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Paper Versus Plastic Versus Please

, , , | Right | CREDIT: Chinchilla_Lover11 | April 14, 2022

I’m a woman in my twenties and have been working in a grocery store for two years. The other day, I was scheduled to check. I don’t get scheduled to check much anymore because I’m trained to do a lot of other stuff in the store, but when it does happen, I enjoy it because it’s the easiest thing I can do.

This was pretty early in the morning on a weekday. One of our checkers was on break, so it was just me and one other checker, but we were pretty busy. I had an older guy at my register and he had probably around $50 worth of groceries. As he was paying, I decided to start bagging his groceries. I went over and started putting his stuff into plastic bags and putting them into his cart. I only had a few items left when he finished paying.

Then, the man walked over to me, his hands in front of him, and spoke to me as if he was scolding a child.

Customer: “What part of ‘all paper and no plastic’ did you not understand?”

I was completely shocked because up until this point we had both been perfectly polite to each other.

Me: “Excuse me? I didn’t hear you say that.”

I started pulling out paper bags. He mumbled something about how we should be “outlawing plastic like they do in the west,” and he started taking his groceries out of the plastic bags, very slowly. To speed things up, and because I was irritated, I started grabbing the plastic bags and taking the stuff out of them very quickly so I could get rid of him and get to the next customer. 

Customer: “I don’t mean to make a big deal out of this.”

He didn’t even say sorry; if he had, I definitely would’ve forgiven him. I just said, “Mhm,” finished bagging his stuff, gave him his receipt, and said, “Thank you.” He said nothing and left.

I understand that people like their groceries bagged a certain way, but it’s really not that serious. Just a polite, “Oh, I said paper, please,” would have worked fine.

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