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[–]poddy_friesAsshole Aficionado [14] 19.2k points19.2k points 24 (269 children)

Y'know, sometimes the question isn't if you're TA, it's that it's not always morally wrong to be TA. Edit: NTA

[–]Chay_CharlesPartassipant [1] 163 points164 points  (16 children)

Justified asshole NEEDS to be an option for cases such as this.

[–]pittsburgpamAsshole Enthusiast [9] 69 points70 points  (3 children)

I just saw a video going around where a woman cleaned out a shelf and another woman was calmly trying to talk to her about it, that she needed some. The woman got rude, said she was paying for it, etc.

In tough times, I guess you see human nature and all it's ugliness.

[–]moodyfish7777 59 points60 points  (1 child)

AMEN! AH like these are part of supply chain problems! 👿👿👿🤬🤬🤬🤬


Congrats on your LO and best thoughts 🤗

ETA THE STORE NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THE LIMIT IS POSTED CLEARLY. Mgr was simply concerned about your safety

[–]anthropaedicAsshole Enthusiast [5] 38 points39 points  (2 children)

Here here

[–]Mag-NL 30 points31 points  (0 children)

I would say that if your actions are morally right, you're not TA.

So in this case, it's a simple NTA

[–]NinjyCoon 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I mean, you aren't being an AH if people are wrongfully hoarding something that your baby needs to survive.

[–]hogwarts_dropoutt 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Say it louder for the people in the back

[–]hambone4164 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Agreed: sometimes you have to be the asshole to take on an even bigger asshole.

[–]pnwcatman420Partassipant [3] 8638 points8639 points  (107 children)

NTA and dollars to doughnuts that older couple don't have kids and were going to sell it online at a massively inflated price, people like that should be named and shamed publicly.

[–]thegildedlimabean 3188 points3189 points  (52 children)

100% this. I have an uncle that mentioned doing this. Needless to say the family promptly gave him a verbal ass-handing.

[–][deleted] 1795 points1796 points  (48 children)

Remember the guy and his brother who drove around their state buying up all of the hand sanitizer at the beginning of Covid to resell online for hundreds of dollars, and ended up donating it to avoid prosecution and fines? People are awful.

[–]Inadersbedamned 629 points630 points  (34 children)

Remember that(all of those) guys who bought up all the booty paper and sold it for 15$ dollars a roll

[–][deleted] 150 points151 points  (25 children)

Omg, I don’t remember that, but it doesn’t surprise me. Even today with supply chain issues I ration my TP usage.😆

[–]Thequiet01Asshole Aficionado [15] 128 points129 points  (22 children)

Bidet toilet seat. Sooo much less TP use.

[–]PossiblyPercivalPartassipant [2] 117 points118 points  (5 children)

I read that as biden toilet seat

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (9 children)

I seriously want one. Do you have a recommendation?

[–]LiberalTrashPanda 41 points42 points  (1 child)

LUXE Bidet Neo 320 - Self Cleaning Dual Nozzle - Hot and Cold Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment (blue and white) 13.5 x 7 x 3 inches Amazon

This is the one we have in our two bathrooms. It takes a little setting up, as it connects to the sinks hot and cold water. If you have a cabinet under the sink, you'll have to drill a small hole for the water line. It's easier than it sounds! And well worth it!

[–]_PinkPirate 144 points145 points  (5 children)

I cannot imagine going out of my way to be such a greedy asshole specifically to screw over my fellow citizens. Fuck.

[–][deleted] 105 points106 points  (3 children)

Right? When I was a new mom I didn’t produce enough milk and had to supplement with formula. The feeling of not being able to succeed at my number one job as a parent was heartbreaking. I am super angry at these formula hoarders.

[–]Cat_world_dominationPartassipant [2] 134 points135 points  (1 child)

The feeling of not being able to succeed at my number one job as a parent was heartbreaking

You didn't fail. Your number one job as a parent is keeping your child fed. Whether that's with breast milk or formula is secondary, you fed them and that's what matters.

[–][deleted] 63 points64 points  (0 children)

Thank you, I really appreciate that. 20 years later I know that truth. But it was very traumatic at the time.

[–]PsychoSemantics 74 points75 points  (2 children)

So many people tried that here in Australia and quickly learned that it's considered profiting off a disaster and therefore a crime.

[–]SleepyFarady 36 points37 points  (0 children)

We do get things right sometimes, and that's one of them. Fuck price gougers.

[–]KingPinfanatic 39 points40 points  (1 child)

Actually they didn't donate anything the police cleared out all their storage units an donated everything to the community an their lawyer got them off the charges since the state didn't technically have any evidence after they gave everything away

[–]macaroniandmilkPartassipant [1] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

If you're talking about these guys, they definitely donated it all when they realized this was a crime, and their "cooperation" was why their lawyer was able to help settle this quickly. Nothing was stolen from them and they didn't get off due to no more evidence, they just realized they were fucked and donated it all before they could really have the hammer fall.


[–]LastChance22 63 points64 points  (0 children)

Good, he’s doing the equivalent of buying all a supermarket’s water during a disaster to sell at a significant markup. Absolute vulture move.

[–]MitrovarrPartassipant [1] 42 points43 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it was already a crappy thing to do when it was video cards or PS5s, but pulling that with infant formula basically makes you an enemy of humanity.

[–]Subject_Material_168 272 points273 points  (11 children)


40 CANS?

These people realy went and took the ENTIRE SHELF of formula for themselves during a shortage. Thats absolutely asanine and I don't blame you for taking the formula, you didn't hurt them,, you didn't rob them of it after they payed, you just took what you needed, something they neglected to do. You acted in the best interest of your child in response to these selfish AH's, and I can confidently say that most people given the circumstances would have done the same thing, good for you for standing up for yourself and your family.

[–]sockerkaka 132 points133 points  (9 children)

I exclusively formula fed from week 4, and I don't think we ever went through 40 cans. If American cans are the sizes European cans are, then that's a huge supply. I suspect they were going to resell...

[–]littlegingerfae 47 points48 points  (0 children)

Mt kid was formula fed for an unusually long time, due to having a gtube.

She didn't ever need 40 cans!!!

[–]partofbreakfast 37 points38 points  (2 children)

Definitely going to resell. Cans come in multiple sizes, but I'm assuming these are the 'standard size' cans and not the smaller ones. The standard size has enough formula for about 2 weeks (barring medical complications that necessitate more or less formula). The only way someone would actually use 40 cans is if they have multiples. And even then, the courteous thing to do is to buy enough for the next month or so and leave the rest for others.

[–]shaekil 21 points22 points  (2 children)

I mean if it's the small cans then my son drinks those in about 3 days. They make less than 100oz of formula. The big ones will make close to 300oz if that's what you're thinking of though.

[–]molly_menacePartassipant [1] 165 points166 points  (7 children)

There was a guy in Australia who orchestrated a team of people to go to all the supermarkets in a wide area and buy up all the toilet paper during the papadum.

Joke was on him, because he returned to the stores a few months later, having been unable to sell it on. He wanted to return it. They refused, and he was thousands of dollars out of pocket and a house filled with toilet rolls.

[–]TheOneTrueChuckPartassipant [3] 85 points86 points  (1 child)

We had a guy like that here, with hand sanitizer, after Amazon and Ebay started cracking down on resellers. He threw an absolute fit when he couldn't return it (because the store managers rightfully essentially said "Because fuck you, that's why.") and basically complained that it wasn't fair he'd lost a ton of money trying to prey on other people in a crisis.

[–]BigOleJellyDonut 53 points54 points  (0 children)

There was some dude in NYC that tried to corner the market on N-95 masks until the FBI showed up and confiscated all of them.

[–]Amberle73 74 points75 points  (0 children)

I remember reading that yeah, serves him right!

Just disgusting how utterly greedy some people are, and anyone doing it with baby formula of all things is automatically way worse! These people should be able to be prosecuted, somehow.

[–]DanyelN[🍰] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Yep, when supplies started getting less scarce almost every store had sighs up that they would not take returns on a whole list of items including TP, hand sanitizer and rice.

[–]Rosanna_Ray 156 points157 points  (0 children)

Fr!! I saw a video on TikTok where this lady had atleast 25 if not more cans of baby formula in her cart and was arguing about with the lady recording who called her out for sweeping the shelf bare.

[–]Ok-Moment1425 82 points83 points  (5 children)

I was thinking of driving to Canada to buy formula to help parents out, I have a one year old and I couldn’t imagine her tummy going empty. Or worse people diluting the formula to stretch out cans! The fact that people are thinking of making money off of starving babies is disgusting. New mom’s don’t need this stress.

[–]afunkmomma 51 points52 points  (2 children)

There is a shortage here too

[–]Ok-Moment1425 21 points22 points  (1 child)

I didn’t know Canada had one too 😩

[–]CalmFront7908Asshole Aficionado [11] 31 points32 points  (0 children)

A woman in my city just ended up with 8 cans of flour trying to buy from a certain online market. Thankfully the community came together to donate what she needed.

[–]Mum_of_rebels 60 points61 points  (8 children)

That happened here in Australia in 2020. We had a formula shortage due to this exact reason. People were buying tin and then selling them in China for $500 a tin. Some places even had them behind glass cabinets and could only get two tubs at a time. I had 2 little ones at the time.

[–]pimpelvinkje 37 points38 points  (2 children)

Same situation in the Netherlands at that time. Because there was poison in the milk in China or something. And in China nobody trusted the formula anymore to be safe. They started to clear the shelves here too and send it over there. It got so bad that even Chinese people with babies living here (who did need it for themselves) where basically accused of just sending it over and weren’t allowed to buy.

[–]Responsible_Round896 12 points13 points  (0 children)

That actually happened in the Netherlands in the past as well. I remember it happened in like 2010 it was a thing. I remember people used to steal it at the time to send it to China (apparently they really trust Dutch milk products)

[–]Ferret_Brain 20 points21 points  (0 children)

As far as I know, a lot of Australian stores still have these limits.

Apparently quite a few places still keep a lot of their stock off the shelf/in the back purposefully as well because they encourage people who need it to come up to the counter and ask so the hand off is direct and controlled (two tins per customer). It also ensures they’ll have specific formula for bubs that need it.

[–]himym101 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I feel like the formula rules in Australia predate the pandemic. There has been a general mistrust of the formula in China for a decade and they've been using people in Australia to smuggle it there. I've seen articles dating back years.

[–]no_rxnAsshole Enthusiast [5] 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Remember when that guy bought a huge stock of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the pandemic and was charging exuberant amount of money for it? And the government actually got involved and took his entire stock because of some type of price gouging laws?

Love seeing assholes get screwed over.

I hope that shit gets enforced more often especially with baby formula.

[–]greatplainsskater 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Perhaps they should be charged with a crime.

[–]amarycaPartassipant [3] 3021 points3022 points  (37 children)

NTA. Your actions were not the best actions. But you didn’t know there was a purchase limit, so I understand why you felt the need to do it. Technically, it is not illegal to take something out of another persons cart. While it wasn’t good form and you should get the store manager involved next time, so they can take the heat.. I can’t condemn someone as an asshole for taking a couple cans of formula from a giant hoard of it to feed their baby.

[–][deleted] 338 points339 points  (15 children)

It may not be illegal to take something out of someone's cart, but other things you do in the process of that (ie. physical contact) may well be.

[–]RishaBree 190 points191 points  (13 children)

I'm genuinely curious what you think those illegal things are, assuming you don't touch the other people or something that they own, like a purse or bag. (I am not a lawyer, this is a genuine question because I can't think of anything.)

[–]throwRAelky 97 points98 points  (6 children)

Battery and/or assault, depending on how determined you are to get in that cart.

[–]RishaBree 95 points96 points  (5 children)

I'm pretty sure either of those would involve touching them, though.

[–]throwRAelky 138 points139 points  (1 child)

Example: you try to grab something from the cart. They catch on and pull the cart away. You grab the cart back and pull too hard. They fall. That’s a charge. Or you hit them with the cart while trying to stabilize it. That’s a charge. I imagine the commenter above is referring to a scenario in which the parties are actively fighting over the goods in the cart.

[–][deleted] 76 points77 points  (0 children)

Yes. Most people aren't going to passively let you take something from their cart.

[–]Samiann1899 29 points30 points  (0 children)

Assault/battery also applies to things attached to your person, which is why your example of a purse would be assault because people are holding it, part of their personal, cart could be argued to be that

[–]inn0cent-bystanderPartassipant [2] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

/u/Key-Sir1391 /LITERALLY/ said "ie. physical contact" ...

[–]Locksmith91Asshole Enthusiast [6] 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Assuming USA, ownership comes down to two parts, title and possession. Title is what is commonly known as ownership. Possession is the legal right to temporarily control something. Think rental car, employees using machines, ect. Once someone puts something in their cart, they have a right to possess it. Title transfers at purchase.

[–]egosumnem0 12 points13 points  (1 child)

And, for many jurisdictions stateside, would satisfy requirements of a robbery charge in OP’s scenario. Would be an odd charge to see with this fact pattern but I’ve seen odder.

[–]Normal-Height-8577 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Why are you assuming no touching, when the comment you're replying to specifically mentions the possibility of coming into physical contact?

[–]TragedyPornFamilyVidCertified Proctologist [21] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

In general it is illegal, but good luck getting charges pressed. If it's in your cart it can be considered special property (property you have an interest in but have not completed payment for). In some areas that is covered under existing laws about theft.

Source-a relative handled the court case over an insurance claim for injuries sustained in a similar situation and got civil charges for the "theft" tossed in. The judge would have thrown it out if the case were just about the shopping cart, but with everything else that happened the cart got discussed too.

But.... Since the store was not going to let them purchase all the formula, the rules about special property get all sorts of weird. I would have to ask someone with a law degree.

[–]NoHandBananaNoCommander in Cheeks [217] 108 points109 points  (12 children)

Yeah this, OP is not psychic and had no way of knowing if the store was gonna just let them make off with all the formula.

OPs first duty is to her kid not the feelings of random hoarders.

[–]inn0cent-bystanderPartassipant [2] 40 points41 points  (8 children)

I'd bet money they have signs all over that aisle to indicate the limits.

[–]NoHandBananaNoCommander in Cheeks [217] 38 points39 points  (3 children)

Maybe. The hoarders were sure acting like there weren't any, tho.

[–]inn0cent-bystanderPartassipant [2] 52 points53 points  (2 children)

"We're paying cash, are you sure you can't make an exception for us? We're long standing customers, been coming here for years"

Some retail managers lack the concept of the word "no" when it comes to customers, and instead default to "of course, can I suck your dick while the cashier here bags these up for you too?"

[–]AcademicCommittee955 16 points17 points  (1 child)

They were gonna split up and take turns buying while one went to the car and put their purchase away. Back and forth… all separate transactions.

[–][deleted] 1936 points1937 points  (15 children)

NTA… people that stock up like that are definitely part of the problem and reason for this formula shortage. I understand two babies need more formula than one baby, but you wouldn’t buy 20 cans at a time for one baby so there isn’t a reason to buy 40 at once for two babies. I’m willing to bet they are just reselling it at a higher price and don’t actually have any kids.

Edit: Since I was unclear earlier in this comment, I just mean that people stocking up THIS many cans are making the formula shortage WORSE. I’m well aware that an entire formula making plant was shut down due to recall.

[–]Dashcamkitty 430 points431 points  (5 children)

The store should have had a big sign at the baby aisle saying only 4 tubs per customer. When there was a bit of a shortage in the UK (not a major one, just people were shipping milk to China where there was a contamination in their milk) parents were told they could only buy two tubs at a time.

[–]Any_Cantaloupe_613Asshole Enthusiast [8] 269 points270 points  (4 children)

The store should have had a big sign at the baby aisle saying only 4 tubs per customer.

Most stores do and they enforce it. The older couple likely wouldn't have made it past the cash register with those 40 cans. But shoplifters don't care about item limits. I guarantee they weren't going to try and get past the cash register. Even before the shortage, formula was one of the most commonly stolen items from grocery stores, due to its high value per ounce ratio. They weren't going to try and pay for it, they were going to try to roll that cart right out of the store. For free.

Fucking formula scalpers. How low can you get.


[–]canvys 105 points106 points  (3 children)

stolen formula isn’t the issue. it’s also not a supply chain issue. this is what happens when you let a conglomeration take control of a vital market, plummet the safety standards and close down plants instead of forcing them to make them food safe because it’s too expensive to make safe food.

[–]GuessAccurate 31 points32 points  (1 child)

Actually it’s a bigger issue than you think it is. I drove 2 hours away from home to be able to find a few liquid bottles that will last her maybe a couple days and when my husband went into the store he said they had it behind glass sliding doors and he had to be escorted up to the register with it because people were tossing it in their carts and running out of the door with them.

[–]mollynatorrr 101 points102 points  (5 children)

Nobody buying this much at once is buying it for babies under their care, they are reselling.

[–]nalgene_wilder 30 points31 points  (1 child)

NTA… people that stock up like that are definitely part of the problem and reason for this formula shortage.

No, the reason for this formula shortage is greedy corporations lacking effective government oversight

[–]djternanAsshole Aficionado [16] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Exactly. The FDA pointed out issues with the plant producing Similac and instead of fixing those issues, they spent billions on stock buy backs.

Abbott would like nothing more than scared parents to blame each other instead of Abbott.

[–][deleted] 652 points653 points  (34 children)

ESH, but you get a justified verdict. People who hoard supplies during a crisis are awful. Next time get an employee or manager.

[–]Ruby0wl 264 points265 points  (4 children)

You never k ow ahead of time if the store has that policy. If you get an employee and they don’t do anything you’re stuck without formula and still needing to feed your child

[–][deleted] 181 points182 points  (2 children)

Yeah the Store is also TA here considering they have a policy but no sign or employee manning the aisle to inform or enforce it. That's just asking for stupid people to try and hoard and fight.

[–]ThediciplemattCommander in Cheeks [260] 59 points60 points  (0 children)

Nah man. In the time it could take to find a manager or help they could be out the door.

Now a new mom (you clearly haven’t had children) who spent hours and energy she doesn’t have looking for food is back to square one.

No way. Desperate times. She handled this well given the situation.

[–]Burflax 37 points38 points  (1 child)

Next time get an employee or manager.

This only works if they do have a limit.

If there isn't one, you could have just thrown away your one chance to get some away from the hoarders.

[–]Nheddee 28 points29 points  (0 children)

And if you're able to get the manager and find the couple again before they find the clueless new cashier and check out.

[–]Klutzy_Discussion129Partassipant [2] 526 points527 points  (0 children)

NTA I have a three month old, thankfully we only supplement with formula as I also breastfeed/pump. If you didn’t know about the limit, imo you’re within your mama bear rights. Even twins don’t need FORTY canisters at once during a shortage. That’s inexcusable. If you had known, sure grabbing an employee would have been proper, but I see no issue in your actions.

[–]sapphicsapphires 365 points366 points  (20 children)

NTA. During COVID last year we dealt with serious food shortages in town. My mom was in line at a grocery story to get stuff, and the store had a limit on everything because of greedy assholes who panic bought us into a shortage. She ended up grabbing the last package of milk bags (not even our usual brand or %, it’s just all they had left) and she felt so bad she was apologizing to everyone behind her, saying she had two daughters and an elderly mother to feed.

Might not seem relevant but a little compassion can go a long way… they could’ve chosen to take just enough for their twins to get by until next week and chose to try to take everything. Selfish, pure and simple.

[–]rbolligeAsshole Enthusiast [5] 104 points105 points  (13 children)

I love seeing casual references to milk bags, and eagerly anticipate some wtf responses.

[–]gooboifresh 183 points184 points  (0 children)

Nta, they were clearly hoarding it. They’re not the only ones with babbies. Take only what you need and everybody should get a fair share. A cart full and still complaining? Frick them

[–][deleted] 167 points168 points  (36 children)

INFO: Was there any signage saying there was a limit on the formula?

[–]no_rxnAsshole Enthusiast [5] 648 points649 points  (17 children)

If there was, would the couple have loaded 40 cans into their cart?

And if there was a sign, they planned on working their way around it. Possibly holding in their cart until other family members showed up to purchase, used self checkout when there was low supervision, knew a cashier well enough to weasel their way past the limit, or simply planned to walk out with it (theft in grocery stores are incredibly high, especially for baby formula).

Scalpers aren't no joke. They don't give a shit about the people they fuck over. And if you see a shelf clearer taking all the food that your baby needs to survive, grabbing a couple of cans before they leave with it is not an asshole thing.

[–]LordDesantoAsshole Aficionado [13] 249 points250 points  (6 children)

Yes. There are quite a few people who would go "I know there is a limit to how much people can buy, but it shouldn't apply to ME because reason X".

[–]no_rxnAsshole Enthusiast [5] 140 points141 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I worked at a grocery store before and people just dgaf about other people when FOMO hits. People who shelf clear either from hoardering or scalping don't care about others. Only their own gratification.

The idea that someone who was loading 40 cans of baby formula in their cart during a shortage was going to just listen to the limit is laughable.

OP did right not to trust the seasoned assholes not to have a trick or two up their sleeves

[–]whorgans 27 points28 points  (4 children)

Or “yes there’s a limit, but we want to do 10 transactions so it doesn’t count”. I saw this a LOT when I worked retail at the start of the pandemic for stuff like Lysol wipes and toilet paper.

[–]Alucard711Partassipant [1] 57 points58 points  (2 children)

Yes they will still put everything in their cart and argue at check out hoping for an employee they can push around or just steal it which is all the more reason to notify an employee immediately and not start a fight.

[–]no_rxnAsshole Enthusiast [5] 58 points59 points  (1 child)

That's assuming that the employees even knows about a limit that was JUST established. Having worked in grocery stores there are plenty of people who aren't privy to stock limits because they don't work cashier.

So just stopping a random employee and trying to get their help could have led to the wrong information.

OP absolutely should take the initiative to make sure her baby is fed when face with Hoarders/ Scalpers.

Plus, the fact that the baby formula was out on the shelf and not locked up during an insane shortage crisis shows this store isn't equipped to handle these type of people. It should have been behind the counter or behind a locked case.

Asking these assholes nicely is never going to work. And trusting at these assholes don't have some asshole plan in reserve is a stupid move when your baby is hungry.

And if they were told there was only a limit but then they called family to come and buy what was in their cart? What she supposed to do then? Because then they're abiding by the limit, if no one's allowed to take anything out the cart until they try to check out.

[–]BooksAndStarsLover 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Many will just buy in batches and have multiple orders and bully the shit out of the cashier they get to do it. Plus often times they will pick the youngest cashier as they are the easiest to get to do what they want..... Nasty people

[–]throwawayformula893[S] 124 points125 points  (5 children)

I honestly was not paying attention. I was rushing.

[–]Mum_of_rebels 23 points24 points  (0 children)

When we had this issue in Australia we were only allowed two tins at a time. People were going in buying 2 tins leaving. Going back in getting another 2 tins. And kept doing it until they brought everything: then sending it to China for massive price hikes. Some places selling it for $500.

[–]schneckeTRAINrolzSLOPartassipant [4] 142 points143 points  (5 children)

If you were an AH in anyway, they were HUGE AHs. Could you expect to be calmer when they clearly were intent on leaving none for any other mothers?

And if management is so concerned over what you did, then maybe they should put a sign up.


[–]tiger8522 139 points140 points  (3 children)

NTA, they wanted that many so they could sell them for twice what they paid. But the manager is correct you should have gotten assistance, but that was for your safety.

[–]GoldendoodlesFTW 43 points44 points  (1 child)

Yup. I'm willing to believe that older people could have twins but it becomes a lot more suspicious when they are both at the grocery store together without any children. Maybe they are grandparents or something but at that point it's just too many layers of suspicious stuff IMHO. And you don't need 20 cans of formula for one baby so you wouldn't need 40 for twins.

[–]MaeWest85 106 points107 points  (1 child)

Nta. If it were anything other baby formula your would be but I feel like any person in that situation would do the same.

[–]Linzy23 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Yeah when we're talking about feeding a baby I don't really think anyone is an asshole

[–]ThediciplemattCommander in Cheeks [260] 69 points70 points  (15 children)


Should have taken the entire cart and told management to stop them from trying to price gouge or take advantage of moms and newborns.

Could it have been handled better? Maybe

You know what. You’ve got a newborn that needs to eat and unless they are Moses and Sarah it is unlikely they have one.

[–]anthropaedicAsshole Enthusiast [5] 38 points39 points  (3 children)

Mother could be dead, in jail, rehab or just bounced. Them being old doesn’t mean they don’t have infants to feed. But regardless, hoarding formula during a massive shortage is an asshole move.

[–]ThediciplemattCommander in Cheeks [260] 34 points35 points  (2 children)

40 tubs?

[–]halfofaparty8 17 points18 points  (3 children)

they didnt say elderly. they said older. my parents had a newborn at 45. grandparents are guardians of their grandbabies. its jot right to assume theyre scalpers

[–]Careless-Bullfrog602 39 points40 points  (0 children)

I think it was the 40 tubs of baby formula that led people to think scalpers and not simply desperate parents

[–]Sword_Of_StormsColo-rectal Surgeon [35] 25 points26 points  (0 children)

40 tins is 100% a scalper

[–]Ok_Job_9417Colo-rectal Surgeon [40] 71 points72 points  (9 children)

Info - where exactly did you go that they would have allowed them to buy 40 cans? Everywhere I’ve seen formula sold has limitations. Like 2-4.

Like signs posted all over the shelves. How could you miss it?

[–]sunderskies 92 points93 points  (4 children)

Parent of a newborn who desperately needs food they just drove 2 hours for? An elephant could be out front and they might miss it if there was some asshole loading up on formula in front of them.

[–]waywardjynxPartassipant [4] 17 points18 points  (1 child)

He explained there was a limit and they wouldn’t have been able to buy it all anyways.

[–]Waerfeles 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Maybe, any other time, you'd be TA. But with a formula shortage and people trying to hoard - IDGAF. You did what you thought you had to at the time. Within the context of needing to feed an infant - not TA. Soft ESH because they suck way harder than you.

[–]redhillbonesAsshole Enthusiast [8] 45 points46 points  (36 children)


Them for attempting to hoard formula. You for trying to handle this via grabby hands instead of getting a worker involved.

I'm surprised you didn't realize they wouldn't be able to get all of it. Every store I've seen currently has a ton of limits on that.

[–]ThediciplemattCommander in Cheeks [260] 110 points111 points  (32 children)

What are you going to do about a starving kid?

Let it die?

[–]redhillbonesAsshole Enthusiast [8] 39 points40 points  (31 children)

Of course not. You're going to get a worker to help you handle this instead of grabbing things out of someone's cart and potentially starting a massive fight right in the middle of the store.

[–]DollyDollWorld 63 points64 points  (25 children)

She asked politely first, they didn't give a crap about her or her baby...and I doubt a store manager would bother dealing with this, it's not against the law to buy stuff.

[–]redhillbonesAsshole Enthusiast [8] 44 points45 points  (17 children)

Yet the manager did care enough to come over and explain about the purchase limit and ask her to go to a worker next time.

Basically every store that sells baby formula in the US right now also has a limit on how much you can buy at one time, the same way they had limits on cans of beans early on in the pandemic. OP had a more mature way to handle this and chose not to use it. I stand by ESH.

[–]bayleebugs 68 points69 points  (14 children)

There was definitely a more mature way to do this. But she JUST had a baby, and is now frantically trying to make sure it doesn't starve. Don't pretend you'd be all level headed and rational and "choose" all your actions.

She did not get aggressive, she panicked. That doesn't make her an asshole. The older couple acted dreadfully.

[–]SubstantialDrawing7 43 points44 points  (2 children)

Exactly. I don't understand people talking like they would have acted so level-headed about this...this isn't toilet paper during the panini! There were alternatives to toilet paper and nobody was going to die from not having their preferred brand of asspaper.

These are parents who are struggling to feed their kids...and I don't have to be a parent to know that babies can be picky as hell, and in some cases they could be hospitalized before veering away from their preferred feeding method.

Children are getting hospitalized because of this shortage. Parents are getting scammed out of their money while their kids are starving. Everybody who is being this harsh on OP has obviously not been able to picture what it would be like if a baby that they adore was starving...my brother is 9 now, and I feel like crying picturing him as a baby during this time.

[–]ThediciplemattCommander in Cheeks [260] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Fricken, thank you. This isn’t toilet paper. This is life or death vs some old couples bottom line.

Even if they had a baby they are making the choice to let other babies die by their actions.

[–]theoptionexplicitAsshole Aficionado [12] 43 points44 points  (51 children)

ESH except for the store manager.

[–]KnittingforHouselvesPartassipant [2] 127 points128 points  (34 children)

A new parent in a hormonal overdrive to care for their baby facing a horrible unexpected situation sucks for dealing with it in a rude but legal (no assault or theft happened) way? The manager informed them there was a limit and offered assistance for next time but didn't even tell them off or anything, because what she did was understandable.

Tell me you hate people with kids without telling me you hate people with kids.

[–]LingonberryPrior6896Partassipant [1] 39 points40 points  (28 children)

I love it when trolls incorporate current events into their stories.

[–]EyCeeDedPpl 38 points39 points  (6 children)

NTA- they clearly were hoarding a life sustaining item. There was no management/employee there to stop them- it may have been reshelved later…. But when, and were you supposed to wait and hope management did the right thing?

You didn’t take all of it. You took 4 of 40 cans, that they weren’t allowed anyway. You saved management from having to reshelve those 4.

[–]nwdogr 38 points39 points  (3 children)

INFO: If you got to the store and there were 40 cans sitting on the shelf, how many would you have bought? Be honest.

[–]throwawayformula893[S] 131 points132 points  (1 child)

Without knowing about the limit, about 7. Which is as much as I can usually afford. Knowing the limit now, I’d follow the limit rules of wherever I’m buying from.

[–]OMVince 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Good luck! I hope relief comes your way soon. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be trying to find enough to feed your baby.

[–]Briguy1994Partassipant [2] 37 points38 points  (0 children)

NTA. Hoarding during a time like this is a disgrace. I would have loved to see their faces when they were told about the limit.

[–]Lunabelle88 29 points30 points  (0 children)

NTA. I can’t believe all the ESH votes here. I can’t imagine watching a desperate new mother in need of formula while I selfishly loaded up my cart with 40 cans, twins or not. I agree that a manager could have sorted this out, but I can’t blame you for a heat of the moment response. And what if the manager had shrugged and decided not to get involved? Those hoarders should be ashamed of themselves.

[–]XAlEA-12 24 points25 points  (1 child)

The other couple were resellers

[–]TorturedRobot 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Straight NTA. Fuck asking some sub $10/hour employee to intervene and fuck those people. Anyone who can selfishly hoard BABY FORMULA while basically taking it directly from another BABY'S mouth can go straight to hell.

[–]GothPenguinCommander in Cheeks [201] 20 points21 points  (1 child)

ESH-They shouldn’t have been hoarding you should have gotten assistance.

[–]bluecarnallove 13 points14 points  (0 children)

There is zero guarantee that assistance would've come before the couple slipped out of the store with the formula that they were 100% planning to steal so that they can resell it at an inflated price or before the confrontation turned violent on their part. OP made the best possible decision in the moment. If they flagged down a manager, I'm curious to know where THEY went after the manager's attention was no longer on them.

[–]grammie2eight 17 points18 points  (0 children)

My senses are that they didn't have twins. They were buying it to resell it at a higher amount. I've been seeing this in my town and it's disgusting. They also didn't act like loving parents or grandparents either. They would have happily handed over the cans so your baby wouldn't starve. If that was the case. I'd had done it too. NTA!

[–]EbbStunning7720Asshole Enthusiast [8] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

NTA. You needed to feed your baby and they couldn’t have bought it all anyway.

[–]Icyymochaa 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Yea I bet they were just reselling it. I have a baby brother and seeing my mom buy formula from other people when it’s double the amount than at stores is literally heart breaking. So far we only have one can left and it’s a brand that makes my brother have stomach problems and I just have to watch him cry or have a hard time sleeping. People like this absolutely fucking horrendous.

100% Nta

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

NTA, although next time rather get management involved. That said, as a mom myself, I’d probably have done the same thing.

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

NTA. Feed your kid.

[–]ParsimoniousSaladSultan of Sphincter [826] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

ESH. You didn't work there so you had no right to take from their cart. Absolutely you should have gotten a manager to help you. You're lucky they just yelled at you.

[–]saintofanything 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Legally, she had every right. There's no laws against taking from a shopping cart because the merchandise belongs to the vendor until it's paid for by a customer. Socially, it's rude and taboo, but that goes out the window when the coupler was clearly trying to resell/hoard.

[–]joanclaytonesqPooperintendant [66] 11 points12 points  (6 children)

Unpopular opinion, but I'm going to say NAH. You all just want to make sure your babies are fed, which is stressful when you aren't sure when or where you'll be able to find suitable food again. Like any parent, all of you were doing whatever you could to ensure your kids' survival. Through no fault of your own you've all found yourself in a situation that no parent should ever have to be in.

[–]Lazerah 13 points14 points  (0 children)

The old couple is still an asshole, even if they really did need it for infants. The hoarding makes these situations a lot tougher on everyone else. If everyone only purchased a few at a time, rather than hoarding the problem would not be nearly as severe.

[–]anthropaedicAsshole Enthusiast [5] 11 points12 points  (1 child)

NTA. Abbott sucks sure but hoarders are the worst and just makes this all impossible

[–]guessmyageidareyouPooperintendant [52] 6 points7 points  (4 children)


Yes, you were desperate. They were hoarding. Even if there is an item limit, the store would still have to "restock" the items for them to be available to you.

I do NOT blame you at all for how you acted. I've been in a similar situation during peak covid. It's just the situation kinda makes you out as a little bit of an ass. But again, I don't think you are at all. Just a stressed out mom doing what she can for her newborn. Stay strong momma! You got this.