|Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard's longtime fiance (Crosby, to you Parenthood fans), at the grocery store.|
Bagging groceries is like getting up in the morning. It's something you just do.
I've always bagged my own groceries, mostly because I like to pack the cold stuff together, and have the bag as balanced as possible. I always want to use as much bag space as I can without compromising the bag's strength -- no one wants to walk out of a grocery store and have the bag break all over the parking lot.
There is a big piece of me that sees bagging as part of the grocery shopping process and experience. Maybe it's silly to think about, but for a woman who visits the grocery store upward of five times per week, grocery shopping etiquette matters.
Years ago, a cashier from my favorite grocery store who I won't name (to protect her identity and, perhaps, her job) had just finished checking me out. I bagged my items, as I always do, and she thanked me. I was surprised, and asked, "Doesn't everyone?"
While we were talking, she started scanning the handful of items for the next customer in line, and they were coming down the belt to the bagging section. We were talking about how often times people just don't bag their groceries, and I was saying that I understood it if someone were in poor health, or had many items and needed help to speed the process and move the line along, but it's no excuse for someone who is able to do it. All the while, a healthy seeming man in his mid-40s listened, and watched while she bagged his groceries. It was like he didn't hear her. Unbelievable.
|Do you think that Princess Kate bags her own groceries? I do.|
For years, I remembered our conversation and that experience, and am always awed at the way that people watch while someone else bags their groceries. Now, when there is someone stationed at the end of the checkout line, with the express purpose of bagging, I will let them bag for me (I don't like it; I like to know what's where in the bags (can you say, control?)). Otherwise, I just don't understand why a consumer wouldn't bag their things themselves. Which brings me to the purpose of my story.
Today I saw something that was blatantly rude. I was standing online, with a heavy hand cart full of items. I desperately wanted to put them down, and since it was the middle of the day, the store was empty. I found a register that was almost all clear, and noticed a woman standing in the middle of the space, reading a magazine (that she wasn't buying). She was reading while the cashier who helped her was bagging her items. She stood, nose buried in a gossip mag, ignoring the girl who was bagging for her; ignoring the fact that I had items I wanted to put down. Now, I know of this woman from town, so I wasn't all that surprised. It was just so blatantly disrespectful! Don't be like this woman.
Here's my version of Grocery Checkout Etiquette 101. Since we all have to grocery shop, we may as well do it in a nice way.
Don't talk on your cell phone when you are checking out. I've done this a lot, usually because I get a call as I am leaving with one final pick-up request. It annoys me and makes me feel bad, so I really try not to do this; talk while I should be paying attention, bagging, and paying. No one wants to hear my personal conversation...
Bring your own bags, or request paper. Often times, I forget the 37 reusable bags that I have in my house. When this happens, I request paper bags, and later use them to hold my recycled paper. Plastic makes a mess and is a total ecologic disaster. Bring your own bags, and prevent that plastic island off the coast of California from getting any bigger.
|Rachel Bilson chooses paper over plastic. You should too. (And yes, always smell your parsley before buying:)|
Bag your own groceries. As if I need to say it again...
Don't bag things that have handles. Bill Maher once said that he thought it was so strange that someone would put a box of laundry detergent in a bag. I agree. Don't bag bleach containers, laundry detergent, big gallons of water, anything that has it's own handle built in. Why bag it?
|Holly Madison carries her Tide by its handle, and puts the rest of her groceries in a reusable bag. Go Holly.|
These simple reminders will make all the difference in the world to you, the person checking you out, and the line of people behind you.