These Cents-less Arguments Are Just Baggage

, , , , | Right | July 7, 2018

(I work in a grocery store where we’ve been charging ten cents per plastic bag for two years now, which started as a reaction to a ban on plastic bags that was passed in my county. There has been some confusion as to whether the bag ban was put on hold, so my company decides to continue charging for them, just in case. We had a lot of backlash from customers over it when we started the policy, but most people by now have heard about the policy and bring their own bags. Apparently, though, this customer has heard about it and has some definite opinions on it.)

Me: “That’ll be $12.00. Did you want a plastic bag? They’re ten cents each.”

Customer: *mutters something that sounds like “yeah”*

Me: “All right, that comes to $12.10.”

Customer: “Wait, did you charge me for a bag?”

Me: “Yes, you said, ‘Yeah,’ right?”

Customer:No, I said, ‘Yeah, right!’*starts raising his voice* “And you know it’s illegal to charge me for a bag, right?”

Me: “We’re doing it because of this law that passed in the county—”

Customer: *interrupts, and is shouting in my face at this point* “NO, it’s not a law; it was just a ban! You have no idea what you’re talking about!”

(I am completely taken aback at this grown man, who is shouting and looking at me in SUCH a hateful way as if he thinks that I, a minimum-wage earning cashier, personally came up with the idea of charging ten cents per bag. It feels like his anger is personally directed at me.)

Me: *confused* “You know that I didn’t come up with this bag rule, right?”

Customer: “Well, you said it was a law! You’re wrong! And I’m never coming back! So you can just tell your manager that!”

(He walked out, and I stood there stunned and visibly shaking as the next customer in the long line put their items down and said, “I think you handled that very well!” Everyone in line had been watching and listening to this man scream at me over a ten-cent bag that he didn’t even need to pay for. I know that no one is obligated to stand up for me but… I can’t help feeling a little disgusted that not one customer in that line of 15 people said a word in my defence. I’ve stood up for employees who were being yelled at over something ridiculous. It seems like the decent thing to do when you see someone verbally abusing a person who clearly can’t speak their mind because they have to keep their job.)

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