Sunday, May 7, 2017

Adventures in Social Anxiety Chapter 2: The Grocery Store

Hope this explains why I'm so awkward sometimes, especially if I'm close to someone. You are my mobile safe space #ProudSnowflake
Same parking issue as before, except more foot traffic. Where I parked, may as well have parked at Golds Gym. Fortunately inside wasn't that busy. Or was it? The other side, sometimes it's not always customers, it's employees. Humans. If the place was dogs I don't think I'd care. Easy upfront cart. Yay.
Make my way to produce. Uh oh. A lady that came in behind me was trailing, and we seemed to be going to the same places. Here we go. Produce pinball. Someone should video me in a store by myself or pull the security feed. Awkward.
I get a salad bag. They had the croutons I normally get on a display, but alas, the bags stuck and half the display collapses. I panic. Naturally I want to clean it up, and pay attention if you care, because I can panic if I drop something so don't rush me in to cleaning...I'm sure everyone's watching at this point. Stage fright.
My logic center is screaming chill, clean it up, move on. Yet I don't want to build back wrong (wait, I don't even work here). So as you'll see throughout this series, logically I know my fears are whack but everything else is freaking out man. Anyway, I get it set up and walk away hiding on my phone .
I need cucumbers. Start looking oh hey there's an employee stocking next to them. Ugh. Well I don't want to stop his work and I don't like picking produce when people are watching. What if I pick a bad one and they notice?
Again, ridiculous but crippling thoughts. I go off on my way, bouncing between other items where there is no one. Off to steaks. Oh no another employee. Is everyone stocking today?! No they are doing their jobs. Calm down.
I go down a familiar aisle. Oh! I need popcorn, it's down here.. No ones there, I'm relaxed a little. Acquired. I glance around the aisle and see no one at the cucumbers and beeline for them. Go through a few bent ones, looking over my shoulder making sure no ones watching. Target Acquired.
Go back to steaks. Employee is still there. I pretend to look at fishsticks and porkchops. The porkchops start looking really good but I can only think about a Jimmys Egg Breaded Pork Chops breakfast. Nah, I'll get those next time. Guys still there. Ugh. Maybe now. Home is sounding lovely right now. My safe space.
Finally, yes, he leaves. Steaks acquired. I dodge a few customers get some other things, no one already where I need to go, and even better, no one comes up until...I go for milk. I don't care much for the brand, but I do want the latest expiration date as I forget I have milk. I'm going through them and I'm seeing May 8th.
Really? Of course I'm glancing over, making sure no one's watching and sure enough someone's coming. I start to panic and finally notice May 22nd. It's the more expensive one but I don't even bother anymore, someone's coming I'm done looking. I grab one and scamper off.
That it's it. Time to check out. Here we go. Don't be busy. Don't be busy. Don't be busy. It isn't but they only have two lanes open. A main one and express. I had over ten items and each line had a customer, and of course the one in front of me has self bagged produce and a cartfull. Shoot. I start to panic.
People are going to come up. I haven't even begun to unload my cart. Then I remember oh this stores 20 items I have less than that. Beeline for express since I see only one customer and no one going for it. Still. Panic. She has produce to. I'm thinking chill.
Of course they don't care what you have or are doing, what does it matter, but my body is tensed up. Her items are still on the conveyer belt so I don't unload, and the divider is too far away, I'll bring attention to myself. It may not be needed and I don't want to look dumb. I'm smart though I'm thinking.
She gets cleared out and bagged, and to my relief no customers come up yet. It gets weird, the cashier doesn't say hello or anything. Maybe she has anxiety to. I'm one good looking person when I want to be so she could be as nervous. I can't decide whether to put my card in or not. I believe their systems good about your card at anytime but to be sure. Brains in overdrive over something we have done 1000s of times.
She starts handing me my bags and I take them as the transaction completes. She does thank me and I'm on my way. I start to relax but between the tag agency and there my anxiety is through the roof. I'm going home. Got stuff done way ahead of schedule.

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