Retail Hell Memories: "Plastic bags are wasteful and bad for the environment. Now, double bag all my groceries in paper and it can't be too heavy!"
During college, I worked at a grocery store as a cashier. One of my favorite exchanges between me and a particularly fussy older woman went as follows:
Me: Hello, paper or plastic today?
Old Woman: Yes.
Me: I'm sorry, paper or plastic?
Old Woman (annoyed): I said, yes.
...begins using plastic
Old Woman sees me using plastic, and her eyes widen.
Old Woman: Excuse me, I said I wanted PAPER! Plastic is terrible for the environment!
Me: Okay, I'll switch.
Old Woman: Now, double bag everything and it can't be too heavy!
*Note: The store I worked at was near an assisted living center, and we had an older customer demographic. When customers asked me not to make the bags too heavy, I was pretty conservative with weight, putting only about 5-6 things per bag. I tried to keep each bag about 8-10 lbs. *
I start bagging her groceries, and begin with two canned goods, bananas and bread.
Old Woman: NOOOOO! THAT'S MUCH TOO HEAVY!
I remove the bananas
Old Woman: Not light enough yet.
Old Woman: Not even close.
I remove the other canned item. Now there is only a loaf of bread in the bag.
Old Woman: There. Do all of them like this.
Me: You mean, you want one item in each double bag?
Old Woman: WEREN'T YOU LISTENING?
I proceed to double paper bag the rest of her groceries, one item per bag. All is going well, until we reach her gallon of milk. I put it in a double bag.
Old Woman: NO! THIS ONE IS TOO HEAVY!
Me: ...it's a gallon of milk. It's the only thing in there.
Old Woman (pouting): It's too heavy! I can't be expected to lift that! Make it lighter!
Me: Do you want me to have someone exchange it for two half-gallons? (Internal monologue: How about I dump half of it out, all over your head?)
Old Woman: No, because it's too expensive! Plus, that extra plastic is WASTEFUL!
Me: I...I don't really know how to help you with that problem. It's a gallon of milk. I can't make it lighter, unless you want two half-gallons.
Old woman makes a huge stink, but succumbs to the fact that her gallon of milk will be too heavy. She finally leaves, with her cart of 20-something, double paper bagged groceries.
Next Customer (college-aged): Holy sh**, what a racket!