The final step of a retail experience might just be the most frustrating for some shoppers.
Whether it is simply frustration with the operation of a self-operated checkout stall, or the speed at which a cashier is scanning items, customers have captured their feelings about modern shopping and shared them online.
One Target customer says that during her most recent trip to the retailer, a customer in line behind her actively avoided using a divider at checkout to ensure separation of their items. Poster @sophieschoicenow says she excused the other customer’s actions because she was older, but otherwise found the interaction to be odd and frustrating.
The divider is a longstanding conflict of etiquette, sparking online debate for years.
In her video that has drawn over 15,000 views, the content creator says the customer in line behind her actually moved the divider after an employee placed it between them, blurring the line between where her items ended and the poster’s began.
As the cashier continues to scan her items, @sophieschoicenow says they inevitably arrive to the point where he reaches for an item that is not hers, and she takes it as her opportunity to separate the items without confronting the woman.
“He grabs one of her items to scan, I said ‘Oh that’s not mine, that’s hers,'” she says. “So then I was like this is my permission now to start taking all her stuff off my stuff and putting it on the other side of the divider, where it belongs. I start taking her things—I said this is not mine, this is not mine, this is mine, this is mine—and she’s just standing there, looking at me, no thoughts. I get down to the last item, it’s a lipstick, so I say ‘This is mine.’ Then she looks at me, she’s like, ‘Are you sure that’s yours?'”
She says she answered the woman that yes, the lipstick was hers, and in response, she lifted up a lipstick from her side of the divider, showing that she too had intended to purchase lipstick.
“In my head I’m like, ‘Well, then I’m pretty sure it’s yours if you’re holding it,” she says. “I said ‘No, I’m sure that’s mine,’ and the cashier is like ‘I’m so sorry.’ I don’t even know what happened, how am I the bad guy?”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @sophieschoicenow via email regarding the video.
This is a longstanding point of online contention. As Mel magazine wrote four years ago, the grocery store divider, which dates to the 1930s, has been criticized online by people of color who joke that white people rudely throw it down as if to create as much distance as possible. And zooming out, which person in line is responsible for putting down the divider first? It’s hard to know when to go for it.
Several viewers commented on the video, writing that they would have conducted themselves a little differently if met with a similar situation at the grocery store.
“I’d say excuse me!” one commenter wrote. “What are you doing? The divider is to divide my items from yours since I’m paying for mine only. Nicely assertively not aggressive.”
“I would say to her ‘excuse me, but you putting your stuff on my side,” another commenter wrote. “Please be careful,’ then I put her stuff where it goes.”
“I would’ve shoved her stuff back to her side, put the divider back & said you shouldn’t expect strangers to pay for your things especially without even asking,” a commenter wrote.
Others wrote that the woman’s age should not give her a pass to behave in the manner described in the video.
“Stop giving Boomers passes for being entitled just because they’re old,” one commenter wrote. “They don’t deserve it.”
“No pass because she’s older,” another commenter wrote. “She should know better because she’s older. Stores aren’t a new thing.”
“That thing that they get a pass cuz they’re older needs to go away,” a commenter wrote.