Monday, June 14, 2010

Bagging Groceries

Don’t you just hate when the cashier (or whoever) that bags your groceries places your bag of apples in the same bag as your sandwich bread? Or your carton of milk next to your pint of raspberries? Or your eggs together with some cans of soup?

Yeah, me too.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. I mean, who the heck puts sandwich bread in the same bag as apples, for crying out loud? Still. There is a lot of truth in what I’m writing and I’m sure that everyone has experienced this at one time or another. I call it boneheaded bagging.

In all honesty, I don’t encounter boneheaded bagging very often; most people know without needing to be told that you don’t pack heavy items with fragile ones. This is common sense. But there are a few individuals that do this, which makes me wonder what the heck they’re thinking when they’re doing at the time. Probably not thinking at all. And certainly not concerned about your purchases.

Now, when it’s a young person, I think to myself that they probably just don’t realize what they’re doing. They may be living at home and a parent does all the grocery shopping, so they really have no idea how groceries should be bagged; it’s irrelevant to them. So there’s room for understanding here. But when it’s someone my age (middle-aged) and I’m guessing that at this point they’re no longer living with their parents (and if they are, they are doing some of the grocery shopping), I really don’t get it. When these ‘older’ individuals go grocery shopping, don’t they make sure that their fragile items are bagged carefully? Separately from the heavy ones? So that their sandwich bread isn’t flattened? And their strawberries aren’t turned into jam?

Regardless of who’s doing the packing, I believe the store bears some degree of responsibility for this. Instead of assuming that their employees know how to bag things properly, businesses should offer some training on it. It’s not even training, really, so much as a short explanation. How long could it possibly take to explain to your people why it’s a bad idea to place eggs together with a 5-pound bag of potatoes? And how that would make a customer feel. Seriously. Not that much effort or time is required to pass along this simple message.

Personally, I’m a fan of the ‘bring-your-own-bags’ and ‘pack-your-own-items’ fad that has swept across the country. I am now in control of how my products are packed. And I no longer have to encounter eye-rolling or grunting when I ask for my raspberries to be placed in a separate bag because “they’re going to get squashed by the carton of milk”.


  1. Yep, it's happened, but most cashiers at my local store are pretty good. Another one I love is packing a bag so full, like with four jugs of milk, that you KNOW it'll break. So you ask for another bag and feel like a jerk, but hey, you're the one that's got to carry it.

  2. Oh yeah, Tatiana! I'd forgotten about that. The overloading of bags. It happens a lot at WalMart. They haven't jumped on the 'bring your own bags' bandwagon, but they jam so many items into each bag that they may as well.

  3. Huh. That's one thing that always seems weird to me, getting stuff bagged at the supermarket. We don't have that here in Austria - always unsettling when it happens to me on holiday! I'm quite happy to do my own bagging. :)

  4. Yvynettle, most people are bagging their own things these days, which suits me just fine. I prefer to do it myself.