Supermarket Shopping: Every Day Problems, Hazards, and Frustrations

Updated on October 3, 2017

The Trials and Tribulations of Supermarket Shopping

Supermarket shopping: one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure in modern, day to day life? What is it about this theoretically simple procedure that can prove so frustrating and even infuriating? Why do so many normal people turn in to self-centred, frenzied, selfish neanderthals the moment they approach a supermarket? This page is dedicated to exploring the every day frustrations of supermarket shopping and daring to suggest some possible solutions to the most irritating situations.

Supermarket car parks/parking lots know many hazards
Supermarket car parks/parking lots know many hazards

Arriving at the Supermarket

A high percentage of people will travel to and from a supermarket by car. This means that the first step upon arrival will be to negotiate the hazards of the car park/parking lot and park the car. The supermarket car park pictured to the right is actually under construction and thus knows the dangers associated with any building site - but are supermarket car parks any safer when they are opened for use by the general public?

What is it about supermarket car parks that makes pedestrians think that they have absolute right of way at the expense of vehicular traffic? Careful observation over a period of time, as both driver and pedestrian, has shown that a majority of people do not bother to look for approaching cars when crossing vehicle lanes in supermarket car parks. They assume that the driver of any approaching car will be watching for them crossing and stop (at a fraction of a second's notice) to avoid hitting them. Supermarket car parks often do have very low speed limits - perhaps for this reason - but a car travelling at any speed whatsoever can still cause actual bodily harm and contrary to what may well be popular belief, will not magically disintegrate in to a puff of smoke upon contact with a human body in a supermarket car park.

Driver blood pressure is rising...

Supermarket ATM's - Toys for public amusement?
Supermarket ATM's - Toys for public amusement?

Withdrawing Cash From a Supermarket ATM

Although credit cards and debit cards are popular methods of paying for goods purchased from supermarkets, there are many people who prefer to use cash. It may even be that the ATM's positioned outside most supermarkets are a simple convenience for those who will require cash at a later time. This means that using supermarket ATM's is something a lot of shoppers do and at busy times, the lines of people waiting to use them can be lengthy, regardless of how many machines are available.

It would surely stand to reason, therefore, that having waited perhaps several minutes to use an ATM, supermarket shoppers will be ready to perform their transaction and wish to do so in a timely fashion. Why, then, do so many people start raking in bags, purses or wallets for their card, a note of their PIN or even their spectacles only when they are actually stood before the machine! Why can't they have everything ready, perform their transaction and get on with their business, allowing those behind them to do likewise. It's hardly rocket science!

Equally, there are those people who take longer to perform their ATM transaction than it would take a service engineer to repair a major mechanical fault. What are they doing? Whether they wish a statement, a balance request, cash, or all three, the time required in performing these transactions should be minimal. All the while, the blood pressure of those behind them is continuing to rise...

Supermarket trolleys/carts - highly dangerous in the wrong hands
Supermarket trolleys/carts - highly dangerous in the wrong hands

Highly Dangerous Non-Motorised Vehicles

If a shopper only has a few items to pick up in the supermarket, they are likely to take only a hand basket in which to carry the goods, if indeed anything at all. It is more likely, however, that a supermarket trolley/cart will be the order of the day. These incredibly simple, seemingly innocuous vehicles are essential for a more substantial shop and should pose no threat to either their custodians or other shoppers - in theory...

How often have you had your heels scraped by someone wheeling a supermarket trolley or cart? How often have you almost been bowled over by one barging in to you unexpectedly? Is it not frightening that some of the people who guide these devices round supermarkets like Formula One racing drivers taking hairpin bends are very soon to be sat behind the wheel of a car on the public highway? Such a thought is not good for the blood pressure...

Mobile or cell phone usage causes endless frustration for other shoppers in supermarkets
Mobile or cell phone usage causes endless frustration for other shoppers in supermarkets

Mobile or Cell Phone Usage in Supermarkets

It is not only someone shouting to be heard as they talk in to their mobile or cell phone in a busy supermarket that can be extremely annoying. Their actions and lack of consideration for others can be even more disruptive when their phone rings unexpectedly. It often seems that the prescribed course of action when a phone rings in the supermarket is firstly to position your trolley or cart at an angle, across the narrowest part of the aisle. Proceed thereafter to stand next to the trolley, fully blocking the aisle as you search for and answer your phone. If you have small children with you, completely ignore them as their meddling with the displays and interfering with other shoppers is not something that is really happening in your make believe world.

It is not only mobile or cell phone users who selfishly block aisles in this fashion, of course. People meeting friends or acquaintances will quite happily stop to chat, both parties side by side with their trolleys or carts, caring not a jot for the dozens of people backed up behind them in either direction.

Blood pressure is reaching the stage of face beginning to redden...

Supermarket Sensibilities: The People Speak

What frustrates you the most about other people's behaviour, in and around supermarkets?

See results

Supermarket Police! - Go Ahead, Make My Day...

Finding solutions to the supermarket frenzy and the stresses of visiting these establishments can be seen to be something likely to benefit human health on a wide scale. A half hour visit to the supermarket, after all, should not be something which leaves blood pressure at dangerously high levels. So what might the perfect solution be? Supermarket police...

The vast majority of supermarkets now have security guards permanently on the premises. These security guards at the present time, however, are charged only with preventing and dealing with recognised crime, such as theft. What if their powers were to be extended? Managing traffic in the car park or parking lot by spot fining errant pedestrians for walking without due care and attention would be a start. Loitering with lack of intent at ATM's penalties would be another winner and loudly and publicly shaming errant trolley or cart drivers by breathalising them would cause ringing cheers to echo around many supermarkets.

Online grocery shopping may provide at least temporary respite from the hazards of the local supermarket
Online grocery shopping may provide at least temporary respite from the hazards of the local supermarket

Supermarket Shopping Online - A Possible Temporary Solution

There is one option which those with PC access can utilise as at least a temporary solution to the hazards and frustrations of visiting a supermarket. That is to grocery shop online. Although there will be a charge incurred for this service and browsing for the freshest produce will not be an option, it may be worth considering - at least as occasional respite - in the name of stabilising blood pressure and long term health.

What do you think...?

Thank you for your visit to this page and hopefully it has amused you and got you thinking. Any feedback, comments or suggestions which you have may be left in the space below.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Lori. Glad these observations gave you a laugh. Yes, it is a minefield of an experience, the old supermarket shopping. Thanks for your comments.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      This was a hoot. I hate carts that have bad wheels. I also hate trying to reach a product way up out of my reach and the tall person shopping next to you notices and does nothing. Then you ask a worker if the can show me where something is and they say, uh it might be in aisle six, or maybe it's seven. Bottom shelf. You scour the aisle and every shelf and nothing then a clerk comes by and says they don't sell it.

      Hilarious article.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Yes, it's a mystery, Glenis - and getting worse all the time I think. I'm seriously thinking about starting to shop online.

    • Glenis Rix profile image


      3 years ago from UK

      I see that over 50% of the votes are from people who are annoyed by those who block the aisles whilst they chat? Me too. But supermarkets seem to be actively encouraging us to treat their premises as a social club and the outing as a social event. Hence the rise of the instore coffee shop, where you can grab a snack and read the newspapers. So why don't the people blocking the aisles make use of them!?!

    • jeffduff profile image

      Jeff Duff 

      4 years ago from Southwest Wisconsin

      Good hub, Gordon! I've never read a better explanation for the recent growth in suicide rates among middle class Americans.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Well, I like a fast check out in super markets so people who talk too much with the cashier annoy me.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      I'm not familiar with the game nicky but anything to relieve the stress deserves consideration :)

    • profile image

      nicky fleming 

      6 years ago

      I have the solution - play 'supermarket frenzy' on your iphone! Relieve yourself of your frustrations!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Definitely, Forever Tuesday. That certainly gets my blood pressure up!

    • Forever Tuesday profile image

      Ben England 

      7 years ago from Wellington, New Zealand

      For me it's blocking the aisle. Just get outta my way!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, crystolite

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Nice hub,thanks for sharing.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thank you, Ann, for your visit and comment.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      well said Gordon -

    • Gordon Hamilton profile imageAUTHOR

      Gordon Hamilton 

      9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Thanks, Tony. Yes, I think these frustrations are something a lot of people will be able to identify with.

      Good point about the brand names. I hope you go ahead with the Hub and I look forward to reading it.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 

      9 years ago from Yorkshire

      good hub Gordon, we've all been there!

      I just hate the places, I think supermarket food from the big players is for people who hate their families! And anyone who thinks that the branded goods are the same because they are made by an old familiar brand are not in touch with how it works. maybe i should write a hub about that subject.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)