Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Heavy Stuff on Bottom, Lighter Stuff on Top

Grocery bagger was my dream job when I was 10 years old. When we went grocery shopping, I was in awe at the bagger's ability to get so many items into a bag and the bananas did not get smashed by the can goods. Perhaps my organization skills were just beginning to blossom.

As I got older, the grocery stores went to a split bagging area at checkout eliminating "professional baggers." The intention was to speed up the line by having one customer bagging their paid groceries while ringing up another customer. Well, I was in heaven because I got to bag (hey, I always said it doesn't take much to please me).

Today, we are back to baggers at most grocery stores, though we now have these plastic bags. Watching my bagger do her 'magic' on my groceries I noticed: Baggers today have no idea how to pack groceries. I almost would rather bag my groceries myself so I don't end up with 15 plastic bags with 1-2 items in each one. It's ridiculous.

Paper or plastic bags, does not matter. I could save grocery stores millions (well, maybe not millions) of dollars by teaching a course on Bagging 101. Personally, I prefer paper because you can load it up, the groceries don't fall out all over your car, they are more enviromentally friendlier and they make great costumes.

When I get to my car, I am consolidating my bags into each other so when I get home I don't have to carry in so many bags. Typically I could have walked out of the grocery store with about half the number of bags used. Think about if we are all doing something similar.
** WARNING Math Problem **

Say you use 4 plastic bags less each time you shop. There are 4 lines open at your favorite grocery store. Every 5 minutes a new customer checks out (12 customers/hour in each line). Say your grocery store is open 12 hours each day, 363 days in a year.

4 bags x 4 lines x 12 customers/hr x 12 hours x 363 days/year x 10 cents/bag =
$83,635/yr savings
... and this is just for one grocery store.
There are over 115,000 supermarket/major grocery stores in the USA.

Oh my, perhaps this is the solution to the worldwide financial crisis.

What was your dream job as a kid?

8 comments:

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Agreed. Baggers have no concept how to pack groceries in a bag. SOME of them get the idea if they're packing the store bags (either paper or plastic) but if you use your own cloth bags or plastic bins, they look completely stunned.

Maybe POs could create a market niche and teach grocery store baggers how to organize a bag of groceries.

Angie Weid said...

@Jackie - Glad you're on board with me. This could be a fun project, similar to what "Schoolhouse Rock" did for multiplication tables.

Stevie said...

And just think...some baggers work for tips only (at military installations)...it's sad.

My dream job was teacher :D

SOUL: said...

you lost me at -- math question ahead -- :))

you are right tho-- i noticed last time i shopped.. ugh, what a pain. plus-- they put chemicals with food-- and that's a no no. eeewwwee

anyhow-- i was having a talk with my kid the other day-- and just happened to mention that i know a real live rocket scientist... she is enthralled. how cool is that? she hasn't been interested in a word i had to say in -- a looong time--- and it just happens to be YOU who peeks her interest in one of her first "sober" conversations ---

i told her all about you-- all the way down to yo grippy toes :))

i bet you didn't know you were so interesting didya??

latah baby

Angie Weid said...

@Soul - I would be happy to chat with Soulkid about anything she has questions. Happy I could be a bit inspiring to her.

Tami - Custom Training Solutions said...

Angie, my hubby was a bagger in his younger years and has been known to actually take over for the bagger when they go too far astray. If you don't say/do something he figures they will just keep on doing it wrong

Louise Kahle said...

I think they don't care - they're just there for the pay check.
I get paper bags whenever possible because I use them for recycle stuff. I also use some of the plastic bags for lining my kitty litter bucket so I don't feel too guilty.
I have several canvas-type bags in the trunk of my car and when I go to Costco they sometimes look stunned when I tell them I don't want a box! Hate those big boxes! Of course, I wind up with them anyway because my husband can't be bothered with the bags. He also leaves lights on, wipes crumbs off the table onto the floor and is bad about cleaning his bathroom. I truly think women are more highly evolved creatures.

Louise Kahle said...

I think they don't care - they're just there for the pay check.
I get paper bags whenever possible because I use them for recycle stuff. I also use some of the plastic bags for lining my kitty litter bucket so I don't feel too guilty.
I have several canvas-type bags in the trunk of my car and when I go to Costco they sometimes look stunned when I tell them I don't want a box! Hate those big boxes! Of course, I wind up with them anyway because my husband can't be bothered with the bags. He also leaves lights on, wipes crumbs off the table onto the floor and is bad about cleaning his bathroom. I truly think women are more highly evolved creatures.