Costco Samples Rudeness

So after work today, a co-worker and I went to Costco to look for cameras. After selecting one, the guy in the electronics department said it would take about fifteen minutes for him to package it up and get it ready for purchase. With the spare time, we decided to go look at the camping stuff. But who am I kidding, looking at “camping stuff” quickly took us to the bakery area where the samples start. You know when you go to Costco how sometimes it can be really hit-and-miss on samples? Sometimes each end of every aisle will have a samples table and everything offered on them will be delicious and then other times they will barely have any samples at all and the ones that they do have will be something unsavory such as granola bars or trail mix. Well, surprisingly for a Tuesday night, Costco was on its Samples “A game.”

After trying such selections such as chicken fettuccine and an empanada, I got to a table that was serving fajita samples. Standing directly in front of the sample table across from the Costco employee who looked to be pushing at least ninety was an elderly couple who looked to be around the same age. As they took up the whole front half of the table I waited patiently behind them as they took their time chatting with the old lady employee about how good the fajita was,  how unpredictable the weather has been, and how traffic has just increased so much in Missoula (not kidding). Although the unnecessary wait made me a little bit antsy, I was consoled by my good fortune as there was just one sample remaining on the tray and I was going to get it. As the couple finally started to slowly turn around to continue their shopping (an ordeal all in itself) and I started to make my way to the front of the table, the unthinkable happened. Some woman who looked like she had never missed a free sample in her whole life flew past the elderly couple on their left while pushing her cart, made a sharp right turn, reached from behind the back of the table, grabbed the last sample, shoved it in her mouth, and straightened back up and continued on down the aisle, leaving us all in her dust.


I find it ridiculous how free samples can turn a Costco cliental into a Wal-Mart cliental the minute the aroma of something good cooking in the microwave hits people’s noses. Do good manners suddenly just not apply? To be completely truthful, although I was outraged at the lady’s behavior simply because I really wanted that fajita sample, it didn’t surprise me at all. I have witnessed this type of bush league behavior ever since my parents would take us to Costco after mass on Sundays. I don’t understand. I mean I am still embarrassed to admit that when we were ten years old my friend and I would would hit all the samples once and then we would trade hats and put them on backwards and then go through them all again, thinking that the employees could not see through our “disguises.” The fact that grown adults engage in behavior even more juvenile than that is mildly disturbing.

Whatever happened to saying thank you? Eighty percent of the people I see snatch samples will not take one second to make eye contact with the store employee and say thanks. Honestly, take the time to recognize the person who prepared a FREE sample for you. Would you ever take something from your grandma without saying thanks? How different is it at Costco? If my observations are correct from all the years I have shopped at Costco, all sample employees are ladies who are at least seventy-five years of age. Next time look at them as your grandma, if you still don’t say thank you than you don’t have a heart.

Don’t engage in the same act of rudeness that the lady did today. Stand in line and wait your turn. Don’t cut and don’t grab from the back of the table. Be patient. Let elderly people, kids, and cute girls go in front of you in line.  If you get to the table at the exact same time as someone else does and there is only one sample left, defer to the other person. Be classy.

Please don’t be greedy, take one sample from the table. I don’t care if you are shopping with your wife/husband, make him/her stand in line and get their own. It is so unfair when you have stood in line for  a while and just as you are about to get to the table someone else cleans out all the samples by grabbing three or four of them. Show some consideration.

Wow, I didn’t realize how many complaints I have about this topic. Well, I might as well keep going…

Don’t be a vulture at a samples table. If you get up to the table and just by your luck the samples run out, act like an adult and walk away. Don’t loiter around the table for a full ten minutes while the poor old lady has to nervously look at you and make small talk as she prepares the next batch. Don’t you have anything better to do? Go ahead and wait in line for tickets to the concert of your favorite band or for the best ride at Disneyland but not for a bite of a mozzarella stick.

Finally, throw your white cups, toothpicks, napkins, and other sample utensils into the garbage can. Notice how I say into the garbage can. Not right by it, not in the middle of the aisle, not in your cart for someone else to fish out. Be a slob at your own house but show respect elsewhere.

Just because we pay a membership to shop at Costco does not mean we have the right to check our manners at the warehouse doors. Take some pride in how you conduct yourself and realize that a frozen hot pocket is not the be-all, end-all. Set an example for those around you, especially if you have kids, and act in a classy and polite manner. If you can’t act like a civilized human being, stay away from the sample aisles and go look at the camping stuff…that always works for me. Don’t Blink.

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