|My fleet of reusables. The mesh bags|
are for produce or for the bulk bins
(almonds, usually) and they tend to
bring delight to the store clerks.
So here's my little story for you: I've used my backpack for loading groceries for my entire adult life, but it took a while for me to start refusing the plastic bags and loading my purchases straight into my backpack. And when I did, it sent the supermarket employees into a dither. I explained, as politely as I could, that I had to load my bag myself since I was the one carrying it. The poor sacker would stand and look at me, in fear and trembling for getting into trouble if the manager saw the customer serving herself instead of being served. (This was before the reusable-bag craze took off.)
I remember one day that there were no fewer than three sackers standing and watching me pack my bag (I was the only shopper at a checkout; it was a slow day), asking occasionally, "Are you sure we can't help?" I finally got tired of it and asked them what the issue was, and one of them explained that they had, in fact, been reprimanded for letting me load my own bag instead of doing it for me. I said, "That's dumb," to which they all non-committally grunted. When I got home that day, I called the store, demanded the manager, and explained very slowly and carefully that I had the highest opinion of their customer service but the lowest opinion of their management and would they please stop being such idiots. And not long after that, the entire chain began offering the 5-cent discount for reusable bags and no longer breathed down my neck when I wanted to pack my own stuff. I don't know if it was my influence or not, but I did remain a loyal customer until the day (quite literally) that we moved out of Lubbock.
Do you have a multitude of reusable bags? Do you use them? Is your local store welcoming of such things?