Dear Sainsbury's (Irate Shopping Rant)

Can I just point out that I loath, hate, object to and detest Sainsbury’s policy of allowing charity groups to descend en-masse on your supermarkets in order “to help with the packing”. To be blunt; there are two issues here;

1/ if I wanted to give money to this charity, I would.
2/ if I wanted two completely untrained and inept strangers to botch the packing of my food for me, I would.

I see no connection between these two stances and I deplore your efforts to make one. Maybe you’ll be amazed to hear that the second of these will never, ever be a desire of mine and I do not care for being placed in a position of being morally blackmail into accepting it.

As it happened, my packing was ‘helped’ today by a woman who licked her fingers for every bag and a girl who had obviously never filled a supermarket bag before in her life. Consequently we were lumbered with the worse packed shopping I’ve ever had the misfortune of carrying in my life. This charity job of ‘helping’ simply caused more work and effort from the moment we stepped out of your shop.

I don’t care for grocery shopping at the best of times, but here we were expected to ‘donate’ for a job very was so badly done that it was a very real hindrance, and that I did not even wish done in the first place. This made me very, very annoyed.

This isn’t the first time either. Something like a year ago it was the scouts’ fund raiser. There I practically had to snatch the bags from two young lads who thought their afternoon’s task a right hoot. They were playing; “How Much Of My Hand Can I Lick To Peel The Next Plastic Bag From The Pile”. (No, I’m not exaggerating or being sarcastic. This is exactly what they were doing.) I had to firmly tell them their help was not wanted. And the next person in the queue, having witnessed their behaviour too, not surprisingly followed my example.

So I am very, very annoyed. And you can be sure that the next time I find myself faced with ‘being helped with my packing’ I will be leaving your shop. And I’ll be telling you why before I leave.

On an unrelated note, I see here that Sainsbury’s expect other web sites to apply for permission to link to them! Are they for real???

This is actually somewhat common in the U.S., especially around the holidays. I agree with you that my groceries aren’t packed very well, but if the choices are having my groceries packed for a buck or two, and being hit up with overpriced crap, I’ll let them pack groceries.


I’ve actually been a grocery bagger in the past. It was at an Air Force commissary, and we all worked for tips only, thus giving us an incentive to work quickly and efficiently. I wouldn’t mind allowing a charity group to bag my groceries IF, and ONLY IF, I 1) approved of the charity (there are quite a few charities I don’t like) 2) the baggers have been trained to bag properly and 3) I have the option of asking for a store bagger or bagging my groceries myself, whichever is the normal option at that store. For instance, if my local grocery store normally has a worker who bags my groceries, I want the option of calling a store worker over. Perhaps some registers could be clearly marked as having charity workers bagging, and other registers could have whatever other option the store normally offers.

Bagging groceries isn’t rocket science, but a bagger should observe basic hygiene and common sense precautions. Basic hygiene includes not licking or otherwise putting one’s bodily substances on the groceries or bags. Common sense includes putting the eggs on TOP of other groceries, except for baked goods. There’s also a few other things, like not bagging poisons (cleaners, soaps, etc.) with any food items except for canned goods, and only putting down ONE layer of canned goods per bag. These rules and guidelines can be learned in an hour or two, so it shouldn’t be too burdensome for charity groups to have all would-be baggers attend a learning session first. I’d also want to see a supervisor at the site, for reporting things like people licking their fingers.

I used to go to a grocery store which offered fairly good savings, but it charged shoppers per bag, and expected shoppers to bag the groceries themselves. Now that my husband and I have tired middle-aged backs and a larger income, this chain is no longer as attractive as it used to be. But I can still, if necessary, bag groceries pretty darn efficiently.

I think that if I went to a store, was not given an option of whether or not I wanted my groceries bagged by charity workers, and had them bagged badly, I’d unpack my bags right there and rebag them. And I would NOT give a donation. I would, however, hunt up the store manager and give him or her an earful.

I have never seen that. If I did, it would make me unlikely to shop at that market again. It’s as bad as the United Way Drive.


Thats really common over here, Ireland, or at least is it at the supermarket I work at. Most people dont seem to mind it, they see it as simply a way of getting rid of there lose change, because lets face it, the change on the euro is worth pittance.

They usually come in around all the major holidays, but sometimes on bank holiday weekends or even just the busy days of the week. There always pre approved and more often then not there for the ISPCA, ISPCC, Childrens Group Link, and various medical conditions that need funding. Most of our customers dont mind this, actually to be honest most people are very fond of it because we dont offer bag packers, few supermarkets over here do…

Anyway I side tracked there, my reason for replying is, if you dont like it, then tell your store, about two weeks ago in work there was a lady who complained because her bags were packed badly and stuff got broken, if they get enough complaints from people like you, then theyll make sure that the kids & adults know how to pack…

I think that “you” are the only one who can “morally blackmail” yourself. All they do is fool with your groceries.

Maybe those charity baggers hope you’ll tip them in exchange for them sodding off already?

Sounds about right to me! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

My beef is with the mindset of the ‘baggers’, and all the other receptacle wavers who try to intimidate the public with their apparent social concern and goodliness.

I can barely imagine a more self-serving, self-gratifying, grandiose way to spend a spare afternoon than wasting everyone’s else’s time rattling around with a Julie Andrews meets Diana expression on their look-at-me-I’m-so-giving made-up like a mannequin faces.

Of course, their time isn’t entirely wasted because they get to tell their neighbours and work colleagues and family about just how hard is all was, but how they did persevere because, you know, it was for charity: A martyr to the cause, except the cause is themselves and the effect is settling down in front of the teeevee a few hours later feeling Rather Good About Themselves.

If they’d hand out leaflets explaining that it’s far better for everyone to give by Standing Order at the bank or direct by payroll (because the Government contributes 10% on top of whatever is given that way), and then ask if I’d like to give something in the interim, I’d have more time for them. What these people do is the least effective way to give to charity, and they just encourage it time after time after time. Sure it’s better than nothing, but they should be actively encouraging people to give better.

But really, I’d just like them to support their chosen charity by going out and getting some fucking training so they can do something for the people they claim to support, rather than stand around looking so damn concerned and sincere - and so damn pleased with themselves - when really it’s more about feeling good about themselves.

And yes, I can’t wait to explain to some of these people exactly that. Even if it means going to Sainsbury’s, and in daylight hours.

Aye – totally with you on this one futile. Once in the 10 years I have done my shopping did I allow some bag packer to pack me bags and never again. She had all my soft and fragile perishables squashed under me big hard items. Not nice.

And I too shop at Sainsbury’s. And some time ago, my local Sainsbury’s also had the scouts offering to pack. WHAT!!?? If one of your “professional packers” is so sodding lame at packing, you really think that I am going to allow some giddy snot nosed brat to handle my foodstuffs? I. Don’t. bloody. think. so. :mad: