“Do you want a bag?”

I currently work for a firm that rents people out to work in grocery shops. The firm call me, and tell me where and when I need to be somewhere, and I get paid.

It sucks sometimes, but I get a decent pay.

I want to tell you about asking customers if they want a bag. My job is to greet the customer cheerfully, scan their stuff, ask them if they want a bag, tell them their total, accept money, ask if they want a receipt, and then wish them a nice day/weekend/night/whatever. There are posters in the back room in some of the shops, telling the employees to do just this.

And still some customers gets really pissed because I ask them whether or not they want a bag.

There are actually two situations they get annoyed by the question. It’s either:
a) when they have bought just one item, and don’t see the need for a bag, and
b) when they buy a lot, and there’s no way they can carry it home without a bag, and I should bloody well not have to ask.

Point b). How should I, as the cashier, know that your pockets aren’t full of bags that you intend to use? | From weheartit.com

I have been in several situations that makes these two arguments for not having to ask for a bag invalid. Let’s take the two points.

For point a): I have had a surprising amount of customers that want a bag for their lollipop. Yes. I’m not kidding. Those tiny lollipops most grocery shops have? Yup, customers wanted bags. And if I don’t ask them if they want a bag, they will ask for a bag after they’ve paid, hoping to get it for free. (Since bags cost 0.99 kr a piece. Not a lot, but if it happens often, we lose money. Not good.) And if I ask, they are less likely to try asking for a free bag. This is the reason why I ask you if you want a bag, no matter how few items you buy.

For point b): News flash – there is a thing called shopping nets. It saves the environment, and you won’t have to pay for a plastic bag every time you go shopping. And some people even reuse old plastic bags for another trip to the grocery shop, and have several bags folded together in their pockets. I don’t have x-ray vision, so I don’t know whether or not you have your pockets filled with shopping bags. So I’ll have to ask. Also, I would like to know how many bags you want, since they aren’t free. And, sometimes people buy extra grocery bags for their trash cans, since they’re about the right size for many bins.

So since there are so many different people, buying or not buying grocery bags, I will have to ask every single customer whether or not they want a bag. It’s that simple. And yelling at me “because I should know better” doesn’t change the fact that my job is to ask you for a bag, or make your or my day any better. I am trying my best to give you the best service I can manage, no matter how I feel, and no matter how much of an idiot I think you are.

Disclaimer: Most customers are fantastic. Even though I use the pronoun “you” doesn’t mean you specifically.

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