Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Lost Science of Bagging Groceries

I've been wanting to post this for a very long time, because every time I go to the grocery store it drives me friggin-bananas that no one knows how to bag groceries anymore. It really shouldn't take a college degree, but I guess basic physics properties are no longer common knowledge.

When I learned to bag groceries, lo, so many years ago, it was taught that to the best of your ability, you try to make every bag look approximately like this:

The heavy items go on the bottom, then not so heavy, and finally things like bread and bags of chips go on top.

You do not put all the heavy things in one bag, and all the light things in another:

This is why:

Even though you are probably pushing the bags out to your car in a cart, at some point you do have to carry them, and it's so much easier if you are not forced to walk like a human question mark.

The same goes for this:

Yes, that's a messy drawing. But that's what you get when you bag groceries like this--a mess. Everything spills out of one bag, The other looks like a sad, pathetic little crumpled thing. Seriously, how unfair is this?

Not that I'm saying everything needs to be homogenized here. While the weight distribution of your bags really should be about equal, the temperature is a different matter altogether.

Let's look at this informative diagram of the direction heat moves:

Notice that heat moves away from its source and toward areas of no heat (or less heat).

This is why we separate warm items from cold items:

When we don't separate them, what we get is this:

I will note here that separation can be taken too far. Seriously--what is going through the minds of the baggers who put one or two items in each bag? How is this easier for the customer? Or are you just showing off how quickly you can whip open those clingy plastic bags? Sorry, but save it for America's Got Talent and don't make me wrangle 47 sets of handles to get my groceries into the car/house.

OK, thanks for letting me get that off my chest finally. For my next lecture....

Just kidding.


Krysti said...

And how about, please don't put veggies or fruit with a tendency to bruise in the same bag as cans and boxes with sharp corners...

Kat Heckenbach said...

Yes, that, too!!!

Sparks of Ember said...

The other day I ran into Publix for some tamari sauce, the bagger bags the one singular bottle but doesn't hand it to me and doesn't notice the bag already has a hole in it. So I pick it up and don't even take half a step before the bottle plummets out the hole, barely misses my foot and shatters all over the floor spraying my sandaled feet in sauce. He reluctantly got to cleaning up the mess, not noticing my dripping in sauceness, so I had to hobble over to the coffee station to find napkins to mop myself off. Absolutely no other employee moved to help. And neither the bagger nor the cashier realized they had handed me a defective bag - the cashier even made some snarky comment and the customer behind me had to lecture her that the bag was given to me with a hole in it. The bagger overheard her and that's what made him realize he needed to go fetch another bottle to replace the shattered one. *sigh*

Kat Heckenbach said...

Oh, wow. Publix employees are usually nice and generally helpful, even if their bagging skills aren't up to my standards. If something like that had happened to me, I'd have very likely asked for a manager.

Sparks of Ember said...

Yes, I was very surprised. I'm a coward who has to do my complaining via email/surveys but if Hubby had been there he would have done something. As it was, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to pursue it anyway.

Katie Robles said...

Ha ha, preach it!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Katie :).