Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scolded at the Grocery Store (Updated)

I hate Earth Day. That happens to be today, in case you weren't following. They've been shoving Earth Day and my personal responsibility to Save The Planet! down my throat since I was in junior high school, and now I just gag on it.

A couple months ago, I was at the grocery store, and the lady in front of me brought her own canvas grocery bags that the bagger loaded up. When it was my turn, I asked for paper bags. The bagger asked me how come I wasn't using the reusable bags like the other lady.

Well, in contrast to a planet-saving specimen of womanhood, I suppose I compared poorly, despite my reuse of the paper bags as kitchen garbage bags. Annoyed as I was, I wrote off that incident.

Until last night, when I got that same bagger again. I asked for paper, and he said, "Lady, why aren't you using the reusable bags?" He was frowning at me.

I told him that I do reuse the paper bags, but he insisted that I should be using the reusable bags. I told him I wanted the paper bags.

What is it? Do I have a Kick Me sign on my forehead?

Maybe it's my choice of paper over plastic that sets the guy off. I have no idea.

If I have time today (doubtful, between a smog check, paying my car registration, work, and picking up something for the potluck for our last night of Billing class tonight), I might take a minute and tell the grocery store manager that I don't like being scolded for my choices. People might stop shopping at their store if the "service" comes with a tongue-lashing.


I stopped at the store yesterday on my way to work and talked to the assistant manager. I was hoping to talk to the manager, who I've complimented several times about his store and employees, but he was at lunch, and I didn't have time to wait.

I told the assistant manager the story and then said I'm not a professional whiner. I said that suggestive upselling is fine with me--I do it all the time at the shoe store--but the bagger needs to accept the answer without pushing.

He said mine wasn't the first complaint they'd received, and he'd be sure they had a talk with the bagger.

I feel bad for the guy, but at the same time he needs to learn, or he's going to be out of a job.


Tsofah said...


I think I'd have to give the bagger a scolding of my own! His job is to bag groceries, CAREFULLY, for customer regardless if they use paper, plastic, or cloth bags. He is NOT the social conscience of the customers.

We use cloth and plastic bags - just because many times the plastic bags have not been strong enough to get the items in them home. The same is true of paper.

BUT, we recycle in some fashion or another the use of paper and plastic just as you do.

The bagger should mind his own business.

I'm not only "Tsofah", I'm also a "A Cantankerous Old Lady"! :-D

Christina said...

Actually, I think your threat to shop elsewhere if this bagger continues to force his opinions on you is the best respsonse you can give.

I still use plastic, but we definitely reuse them for all sorts of things...unless I just throw them out. I'm not sure anyone locally even offers paper bags.

If and when I choose to use the cloth bags, it will be exactly that, my choice.

Go give him a piece of your mind.

I meanwhile, am seriously considering chewing out the next unfortunate person who lacks any kind of common courtesy with regards to being out in public with others...but that's my own personal battle!

Charlie said...

Lol. Don't justify yourself to a bag boy, for crying out loud! Fix him with a Clint Eastwood stare and tell him to give you the damn paper bag or you'll rip his lungs out and stuff them in a plastic grocery sack!

This could only happen in California. :)

Tsofah said...


Wow....I likes ya!

Bekah said...

Oh my goodness! That's just rude! I don't think (except one supermarket) paper bags are offered here either. I like the plastic ones because I use them to line trash cans and to dump the cat litter.

When I go to Aldis (where you have to buy the bags if you want them) - I use the "earth friendly" reusable bags that my sister sent me from her town's green life. I really like using them there because they're big and durable. Even so - if I didn't have the plastic bags from elsewhere, I'd have to buy bags to use for those other purposes and that's just dumb.

You should get to use any old bag you want.

SkyePuppy said...


I don't like the plastic bags, because my groceries roll all over the car. The paper bags help the groceries behave themselves. And most of the plastic bags are so small, they're only good for lining little wastebaskets.

If I switched to the canvas bags, I'd have to buy a kitchen trash can, which might not fit under the sink the way the paper grocery bags do. And there isn't a place in the kitchen for a free-standing trash can.

ChuckL said...

Ask the bagger why, since he is so concerned about mother earth, why he doesn't provide you the type of bag he wants you to use.

If he is still in high school, ask him if he drives to school or rides the school bus. If the former, why doesn't he use public transportation provided?

And... ask him if he uses drive through lanes at fast food or coffee places. I read in a recent save the earth article that it is better to park, turn off the car, go inside, order & go than it is to idle in line.

BTW, I always go inside even before I read the article. Always faster.

My conclusion: if all these wingnuts really want to save mother earth, all they have to do is live like me!!! I run circles around most of these green weenies!!!