Many thoughts raced through my head. Should I say something? Maybe if I just turn around and give her a quick but menacing glare. I didn't know what to do and I was starting to panic. I didn't want to be pressed between a shopping cart and the upset woman realizing her debit card isn't working.
I did what I knew I was going to do all along; I turned and offered to help the woman place her groceries on the conveyor belt. The gap between me and her cart was minuscule but there was no way this woman would be able to maneuver around her cart to remove its contents.
She thanked me and I placed a divider between her goods and my own before emptying the cart.
She was very kind and appreciative of my services. By the time she finished thanking me it was my turn to make my purchase. I exchange pleasantries with the cashier and pay for my items.
Those of you aware of how Aldi stores work are familiar with the ever-present shopping cart that stays next to the cashier. In an unfortunate turn of events there was no cart when my checkout time came.
I fumbled to open my reusable shopping bag as the cashier precariously stacked my items at the waning edge of the checkout line, like some carnival barker demonstrating how easy her game was. You too can be a winner as long as you don't spill this gallon of milk, break these eggs or smash this bread. Dammit.
How did she so elegantly organize my items in a vertical fashion? I can't even fit them in this bag without worrying I'm going to smash or break something, or worse yet, the bag itself will give way and leave my groceries a mess on the floor.
The sweet old woman was about to check out as I scrambled to remove my items, making way for her own.
It was about this time I heard the woman begin to speak to the cashier in a tone that seemed unattainable for a woman of her stature. She began to howl and scream about being charged fifteen cents more for an item she purchased last week. Te cashier explained she'd be happy to refund her. The woman was either not hearing her or not satisfied with this outcome because she began to produce a receipt.
Waiving it violently in the face of the woman behind the register she made wild accusations about being stolen from.
What could I say or do at this point? The inconsolable woman ranted on. The outcome of the dispute was left to my imagination. I gathered my things, haphazardly stuffed my belongings into the bag and exited the store.