Grocery Baggers Personally Responsible For Global Warming

I’m not the most environmentally responsible person out there. I certainly use my air conditioner a lot and have no problems driving my sister’s ‘regular’ car when I am visiting home. Not everything I buy is organic…the list goes on. However, I am trying to be more responsible every day. I understand that if everyone makes small changes we can truly better the future of this planet. I can contribute to a healthier planet even if I don’t have wind mills powering my house.
For instance, I can turn down plastic bags at the grocery store. And why not? I mean, I have lots of giant purses and some canvas tote bags. I have absolutely no problem shoving my groceries in these bags instead of plastic ones.
So for the better part of this year, I have made this change. And I keep getting treated like an as*hole.
My local grocery store isn’t RUDE about my dismissal of their bags, but there have certainly been a few times when I have heard one cashier, in particular, mutter something in Spanish to the Spanish-speaking bag boy, resulting in a collective chuckle from the two of them. I’ve tried to tap into my college Spanish classes during these exchanges, hoping to decode what they’re saying, but it doesn’t matter; I can read body language well enough. And rolled eyes when I (politely!) say, “I don’t need a bag, I’ve got my own”, speak loud and clear.
However, when I was visiting my family in West Virginia this past week, there were no rude remarks in Spanish. Nope. They were to my face and in English. One day at the grocery store, I told the bag boy – again, politely – that I didn’t need a bag. He said, “Fine then”, with the attitude that only an angst-ridden-job-hating 16 year old could muster up while proceeding to crumple up the unused plastic bag and throw. it. away. In front of me. Just to make a point. What a jerk.
At the same grocery store the next day, my sister bought one can of cherry pie filling. (Yummmmmmmm!) She very courteously asked to NOT have a bag and the bag man (well into his 60’s) ignored her. Thinking that perhaps he didn’t hear her, she repeated herself, only for him to say,
“You can’t leave this store without a bag.”
WHATTTTTT? What is THAT? Since when can you not leave a store without a plastic bag? Since when does a receipt not suffice as proof of purchase? Why are these people taking our desire to help the planet as a personal attack?
I don’t want to discredit the job of the bag boy/man/girl/woman, but this has gone too far, in my opinion. They’re getting paid per hour (not per bag!), no matter what, so why should people who are trying to do their part for the planet get treated like this? Any explanations? Suggestions? Personal Tales?
(Photo from:

Searching For Self: How Easily Can You Be Found?
Searching For Self: How Easily Can You Be Found?
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