annoying.

Coloma's avatar

I see…yes, keep the slurpee separate. lol

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