That's Navy Life

Commissary Rules

I know I said here I wouldn’t be writing much, but today the spirit moved me. Why today? Because it’s payday, and I needed groceries.

For some people shopping on payday at the commissary is like …


Not me. I’m all …


I don’t mind at all. Actually, I think it’s kind of fun. I ALWAYS shop on payday, and I have my own set of Commissary Rules to maximize the awesomeness.

  1. Do your shopping on payday.* Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, it will be busy. Yes, there will be more than the average number of cranky, rude shoppers. Considerate it a challenge and …
  2. Sing along to the store music … as loudly as you want. My commissary plays a pretty okay mix, and I like to sing all the words that I know. Yes, I’m that girl. Dancing along is optional but much-advised.
  3. Smile … A LOT. One of two things will happen. The other nice shoppers will smile back, give you a little nod, and probably pass the smile along to others. Those other shoppers – the cranky, rude ones – will roll their eyes, push ahead, and generally remain cranky, which leads me to …
  4. Find enjoyment in the cranky, rude shoppers. You could choose to be annoyed them. I mean, it’s the commissary on payday for heaven’s sake. You KNEW it would be busy. Instead, I giggle at them. I smile at them … a lot, and I wonder why anyone would do something they absolutely hate, absolutely don’t have to do, and do it twice a month every.single.month.

    Oh, yeah, that’s why. Just keep smiling.
  5. Count the number of times you overhear “Man! It’s busy today!” This would be a great drinking game … I mean, if you weren’t shopping … in the commissary … on base. Yeah. Don’t drink.
  6. If one of the cranky shoppers tries to get that one item that you happen to be standing in front of but you are stuck behind a long line of other shoppers, be helpful. “Can I get that for you? Which one? This one? No? That one? Which one again?” Heehee, but don’t let this go on too long. Just enough to get your giggle. If you go too far, cranky and rude becomes loud and angry (and no longer fun). 
  7. Be extra polite. No, for real. Spread the “Oh! Excuse me’s!” and the “Why thank you’s!” like they are mayonnaise at a southern deli. Same reason as #3.
  8. Strike up a conversation in the checkout line. Start with the person either directly in front of or behind you. Then expand your circle. See how many people you can get talking. (Don’t forget about #5. Bonus points if you can get 3 or more people in one conversation to all say it.)
  9. Smile, be over polite, and just generally give the love to the cashier and your bagger. These people don’t choose to play the game; they show up because it’s their job. They have to deal with the happy customers AND the rude customers. Don’t be the rude customer.
  10. Just be thankful. Shopping at the commissary is a privilege, not a right. As shown by this summer’s shortened hours, our commissary privileges could be taken away. So enjoy the savings – and the game – while you still can!*Oh, yeah. There was one of those little * things in #1.  Did you notice? Scroll back up; I’ll wait. Yeah, that * means one thing. If you walk into the commissary on payday and (a) the checkout line is already wrapped around to the meat department, (b) you find yourself to be the cranky, rude shopper before you even get a cart, or (c) you have more than one tiny human child along for the ride who shows signs of cranky and rude … skip the commissary. McDonald’s is calling, and now is the perfect time to pick up!

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