Monday, December 10, 2007

"Did you really just do that?"

I had to do some shopping yesterday, just a quick stop and a very small purchase. After ringing up the sale, the cashier put my items in a bag and asked for the money. I paid her and, saying I didn't need a bag, put my handful of stuff in my handbag. The cashier promptly crumpled up the fresh plastic bag and threw it out.

I stood there for a split second, then said incredulously,

"Did you really just do that? Did you really just throw away that perfectly good bag?"

She stammered, "Oh, um, did I?" and proceeded to make up some cockamamie story about how some customers won't take previously used bags. At this point, the cashier at the next register joined in and asked just as incredulously, "Seriously? Someone wouldn't take a used bag?" At this point, now committed to her hastily made-up defense, the first cashier stood firm that yes, some people won't take a used bag. The second cashier looked at her like she was plainly crazy.

Instead of pointing out that the bag had hardly been used, I just left. I know she was embarrassed and that pressing the point would only have made her feel worse.

Hopefully, she'll think twice next time about tossing away plastic bags. At least, in front of the customers, that is.


Jack Craver said...

Sharon, it is important that you care about the plastic bags, and a roomate of mine, a long with the New York Times editorial page, has awakened me to the fact that they are a real threat to our environment. But take it easy on the poor lady. I'm sure working at a supermarket 8 hours or more a day makes it hard to think about the environment regularly. Especially considering how subservient the position is to the customer. Anyway, nice to see that you're still blogging, you were a good blogosphere friend of mine back in the summer of 05. I'll have to check up here more regularly. - Jersey Perspective

DBK said...

Good for you, and it doesn't sound like you beat up the cashier too bad, but gave her something to think about.

Mrs DBK and I have reusable nylon bags that I got from work. They were company giveaway items and our company changed names, so they let the employees take as many as they wanted. I took two dozen. We keep them in our cars and use them when we shop. We rarely, if ever, come home with a plastic bag from the supermarket or other stores anymore. Our bags are bigger and sturdier than the supermarket bags and the straps are long enough that we can slip them over the shoulder. If i get caught in a store without a reusable bag, I just don't use one. I can roll the cart to the car and put the groceries in the car and then take them out a few at a time when I get home.

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