WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Thursday thoughts 3/31: Carpool and coupons - one mom's rant

Posted March 31, 2011

While in the carpool line today at the elementary school, I witnessed multiple parents displaying some amazingly rude behavior. At this school, parents can line up in 3 rows that taper off to one row before they drop the kids off. The three rows are to alternate (take turns in elementary school lingo) so a car in one row goes forward, then the car in the next row and so on. It’s a very basic concept. We are usually at carpool early enough that we are close to the school entrance and in only one row. I don’t usually have to endure the excitement of three-row carpool. Today I remembered why we get to carpool early.

The parents in the row closest to the school were refusing to let people in from the other 2 rows. I saw it happen to a couple cars ahead of me and then the mini van mom next to me cut me off as well. The sad thing about it is that she knew what she was doing. She got right up on the tail of the car behind her so I could not get in. Then, when her daughter got out from the car, I could see it was a child my daughter knows well and has played with in school. So I know exactly who the mom-in-a-hurry is. I had spoken with this same mom at the soccer fields just last weekend. Clearly she didn’t care to set a good example for her daughter about how to take turns and be respectful. Neither did the truck driving mom or the other parents that felt the need to cut off fellow carpool parents. Two weeks ago, the police were called to this same school because 3 dads in the afternoon carpool line got in a fight. Yes, you read that right. The cops were called to carpool because dads were out of their cars fighting about their place in carpool. What a wonderful example we are setting for our children.

As I was sitting there watching these selfish and entitled parents do their thing this morning, I thought about some of the couponing stories that cashiers and managers have shared in the last couple months. There are the folks who use multiple reward cards from various friends and family members so they can super double more coupons than the policy allows each day. Or the shoppers who get angry and throw a fit because a coupon that indicates “Do Not Double” isn’t doubled. Then there are the couponers who yell at employees because the store is out of stock on a certain item. I recall the story that a manager told me a couple years ago about a customer who was mad because she didn’t like the “elevator” music in the store. Of course, we all love the couponers who clear the shelves (using multiple cards) so there is nothing left for anyone else. Really, do you need that much toothpaste? Do you not realize it will be free somewhere again before the 20 tubes you just bought are used up?

Is this really what we have become? A nation of self-important, entitled people who could care less about doing the right thing and more about getting what they want, when they want it, regardless of the consequences?

I wasn’t really upset in the carpool line today, just disappointed. That’s how I often feel about couponers when I hear register horror stories. I know I rant about the subject often, but I hear about these stories too often and I feel like a little reminder is a good thing. It’s good for me, too. It helps me to understand that even though I really want to double 20 more coupons today, it isn’t the right thing to do. So my promise is that next time I am in carpool, I will pay close attention to whose turn it is and next time I am in line at the store, I will be kind and gracious to the cashier who is just trying to do her or his job. That’s all I can do. Well, not really. I can also rant about it here on the blog in the hopes that if you are the carpool cut-off mom or the clear-the-shelves couponer you may think twice about how your behavior influences those around you. And tomorrow, I will not be late for carpool!


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  • Hippy_mom Apr 3, 2011

    Yes, indeed, we are an entitled group of people. I once dressed as a book character for an elementary school event. While the parents were looking on, about five girls (I'm guessing 4th or 5th grade) mobbed me and stuck stickers all over me. I escaped and, yes, on the one hand it was funny (Where's Clifford?!? In the utility closet! Ha ha!) but on the other, none of the parents stopped these kids and no one apologized. It was the last time I volunteered at the school. So, I'm in total agreement with the statements about kids becoming mini-me versions of their parents. At this very same school, (which at that time had a 3- and 4-year-old half-day preschool) I asked one of the parents if she could move so I could leave the carpool line with my daughter, who was sick. I had no idea it was time for the preschoolers to be picked up. She refused, saying that she'd lose her spot to pick up her preschooler and that I needed to park elsewhere. She probably parks in handicapped spaces too.

  • cdwwolfpack Apr 3, 2011

    BLAH BLAH BLAH. Get over yourself, lady. Get a life.

  • pirategirl12 Apr 2, 2011

    What's really sad is I have always enjoyed participating in the coupon specials but have completely stopped due to hateful, rude people. I LOVE it when they park their cart sideways in the middle of the aisle and flip through binders and compare with the other customer, all while your simply trying to get some milk. Honestly, I didn't want the others at HT to think I was one of "them" so now I just don't participate.

  • common tater Apr 2, 2011

    Flashy has the right idea. We use the carpool only when absolutely necessary. I haven't seen a school in wake county yet, from elementary to high school, where the carpool line isn't chaos. I'm betting that the majority of those in carpool lines don't really need to be there. PUT 'EM ON THE BUS.

  • kittiboo Apr 2, 2011

    Wait- I'm trying to imagine this 3-lane carpool system. Does it require that kids getting out of the cars cross in front of other cars to get to the sidewalk? 'Cause with parents acting like THAT, there is no way that would be safe.

    As a teacher, I have afternoon carpool duty, and let me tell you- we run a TIGHT ship. The morning crew witnesses the rudeness all the time, but in the afternoon, we have no problem speaking to the parents who decide to act like fools. We even have a "no cell phones" rule and we WILL point it out. We just don't feel it is safe to be yapping on a cell phone while there are little kids near cars.

  • opuntia Apr 2, 2011

    I see exactly what you're talking about in our carpool lane. Then several of the parents that just dropped their children off proceed to speed through the school zone on their way out. Once I was tailgated horribly by a parent who then went screeching past me over the double yellow line. I found out later that it was the father of my daughter's best friend. I shudder to think what these people's children will be like when they grow up.

  • mollieclaire Apr 1, 2011

    AMEN! This is a subject that has been heavy on my heart lately. Especially in regards to people not stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk at the Cary Target. Hello, people! There are babies in those strollers! SLOW DOWN.

    When my children are with me and witness "random acts of rudeness", I like to thank the person in question for their kindness. It gets me some stares, and some chuckles from my kiddos.

  • tnpirate98 Apr 1, 2011

    for the people using more than one rewards card just remember you can dress it up however you like, but basically you are stealing. limits are there for a reason. I can't imagine that anyone will use more than 140 coupons will buy before the next SD. it's not a bargain if you don't really need it, no matter how cheap it is.

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Apr 1, 2011

    Good news to report this morning: I walked her in to school so no carpool issues! :-)

  • pmck Apr 1, 2011

    Is this really what we have become? A nation of self-important, entitled people who could care less about doing the right thing and more about getting what they want, when they want it, regardless of the consequences?
    I'm assuming this is a rhetorical question because the answer is obviously "Yes". That's exactly what we've become. A bunch of bullies.