Never mind road rage. Has anyone experienced shopping rage? I saw red in a store last Sunday afternoon and after the incident I needed a cup of soothing tea before I could continue shopping.

The setting is a mainstream retail store, with me returning a jacket that I’d bought online. For some reason it had been delivered sans paperwork so I am a bit worried that I won’t be able to get a full refund. I explain the situation to a sales assistant.

“Oh! That’s such a cute jacket!”, she says. “And you want to return it? I have to call my manager because you don’t have the receipt.”

The sales assistant is holding up my jacket at this point and it catches the eye of another shopper. She rushes over to us, saying “Oh! What size is that jacket?” and starts touching it.

The sales assistant replies, “It’s an XS. Wanna try it on?”. “Yeah,” says the shopper and grabs it from her hands.

Hang on.

It takes me a moment to process what has just happened. So she is already unzipping it when I say: “Excuse me, I’d like to return the jacket before you try it on”.

“But she just wants to try it on” says the sales assistant, clearly perplexed.

“Yeah! I just want to try it on!,” agrees the shopper, a little annoyed.

At this point I am angry. I am aware that my face has set into a frown and my eyebrows are reaching a very steep arch. Controlling myself, I say: “Let me return the jacket first. There was no paperwork with the order and I don’t know whether I can return it. Please put my jacket down”.

The shopper, insisting: “But I just want to try it on!”.

Me, more firmly: “Noooo. Let me return my jacket first”.

The shopper drops the jacket, turns and walks off in a huff with a parting: “ God! CALM DOWN”.

By then the sales assistant has found the manager. She is standing in front of me asking how she can help. But I am overwhelmed with rage.

After a brief moment fantasizing about punching out the lights of the rude shopper and the inexperienced sales assistant I tell the manager in a calm voice that I am very angry. I explain what just happened. Thankfully, she is experienced and professional. She apologizes and gives me a full refund.

I’m not in the right state of mind to continue shopping in the store. As I’m leaving I see the manager pulling the sales assistant aside to have a word with her.

Thinking back it seems silly that I got my knickers into such a knot. I’m grateful that I stayed composed, but I also wonder why I had such an extreme reaction in this situation. In the moment I couldn’t help it.

Have you experienced shopping rage? Care to share a story or two?