San Jose recently placed a ban on plastic bags at all stores (not including flower or produce plastic bags) and it’s caused a little… frustration.
My frustration is not trying to remember to bring one of the bazillion canvas bags we own – it might be an extra step to remember and if we don’t then we’re happy to pay the $.10 for a paper bag (they’re useful at times) but obviously we’d like to remember the canvas bags and avoid paying extra.
No, my frustration is with the lack of organization this new ban has shed a light on.
For example I was at Target the other day and had brought in two canvas bags for my anticipated purchase (which by the way is a whole ‘nother topic) and stood in line at the cash register.
This line took at least twice as long as it used to. I watched as the person ahead of me, buying possibly what was their standard weekly or half-month supply of food and toiletries. The cashier had to use Target-branded canvas bags for the goods. She pulled a bag open and proceeded to fill it, however, having to re-adjust the bag a few times to make sure it stayed open. This is where the timing is all off.
See, with the plastic bags (and similar at grocery stores) they were always hinged on metal rods letting the cashier or bagger partially open the bag and put the items in swiftly and easily.
Well yes, these Target-branded canvas bags were on a metal stand too, but the cashier was not leaving half the bag on it to use it as support. That’s problem number one.
The second problem – everyone is bringing in different sized bags. So if there was a metal structure for support, it’d have to be different sizes. Which could easily be developed… but until then, the different sizes still cause delays. If you go to Trader Joe’s there’s a wall of bags to choose from, all ranging in sizes and material structure. Which is great for aesthetic or reasons like keeping food colder longer (insulated); but not for counter-space/filling fast and efficiently.
Granted, this is not a problem for everyone. There are more deft cashiers/baggers that seem to have a grasp on eye-hand coordination and organizational skills. To those of you, I salute you! You will make this process much more streamlined.
And because I love to go off on tangents… this reminds me of another topic.
When did the art of bagging groceries fall by the wayside? I remember back in the day I had heard about COMPETITIONS for grocery baggers. There was a method for not only quick packing but appropriately using the space and taking consideration for the items that go into the bags.
Hopefully everyone knows you don’t put a bag of flour on top of a carton of eggs and if you have soda or heavy bottles, double-bag. (Speaking of course, about plastic bags.)
There are so many times I’ve had to rearrange the items in bags AT THE COUNTER because the bagger could care less what they were doing.
Please don’t smoosh my tomatoes. Take some care with these items!
Do managers not train for things like this anymore? Do the cashier/baggers pass the bagging test (if there were such a thing) and then stop caring beyond that? Le sigh.
First world problems, am I right?