Posts Tagged 'Tesco'

Self bagging

Trader Joe's
One luxury I have missed about the US is the grocery store bag help. In the UK, shoppers have to put their own groceries into bags.

I discovered this fact during an embarrassing incident in Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer. The cashier and I smiled politely at each other, staring at the products I had just paid for, wondering why no one was putting them into bags.

For months, I struggled to empty the cart, take out my wallet, pay, then pile it all into bags — often while the shopper behind me was pushing their things onto the scanner.

After a few years, though, I became adept enough at shopping multi-tasking that I started texting while emptying, packing and paying.

This once led to the smashing of a jar of salsa on the tile floor of a Tesco Metro. The store employees were incredibly efficient in cleaning it. I was incredibly apologetic.

In our local grocery stores here in the US, like Trader Joe’s, I stand and watch while cheery workers whisk our goods into bags. I feel silly, standing there, while they work so hard, and I try to help — but they shoo me away.

I want to explain that in my grocery glory days, I was able to unpack, pay, and bag, while texting — (sometimes) without dropping anything.

But they don’t need my help. Often, there are two folks at check-out, making me feel even more like a spare part – a drone that simply pushes a cart.