Dear Annie: May I go ahead of you?
Dear Annie: I have an etiquette question for you. My co-worker and I are disagreeing on this, and we have decided to accept your answer as the proper way to behave in this situation.
At most larger grocery chains, there are now express lines or self-checkout lines for those individuals who either are in a hurry or want to process their checkout themselves.
More times than not, I have a full grocery cart and I stand in line and wait for the next cashier to check me out. More times than I can count, an individual comes behind me with a few items and begins to pace and sometimes makes verbal huffing noises in an effort to go ahead of me.
My feeling on this situation can vary. If I am not in a big hurry and I see someone with one or two items, I absolutely offer to let him or her go ahead of me. However, there are times when I am also in a hurry, and it’s then that I think that these people should go to the express checkout line and not expect me to let them go ahead of me.
My co-worker disagrees with me and says I am being selfish and I should always let someone with fewer items go ahead of me. I should mention that if I have a few items and I get behind someone with a lot of items, I never expect to be let ahead of the person. I either suck it up and wait or look for a shorter line.
Am I wrong? What is the correct behavior in this situation? – Waiting for Everyone
Dear Waiting: I’m with you on this one. I don’t agree with your co-worker that you should always let someone with fewer items go ahead of you in the grocery checkout line. Think of it this way: What if there are multiple people behind you in line who only have a few items? If you were to let every person go in front of you, you would leave the store looking like Father Time. Stand your ground and don’t feel bad. They can huff and puff on over to the express lane.
Dear Annie: I am a man who is 5 feet tall. I get a lot of grief for it in stores, bars and even the workplace. I’ve even been denied employment because of it. It affects my life and total self-esteem. I’m tired of the short remarks. It is painful. I can’t count the times I’ve been rejected and harassed by strangers. I want people to realize how mean they are being. It makes me feel worthless. Please publish this letter so other short men can write in. – Sick and Tired
Dear Sick: Great things come in all-sized packages. Also cliched but true: It’s what’s inside that counts. You are not your height, your weight, your face or even your age. You’re not defined by any physical attribute. What matters is your heart – your compassion and love – something these asinine bullies are seriously short on.
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can only hurt you if you let them. So don’t. Refuse to give them that power. Remember this, which Eleanor Roosevelt said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
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