7 Things That Frustrate Every Grocery Bagger

There are a few things you could be doing to make the life of your grocery bagger a little easier.

Grocery store delivery man wearing orange polo-shirt delivering food to a woman at homePhoto: Shutterstock / Atstock Productions

Going to the grocery store is a necessary part of life. I mean, we all need to buy the ingredients for our favorite vintage desserts, right? But as anyone who has ever worked at a supermarket will tell you, some things that customers do can really frustrate a grocery bagger. Here are the little things you might be doing that make their jobs harder.

1. Bagging items yourself

There’s a time and place for bagging items yourself–but you shouldn’t try to do so when there’s a bagger waiting to assist you. Sure, you might be trying to help the person, but in reality, you’re crushing your eggs with cans of tuna. Let the professionals do their job and back away unless needed.

2. Forgetting about your bags

Nowadays, many stores charge a small fine for paper or plastic bags. Bringing reusable bags to the store is not only more affordable, but better for the environment. However, if you forget about the three canvas bags in your cart until the last minute, when things have already been packed into plastic bags, it’s only going to annoy your bagger if you ask him to start over. So lay your bags down on the checkout conveyor belt before you put your groceries down. That way the bagger will receive them ahead of time.

3. Getting distracted

Whether you’re talking on your cell phone or absentmindedly looking for that favorite candy bar, you need to stop and focus on the cashier and bagger. Frequently, the store employees will ask you questions about your bagging and payment preferences, and you could be missing them. Help make their lives easier by minding what you’re doing, and speed things up for the people behind you too.

4. Leaving things in your cart

There are some heavy items that baggers and cashiers want you to leave in your cart. But unless you ask them if it’s OK, you should put everything on the checkout conveyor belt. This helps to avoid confusion and saves the bagger from doing unnecessary heavy lifting to get it out of the cart. If you need help lifting your pallet of Gatorade, ask ahead of time and your bagger will be happy to assist.

5. Trying to use expired coupons

Everyone loves using coupons and saving money. But if you’re trying to use expired coupons in the checkout line, you’re holding up things for all parties involved. Don’t make your bagger stand anxiously at the end of the lane as you haggle with the cashier about whether you can use a coupon that expired six months ago. Instead, look for current deals or change up your shopping habits to receive deals consistently at the supermarket.

6. Putting a full basket on the conveyor

It might be more convenient for you, but it holds things up for the rest of the line. When you do this, your cashier or bagger has to unload your items one by one, and they don’t have the advantage of being out in front of the goods like you do. Take the time to unload your items onto the belt for the sake of everyone else’s time.

7. Ignoring directions on the credit card machine

With chip readers, PIN numbers and tap-to-pay cards, knowing when to use which method of payment can be confusing. As you begin your transaction, pay attention to the card or ask the cashier for assistance if needed. Your bagger will appreciate your efforts to move things along so they’re not standing uncomfortably at the end of the lane with nothing to do.

Be courteous and efficient when going through the grocery line, and keep the store’s employees, including your bagger, in mind. In time, you’ll be a checkout pro.

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