One thing about living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone else.
Even if you don't KNOW someone, you know him or her. You might see the same people in the grocery store, at the "Y," at the nail salon, at the library, even if you don't know their names.
There's a woman who works at our local grocery store who is very friendly, but she gets on my nerves. She apparently thinks we're better friends than we are, because she has always been free with her complaints. She's one of those negative people, always complaining, usually about where she works. (Uh.....get a different job?) I refuse to allow her to wheel my groceries to my car, because I don't want to hear her gripe and grumble all the way across the parking lot.
Saturday I think she reached a new low. She was bagging my groceries while a young girl rang them up. They started talking about someone who works at the same grocery store, criticizing her about buying her groceries with food stamps. Negative Nancy said, "She had $1000 on her food stamp card. And she left here with four buggies full of groceries. And we're paying for that. And she has a husband, or a boyfriend, or whatever she calls him."
I was so uncomfortable I couldn't say anything. I just looked in the other direction and pretended to search for my car keys. I don't know the girl she was talking about, and it's certainly none of MY business how she buys her groceries or how much she buys. I'm pretty sure it was none of this woman's business either.
One of our neighbors is also a cashier there, and she was behind me, apparently on her break, paying for something. The loudmouth complainer spoke to her, and it appeared to me that our neighbor was a little curt toward her. As if she doesn't have much use for her either. I would be interested to know if she has the same take on the woman that I do.
I was so annoyed I was tempted to call the manager and tell him or her what happened. If I report her, am I sticking MY nose where it doesn't belong? She's bound to know who told on her, and while I don't think I should be embarrassed about it, well.... it is still a very small town. I wouldn't want her to get fired or anything, but I don't like talking to her. She makes me feel so awkward. It's not like it's a teenager we're talking about here. She's an older lady, and surely somewhere along the way someone has told her it's not nice to talk about people, it's unprofessional to talk about co-workers (in such a public way - there, I just cleared myself), and it's a cardinal sin of business to make the customer feel uncomfortable.
Maybe I will just shop somewhere else.