Do you ever get an attitude from cashiers when you have your own bags? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-21-2010, 05:32 PM
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I've noticed that sometimes when I go to stores and tell the cashier that I have my own bag, (or just hand it to them) they sometimes have weird reactions. I've even had some want me to help them bag my stuff. I'm a pretty easy going person, so I don't really care, but this happened yesterday when my brother was there. He said that was the first time he'd had to bag his own groceries. It got me to thinking about the weird reactions I've gotten. What is it about bringing my own bags that seems to throw people off so much? Why would a cashier need me to help her bag my stuff? Isn't that part of her job? This has happened to me several times. All I'm asking is for them to use my bag instead of a disposable plastic one. It isn't even shaped differently. It has long handles just like a regular plastic bag. I've been thinking about it, and I think it may be that because I am bringing my own bags they think that I am "fussy" or "particular" so maybe they just want me to be involved in the bagging process so that it's done correctly. I guess that sort of makes sense, but I don't think that's what it is most of the time. I honestly think that some cashiers/bag boys just feel like I'm inconveniencing them somehow. I guess some people just do things in an automated way, and when I have my own bag they view it as something different, some new "hassle" that they have to deal with. Even if they don't say anything I've had people give me dirty looks. There was even one guy who made some rude comments (I can't remember exactly what he said.) and then took my peppers out of my bag (to weigh them I guess....as if the bag would add much weight) and rolled them along the counter after wards. Another guy gave me a plastic bag even though I told him I had my own. He then took the plastic bag and put it inside my bag.

I have definitely noticed that the rudeness occurs mostly in older people. (Perhaps unhappy older people who are set in their ways?) Younger people don't seem to be fazed by it.

For the record, I don't put up with that kind of behavior anymore. I always politely tell people that I don't want a bag before they can even reach for one. I haven't had anyone insist that I take one anyway, but if that happened I would leave it there.

Anyone else experience this?

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#2 Old 11-21-2010, 05:40 PM
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I had a bit of that reaction in the begining, before stores started selling recyclable bags, but no more.
I started with tote bags I had around, but realized they were pretty inconvienent. Now I have the typical ones stores sell, and have no problem.
Give it time. Hopefully stores will stop stocking plastic altogether and if you don't have your own, you can use boxes. or buy paper.
Go Aldis for already doing just that!

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#3 Old 11-21-2010, 05:43 PM
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i go to the self check out. it's more comfortable. have the receipt in your hand on your way out in order to make them feel more at ease.

in the liquor store i had a guy say it was policy then plastic bag up the dark rum and then put it in the reusable bag i brought. That was a while ago, maybe it's changed or he misunderstood something but there's probably an element of truth that they prefer to see their company plastic bag which you didn't come in with as an indicator that you paid for something.

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#5 Old 11-21-2010, 05:50 PM
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I never have that problem because most people have reusable bags here. they made a big deal promoting them about a year ago or so
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#6 Old 11-21-2010, 05:51 PM
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Never had that experience as far as I know. Where do you live? Is reusing bags common there?
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#7 Old 11-21-2010, 05:52 PM
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I'm in Oklahoma. I almost never see anyone with their own bags.

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Go Aldis for already doing just that!

Yea, that's the great thing about Aldi. I haven't been there in a while. I need to start going again.

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#8 Old 11-21-2010, 06:05 PM
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Perhaps it is a regional thing. I live in the Los Angeles area, and I think quite the opposite is true. The stores encourage you to bring your own bags. The cities of LA and San Francisco have banned the one-use plastic bags. Every grocery chain I've been in sells reusable bags with their logo on them. Two of the chains where I shop, Sprouts and Henry's, take 5 cents off your total for every reusable bag you bring in to carry your groceries out.

And on the extreme, if you go to an IKEA in the LA area, most of the checkout lines are self-service. If you want a checker you can wait in a line that is usually much longer than self-checkout. And whatever line you choose, you are expected to bring your own bags AND bag them yourself. They charge 5 cents per bag if you don't bring your own.

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#9 Old 11-21-2010, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post

Is it unusual where you are for people to bring their own bags? If so, the cashiers and baggers might just not be used to it yet. I used to get a lot of strange looks and attitude, but since it seems more common now for people to bring their own bags, and it doesn't seem to phase them anymore. I do frequently ask for no bag at all, if I'm only buying a few things I can just carry them. Especially if I've forgotten my cloth bag. This sometimes gives them more trouble, but I've started just telling them right when I get to the front of the line. If they seem put out about it, I just try to be pleasant and say something like, "oh, I've got so many of those at home already, I don't need any more right now!"

I do sometimes wish I could bag my own groceries every where, I often get squished things because the baggers don't seem to be trained very well here.

Around here it's getting to be more common but it's still unusual to bring your own bags. I get looks more often than not.

I'm with you on bagging groceries myself. So many baggers damage my groceries.
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#10 Old 11-21-2010, 06:11 PM
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Perhaps it is a regional thing. I live in the Los Angeles area, and I think quite the opposite is true. The stores encourage you to bring your own bags. The cities of LA and San Francisco have banned the one-use plastic bags. Every grocery chain I've been in sells reusable bags with their logo on them. Two of the chains where I shop, Sprouts and Henry's, take 5 cents off your total for every reusable bag you bring in to carry your groceries out.

And on the extreme, if you go to an IKEA in the LA area, most of the checkout lines are self-service. If you want a checker you can wait in a line that is usually much longer than self-checkout. And whatever line you choose, you are expected to bring your own bags AND bag them yourself. They charge 5 cents per bag if you don't bring your own.

Why weren't you at our meetup two Saturdays ago? (I hope to see you at our next one!)

Ditto about the bags, though. I don't get any attitude, because it's very common around here now for customers to bring in their own bags. Many places will sell their own bags (usually with a store name and logo on them, and often dirt cheap) and will give a 5 or 10 cent discount for each bag we use.

The only problem I have when I bring in my own bags is that by the time my turn comes up in the checkout line, I'm so distracted that I don't always get my reusable bags to the bagger in time, and everything I buy ends up in the plastic single use bags before I can do or say anything. I have to be quick as lightning if I want my own bags used.

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#11 Old 11-21-2010, 06:24 PM
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I haven't had an issue with an attitude, but sometimes baggers will put items in plastic bags and then put them in my bags and I always catch them and say "no plastic, please, everything can go in my bags" and they look at me like I'm crazy.

I don't see what the big deal is about bagging your own groceries. If there isn't a bagger, I typically bag my own. I can even see why it would be more difficult for a cashier to bag into reusable bags if s/he didn't have help. Their stations are designed with the plastic bag holder thing where they can scan and place in the bag in one fluid motion. It isn't the same with reusable.

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#13 Old 11-21-2010, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RabbitLuvr View Post

I try to arrange the groceries on the belt in the order that they *should* be bagged. This usually works for me, as long as I only have one bags' worth of groceries, but the trouble starts if I have more than that. Then I end up with the head of cabbage on top of the bundle of cilantro.

Here they usually ignore what order the groceries are put in...in fact at Kroger they will reach over things at the front of the line to scan things that are in the middle. And they don't pass things over the scanner then place them on the next belt. Nope. They THROW them.
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#14 Old 11-21-2010, 07:09 PM
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I was a cashier!

I can say it's just startling because your so used to scan, bag, done over and over for hours, that when person says no no wait I have my own bags, it's a suprise. And a bit of a pain if they don't tell you until you've already bagged a bunch of stuff. I like when they let me know before I start scanning. They shouldn't be rude though. I'm so weird but I had fun bagging the reusable ones because they're square and fit boxed items much neater haha, I made sure the stuff was orginized, so many customers told me I was way better at bagging then them. Plus I'd be all proud of them for not using the plastic bags. That was something I cringed at work, SO many wasted plastic bags. And the older people want as many bags as possible so they aren't heavy.

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#15 Old 11-21-2010, 07:13 PM
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Why on Earth are other people bagging your stuff in the first place?

Bizarre foreigners.

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#16 Old 11-21-2010, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KirstenKat View Post

I was a cashier!

I can say it's just startling because your so used to scan, bag, done over and over for hours, that when person says no no wait I have my own bags, it's a suprise. And a bit of a pain if they don't tell you until you've already bagged a bunch of stuff. I like when they let me know before I start scanning. They shouldn't be rude though. I'm so weird but I had fun bagging the reusable ones because they're square and fit boxed items much neater haha, I made sure the stuff was orginized, so many customers told me I was way better at bagging then them. Plus I'd be all proud of them for not using the plastic bags. That was something I cringed at work, SO many wasted plastic bags. And the older people want as many bags as possible so they aren't heavy.

I can completely understand being annoyed if they don't tell you until you've already started. That would be annoying. I've worked retail too, and the amount of bags that were wasted used to upset me. No one EVER brought their own bags when I worked retail. Sometimes people wanted a bag for only one thing.

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I don't see what the big deal is about bagging your own groceries. If there isn't a bagger, I typically bag my own. I can even see why it would be more difficult for a cashier to bag into reusable bags if s/he didn't have help. Their stations are designed with the plastic bag holder thing where they can scan and place in the bag in one fluid motion. It isn't the same with reusable.

I don't think it's a big deal. I bag my own stuff a lot of the time. I go through the self checkout lines when I can. I do think it's a little silly for a cashier to tell me (not to ask, but to tell me) to help her as though I am somehow making things more difficult for her. I use baggu bags which are pretty much shaped like a regular bag. They slide easily into that holder. It takes a few extra seconds I guess, but I really don't see how it would slow them down much. I have seen many cashiers slide them into that holder no problem. Some people are really not phased by me bringing my own bags. Now that I am more bold about insisting that I don't want a bag I generally don't have problems. It's just a few people that act weird about it. (almost ALWAYS when I'm at Walmart...I don't go there very often)

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Why on Earth are other people bagging your stuff in the first place?

Bizarre foreigners.

Where are you from? You don't have bag boys? People expect it around here. My issue is not with having to bag my own stuff. It's with being singled out.

Anyway, I'm not upset about it. Don't get the wrong idea. I'm mostly just curious why some cashiers seem to find it annoying.

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#18 Old 11-21-2010, 08:05 PM
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I find it a little shocking, personally, that people will stand there and stare while the cashier rings everything up and then bags all of their groceries. Like, instead of standing there, how about putting the stuff in a bag? I guess it doesn't occur to them or they don't want to? I don't consider it anyone's "job" to bag the groceries; it's just something that needs to be done, and so why would I *not* do it?

I bring my own bags and get positive comments about it. Soemtimes I'm in a position where I don't have a bad and they seem disappointed.
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#19 Old 11-21-2010, 08:39 PM
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Many of the retail stores here also place a 5 cent charge for plastic bags. There are very few cashiers who would complain about having to accommodate reusable bags now that plastic bag alternatives have become popularized. In fact, most of the difficulty surrounds the few customers who so adamantly oppose a 5 cent charge. Even though it has been shown to drastically reduce the use of plastic bags, and some of the companies donate all the money spent on bags to charitable organizations, it's apparently still a big conspiracy to scam people out of their money. Where I work, there's been a 75% decrease in plastic bags from last year. I think that's pretty amazing. I hope Oklahoma catches on soon!
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#20 Old 11-21-2010, 08:48 PM
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Most of you obviously don't get the same kinds of attitudes that I do. It probably is a regional thing.

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I find it a little shocking, personally, that people will stand there and stare while the cashier rings everything up and then bags all of their groceries. Like, instead of standing there, how about putting the stuff in a bag? I guess it doesn't occur to them or they don't want to? I don't consider it anyone's "job" to bag the groceries; it's just something that needs to be done, and so why would I *not* do it?

Well if you want to help out the cashier by bagging your own stuff that's great. I do that when I can as well, (You can't do that at every store. It depends on how the register/lane is set up.) but (around here at least) bagging a customer's items IS part of the job. I can guarantee you that when employees are trained they are told to bag items. That's why so many of them do it automatically, and that's why I have to tell them right from the start that I don't want one.

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I hope Oklahoma catches on soon!

I hope so as well.

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#21 Old 11-21-2010, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by penny79 View Post

I find it a little shocking, personally, that people will stand there and stare while the cashier rings everything up and then bags all of their groceries. Like, instead of standing there, how about putting the stuff in a bag? I guess it doesn't occur to them or they don't want to? I don't consider it anyone's "job" to bag the groceries; it's just something that needs to be done, and so why would I *not* do it?

I bring my own bags and get positive comments about it. Soemtimes I'm in a position where I don't have a bad and they seem disappointed.

In most of the stores where I shop, the cashier doesn't do the bagging; they have other employees do the bagging. If that employee has already started the bagging process, then I'll just wait until they're done. After all, that's what they get paid to do.

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#22 Old 11-21-2010, 10:12 PM
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I try to arrange the groceries on the belt in the order that they *should* be bagged. This usually works for me, as long as I only have one bags' worth of groceries, but the trouble starts if I have more than that. Then I end up with the head of cabbage on top of the bundle of cilantro.

I was a cashier for about 5-6 years and I can tell you that one peeve of mine was when people did this. I had respect for their groceries and for them...but the moving belt system is a flawed one. Sometimes you would have to move certain things out of the way first to prevent damage. Also we had a system of arranging things a certain way in the bagging area (tomatoes for instance were usually scanned first so that they could be safely put to the side of the bagging area) which meant that I had to do it in a certain order. I would always tell people that it could be bagged however they wanted it but I couldn't always scan it in the order that they wanted.
I dealt with many a rude customer over that one who thought I was being difficult for no reason.

As for the reusable bags...I always thanked people for bringing them. We often were running out of our own bags anyway so it was helpful when people brought their own.
However one day I went into Wal-Mart and had forgot to bring my reusable bags. So when the cashier started putting things in the bags, I took them out and put them all into one bag to save plastic. I didn't say anything rude...in fact I was trying to do it without bothering her at all. She stopped and gritted her teeth at me and growled "Ma'am if you wanted it bagged a certain way you SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME!" I was stunned.
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#23 Old 11-21-2010, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sevenseas View Post

Why on Earth are other people bagging your stuff in the first place?

Bizarre foreigners.



The store I worked at was near a major college so we had customers who were from all over the world. I had many people tell me that in their country they bag their own things.
It makes sense to me...if you bag your own things then you have the reassurance that it was done right. Also bag boys are never just "bag boys" they are usually sent out to do all sorts of cleaning, sign hanging and grabbing carts etc. so half of the time they spend bagging for you is taking time away from their other responsibilities. (at least this is how it works at most places these days)

Used to get some eccentric bagging preferences. "Double paper and double plastic, plastic outside of the paper please!"

"Please put my cigarettes in a paper bag! Don't want my kids to know that I'm smoking again!"

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#24 Old 11-21-2010, 10:23 PM
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In most of the stores where I shop, the cashier doesn't do the bagging; they have other employees do the bagging. If that employee has already started the bagging process, then I'll just wait until they're done. After all, that's what they get paid to do.

A lot of places these days are not hiring baggers...or if they are they purposely don't hire enough. It's easier to pay the cashier to do two jobs than it is to pay someone else to stand there and help them. I once worked at a place that had no baggers at all. We had to take turns taking in carts, cleaning the store and when we were at our counter we had to bag all groceries ourselves.

Just look at Wal-Mart...the cashiers do all of the bagging now. It really can be tough. Especially when it's busy.
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#26 Old 11-21-2010, 11:33 PM
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Why weren't you at our meetup two Saturdays ago? (I hope to see you at our next one!)

Sounds like fun!

I forgot Trader Joe's. If you bring in your own bags you get a ticket to enter a monthly raffle for gift certificates.

It may be that there is a more established recycling culture here in California, so it doesn't seem like such a strange concept that you would bring your own bags to the store.

Back in the 1980s, California was the first or second state to have a redemption program for cans and bottles. You paid an extra 5 cents per container when you purchased the item, then got the money back if you returned it to a redemption center later on. And we've had curbside recycling for 20 years now, as a result of people not wanting to tax themselves more to build new landfills. The waste disposal company gives us 3 barrels. One for yard waste, one for garbage, and one for recyclables.

With the brown paper bags and even the plastic one-use bags, it seems like such a waste to use them once to haul groceries 30 yards and then dump them into the recycle bin. Then it's just going to get hauled off somewhere where it will shredded and bleached and remanufactured into.... another bag.... that another person will use to haul their groceries 30 yards. The reusable bags make so much more sense.

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#27 Old 11-21-2010, 11:44 PM
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Oh. Around here, if the cashier is also bagging, they just grab whatever comes at them and stuff it in the bag right after scanning it. If there's another person doing the bagging, they usually take things as they come and put them in the bag, so if a can of green beans is on the belt after the parsley, the green beans end up on top. (Honestly, today I had to snatch a 5-lb bag of potatoes away from the person doing the bagging, because he was about to put it on the top of the lettuce he'd just put in the bag.) I wish stores here would have a staging area!

Pre-arranging things is a must here, if you don't want your groceries smashed. None of the grocery stores here have self-check lanes (some used to, but now they're all gone), which is a bummer, I liked using those instead just so I could bag everything myself.

If your store does not have a self checkout then you should still have complete freedom over bagging your own groceries. Just politely tell the bagger/cashier that you would prefer to bag your own things. Most likely they will not have a problem with it...you bagging your own things means that they don't have to get fussed at for not doing it to the customers standards (which change with each customer, really).

If your store uses a belt system at their cash registers then I would say that putting your items up in a particular way is futile. Let's say that you put some cans up, then put your produce up behind it, when they go towards the bagger they can smash into one another. Things can get caught in the belt (the sensors are not reliable). This is often why (most) cashiers will pick and choose what to scan and when to prevent this from happening. Belts can really mess up your items if you aren't careful.

It would probably be best to either offer to do it yourself or simply give instructions to the bagger (or cashier) who has been staring at food and grocery bags for the last 6-8 hours and is in La La Land.
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#28 Old 11-21-2010, 11:47 PM
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I find it a little shocking, personally, that people will stand there and stare while the cashier rings everything up and then bags all of their groceries. Like, instead of standing there, how about putting the stuff in a bag? I guess it doesn't occur to them or they don't want to? I don't consider it anyone's "job" to bag the groceries; it's just something that needs to be done, and so why would I *not* do it?

I bring my own bags and get positive comments about it.

This.
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#29 Old 11-21-2010, 11:53 PM
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Up here where I live [the Seattle area] it's considered bad form if you don't bring your own bags.

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#30 Old 11-22-2010, 03:39 AM
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The stores I go to either have baggers or the cashier scans the stuff and puts it in a bag right away. It'd be weird if I grabbed stuff right out of the cashier's hand.
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