The meanderings of one young lady who (kind of) knows where she wants to go, but is having quite the time figuring out how to get there.
Me trying to be environmentally conscious...
Published on March 23, 2008 By katyslaven In Humor

Over Christmas break (in fact, I think it was December 26th) I was hanging out with an old friend of mine from high school. We had just gone to a little Christmas/reunion party and thought to ourselves "Why must the night be over so soon? Where could we go to keep talking?" Now, if you knew the town I come from you would realize why late night get-togethers are limited to one's home, assuming one does not live with the parentals. However, we thought of one exception, and found ourselves venturing out for a midnight shopping spree at Wal Mart.

Wal Mart isn't the worst place to hang out. There are plenty of random things to stimulate conversation. I ended up getting a new pair of headphones and a bag of Starbursts, among other things, and by the time we reached the checkout, it had been a full night. I stood there, patiently, in the express line, glancing at the last-minute candy bars and magazines they want you to buy. My eye fell on a stack of black totes, which read "Paper or Plastic? Neither." Pretentious? Maybe. But only a dollar! I couldn't pass that up.

I handed my treasures over to the cashier, a woman of about 40 who wore a look that suggested she would rather be somewhere else the night after Christmas (not that I blamed her). She robotically ran each one over the scanner and placed it in the plastic sack that stood open on its little metal rack. I expected her to reach the end and realize she should transfer my groceries into the new tote, but she actually took the tote (not even a pause) and stuffed it in the plastic bag as well!

I gave a little laugh, thinking to myself, "Really?" The lady didn't blink. She gave me my total, and as I swiped my card I pleasantly threw out there a little "you know, you can just put it all in that one" (indicating my new anti-paper/plastic bag). I thought maybe that would gently snap her out of autopilot, but she retorted "Not until you leave the store, I can't."

I was flabberghasted. "But I have my receipt," I tried. She gave me a frustrated sigh and didn't back down. "It's the store rule," she claimed, unconvincingly. "But the whole reason I'm getting this bag is so I don't need to use one of..." I changed tactics, and said "Well, if I come back, will I be able to use it then?" She shrugged and said "Yeah."

I smiled and quietly took my purchase over to a nearby register. I worked at a grocery store for three years in high school, so I felt perfectly comfortable jumping over to an unattended plastic bag-rack. I took my stuff out of the sack she gave me and transferred into my enviro-tote, looking once over my shoulder ... impishly hoping she saw me, and slightly disappointed when I realized she no longer graced me with her attention.

I smiled victoriously at my friend, and she laughed as we walked out of Wal Mart ... without plastic bags.

Yes, I am slamming Wal Mart employees, but more than that, I'm commenting on the ironic actions people take when they work in such a place. Feel free to contradict me! I would love to restore my faith in the superstores that I so often finding myself shopping at for pure convenience. I suppose I'm just as bad, huh?

on Mar 23, 2008

What really annoys me is that some idiots will put one item in a bag...just one.  Usually it doesn't even need a a gallon of milk, for instance.  It never ceases to perplex and amaze me that a fellow human being would deem it necessary to place one or two items in a bag and leave it at that.  It's like they have a wasteful quota to fill or something.

Or maybe I just think too much...


on Mar 23, 2008
Such is the nature of the mega-store. Good that you considered the better option though.
on Mar 29, 2008

It isn't even the mega stores. I worked at a local grocery store here where I live for almost a year, and I would go to bag the customer's groceries, one who had brought their cool little black or white tote bag, and I'd get a tap on the shoulder as I started to put their stuff in the bags.

"Excuse me, but you have to put them in the bags we provided."

Mmhmm, more than a few times I felt what you felt, but, for the sake of not losing my job, i complied. Then apologized to the customer for our managerial stupidity.

Later, ~L

on Mar 30, 2008
I had a similar experience at a local grocery store. I had forgotten to bring my canvas totes with me so I just purchased a couple of the ones they had for sale there in the store. The argument with the clerk was nearly identical to yours. It was against their rules to pack the stuff into the fracking bags they themselves were selling but it was ok to use them after that if you carried them in. WTF?

I found the manager and asked him why he had such a moronic policy. After a short conversation he conceded that it was indeed both stupid and counterproductive. They have since changed that policy. Ya win one once in a while.
on Apr 17, 2008

Seriously, is that stupid or what?