Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's in the bag

Plastic bags can be a big nuisance or really handy depending on who you are talking with. I kind of miss the old paper bags, that is if you carried them correctly otherwise everything was on the ground.

Back in the day when you went grocery shopping everything went into a paper bag, the bags were folded and stacked neatly at the end of the counter where the bag boy, bagger, sacker stood with his upright carry out cart.

He was really efficient, you would hear the swoosh and snapping sound of the bag opening as he swung it in a semicircle by his side, then he began loading the paper bags professionally with your groceries as they were slid towards him by the cashier as she punched in the amounts.

There were no smashed loaves of bread or broken eggs because there was a sense of pride with this job, after the items were sorted and sacked, the paper bags loaded with your groceries were then placed onto the cart, and he delivered the bags to your car and said "thank you, and come back to see us" when he was finished loading the groceries into your car.

Progress came along and the cashier no longer punches in the amounts, now you hear "beep, bleep, beep, beep, beep" as your groceries slide across the scanner and off to the side towards the bags.

"Paper or Plastic?" is the question and the easiest answer is plastic because that is all you see, the paper bags are underneath and out of sight, your groceries are loaded into plastic and placed into the same buggy you used to bring the groceries to the register, sometimes by a bagger and other times the cashier.

You can ask for help taking your groceries to the car, but the normal thing now is pushing your buggy out, unloading it into your car and finding something to do with the buggy, you can either take it back into the store, push it across the lot to the "cart holding area", or park it right where you stand.

It's like a balancing act getting it to sit still, wet your finger and hold it above your head to check the wind direction and speed, twist just a little to the right, turn a little to the left, look for someone passing by on their way into the store, "Would you like a buggy? I have one here", I have had people say "No thanks, don't need one" then grab one as they go in the door.

This is when you kick a piece of gravel under the wheel and try to leave the scene before the buggy rolls.

Now after the election the voters here in California have essentially outlawed plastic bags, the stores can no longer give you a plastic bag for your purchase, we are saving the landfills, the sea life, the desert tortoise, or something, there is an excellent argument for outlawing plastic otherwise  the law wouldn't have passed...Right?

Now for .10 to .15 cents each they can sell you a reusable bag, guess what these bags are made out of......Plastic.

We now have to carry our plastic bag full of plastic bags into the store, you keep moving the bag of bags from one spot to another while you're shopping, and end up holding them in one hand while you unload the shopping cart onto the belt, now the sacker will load your fine reusable bags with your groceries but there is no rhyme nor reason to how they are bagged.

Things are tossed willy nilly into the bags, it's like there is no pride anymore, to hell with the eggs or bread just toss them in.

Or you can go to the self checkout,
beep, "please scan item again",
beep, "please scan item again"
beep, bleep, beep, beep, beep, "please wait for assistance.

I hate the self checkout, if I hear one more "unauthorized item in bagging area" I believe that I will scream, I think I did last time I was in the self checkout.

I sure miss hearing the good old bag boys, baggers, or sackers say, "Thank you, and come back to see us"

Paper or plastic, which do you prefer?

30 comments:

  1. I like my reusable fabric bags, but your observation of the clueless bagging is spot on! I have a specific bag for frozen foods and a wine bag, but do you think they ever use them? I might need to do a post on this myself!

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    1. Hey Bijoux, we have four of those "As Seen on TV Grab Bags" and they actually work very good, I forgot all about those once I started writing this ha ha

      I look forward to your view on this subject in a post.

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  2. We don't use either. We bought bags way back when that are cloth and they are very nice. We have 5-6 in each vehicle and make sure we tote them into the store when we shop. I do agree about the bag/gals/guys though. They aren't as efficient or knowledgeable as the bag/guys back in the day. I'm old so I know how things used to be.

    I too live in crazy California and often wonder how they come up with the things they do that don't make any sense at all. Bless their hearts.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Hey Sandee, that is the smart thing to do, I hate it when we get inside the store and remember that our bags are in the car, I have just loaded the groceries back into the buggy and bagged them at the car.

      Bless their hearts, that is about all we can say about some of the things this state comes up with, I'm about ready to do another post on this lane splitting business.

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  3. Here where I live probably 70% of us use reusable fabric bags and I like them better than paper or plastic. Once you try them you'll never want to go back. Though there are days when I forget and leave them in the car when I have to have plastic. If they offer paper they hide them out of sight.

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    1. Hi Jean, it seems if anyone has paper bags they keep them out of sight, not sure why...

      I usually just bag my stuff at the car if I forget the bags, Cindy has been known to send me to the car to retrieve them though ha ha

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  4. We have no choice AT ALL...we take our own cloth bags to the store. Baggers????? Those are a rare commodity these days. Usually we end up bagging ourselves which is actually better because then our tomatoes are stowed away under our cans. Not to be offensive, but they seem to hire a lot of kids with Downs Syndrome as box boys here and they are not too reliable. Nice to see the kids out and about and working but not so nice when they get angry and start slammng your purchases into the bags willy nilly.
    Service in grocery stores is pretty much a thing of the past.

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    1. That's aren't stowed away under the cans...sheesh

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    2. Hi Delores, sad to say service is a thing of the past, I liked it so much better when service was part of the deal at grocery stores and gas stations, people seemed more respectful then, not that we don't have respectful people now, they just don't seem to be in businesses like this anymore.

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  5. I don't care what they offer; I'm BISACKSUAL!!

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    1. "I'm BISACKSUAL" Oh my gosh Fran that is great!!!

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  6. Loved reading this post Jimmy, and those were the days. Progress? I sometimes wonder.

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    1. Hi Denise, Thank you so much, yes it seems we sometimes lose more than we gain through progress.

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  7. I buy some of my staples at Save A Lot, where the checker puts your groceries back in your cart. Then I wheel it over to the counter under the front window, and put my groceries into a box or two that have been stacked under the counter by the clerks who shelve the merchandise.

    At Walmart, I have to take those plastic bags that the checker either stuffs full of all the canned goods so that it is too heavy, or one they load with bananas on the bottom and a half-gallon of milk on top of them and a box of spaghetti noodles that rips a gash in the side of the bag. They are ruthless, those Walmart plastic-baggers.

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    1. Hi Val, we had a Save A Lot for a while, Aldi has moved in to the area now and it is pretty much the same set up, lordy those kids throw those groceries back into the cart quicker than they should in my opinion.

      Wally World I avoid as much as I can, but you know how it is, we always end up there.

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  8. You have given me an idea. I shop Walmart and plastic is the only choice or our own reusable ones. The eye rolls when you offer your own bags was annoying but now that I check out my own groceries and do my own bagging, I will break out my canvas bags. Don't know why I haven't thought of it before now. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Patti, those "As Seen on TV Grab Bags" are actually pretty handy, we got ours a while back but I'm sure they are still around, the canvas bags you use are a better alternative to plastic.

      Good to see you Lady.

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  9. Here in the UK baggers are non-existent, they disappeared when the good morning greetings went out of fashion. Fortunately I now have my groceries delivered - a guy carries it all in crates right through to the kitchen and then he unloads everything for me and keeps me entertained with chat while he does it. How's that for service? No bags in sight. I had the choice, bags or no bags, and I opted to have none. But I do remember the days when supermarket staff were polite and helpful.

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    1. Hi Valerie, I like the sounds of your delivery service, a guy bringing it into the house and unloading your groceries in the kitchen while being nice to you at the same time , now that is service.

      It's hard to find polite and helpful anymore, I do miss that.

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  10. I remember paper bags from my childhood, then later the paper bags had carry handles attached. We still had paper bags when my first child was born, maybe even when the second came along by my memory isn't clear on when the plastic bags appeared.
    I remember taking great pride in packing the bags properly when I worked at the checkout and continued to do the same when reusable "cloth" bags appeared, these were $1 each, but people would forget to bring them back and just buy new ones each shopping trip, so we got the 10 cent plastic bags which were sturdier than the original bags with the idea that people would somehow remember to reuse them; the same people who never remembered the cloth bags. I really don't understand how people can throw away money like that on new bags each week. I still have my original "cloth" bags which aren't real cloth, but some sort of woven recycled poly whatever, and I still use them. They came in very handy when I was moving house.
    I do have awful memories of filthy, smelly, cloth bags that people screwed up and stored in the boot of their cars or tossed in a shed, many people kept them in their kitchens which would have been okay but the people, some of them, were heavy smokers and the bag would absorb the stale smoke. I remember putting my hand inside a grubby nag once to open out the square base for packing and feeling something furry in the bottom, I pulled out my hand to find a spider web complete with redback spider. Other bags have had mouldy stinky patches from leaked meat or milk, yet these bags were machine washable.
    As for shopping trolleys, (buggies) I have never left one stranded in the parking lot, they go back to the store or to the nearest trolley bay and I taught my kids the same. No one wants their car dinged by a runaway trolley.

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    1. "grubby Bag, not grubby nag(*~*)"

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    2. Good morning River, I can't imagine someone reusing a filthy cloth bag like that, especially one with the meat drippings, like you I would wash them out or if they were too bad then just toss them.

      Seriously I don't leave the shopping carts stranded either, but I see so many that are.

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  11. We use our own bags because they are sturdy, have flat bottoms and zippers. So the "baggers" fill them SO full that it is impossible to lift them into the car or carry them into the house. I've now started saying "JUST BECAUSE IT FITS, DOESN'T MEAN IT SHOULD GO IN THE BAG". Guess where ALL the bottles of milk, tomato juice, and large canned beans go. Yep. ALL IN ONE.

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    1. Hi Dana, it does seem that they do their best to pack them full, not sure why but they do put all the canned goods into one, Cindy came home just the other day with one she had gotten into the car but couldn't lift out.

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    2. I used to space out the weight, especially if a customer had several very large cans of dog food for example. I knew how much *I* could carry and packed accordingly for my customers. They loved me for it and always came back to my checkout.

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    3. That is the kind of service I miss, I wish we had employees at the grocery stores with your common sense and knowledge now.

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  12. I'm right there with you Jimmy! I totally prefer paper bags, but we asked for plastic bags because we have several cats and use the bags to hold what we scoop out of four litter boxes. We have a few of the "new" fabric bags, but as of yet, I've never remembered to take them into the store. So groceries go out of my cart and onto the belt. Then the checker pretty much just passes it all on to the other end, and finally they go right back into the cart without any bags at all.

    Remember when a grocery store checker was considered a good job? Their job is now totally computerized, so they have very little to do (when compared to the old days). So they usually help the box/bag person. The box/bag person is no longer high school kids, or an older person who needed a job. Now, at least where I live, the box/bag person almost always has some type of disability, or "challenge."

    There is another unanticipated consequence of people bringing in their own fabric bags. The store's losses from shoplifting have raised dramatically. Apparently, some people put their personal bags in the cart, and then place their groceries into the bags as they shop. Then they just stroll right out the door without paying. I was talking to one of the managers at what I assume is your local Stater Bros, he told me about this. When I got home, I asked the manager of my local Ralph's, and she said it is true in their store also.

    She even joked about having an employee at the door like they do at Costco.
    Wow! this is a long one. Sorry!

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    1. Hey Pat, yes sir I do remember the time when there was a lot more to being a checker, I actually worked at a grocery store, our checkers punched in the amounts of each item, there was no scanning of anything and plastic bags were unheard of, and another thing they actually knew how to count your change back to you.

      Good to see you Pat.

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  13. P.S. I prefer paper as it decomposes in landfill, while plastic bags just stay there seemingly forever and I really hate that plastic garbage island floating around in the ocean.

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    1. Yes I agree wholeheartedly with you on this, this is the main reason I prefer paper bags over plastic.

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