Why grocery stores should not hire little old ladies as checkout clerks

Q: How do you get a bunch of little paper sacks?

A: You fuck an old bag.

Hey, it’s a supermarket joke!

If you don’t like the service, get the manager or better yet, go somewhere else.

That being said, talk about pathetic, So what was her name? Is this your regular store? Do they know you? You didn’t watch your groceries being registered?
When I have to I’ll bag, no big deal. It doesn’t happen often. I always know what the prices are and the total will be. I can take em out myself, esp. if another customer (esp a li’l old lady) needs help. Hell, I’ll bag HER stuff and take it out too.

You were in a daze, right? This is where the human race is headed, huh? Come on astro You’ve got more class than this… :frowning:

I’d much rather have some airhead that breaks my stuff and wants to play grabass w/ the guys or can’t work the register, wouldn’t you? :rolleyes:

Try being friendly. Get to know the checkers and the managers. Show them you’re a regular customer. You might be surprised at the results. When I pick out my groceries I keep them together…ie: cans w/ cans, frozen w/ frozen etc. and when I check out, I put it on the belt that way.

They always bag and at least offer to take my stuff out to the car and put it in the back for me. :slight_smile:

That’s allright, I have days like this too. :wink:

My question is what kind of full service grocer doesn’t have a bagging staff? I understand a discount place like Aldi (which charges you for yoru goddamn bags) not using baggers, as they usually only have one cashier, but what about Food Lion, Kroger, or our local Piggly Wiggly with their full bagging staffs? The only one which doesn’t have a full bagging staff is BiLo, which is about half U-Scan now. I’ve always had a bagger to do the actual loading. It goes cart to belt, belt to scanner, scanner to bagger, bagger to bag, bag to cart, cart to me. If I wanted to bag my own shit, I’d have gone to Sams or Aldi. Then again, I could also get a .79 two-liter of Coke at those places, as opposed to .99 at the Pig. Bah.

Jesus Christ …t-keela, is anybody (including you apparently) reading the OP.

1: The groceries at this store are always normally partially laid in and the customer infills with the smaller and lighter items

2: There was a nice little old lady who do not appear to me to be up to the demands of doing this, and in fact he she did not do this. This was change in the routine of the way things had always been done in this store to date.

3: Without hesitation, seeing that she expected me to do what the checkers had always done in the past, I put all my my own groceries in the cart, paid, and went on my way.

4: I was somewhat aggravated by this after the fact, in that I thought this change of routine was due to store management putting too much on this little old lady, and that this was a poor staffing decision on their part.

5: I asked whether my opinion in this regard was justified or not and whether the lay of the land had changed in terms of what the customer is expected to do.

6: I was informed that this is the current expectation in most areas.

That’s it! I did not growl or spit at her. I did make her load the groceries. I was perfectly nice to her, and I did not hold up the line or pee in the check out aisle to express my displeasure.

My after the fact irritation, as expressed in my OP was based on an apparently erroneous expectation that supermarkets should be staffing with checkers physically robust enought to lay in groceries. I was informed in no uncertain terms that this is not the lay of the land these days in grocery store checkout. I said that this was new info to me, and that I had learned something new.

Amen Astro, Major hijack here, but I too get tired of people reading a few words out of an OP or post, and then going off on their own little tangents based on the small portion they read.

If it makes you feel any better, a FEW of us read your ENTIRE OP, and understood your gripe, better yet, agreed with it.

My only complaint was that, from the title, I was hoping this was to be a gripe about the speed of certain checkers. There really needs to be a standard speed, you know? :smiley:

With some, I swear I can feel my bangs growing before they’re done scanning the first item. With other’s I’ve barely managed to pull out my debit card and they’re done and holding my bags up in my face with that “tap, tap, tap, TAKE THEM and move ON!!!” look on their face.


Actually astro what you said was basically that you watched her check and bag the groceries until she said YOU could now “lay them in…WTF?”

Then you went on a little rant for a couple of paragraphs about what an incompetent she was and about how pissed you were etc.

I understand the question and even agree to a certain extent. However, the way the OP is written you are bitching at/about her, not the management.

I have some knowledge/experience here, most of these “little old lady” checkers, didn’t start out this way and after doing this for twenty or more years they don’t have too many options, do they?

Try reading it again astro maybe you’ll see what I mean. When I say, sure the OP is clear but the rant is about her. :slight_smile:

BTW I don’t find it to be the norm, not here anyway.

AND, if you’d read the ENTIRE OP, you would have seen him say

Of course, that WAS at the end of his OP, hence Astro’s AND my counter gripe that too many people don’t read COMPLETELY and then get miffed about what they think they read.

I did read the whole thing. Nobody is saying he showed his ass at the store. AND after re-reading his OP from his PoV…I see what y’all are saying. It still seems to me to be over the top. Now if this happened everytime he went in…fuckin A right I’m finding me a manager.

Let’s just say I’m defending little old ladies today. My granny died this morning. She was 96. :frowning:

I’m sorry to hear that, t-keela.

And I agree the OP has a point, though such an experience would have not struck me in the same way. I would have merely trembled in fear at the approach of my own old-ladiness. It’s still quite a way off, but I have such a morbid cast of mind.

When I buy a heavier item (for example, one of those big mondo-giganto dog-food bags), I will either heft it up on the scanner myself or ask the cashier if I may leave it in the cart so he or she can use the hand scanner, if there is one. I cringe whenever they do offer to pick it up themselves.

In a grocery store, 99% of the items are smallish and easily lifted by most people. Most of the cashiers I deal with in this area - which happens to be astro’s general area as well - also do the bagging. They do so while scanning. It saves them time, and they know how to do it a heck of a lot better than I do.

(Of course, this discounts the warehouse-type stores, such as Shoppers, where the customer bags everything.)

Goddamn stores who hire old lady checkers!!! How DARE they give them the opportunity to supplement their measly retirement income!!! They should be home making cookies for the grandkids!!! :rolleyes:

Having a bagger here is pretty much the luck of the draw. There appear to be baggers-at-large, roving bands of baggers, who may fall upon your groceries and bag them, or who may cluster around a far checkout and talk about their friends.

I have no problem bagging, or filling my cart. I’d say it happens about 10% of the time when we go to Kroger. 50% at Meijer. Never at Big Bear.


Back in my day, the customer’s cart was unloaded by the cashier, who rang up each item as it was removed from the cart. Said items were then pushed towards the end of the cashier’s station, where the “bagboy” (no girls were ever employed for this function, it being too difficult for the fair sex) placed the items in bags, which were then loaded into another cart. Once all the items were bagged, loaded, and the customer had paid for the purchase, the bagboy pushed the cart to the customer’s car and loaded the groceries into it. Sometimes the bagboy got a tip but usually he did not. Also, back in those happier times, a $100.00 grocery tab was cause for gossip and speculation. Such a quantity of groceries would require three or four grocery carts to be used, and the checking/bagging process could take a half-hour, easily. Now, a $100.00 tab can fit into less than a full cart, and I have to load my purchase into a cart, push it to my car and unload it myself. Something just doesn’t seem right, does it?


This would be new information to me too, as full service is most assuredly the case in my part of Texas. I doubt it’s the “norm,” any more than gas station attendants (which we do not have here) are the “norm” all over the country.

I know exactly where you are coming from. You not only come to expect a certain service but are comfortable with the idea of the cost of said service being included in the cost of your groceries. People who have never had baggers would not understand this, something which is more than evident from their contributions. I would also agree that it reflects poorly on management to hire someone so obviously not able to bag the groceries in a store where such a service is expected.


Keep rolling those eyes, it doesn’t change the fact that those who are unable to perform a service integral to their job should not expect to keep said job. In this case, don’t work at a store where the customers are not expected to do the bagging if you can’t do the bagging (let alone do the checking at reasonable speed).

But I’m sorry, I live in a world where things like ability matter.

Am I the only one who understood the frustration of having to do what seemed to be the store employee’s job for her, but was gobsmacked, hornswaggled, and otherwise offput in a brain-spinning sort of way to learn that a woman in her early 60’s was a “little old lady?”

Yeah, it would be news to me too, here in Colorado. Unless you’re going to one of the giant Cub Foods-type places, they bag AND load your groceries. Always. They also ask if you want help out to your car. Heck, even COSTCO bags and loads my groceries. Everyone around here has baggers, too, unless you’re in the express lane, where the cashier will normally bag. So, astro, you are not alone.

risking a me-too post
This was also my reaction, TeaElle. And there was me thinking the Americans were pioneers on the anti-ageism front. The term “little old lady” bugs me anyway - it’s absolutely bursting with stereotypes and is, IMO, pretty demeaning.

When I grow up I want to be this lady:


And if they’re gonna be checkers, they better deal with the heavy lifting. “Granny” needs to spend time in the weight room buffing her abs. Then they can strap her into one of those back-protective harnesses so she can load astro’s cart.
I feel for astro. It can be very upsetting (insert soothing tone of voice here) to have one’s routine disrupted.

Or maybe I’m being too understanding, and the OP is just a dumb ageist rant.

I believe I’m on the verge of discovering a new natural law.

It seems that no matter the subject, if an OP contains a story about an interaction between people where any issue is in doubt, someone will be offended by the actions of the OP and will post an attack on the OP.

Right or wrong, it happens very often. I will need to test the hypothesis under varying conditions (the forum in question, the poster’s status, the day of the week, phases of the moon, etc…)

Just look at the hot buttons pushed in this thread: “little old ladies”, store employee duties, customer obligations, social interaction, purchasing habits- just to name a few.

My opinion on the OP: Bag your own, and load your own cart. It’s the only way to make sure you don’t crush the bread and eggs. I never know if the bagger is going to pack the groceries and leave them to me or if they want to take them to the car. I hate to wait, so if a bagger is not there I’m on it. Why look for things to get upset about, it’s not like there isn’t enough to go around…