WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

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

Posted March 31, 2011 10:28 a.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2011 10:33 a.m. EDT

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!