Stupid Normal People at the Grocery Store

I said “stupid normal people” because when I started this rant I realized I was being insulting to the “mentally challenged” baggers by lumping them in with the people I am pissed off at. At least the mentally retarded baggers give a damn about the job they do. I don’t even mind pointing the one guy back at the store when he gets lost in the parking lot because for him navigating a parking lot is a mental stretch and at least he is trying.


This is NOT rocket science! You open the bag. You put grocercies in the bag. You put more than one item in a bag. You do not put so many items in bag the bag overflows. Put heavy, hard stuff on the bottom and light, breakable/squishy stuff on top.


Granted it’s not a glamourous job, but neither is shoveling horseshit, which I did while working in a stable. You get paid because folks won’t do this for free. You don’t get paid a lot because, frankly, it doesn’t take much to do the job - that’s why the mentally retarded can do it so successfully. Just do it, do it right, and when you can move on to something that pays more or gets your rocks off or something.

I am so fucking tired of watching some fukhead put just one goddamn item a bag and load my cart up with a ton of plastic. If I wanted that much plastic I’d buy it by the roll, OK? I can only fit so much shit in my car, and with that many bags there is no room for groceries. Or I say I want just paper and the asswipe bagger bags every fucking item in plastic (one item per bag, of course) THEN puts the plastic-wrapped items into the paper bag. Why the FUCK did I say JUST PAPER?

Today I said “paper” (I re-use both paper and plastic around the house, but usually run to too much plastic in storage) He gave me a dirty look. Today’s bagger only wanted to put one goddamned six-pack in a paper sack. I said two to sack. He gave me a dirty look and said they’ll rip. I said you can put three six-packs in those bags before they’ll rip. I also suggested maybe throwing the instant rice and the bread on top of the pop so I don’t need 12 bazillion bags for 12 items.

(I should also point out that I usually tell the bagger I’d like the bags a little full so minimize the number, please, and they usually accomodate my request. MOST baggers at this store actually DO want to make the customers happy)

Get out to my car. The asswipe STACKED the sixpackson top of each other instead of side by side - the store has a FUCKING DIAGRAM ON THE WALL explaining about how to pack a paper bag which Mr. Normal clearly can’t read. (But somehow the retarded - I mean that in a clinical, not a deragatory way - baggers have deciphered how to perform this feat). So the goddamn bags are falling over, being improperly bagged, and the pop is squashing everything else. I think the asshole did it on purpose.

Add that on to the snide little twenty-something who always has some smartass comment about killing trees if you take paper, or pollution if you take plastic. Same little bitch always gets all fastidious about meat. Listen you little fukhead, I don’t get my panties in a twist over your green-slime smoothies and fungus burgers, just shut up about what I eat. It’s none of your goddamn business what I eat, just bag it, OK? Wear gloves if it makes you feel better. Just because I happen to like an occassional slice of tofu doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up carnivory so just deal with it.

Other teeney-bopper baggers: If you your boyfriend the next line over can handle bagging “feminine protection products” without making a big production over it you can damn well bag gramp’s pack of Depends without squealing or handling it like a dead rat. It’s not like I’m asking you to get rid of them after the man uses 'em, when they really are disgusting. Nor are condoms or other forms of birth control “disgusting”. And you can just keep your fucking little eyes off the pharmacy labels when I pick up medicine at the super-hyper-mega-quickie-mart because what ills me and mine are heir to are NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.

Boy baggers: Gee, I am just so fucking sorry that I, a woman twice your age (at least) am not nearly as fascinating as the under-21 underdressed checker next door but at least TRY to do your job, since my business helps pay your paycheck which you will probably spend foolishly in an unsuccessful attempt to convince the girl-checker to have sex with you. She won’t, because you’re a loser. She is more likely to fuck the retarded bagger at her line that you, Mr. Normal and oversexed, because the retarded guy is a gentleman and doesn’t piss off the people in line by gawking when he should be working.

Well, I’m starting to feel better. Thanks for listening.

Don’t you think that this is just a slight exageration? :smiley:

On the other hand, I know where you are coming from though, having been a bagger back when I was a kid, many moons ago. Now days though, I usually just ask the bagger to put a paper bag inside the plastic bag. That way, I can have my groceries neatly stacked up in the bag and still have the convenient carrying handles to.

I think that the reason that the stores use the plastic bags so much and so often is that they cost so much less than the paper bags do. Just one way that the store can keep the cost of the items you buy down to the bare mininum.


I was a front end supervisor at a grocery store back in the day and if I had a nickel for everytime I had to explain this:

You are paid to bag groceries and to bribg carts in from the parking lot, not to discuss your personal lives in front of the customers.

I had one guy actually say " My girlfriend’s pussy is so tight" on the sales floor. Charming.

But if I had a nickel for every time I had to say something I’d own the fucking store now.

I’m with you here. I used to bag groceries and I was damned good at it. I left that job right before the plastic bags, or “T-Sacks”, came into popular use. Now, I work for a distribution company that sells the damned things. Yes, they are cheaper ($17 per thousand for plastic versus $24 per four hundred paper). However, any profit you have gained there is lost when you give a customer 2-3 times as many bags. Some minivan companies have even added little hooks in the cargo area to hold the things.

As far as the baggers’ attitude: they don’t care and neither do the stores. The kids can always flip burgers for the same amount of money and the stores can just replace them with more of the same.

I’m not quite sure of the exact date, but good customer service has died.

I’ve been a bagger (at a military commissary, where we worked for tips only) but this was about 20 years ago. We were taught how to bag (one or two layers of canned goods, then put something lightweight on top, and nothing goes on top of the eggs except for bread). Bagging isn’t terrifically hard. It does get boring. But, damn it, the bagger IS supposed to be bagging, not having a personal conversation.

And, by the way, we use our own bags…we’ve got half a dozen string bags, which will hold most of a week’s worth of groceries. They take up very little room, the handles don’t cut into your hands, and they don’t break. I highly recommend them. We’ve found them to be easier to use than to haul a gazillion plastic or paper bags home, and then remembering to store or recycle the disposables. Canvas totes work well, too, but they take up more room.

I don’t mean to be rude, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The store where I work is constantly looking for new employees. In fact, I don’t think that we have had enough people for the front end or any of the departments for over a year. This also could be a problem exclusive to the San Jose area, cause if you drive down the street you will se a “HELP WANTED” sign in dam near every window.

By the way, the last time that I was at Inn’n out Burger, they offered almost ten dollars an hour with two weeks vacation. That’s over two dollars an hour more than the courtesy clerks* make.

*that’s industry lingo for baggers.

Well at KMart, they have very specific rules for how you bag stuff (there are no baggers, the cashiers to it). You scan the first item, you put it in the bag. You scan the second item, you put it in the bag. And so on. You may not collect the items on the counter and bag them when you are done. If the first item is a bag of potato chips and the second item is something heavy, the customer is screwed. This policy supposedly makes the lines move faster. So it is enforced. It is enforced throughly. Sometimes the checkout manager just walks around trying to catch people who are not bagging in the correct manner. Peple who get caught violating the policy may be written up. When the district manager comes to your store to check up on people, they observe the cashiers to make sure that this policy is being followed. If it’s not, the store owner gets a warning. This is a fairly typical example of the KMart corporate bosses in action.

Thank you for giving me another reason NOT to shop at Kmart.

Anyhow - I usually try to help out the baggers by putting heavy stuff first, because I know it’s easier to pack if you don’t have sort through stuff to find heavy and light. See how nice I am?

This is really minor compared to some of the complaints …

But if the object is big, heavy, with sharp corners, and has handles aleady, don’t put it in a bag. Examples include, but are not limited to, beer/soda, bleach, cat food (in rigid plastic containers) etc. I get so tired of pulling the one item out of the bag and dumping the bag in the recycle bin on the way out the door. Yes, I know I should ask them not to use one, but sometimes I forget, and it’s awkward if you have mixed items to call out what they should not bag.

I know that rule at Kmart, but they don’t enforce it at my store, thank god. We had one manager who tried to make us, but I told him it just pissed off the Customers. I just take a bag and as I scan, I bag. I scan a bit-then bag a bit. Scan a bit, bag a bit.
And I ALWAYS organize stuff-no soap or chemicals or anything in with food. I am so anal about this.

Boy, way to rant at the helpless–like I ever had a choice about these sorts of things when I was a bagger.

Half the asinine things baggers do are because either management, customers, or both has shouted at them to engage in some sort of stupidity. After a while, you begin to do things automatically. Like wrap all meat, fish, ice cream, and chicken in separate plastic bags. I always knew it was a waste, but that didn’t mean I had a choice.

You know that I once had a lady tell me that the one gallon container of milk that I put in the bag–all by its lonesome–was too much? The cashier just turned and said, “what, do you want him to pour it into little paper cups?”

It might help if you just said “pack it heavy”, or “don’t bother wrapping things”.

Anytime. I could give you plenty of other reasons. Kmart is run completly and totally by incompetent people. There is no logical explanation for why they still exist.

The most annoying things about shopping or working there is the security system. There isn’t any security force. They just stick the magnetic tags on most clothing items and a few other things. A magnetic device beneath the counter is supposed to deactivate them, but it doesn’t always work. In an average day, I’d say that you get about fifteen false alarms per day, and I never saw them actually catch a shoplifter, though. The siren is really ear-splitting, and it goes for about thirty seconds. So you have to run up to the person, try to explain to them about how sorry you are about missing one of the security tags, and dig through their bags looking for the offending item while the siren is still going.

And I could go on describing other bad things at Kmart all day. But I’m tired right now.

You realize of course that the US is one of the very few countries that have baggers? In most other countries you bag your own - hell, in some you’re expected to supply your own bags. Did I do a better job bagging my own? Well, sometimes yes; sometimes not.

I had a bad experience at a grocery store today.

Went to the Super Target to pick up groceries and a new workout outfit for my wife. We get to the front, the cashier tells us our total is 105.98, we write a check, she stick it in the verification machine, and it comes back. She says the check is rejected, should she try it again? Yeah, make sure she is using the right drivers license number, and it comes back. She asks if we have an alternate form of payment, nope, she says she will just void the check out and we can just leave the groceries there (already bagged up and back in the cart, by your’s truly).

This was weird, we should have enough money and we are always writing checks there. We go to a pay phone and call the number to see what our balance is, it’s over $360. We went to the service desk and explain that we have the money but the check was rejected. She asks to see the check, looks on the back, and it was printed on there to call this certain number so they could get an authorization number since it was over the amount of sale. What? Turns out the total was $105.94, the cashier gave my wife the wrong total and apparently they need to call some 800 number when someone writes the check for over the amount of purchase or something like that. The cashier apparently didn’t notice that. We get back in line with the same cashier, same check, groceries still bagged up and wait to go through again. My wife went and sat down in the snack bar area because she was afraid I would cause a scene with the cashier that just wasted half an hour of our lives. I didn’t, I just told her that the woman in customer service said that she was supposed to call the number on the back of the check when it came back, and not void it out immediately. Cashier got all huffy and waved her hands around saying ‘I don’t call no numbers for rejected checks’ but the check went through this time.


Something you MAY be overlooking:
Many sackers aren’t incompetent, they put your gallon of milk and 2-Liters sodas on top of your bread just because they think it’s funny.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I was told that grocery stores get a tax break for hiring mentally handicapped employees. I tried to be a cashier at a chain store called “Brookshire’s”. It was a nightmare. I have nothing against the mentally handicapped, but geez, we couldn’t ask them to do price checks, get the proper item for the customer, ANYTHING. It was actually Store (and maybe Comapany) Policy.

My brother worked at another grocery store that had exclusively mentally handicapped courtesy clerks. He said one was REALLY handicapped. He often smelled like shit. Yeah, I’m talkin’ human waste here. That’s just asking a bit much from customers.

LOL, I applied to be a bag boy at a Brookshire’s my senior year in high school. I didn’t get the job, though.

Paper? Plastic? Fuck no – canvas. I have a heap o’ canvas shopping bags I take to the grocery store, and I bag my own. I may wrap meat or frozen items in a plastic bag to keep them from dripping on other things, but it saves me from ending up with lots of plastic bags, and as you can fit more into a canvas bag I usually end up with three bags instead of six or seven plastic ones.

Okay, so they weigh 20 pounds each, but hey, it’s good exercise. :slight_smile:

How many hundred thousand times do I have to say, “J’ai mon propre sac; vous pourriez utiliser celui-ci; je le veux ici-dedans” before you figure out I’m not standing here holding this big-ass canvas bag for my health?

I gotta agree with you here. There are certain grocery stores in my area that hire the mentally handicapped, and I always hate it. I have no problem with it if they can do the job. More often, however, I have one or more of the following things happen:

  • Bagger tries to make conversation or jokes with me or the cashier instead of bagging my groceries. Now, I have no problem with light chat while he/she is bagging groceries, but damn it, I don’t want to take time out of my lunch hour to look at your new shoes and talk about how much they cost! Bag my groceries!

  • Bagger has no clue how to do his/her job, and the cashier, instead of checking out the next person in line, has to continually correct him/her. “No, don’t put those cans of tomatoes on top of the bread, put them in another bag. No, you can’t take your break now, finish up with this person first. Hey! Don’t put those bananas in with the rat poison!”

  • Bagger is so slow that he/she is still bagging the groceries of the person in front of me when the cashier is done ringing up my order.

Sheesh! Make sure the person - handicapped or otherwise - can DO the job before you hire them!

It’s not like this all over the US, either. When I lived in Michigan and Minnesota, I bagged my own groceries. Here in Colorado and most surrounding states, they have baggers.

Actually, that’s not a waste; it’s a sensible health precaution to prevent cross-contamination. Meat packages often leak, and if you don’t want your three-year-old to get violently sick because your package of chicken breasts leaked juice containing campylobacter and salmonella onto the bananas, which you gave to your kid as a snack, then wrap your meat separately.