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Paper or Plastic?

The most common question you'll probably hear in a grocery store is "Paper or Plastic?" Simple and mandatory, this question nonetheless seems to get a variety of responses, from the completely disgusted, "I don't care!!" to the contemplative "Hmmmmm....well, I guess paper would be best." Here are some of the phrases that have all been used in response to the question, and a recommendation of which ones YOU should use.

# 1 - "Paper."

The classical big lane order response. Anything over $100 in a single order, and this is probably what you should request, especially if your order has many boxed items.

#2 - "Plastic."

The classical express order lane response. This is the ONLY thing you should choose if you have one or two items, since both bagger and cashier have easy access to it. All express lane orders should be in plastic.

#3 - "Oh, that won't be necessary."

Some customers feel the need to tell us in a sophisticated manner that they would not like a bag. Instead of simply saying, "No bag," most customers prefer the above statement.

#4 - "The cold stuff in plastic (or frozen,) paper for everything else."

A fairly common response despised by all bagger and cashiers.
This is one that you should NEVER use. What we consider to be cold may not be the same as what you consider cold, so I'm sure you can see where the problem comes in. Your so-called "cold items" won't be ruined if they are bagged in paper, or vice-versa, so avoid this response.

#5 - "Both."

An extremely annoying response. How do we know what you mean by both? You mean double bagged? Or one bag in another?? Or a variety? A very unspecific response reserved for people with low intelligence. If you don't consider yourself completely stupid and don't want cashiers remembering you that way, avoid this one.

#6 - "Whatever you'd like."

The correct response for the model customer. This is something you should all try to achieve. After all, we work here, we know what goes best in the bags, you do not. So give us the choice and your groceries will be bagged properly. This is the #1 choice.

#7 - "Paper, double bagged"

Another response that puts a clear frown on a baggers face until the next order. Baggers get backed up far enough with one bagging in one, it really slows the whole line down when you ask for two. The bags are going to collapse on you, and we don't get them for free. The store does order and PAY FOR bags, contrary to your belief. Avoid at all costs.

#8 - "Plastic, double bagged."

Similary to #7 although slightly less annoying. What in the world do you need all of those plastic bags for? You're just going to through them away anyway! Once again, the bags will hold your groceries, you don't need two.

#9 - "Paper in plastic."

If you've chosen this response before, you've probably seen cashiers suddenly close their lanes right before you approached them. Well, there is a reason for this. We don't have time to stick your groceries in 700 bags of 2 different varieties. Pick one or the other.

#10 - "Plastic in paper."

Although rare, we do have one customer who chooses this every time. Definitely not a good idea, and also a ridiculous one. Why would you put a smaller bag inside of a bigger bag with your groceries?

# 11 - "I'll bag it myself."

Only the pickiest of the customers choose this statement. Although it does save the bagger a little work, you're also doing their job, which they obviously for practice know how to do much better than yourself.

#12 - "Paper, and put it all in one bag."

Okay, buddy, you just put your bagger in a bad position with this one. If you want the convenience of having only one bag to carry, don't buy so many items. Trust me, the bag WON'T hold your 25 items. We'll bag it in as many bags as we feel necessary. Remember, WE know what's best.

#13 - "Plastic, and put it all in one bag."

See #12.

#14 - Paper, and pack it light."

If you'd like your cashier to picture you as a wimp for the rest of your life, this is the choice for you. Come on people, it's just groceries, not powerlifting. I don't know what you consider to be light. I've put bags on the counter that I've considered to be light and lifted with relative ease and then watched you lift it about 2 inches off the counter, struggle valiently, and get mad. If you're unsatisfied, you're more than welcome to bag it on your own. It's a service to have your groceries bagged, we don't charge for it.

#15 - "Plastic, and pack it light."

See #14.