The Rightness of Right

This morning I got up early and thought it would be a great time to head to the grocery store. I could beat the crowd and clear up our afternoon for other errands. As I was driving up to the store, I got to thinking about its layout. You see, these particular stores have four sets of automatic doors. The inner two are the exit, which leaves the outer two as entrances (I know I’m glad I cleared that mystery up for you, too). Early in the morning, your only two choices are the inner doors and from there you make the decision – left or right?

At this point in the morning, I’d been awake 15 minutes (it’s the best way for me to go to the grocery, when I can trick my groggy self into thinking it’s a fine idea) unlike now where I’ve been awake approximately 50 minutes (which explains a lot about my writing). So, thinking about which way I was going to go once inside the store was very important. Left or right?

As thoughts do, especially after 15 minutes of wakedness, my mind began to wander to the produce section. The produce section is on the left side of this particular store. Traditionally, I like to hit produce first then finish off with a big bang at the frozen food section after making the rounds through toiletries and paper goods. It’s the natural order of food shopping-ness. It’s the “right” way to do it; however, at this store everything is reversed. My big thought at 16.5 minutes – how do I decide? I mean, right is “right”, but produce is first – everyone knows that. We walk on the right, we drive on the right, we used to force left-handers to write with the right, we’re currently run by the right because as a nation we’re down with “right” and highly suspicious of “left” – you never know what “left” leaners are up to – I mean, look at Australia and the UK – heaven only knows what they’re doing with all that “left-ness” – likely driving Smart Cars and eating beans on toast. (We’re keeping an eye on you lefties.)

At 17 minutes after getting the best spot in the entire parking lot and noticing that I was the only person in the store, I decided “produce be damned, I must follow the rules of the right”. It’s how I was raised and going left would be like spitting on my anscestors. You can’t spit on your anscestors! Then I had to face what 17 minutes of being awake forgets to remind you. It’s Easter. I’m not going right or left, I’m going to get breakfast tacos.

So, Happy Easter everyone! May you make all the “right” decisions except in politics and left driving countries. I’m off to have a taco.

3 thoughts on “The Rightness of Right

  1. Swanksalot says:

    Recently read statistics (don’t ask, but I think from Sorensen Associates) that 87% of shoppers go to produce section first. I visualized some bleary-eyed intern watching store surveillance tapes for hours on end, marking down on a store plan-o-gram where the customers traveled. Also, according to this same research, shoppers travel the perimeter in a counter-clockwise direction (and no one knows why exactly). This would mean going right first, then making a series of left turns. One store that we shop at has a different layout (you turn left from the front entrance to go to produce), but it still *feels* strange. In Austin, I shopped at Wheatsville for a long time (yeah, dirty hippy I am), produce was first thing on the right.I’ll send you the PowerPoint if you want to be really bored for 5 minutes.

  2. TheOtherBeth says:

    My grocery store correctly has the produce section to the right. You need to shop somewhere else, this is a conspiracy and they are trying to turn you. R U N A W A Y

  3. Beth says:

    Seth,I actually forgot the produce section at the store once when I started on the right (the paper goods side of their floorplan) and I’m convinced it’s because I’m so indoctrinated to hit it first that my brain must have checked it off as a done area.Did you ever go to Central Market? (especially BEFORE you could meander through the aisles?) The only way in was on the left and then you were kind of forced to go only one way through the store. After several months of that they finally opened up the floor plan some to allow shoppers some choice (and some more readily available exits should the claustrophobia set in).

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