Every time I need to go to Costco I all but lose faith in humanity. The doors open and it’s as if we’re a frenzied group of animals desperate to throw our money at the over-sized packages of food inside.
Finding a parking spot certainly did not start the experience off well. (Why is it that vehicles seem to be getting bigger and bigger but parking stalls are getting smaller?) After two spots were stolen from me, I wondered if my blinker was still working. Then I waited for 10 minutes for a woman who appeared to be putting make up on in her car to finally get my coveted spot.
That’s when the sighing started. I sighed while navigating around indecisive shoppers blocking the isle and through crowds of people waiting to be the first to sample a bite of pizza. I sighed as the man grabbed the last roasted chicken and pretended he didn’t see me reaching for it. I sighed as a woman with a packed cart rushed to get in line ahead of me. And I sighed again as a man crashed into my cart in order to pass me on the way out the door without any acknowledgment.
It’s hard to tell exactly what the problem is. Maybe all the massive amounts of food force people into a hording mindset, fueling a ‘me first’ sort of culture. Maybe the bright lights and long lines drive people into a kind of madness. Maybe the parking lot is just too small. There’s no way to know. But we can work together to help the Costco shopping experience to be a pleasant one for all of us.
Here are a few guidelines to help us survive our Costco experience:
1. Give yourself enough time. When you’re in a rush at Costco, no one wins. Try to accurately estimate how much time it will take you to drive there, find a parking spot, navigate your way around the store and stand in line to purchase your items.
2. Have spatial awareness. Try to put your cart to the side when you aren’t moving. Be aware of the people around you. Try to vacate your parking stall as quickly as possible if someone is waiting for it.
3. Be prepared for the lines. There is no way to calculate when Costco will be busy so the best way to prepare is to be ready for the worst-case scenario. Have a game on your phone or play eye-spy with your kids while you wait. Decide not to care if the line beside you is going faster.
OK, off you shop. See you there.