Mittwoch, 19. Februar 2014

The Divider Dilemma - how come there's not even a name for these things?

You know the divider thing you put between shopping at the checkout?

I never realised these things could create such conundrums til I came to live in Germany. 
I mean, why does the person in front never put the divider up between their shopping and yours? And if you put the divider thing up first do they ever thank you? Me neither.

Whenever someone puts it behind my purchases I don't know whether to thank them for taking the initiative, feel embarassed I didn't place it first, or just pretend I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer and didn’t see it.

Not enough that there are no rules for who places "the divider thing" in a land where everything else is so clearly fenced out and rulegoverned. I don't think there's even a word for it.

Is there really no German word for "the divider thing"?


  1. I don't think it's always an inconsiderate thing but more of a who's in the mood (on the ball) and who has more initiative given that queues can be frustrating. On a good day in a long queue, I've been known to grab three dividers from the front and divide them between groceries (and advise bottles to be placed flat). On other days, 'I've tested the water' to see if the person in front of me is as rude as they appear. Just to add, I've had the same problem in England so I don't think it's a cultural difference.

  2. When I moved to Seattle, I found that people expected you to lay it down after your stuff, the opposite of what we do in Philadelphia. Being that Seattle is also very passive-aggressive, there's usually deeply heavy sighs accompanying someone doing it themselves.


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