I am a firm believer that there is a correct way to bag my groceries. Generally speaking, the cashiers and baggers at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s do a pretty good job, though they tend to overload the bags a bit (hello, I’m small and pregnant and can’t carry this!).
I only go to regular grocery stores under the most severe of conditions. Usually if we need something at rush hour (when parking at TJ’s is impossible) or late at night.
Today I needed some things because my poor husband is sick, sick, sick. Chicken and dumplings. Hot toddy. Needed bourbon and flour. So, Ralphs. 3rd and La Brea. 5:00 in the afternoon. The store was surprisingly not crowded, all things considered. I was tickled pink when two separate men asked me for help in the baking aisle – though I was somewhat irritated that I had no idea how to help them (some domestic goddess, me). There was only one person ahead of me in line.
The cashier asked, “Paper or plastic?”
I answered, “Paper.”
She gave me paper-in-plastic, which is, the last time I checked, paper and plastic and therefore not what I asked for.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. I didn’t raise a fuss because the customer behind me had a full cart and I was hungry, but I kind of wish I had.
If I may go all hippie-environmentalist for a minute, paper is from a renewable source and plastic is not.
Also, paper bags are easier to carry and don’t fall over and spill my groceries all over the back of my car.
Why do stores do this? Is it the bagger’s choice or part of training? Should I raise a fuss or just deal with it as part of the package of shopping at Ralphs?