This post comes from many years of being thoroughly frustrated by the incompetence at the grocery store. As a young mother, my grandmother worked at a grocery store (and a bank, and took in other people’s laundry to help pay her bills; people did that back then, did what it took to pay their own way). Back then people took pride in their jobs. I remember my mother telling me “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” My grandmother knew how to pack groceries: cans on the bottom, bread on the top. She would never have handed a customer a bag that had a turkey crushing the produce, or eggs precariously balanced and waiting to fall off the top. It isn’t a difficult concept. There is no need for an extensive education, just common sense. If it is crushable like hot dog rolls don’t put it under something heavy like a 24oz can of crushed tomatoes. And believe it or not, you can fit more than three or four things into one bag if you have even a basic understanding of space (the round peg cannot fit into the square hole). For those of you who don’t believe me, here’s how.
If it were a lot to ask or even took a lot of time to do, it might not bother me so much that no one does this anymore, but if you know what you are doing (and I am sure a five minute training session from the host store could teach anyone) it can be done right in as much time as it takes to do incorrectly. It is simply laziness on the part of the packer, and apathy on the part of the store. I just don’t think it is that much to ask that my loaf of bread resemble a rectangle when I get it home instead of the mashed modern art shape I sometimes unpack from the bottom of my canned goods bag.My solution is often to beat the clerk to the punch and pack it myself. I suppose my mom deserves a shout out for that one since it is she who taught me, when I was a young girl shopping with her, how to pack a grocery bag. Who knew that would turn out to be such a rare skill?