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    | Washington, DC, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Math & Science

    (I work as a courtesy clerk and bag boy at a grocery store. My state has recently started charging people for store-provided paper or plastic bags. Whenever possible, I try to fit all the customers’ items into the reusable bags that they give me. In this case, the customer only hands me one reusable canvas bag. I have just finished packing it as full as it will go, when the customer’s wife joins us at the register.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, that bag is way too heavy. Neither of us will be able to lift it.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Would you like me to get another bag and re-pack these items for you?”

    Customer’s Wife: “Yes, please.”

    (The customer’s wife hands me another reusable canvas bag. I finish bagging their groceries, distributing the items as evenly as I can between the two bags. I then put the bags into their shopping cart, to make room on the counter so that I can start bagging the next person’s items.)

    Customer’s Wife: “Oh, no. These bags are still too heavy. We still won’t be able to lift them.”

    Me: “I’m so sorry about that. I can get you some of the paper bags that the store provides, and help you re-bag your items again.”

    Customer’s Wife: “No, no. I don’t think we need any more bags. We just need these bags to be less heavy!”