Home > Uncategorized > Ten things I want to tell my grocery bagger.

Ten things I want to tell my grocery bagger.

Many years ago, I discovered that grocery stores in some areas of the country (and world, I would assume) expect you to bag your own groceries.  This is not a concept that I’m at all familiar with, since in my part of the world, that kind of activity is discouraged.  We have baggers at the store, whose sole purpose is to load your groceries into as few bags as possible.  In some cases the bagger is also your cashier, which is even worse, because those guys are in a hurry.

 I always prefer to bag my own groceries.  I have done my time working in a grocery store and I’ve done even more time as a consumer, so I think it’s fair to say that I know what I’m doing.  But, alas, lately every grocery store I frequent has remodeled in a way that allows ONLY the cashier easy access to the bagging station.  Okay, I get it.  Customers like me are costing your store a fortune in bags.  Those things have to be upwards of two cents each.  Pennies are flying out the door at unprecedented speed.  So I understand.  However, if you’re going to continue to bag my groceries, please allow me to provide feedback.  Here are the top ten things I wish you would keep in mind while I’m handing over exorbitant amounts of cash for my weekly groceries.

  1. Your plastic bags are flimsy.  I’ve seen toilet paper that’s stronger than your bags.  Every item with corners is a risk and every extra can tempts fate.  Choose carefully and err on the side of caution.
  2. If your manager has cut your hours, I don’t want to hear about it.  It’s fine to discuss this on your break, but it is not for my ears.  If you could stop complaining long enough to see that you shouldn’t bag apple juice and bread together, it may cease to be an issue, anyway.
  3. I have painstakingly organized my groceries on the conveyer belt because I want them bagged like that, not just because it’s fun to organize. Please respect my wishes and refrain from bagging my cottage cheese with my drain cleaner.
  4. When I get home, I’m going to make my kids carry my groceries into the house.  If a twelve-year-old girl can’t lift it, it’s too heavy.
  5. Do not put my gallon of milk in a bag.  That just encourages you to put other stuff in there with it.  (see #1)
  6. Do put my potatoes in a bag.  If it doesn’t come with a handle on it, I want it in a bag, by God!
  7. When I say, “Please put that in two bags,” I do NOT mean “Please double bag that.”  I mean I want two separate bags, both with a reasonable amount of product in them.
  8. A quick lesson on cross contamination: It’s okay to put raw chicken with raw pork or beef, because I’m going to cook all those things.  It’s not okay to put raw chicken with yogurt.  I don’t cook my yogurt and salmonella is not a fun bonus.
  9. The laws of physics are in effect inside grocery bags.  No matter how lightweight an item may be, there is still only a limited amount of space inside the bag for said items.  The whole point of handles is that they be able to meet.
  10. If you follow me out to my car, you will get the opportunity to hear a colorful critique of your performance.  Just in case you’re interested in immediate feedback.

I recognize that I’m picky and demanding about this.  But when you consider the economy, the price of groceries and the fact that I’m feeding a growing boy who consumes food at a rate I previously thought only possible by baby lions in the wild, more of my money goes for groceries than anything else.  I’m protective of my investment.  And even though, in the grand scheme of things, being a grocery bagger is not the most glamorous job, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it well or treat your customers like you care.  For those of you grocery people out there who really are doing it right, thank you.  You are a rare commodity and a pleasant surprise.  Just please be patient with me when I answer your greeting with the desperate screech, “I don’t need my milk in a bag!!”

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