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Monday, January 24, 2011

a lesson for the bag boy

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The leaders of my fine city have decided that they want to do away with free plastic bags at the grocery store. Maybe all plastic bags, I don't know. This doesn't really raise my eyebrows because NOTHING ever happens within a reasonable amount of time here. For example, I recently read that the leaders of the city were discussing building an amphitheater in Elmwood Park as many as fifty years ago.  Has it happened yet?  Hell no.  Are they still discussing it?  Of course! 

Regardless, I am all for using paper or reusable bags when shopping.  It makes a whole lot more sense than bringing loads of those flimsy plastic sacks home every time you want to buy a couple cans of soup.  Because, you know, bag boys {and girls, and men and women}, are only capable of putting ONE item in each plastic bag.  I don't know why this happens, but it does.  Or, better yet, if you buy a glass jar or bottle, they'll wrap that in TWO bags and then shove it in another ALL BY ITSELF for safe-keeping.  Just because I'm not capable of getting my soy sauce home intact since I live all of A MILE from the grocery store.  But, I regress.

Saturday night, my husband and I went grocery shopping at Sam's Club and then Food Lion.  {woo-hoo!}  Sam's, of course, doesn't give out any bags.  That makes sense.  But, like always, I had left my shopping bags at home, so we were loading cheese, bread, and milk into the trunk one by one.  Checking out at Food Lion, I requested that the groceries be bagged in paper.  The bag boy looked at me and squeaked, "Uhhhh..."  I pointed at the small stack of bags on the side of the conveyor belt and said, "They're right there."  Since, you know, NOBODY ever asks for paper anymore.  Wouldn't you know, that pipsqueak kid acted like I was a pain in his ass.  The icing on the cake was when my husband wholeheartedly agreed with the bag boy on the way out to the car.

But, paper wouldn't be as big of a deal if the baggers would just learn how to place items in the bags in an orderly fashion.  (I encountered this same issue at Walgreens today, by the way, with my reusable sacks).  When I worked at Walmart as a cashier, we had to take training module after training module on how to bag groceries.  Boxes to the outside, building out the sides, with floppy, smaller items towards the middle.  It isn't hard to do, you can fit lots more in the bag, and you use fewer bags along the way.  The same premise would apply to paper and reusable bags, one would think.  Don't just throw the items in haphazardly because the bag looks sturdier, for goodness sakes!  You can fit so much more in the bag if you just build out the sides.  Nice and tidy.

When I unpacked my bag from Walgreens, I found a carton of orange juice stacked on top of roly-poly cans of tuna and chicken noodle soup.  Why?  Couldn't he SEE that there was a big carton of juice that should go in the bag before the cans?  The poor guy even looked confused as he was trying to place the items in the bag.  A course, people!  Offer your baggers a course!  This is one area in which Walmart certainly succeeds.  Of course, a training module is only as great as the baggers who adhere to it.  So, to all the bag girls and guys out there, I beg you: Take pride in your work!


  1. We've been using reusable bags and ran out of left over plastic. Now Gadget guy doesn't have anything to scoop kitty litter into.

  2. I have the exact same complaint about using my own reusable bags. The sackers have no idea how to properly fill them. They bag things together that should not be in the same bag and they fill them so full I can't lift them. And once, at our Super Wal-Mart, they actually bagged my groceries in their plastic bags and then put those inside my green bags. Seriously!

  3. Whenever we go to the grocery, (Mike got me started on this) we unload our cart in what order we want things bagged. ONE time out of zillions of times that we've done this a cashier actually noticed, saying, oh, you're making my job easier. She was a veteran though.


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