Friday, June 23, 2006


Am I just nitpicky? Okay, so I know I am about a lot of things. But this was kind of obnoxious. Just a little. I went to the store down the street for lunch. I needed to get out for a few minutes, and I like their turkey sandwiches. While I was there, I saw some chips that looked good (Lays Sensations Sweet Chili & Sour Cream, they were okay, but I probably won't buy them again). I also decided to buy a bottle of Jones Soda (I love that stuff).

Now, the sandwiches there are made fresh every morning, and then shrinkwrapped. The bag of chips, as with most bags of chips, was puffed up with nitrogen. Neither one is likely to take a lot of damage from each other, nor from a tiny, 12oz bottle of Fufu Berry Soda. My attention is focused on the cashier as she tries to ring up my sandwich, which has a screwy label. As I turn to the bagger, I note that he has put my bottle of soda by itself in a bag, placed that bag aside, and then put the bag of chips in a seperate bag, with room for the sandwich.

Why? Why do these kids think that one bag cannot possibly hold more than 2 or 3 items? I'm in shock whenever I get home and start unpacking groceries, to discover that the cashier has decided that a loaf of bread is too heavy to put on top of a carton of eggs. I do appreciate that they did not put a gallon of cranberry juice on top of the eggs, but seriously! Just because it's whole wheat doesn't mean it's so heavy that it will crush a carton of eggs! It's absolutely ridiculous to purchase 10 items, which have shared the space in that hand basket just fine up until now, and to find that the bagger has decided that 8 bags is appropriate!

I don't remember which store it was, but a few months ago a local megamart was actually using bags that said something like "Strive For Five Items Per Bag". Not once during that campaign did a bagger ever put more than 3 items in any one bag, unless I told them to. In today's shopping experience, I made an effort to take the bottle of soda out of its single bag and put it in the bag with the chips and the sandwich, with the hopes that my example would encourage the bagger to think about his wastefulness, and to use the bag more wisely. As I turned to sign the credit card receipt, I watched out of the corner of my eye as he took the now empty bag, and threw it away.

This is one of the reasons why I'm starting to love the supermarkets with the self-checkout stands. I buy 10 items and use 1, maybe 2 bags. Sometimes I don't even use a bag. I've been to places before where they checker or bagger has actually asked things like, "do you want your cold drink/candy bar/other snack left out?" What a thought! Asking the consumer what they want? Brilliant! In even rarer circumstances, I've had them ask if I'd rather use just one bag or two for my purchase, because they weren't sure. But for the most part, even if I'm only buying a single magazine, I still have to tell them that "I don't need a bag for that."


  1. All the time, man.

    Just yesterday, I bought some Washington D.C. souvenir golf balls (I have a nice display case) and the guy actually put them in a big bag. I took them out and said, "I don't need to waste a bag for this." He just nodded like he agreed, but the look on his face said, "Huh, wha?"


  2. Yeah, baggers can suck. I mentioned to you the fun guy at Walmart that tried to get my wife to load all the stuff back in our cart because he was too lazy to look for another roll of paper.

    Despite that, I still can't stand to use self checkout. Now, I've worked retail and used cash registers before. I know what I'm doing. But they made these machines so safe from dummies that they're impossible to use. It drives me nuts, to the point that I start yelling at the poor computer screen. I don't want to feel that way.


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