General Question

Mr_M's avatar

Is a man supposed to bag his own groceries at the supermarket?

Asked by Mr_M (7616points) February 6th, 2009

I get these “looks” from the cashier when she’s finished, like “Well? Are you gonna bag?”. I give them back my dumb look of “Like hell!”, but, nevertheless, feel slightly emasculated. Are men assumed to bag their own?

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22 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

In the past, when the cashier supplied the bags and asked you paper-or-plastic, it was often assumed that the cashier would bag things regardless of your sex, except for the really big things that don’t need to be bagged.

Now that reusable bags are in style though, I’m noticing a split. 50% of cashiers take the bags and bag things as usual, in fact quite efficiently in some cases. But the other 50% don’t take my bags, they put my groceries up on the ledge for me to pack myself. Maybe it’s because people with reusable bags want to pack the bags themselves, or maybe cashiers are being told to let the customer decide. Either way, I think the reusable bag etiquette could be refined a bit in places like this.

It may also depend on your store. Some stores simply do not encourage cashiers to bag groceries. But I don’t agree that men are assumed to bag their own groceries at all.

Allie's avatar

I don’t think you’re expected to bag your own, especially at a legit grocery store like Safeway or Nugget (local, sorry). Other places like Food 4 Less make you bag your own.. or like you to, I think.
I’d have given them a “like hell” face, too.

KrystaElyse's avatar

I guess it depends on where you go to buy your groceries. I think supermarkets should at least make the effort to bag your stuff. There’s a supermarket chain down here called Publix and they always have baggers available, and if not the cashier does it. They even ask if you want help out to your car, no matter who you are.

MrItty's avatar

I’ve seen it every way – patrons expected to bag themselves, clerks who do it as part of their job, and clerks who do it for tip.

I have never, however, seen or heard a clerk as rude as the one you describe, Mr. M.

vanslonski's avatar

I have answer this inquiry.
OK, Rainbow Foods, Columbia Heights, Minnesota.
I put my groceries on the movable deal. The dude who is tallying up my stuff, is on a cell phone, speaking some dialect, maybe “Pakistani?” all the while, I’m waiting for my total. Get this? OK, Three entries, crass that damn scanner, charged me the wrong price. Sound familiar? But, wait, “He’s” the one in charge. So, in my humble way, I attempt to pass it off as another “thing” that is America. So, a dude, volenteer, if you will, is quickly bagging my groceries into two nice paper bags before I have the chance to enlighten this sweet gent, THAT IT IS RAINING outside!! Wet, water, H2O!! I ride the bus. Excuse me!! but, paper bags and water, with cans of groceries don’t mix. So, I speak up and say, Please, plastic here. OK? Wooo, shouldn’t of said that, the damn “manager” shows up and gives me the “Backside” schtick. Am I wrong?
or are you all making your own bags filled with my discust?
Pardon, I’ll bag my own, thank you.
When is the next bus coming?

Allie's avatar

@vanslonski Your ridiculous answers (and stories) make me smile… somehow.

Vinifera7's avatar

I work in retail, and it’s my understanding that I will bag for everyone regardless of sex. I would be kind of pissed if I went to a store and was asked to bag for myself. That’s part of what cashiers are hired to do.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i’m a man (last i checked) and the worst the worst is when the 15yr old boy child with a six hair mustache looks at me and asks me if i need help to my car.

wtf is that?! I’m ~30 yrs old. i could be your daddy, in less affluent parts of town.

KrystaElyse's avatar

@eponymoushipster – Some supermarkets require that the baggers ask the customer if they want help out to their car. I worked for Publix and they made me ask. If I didn’t I would get in trouble.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@KrystaElyse ok, well that makes me feel better, esp. since it was a publix i was at the last time it happened. i should make them do it sometime, and put a fake dead body in the trunk or something. give the kid something to talk about!

KrystaElyse's avatar

@eponymoushipster – LMAO, that would be frickin’ hilarious. Gotta youtube that.

Allie's avatar

@eponymoushipster Or (!!!) you could just have the fake foot sticking out. Then when they get close enough to see it say “It’s the green car over there. Oh.. umm.. you know what.. nevermind. I think I can get it myself. Thanks.”

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Allie actually, just buy rubber gloves, bleach, 3 bottles of lotion and a meat mallet, then ask for help out t the car…“Yes, yes, you’ll do just fine.”

Allie's avatar

Ha! Yes.

laureth's avatar

As a grocery cashier, yes, it was my job to bag your stuff, and most of the time I didn’t mind. As a human being, though, I wouldn’t have minded a bit of help, especially if the line is long behind you, the groceries are piling up, all the baggers are serving other lines, and you’re standing there doing nothing.

This is true whether the customer is a man or a woman.

MrItty's avatar

<shrug> Sorry, laureth, but that’s your job. If your company is making your job more difficult, you take it up with your bosses. You don’t expect your customers to do your job for you, any more than waitresses should expect customers to help bring food from the back or garbage men should expect people to empty their own trash into the trucks.

laureth's avatar

Okay, but next time you’re behind a person in line who’s daydreaming instead of bagging and it makes you late getting out because the cashier only has two hands, well, I hope that you enjoy spending time in grocery lines. ;)

I don’t expect customers to do my job, fwiw. It’s simply a very nice thing they can do, to help. If they’re refusing to bag their own things only because it’s my job and they want to see me do it, I hope they also feel very elite!

Adina1968's avatar

I HATE having to bag my own groceries! Plus I stink at it…I can’t seem to get it done fast enough and I feel like you are under all this pressure (even if it is imagined.) to get out of the way for the next patron. It makes me so happy when they bag for me. I always make sure to thank them.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i’ll say this: when the kid bags my groceries, they’re very inefficient. sometimes, it’s like 2 things in a bag. i usually end up “rebagging” at the car.

MrItty's avatar

laureth, having your groceries bagged does make you “elite”. I don’t care if you do it or one of your coworkers do it. It is part of the service that employer is supposed to offer its customers. If there are not enough baggers to go around, I do not hold it against you for making the line slow-moving, And I sure as hell don’t hold it against my fellow shoppers. I hold it against your employer for failing to schedule employees correctly.

St.George's avatar

In France everyone bags their own groceries. USA not so much. If you think you don’t have to something because you’re a male, you’re living in the 1950s.

WhoReallyKnows's avatar

A dedicated “bagger” just doesn’t exist in our area. We are all in such a rush, it is actually considered rude to just stand there and wait for the cashier to finish and start bagging. Also, if you want your things packed right.. it is much better to do it yourself. No crushed bread, all the frozen stuff together so you don’t leave something out for hours when you get home and are too lazy to finish unpacking etc..Also if you don’t mind heavy bags to have fewer, they will never do that for you. The store seems to always put too few items in too many bags…Bad for the environment !!

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