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Whizbang
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 05, 2014 3:50 pm UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:Upon opening said fancy case, a computer voice issues a warning to the crook that "plutonium is highly radioactive, and EXPLOSIVE."


Maybe they meant in a gastrointestinal sense. Like, eating it will make you explode from both ends.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Magnanimous » Mon May 05, 2014 5:13 pm UTC

Giant Speck wrote:The condition of my hometown is so depressing, and it just keeps getting worse every time I come home to visit.

Same. There's always more big retail stores, more traffic, a new neighborhood of cheap housing, and a lot fewer trees.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Giant Speck » Mon May 05, 2014 6:49 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:
Giant Speck wrote:The condition of my hometown is so depressing, and it just keeps getting worse every time I come home to visit.

Same. There's always more big retail stores, more traffic, a new neighborhood of cheap housing, and a lot fewer trees.


I kind of wish we had more big retail stores in my hometown. All we have is Walmart.

The mall has been mostly empty for years; the only stores that remain are a Chinese restaurant, a Goody's department store, a Dollar General, a zumba studio, two martial arts academies, a movie theater and a church youth center. Thirty one stores and only eight are occupied.

Less than a third of the buildings on Main Street are occupied.

The building that once housed Kmart is now a farm and home supply store. The building that once housed ShopKo, the only remaining competition to Walmart, closed and became a church. The old Walmart building became a church when Walmart built their supercenter next door.

Our streets are paved with concrete instead of asphalt and are in terrible need of repair.

I could go on and on.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby addams » Tue May 06, 2014 4:14 am UTC

!EarthQuake!

Not really a rant.
Not much of an earthquake, either.

Every little bit counts.
We Are Falling In The Ocean! AHHHH!

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Mon May 12, 2014 11:02 pm UTC

So the city banned plastic bags and it went into effect. Doesn't actually ban having or selling or even giving out plastic bags, it mainly just prevents business of a certain size (i.e. supermarkets) from giving out plastic bags for groceries. The point of this feel-good measure is, like all feel-good measures, to feel good. So it doesn't matter that as far as trash pollution goes, people can and will still litter as much as before; as far as plastic use goes, people will still buy and use and throw away plastic packaging and materials; as far as environment goes, well, it's not a paper bag ban, so yeah - fuck the trees. But people feel good because those who voted for it imagine they've done some Positive Thing. People except for those of us who work at the supermarket, however. Our competitive edge is in speed, and it turns out, it's pretty hard to process and bag cart-fulls of groceries using only paper bags in a timely fashion. Especially when each bag now costs ten cents, so the customers resent the fuck out of using any of them and we wind up trying to stuff more into each bag than fits. People can use re-usable bags, of course, but those aren't any faster, so there's huge lines in every checkstand, we're getting massive dips in productivity, customers are universally pissed off (especially when they ask specifically for plastic). We even get comments on the website like "The plastic bag ban sucks, you should have fought harder against it." We? We're a corporation, you idiot, corporations don't get votes. Maybe you should have fought harder against it, random misplaced anger person. I know I should have. Such a stupid move, it's killing our business, but the hippy-dippy locally-grown organic fair trade slow-paced grocers are having a great time. Except they won't if they start getting the volume we normally do, they sure as fuck can't cope; Those are the places where people who like life slow and overpriced go. Where the cashiers who can't handle thousands of customers a day go to escape the madness. Where the baggers go to die. Well now it's all fucked up, thanks to half-baked feel-good measures. The kinds of things people vote on when they want to do something about global warming or the environment or dependence on oil, but can't think of anything effective to do and don't think of how it'll impact their own lives or community. Maybe it'll drive the store out of town; locally grown unemployment!

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Diemo » Mon May 12, 2014 11:16 pm UTC

Irelanput a surcharge of 22c on plastic bags a few years ago and pollution from plastic bags has disappeared /anecdotal
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby speising » Mon May 12, 2014 11:21 pm UTC

i find it a quaint custom that you still have people who stuff your grocery bags for you in the supermarket.
do you also still get a full five man service team at a fuel station?

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Thirty-one » Tue May 13, 2014 12:05 am UTC

speising wrote:i find it a quaint custom that you still have people who stuff your grocery bags for you in the supermarket.
do you also still get a full five man service team at a fuel station?


That's a very weird custom to me too. I mean, I understand that they want you out of there as soon as possible, but most people around here seem to stuff their bags fast enough for it not to clog up anyway. Even if they didn't, I'm not sure I'd prefer having some underpaid person doing it for me.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby eSOANEM » Tue May 13, 2014 12:10 am UTC

Also, I suspect that, even given the extra throughput with baggers, it must end up costing more in most cases (although I think the US has lower minimum wages generally than the UK so this might not be as true there).

The only shop I know which bags your stuff for you is an enormous chinese supermarket which caters a lot to the wholesale trade. I still don't know how it works out well for them but it can't be costing them too much. It's still weird.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Tue May 13, 2014 12:26 am UTC

Thirty-one wrote:
speising wrote:i find it a quaint custom that you still have people who stuff your grocery bags for you in the supermarket.
do you also still get a full five man service team at a fuel station?


That's a very weird custom to me too. I mean, I understand that they want you out of there as soon as possible, but most people around here seem to stuff their bags fast enough for it not to clog up anyway. Even if they didn't, I'm not sure I'd prefer having some underpaid person doing it for me.


You'd rather that underpaid person be what, unemployed?

Statistically, people at fast supermarkets don't like to stand around in line too long, and also statistically, without baggers, that's what they're going to have to do. Maybe you specifically are fine with waiting, but most people are not. They get huffy. They glare at the cashier, the people ahead of them in line, and the bagger too of course. They complain. They shop elsewhere. The store loses customers and loses business. This is why baggers bag. And maybe you're one of those people who shoes the bagger away like some annoying insect. But, most people appreciate not having to do it themselves. And for the most part, people are not very good at bagging their own groceries. It doesn't take a college degree, but even after only a few days most baggers will be faster at it than your average customer. Also, average customers are lazy inconsiderate slobs, just like most people.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby eSOANEM » Tue May 13, 2014 12:29 am UTC

This is obviously not insurmountable though or else the UK (and Europe in my experience) wouldn't cope.

Of course, this is also why self-scan machines and scan-as-you-shop are good.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Zarq » Tue May 13, 2014 12:53 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:This is obviously not insurmountable though or else the UK (and Europe in my experience) wouldn't cope.

Of course, this is also why self-scan machines and scan-as-you-shop are good.


Belgian here. No baggers whatsoever. The huffy, glaring, waiting people are few and far in between.

I really should make a list or something of peculiar mentality differences between what I hear from people in America, and what I perceive here. The biggest has to be the fact that servers in the US seem to link their self-worth to people participating in the "hi, how are you" choreographed dance.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby firechicago » Tue May 13, 2014 1:04 am UTC

Zarq wrote:I really should make a list or something of peculiar mentality differences between what I hear from people in America, and what I perceive here. The biggest has to be the fact that servers in the US seem to link their self-worth to people participating in the "hi, how are you" choreographed dance.

I don't think it's a matter of self-worth, I think it's a straight forward matter of material interest. For servers in the US, the vast majority of their income comes from tips. And in a culture where the "My name is [x] and I'll be your server" dance is important, doing the dance is an important piece of making sure you get paid for the work you are doing.

Also in cultures where the dance is important, a customer who refuses to participate in the dance is usually either pissed off, anti-social, or unacquainted with local norms. All of these are very strong indicators of no tip for you. So why invest effort into a table that has already given you strong evidence that they are going to pay you little or nothing for your work, no matter what you do?

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue May 13, 2014 1:08 am UTC

My hometown has a similar law: plastic bags are banned outright, and there's a mandatory 10c fee [on paper pags]edit that has to be assessed directly to the customer at the time of checkout. I understand the environmental concern to reduce both pollution and resource consumption, but this is the most infuriatingly annoying, micro-managing way of going about it. The customers hate it, the stores hate it, meanwhile the companies manufacturing bags of either variety couldn't give a fuck (except maybe indirectly as their sales possibly go down), and the people who would dispose of the bags inappropriately have no motivation to change their behavior either. It's not at all clear to me who the 10c per bag fee goes to either, but I know it's not the stores, and I haven't heard of any kind of clean-up program being funded by it.

We should instead assess what it would cost to counteract whatever negative externalities are trying to be corrected, bill the most directly responsible parties for their share of that, and let them pass on the costs upstream or downstream howeve they please. If the problem is the end-consumer polluting, and you can't catch and fine the individual polluters, then maybe just some general cleanup tax is necessary. Otherwise, you could try to discourage bag use in the first place by taxing the sale of every bag... but let the stores themselves pay the tax when they buy the bags and then decide how they would prefer to pass it along to their customers. (They could pass it on by selling the bags instead of giving them away for free, but every store I've heard of hates the way they are forced to ring customers up per-bag at checkout and would rather absorb or pass on the costs in some other way, for all the reasons Jave D mentions). Or you could tax or fine the manufacturers of the bags, especially if what you're concerned about is resource consumption... though really, you should then be charging more for access to those resources if they're public ones, or else butting out and letting market forces raise the price of private resources as they become scarce.

But the bottom line (for this any other problem in general) is: what is the harm done? Who is responsible for it? What will it cost to fix it? Now go fix it and bill the responsible party for the cost. There, done, simple.

On the topic of baggers: if there are none I'm happy to bag my own groceries without complaint and I can be pretty damn fast about it, but there's a lot of value in parallelization. Often times by the time the cashier has finished ringing me up for payment and I've swiped my card and signed for it, the bagger has already finished bagging for me and loaded everything into my cart ready to walk out the door. I couldn't possibly have been bagging and loading at the same time as paying, so eliminating a bagger means, no matter how fast I am at both of those tasks, now they have to be serialized instead of parallelized, and that's going to add a lot of time per customer. Maybe at slow times of day that's not a problem, but at busy times of day when there are already long lines clogging up the aisles even with the baggers there, and given how slow and inefficient many other shoppers are, getting rid of baggers would be a catastrophe.

That could be avoided by having more lines, but then you're employing twice as many cashiers instead of two people per register, twice as many lines moving half as fast each, and really what have you accomplished?
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Tue May 13, 2014 4:24 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Zarq » Tue May 13, 2014 1:21 am UTC

firechicago wrote:
Zarq wrote:I really should make a list or something of peculiar mentality differences between what I hear from people in America, and what I perceive here. The biggest has to be the fact that servers in the US seem to link their self-worth to people participating in the "hi, how are you" choreographed dance.

I don't think it's a matter of self-worth, I think it's a straight forward matter of material interest. For servers in the US, the vast majority of their income comes from tips. And in a culture where the "My name is [x] and I'll be your server" dance is important, doing the dance is an important piece of making sure you get paid for the work you are doing.


I'm talking about the cries of "He replied 'diet coke' to my 'how are you?'. I'm a actual human being, asshole, I'm not just someone who brings you your drink.". Which is a very strange mentality to me, because around here, everyone is perfectly aware that they're "person-who-does-$job" to people who they interact with professionally, but that that does not mean that said people think that they're not actual people (whatever that means).
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue May 13, 2014 2:36 am UTC

I think the reason "diet coke" as a response to "how are you?" is taken as rude and offensive is because it's not even taking the time to decline the pleasantries. Say you walk up to a register at a convenience store and the clerk says "Hello" and you just reply "Camel Lights." Yeah, we all know the only reason you're walking up to the register first thing with no stuff to ring up is that you want the clerk to get you something from behind the counter. But is it really that hard to say. "Hi. Pack of Camel Lights please" instead?

The "how are you?" from a server is not an invitation to chat about how your day has been, though they will usually indulge in that if you insist because being exceedingly nice to you is how they get their tips and if that's how you want to interact with them they'll play along. But if you just reply "Fine thanks." or "Alright" or "OK" or something terse and uninformative, period, no more, they'll move on to business and take your drink order or tell you the specials or whatever their routine is. If you already know that the routine there is to take drink orders next, you could just jump straight to "Fine thanks. Can I get a diet coke please?" It's not that much trouble to at least acknowledge that the greeting was offered and concisely decline further pleasantries, and phrase your request as a complete sentence, so not even bothering to spend a handful of extra words is not just treating them like "someone who brings you your drink" (which, yeah, is what they are to you), it's treating them like a voice-activated drink-request button.

Even if you had a full-on butler whose entire career is serving you, you'd still say "Jeeves, please bring the car around", rather than just "Car!" It's the same principle.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby poxic » Tue May 13, 2014 2:44 am UTC

The other possibility is that the customer is expecting to hear "what would you like?" and has queued up their answer. I've done that. It's embarrassing.

Clerk: "How are you today?"
poxic: "Small coffee, please. I mean, uh, fine thanks, and, um, I value you as a human being?"
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby firechicago » Tue May 13, 2014 2:54 am UTC

Zarq wrote:I'm talking about the cries of "He replied 'diet coke' to my 'how are you?'. I'm a actual human being, asshole, I'm not just someone who brings you your drink.". Which is a very strange mentality to me, because around here, everyone is perfectly aware that they're "person-who-does-$job" to people who they interact with professionally, but that that does not mean that said people think that they're not actual people (whatever that means).

I haven't ever known anyone who's lasted long in a service job who's had that attitude.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Tue May 13, 2014 4:15 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:My hometown has a similar law: plastic bags are banned outright, and there's a mandatory 10c fee that has to be assessed directly to the customer at the time of checkout. I understand the environmental concern to reduce both pollution and resource consumption, but this is the most infuriatingly annoying, micro-managing way of going about it. The customers hate it, the stores hate it, meanwhile the companies manufacturing bags of either variety couldn't give a fuck (except maybe indirectly as their sales possibly go down), and the people who would dispose of the bags inappropriately have no motivation to change their behavior either. It's not at all clear to me who the 10c per bag fee goes to either, but I know it's not the stores, and I haven't heard of any kind of clean-up program being funded by it.

We should instead assess what it would cost to counteract whatever negative externalities are trying to be corrected, bill the most directly responsible parties for their share of that, and let them pass on the costs upstream or downstream howeve they please. If the problem is the end-consumer polluting, and you can't catch and fine the individual polluters, then maybe just some general cleanup tax is necessary. Otherwise, you could try to discourage bag use in the first place by taxing the sale of every bag... but let the stores themselves pay the tax when they buy the bags and then decide how they would prefer to pass it along to their customers. (They could pass it on by selling the bags instead of giving them away for free, but every store I've heard of hates the way they are forced to ring customers up per-bag at checkout and would rather absorb or pass on the costs in some other way, for all the reasons Jave D mentions). Or you could tax or fine the manufacturers of the bags, especially if what you're concerned about is resource consumption... though really, you should then be charging more for access to those resources if they're public ones, or else butting out and letting market forces raise the price of private resources as they become scarce.

But the bottom line (for this any other problem in general) is: what is the harm done? Who is responsible for it? What will it cost to fix it? Now go fix it and bill the responsible party for the cost. There, done, simple.


Exactly! The problem here is that people litter, and that's bad for the environment as well as making the community look trashy. But although there is, technically, a fine for littering ($500 IIRC), I don't think it's enforced very much if at all. Maybe in egregious cases of using some public space for dumping. Hell, one time I even littered a cigarette butt right in front of a cop. (Not on purpose. I'd just gotten into an accident and was still stressed out. He did say, "I know you're not going to litter right there in front of me." To which I meekly affirmed that no, I was obviously just putting it out (cough); and picked it up and put it in my pocket.) It's probably very low priority, and a waste of manpower to try and police, so an easier solution seems to be hit the places that sell the things that are (perceived as being) the most littered things. But you're right, there's no incentive to actually prevent littering whatsoever. They'll just litter other items instead. Ban those too?

It's easier to get a business to comply with a law banning the giving of an object than to get the whole population to comply with a law prohibiting a specific use of it. It just doesn't address the problem - except as a feel-good measure for voters who like things to look pretty and like to feel as if they're thinking globally and acting locally.

It'd be nice to live in a society where people just in general didn't litter, maybe picked up after themselves and didn't act like idiot slobs. I hear rumors that some European countries are like this. But I live in the US, where driving ATVs over archaeological ruins is considered a rightful protest against the Bureau of Land Management and/or tyranny. We're assholes here.

Even if only 1% of the population shits where they eat that winds up being loads and loads of poop. And the plastic bag ban is like addressing the pooping-where-eating problem by banning peanuts.

I think it probably even makes the problem worse by moral licensing. "I voted for a plastic bag ban! See, I care about the environment. So it's OK if I just toss this plastic carton of plastic-flavored plastic cakes with plastic gumdrops inside them, just this once."

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Thirty-one » Tue May 13, 2014 5:28 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:
speising wrote:i find it a quaint custom that you still have people who stuff your grocery bags for you in the supermarket.
do you also still get a full five man service team at a fuel station?


That's a very weird custom to me too. I mean, I understand that they want you out of there as soon as possible, but most people around here seem to stuff their bags fast enough for it not to clog up anyway. Even if they didn't, I'm not sure I'd prefer having some underpaid person doing it for me.


You'd rather that underpaid person be what, unemployed?


Yes, and I'd like to harvest their children's tears when they cry about not getting to eat that week. Or for society to come up with better jobs for them, either works, really, though one option saves me money on tear vials as a bonus.

Pfhorrest wrote:Often times by the time the cashier has finished ringing me up for payment and I've swiped my card and signed for it, the bagger has already finished bagging for me and loaded everything into my cart ready to walk out the door. I couldn't possibly have been bagging and loading at the same time as paying, so eliminating a bagger means, no matter how fast I am at both of those tasks, now they have to be serialized instead of parallelized, and that's going to add a lot of time per customer. Maybe at slow times of day that's not a problem, but at busy times of day when there are already long lines clogging up the aisles even with the baggers there, and given how slow and inefficient many other shoppers are, getting rid of baggers would be a catastrophe.

That could be avoided by having more lines, but then you're employing twice as many cashiers instead of two people per register, twice as many lines moving half as fast each, and really what have you accomplished?


It also seems to be avoided in the vast majority of cases, even at peak times of the day, by having the conveyor belt push the groceries into an area with a divider that you move back and forth. As for paying and bagging at the same time, that is indeed hard. You could bag as you wait for the last item to be rung up though, pay, and then bag the last few items. You're still spending a few seconds more than with a bagger there, but not a whole lot of time would be saved.

Anyway, it wasn't really my intention to turn the pant thread into a discussion about bagging.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Magnanimous » Tue May 13, 2014 5:48 am UTC

Jave D wrote:People can use re-usable bags, of course, but those aren't any faster, so there's huge lines in every checkstand, we're getting massive dips in productivity, customers are universally pissed off (especially when they ask specifically for plastic).

Do a lot of people take their canvas bags, take their canvas bags, to the supermarket?

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Tue May 13, 2014 5:58 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:
Jave D wrote:People can use re-usable bags, of course, but those aren't any faster, so there's huge lines in every checkstand, we're getting massive dips in productivity, customers are universally pissed off (especially when they ask specifically for plastic).

Do a lot of people take their canvas bags, take their canvas bags, to the supermarket?


Holy crap that's awesome.

(But no. Mostly cloth, some canvas or paper or, funnily enough, plastic.)

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby speising » Tue May 13, 2014 8:15 am UTC

in my experience, the bottleneck in supermarkets is the cashier. of course, more personel here would help. i guess we pay them to much to be able to afford that. for bagging, we cart our stuff away after paying.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby K-R » Tue May 13, 2014 8:37 am UTC

Thirty-one wrote:As for paying and bagging at the same time, that is indeed hard. You could bag as you wait for the last item to be rung up though, pay, and then bag the last few items.

How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?

Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Chen » Tue May 13, 2014 11:49 am UTC

K-R wrote:How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?

Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?


Except then the cashier you has to make sure to put things in the bag in the right order (e.g., no cans on top of bread) and thus slows down his processing of the other items.

The cashiers here throw it onto a conveyor thing after its scanned and then either you put it in a bag yourself or a bagger does (seems to depend on how busy it is). It goes pretty smoothly actually. If you have two people doing the shopping its quite smooth while one person bags the other loads more on the conveyor and then pays while the bagging gets finished.

Also regarding bags, they added a 5c surcharge for them here several years ago. It drastically reduced the amount of bags people use at the grocery store. Most people come with their re-usable bags/backpacks. There were no bans or anything, just the slight cost increase. And it seemed to work quite well at reducing the usage of those plastic bags.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby K-R » Tue May 13, 2014 12:02 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
K-R wrote:How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?

Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?


Except then the cashier you has to make sure to put things in the bag in the right order (e.g., no cans on top of bread) and thus slows down his processing of the other items.

It really doesn't. At least not enough you'd notice.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby roband » Tue May 13, 2014 12:04 pm UTC

Also it involves you trusting them to do it right. Fuck that.

Scan it, sling it all down to me, I'll pack all I can as quickly as I can and then finalise it as my card payment is going through - cheers.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Diemo » Tue May 13, 2014 2:23 pm UTC

K-R wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:As for paying and bagging at the same time, that is indeed hard. You could bag as you wait for the last item to be rung up though, pay, and then bag the last few items.

How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?

Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?


There are two systems that we have here (Lidl and Dunnes). In Lidl what you do (If you have more than a single bags orth of stuff) is the cashier gives you the stuff, you put it back in the wheely-basket (I have temperarily forgotten the name), and then after the cashier there is a shelf where you can pack your bags at leisure. This works really quickly for the cashiers (albiet a bit slower for customers).

The other type is where there is a dipped counter after the cashier, and so when they swipe the stuff they put it on the dip and gravity brings it to the bottom of the dip, where you can bag it. This is a bit slower than the other method for the cashier, but faster for the customer, and doesnt require as much space.

With regards to the cashier putting it into a bag, it would take a lot longer. The difference in time between a swipe and drop, and between opening a bag and depositing the item, can be up to a second. When you are putting through hundreds of items this builds up.

It's probably very low priority, and a waste of manpower to try and police, so an easier solution seems to be hit the places that sell the things that are (perceived as being) the most littered things. But you're right, there's no incentive to actually prevent littering whatsoever. They'll just litter other items instead. Ban those too?


No, change the packaging. One major change is that paper is much more biodegradable than plastic (which can last for ages, I hear somewhere up to 100 years!!) and then when they litter, it is not so much of a problem because the litter will disappear after a few months (well, we get a lot of rain here so paper, especially bags, disappear withing a few days).
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Tue May 13, 2014 2:43 pm UTC

roband wrote:Also it involves you trusting them to do it right. Fuck that.


Yeah, you can't trust people to do their jobs. You can do it better! I bet you shoo baggers away like some sort of obnoxious insect.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby roband » Tue May 13, 2014 2:51 pm UTC

We don't have baggers here. My point was that if you want the cashier to bag for you, they're gonna fuck it up.

Sometimes kids come to the supermarkets to bag your shopping for you and you give them them some coins for whatever charity they're doing it for.
Fuck that. I give them the money and bag it myself.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Enuja » Tue May 13, 2014 2:51 pm UTC

I am a huge fan of both the social pressure to reuse bags for groceries, and the method of charging customers at the checkout a per-bag fee to incentivize the customers to bring their own bags. I'm old enough (and young enough, too) that when I started buying my own groceries, bringing my own bag was really hard. Baggers gave me funny looks when I tried to hand them re-usable bags, other people in the line gave me a funny look for slowing down the bagger, and even having a bag with you in the grocery store (both reusable bags and backpacks) felt forbidden while shopping: because I was living in car based societies, you were expected to be unencumbered, and, if you had a bag, it was probably for the purpose of stealing stuff. I now live in a big city where a lot of people do at least some grocery shopping on foot. I do all of my grocery shopping on foot, and since I almost always have a backpack on anyway, at least a good proportion of my groceries go into my backpack. In the bad old days, there were even stores I went to that wouldn't let me carry the one or two things I bought out in my hands after paying. My purchases HAD to be in a bag, because that was their anti-theft system. I really think that the social push for reusable bags (even more than my change of location) is what has made it so much easier and more pleasant for me to use reusable bags (and my backpack, and my hands) for groceries.

speising wrote:in my experience, the bottleneck in supermarkets is the cashier. of course, more personel here would help. i guess we pay them to much to be able to afford that. for bagging, we cart our stuff away after paying.
K-R wrote:How exactly does this system work? The cashier scans/weighs/whatever the item, and then gives it to you, and you have to bag it?

Surely the quicker option is for the cashier to just put it straight into the bag, rather than giving it to someone else, whether it's the customer or a specialist bagger, to put it into a bag?
Chen wrote:Except then the cashier you has to make sure to put things in the bag in the right order (e.g., no cans on top of bread) and thus slows down his processing of the other items.
K-R wrote:It really doesn't. At least not enough you'd notice.
I really, really notice. Aldi (a German discount grocery store) has been expanding in the US, and at Aldi* customers bag for themselves. The cashiers get SO MANY more people and things through per unit time than at standard American supermarkets, even ones with baggers. Here's how it works. The customer MUST put their stuff directly on the conveyor belt. The cashier will not take stuff out of the a hand basket put on the conveyor belt ('cause that slows them down). The cashier is at the end of the line: there is no table space or bagging space or anything after the cashier. Instead, there is a grocery cart (or a grocery cart with a hand basket in it) just after the register. The cashier dumps the groceries directly into the cart (or basket), and it saves tons of time compared to the cashier doing the bagging, and even compared to having a professional bagger do the bagging. Near the doors of the grocery store are extensive counter tops, where the customers bag their own stuff. So the total time per customer isn't really faster ('cause we hang around doing our own bagging), but the customer per employee time is much faster, and you usually spend a lot less time waiting in line. I do think most people would rather do something their own way for themselves (bag their own stuff) than stand around in line waiting. And, as a person putting groceries into my backpack, I love this system. Society is definitely getting more friendly about it, but I think it will remain awkward to haul your backpack up onto the counter past the register. At stores where the cashier bags and where there is a bagger, I do haul my backup up on the counter, but that puts the bagger in an awkward position if it's taking me a lot of time to pay. Should they grab my backpack and fill it? That's really my personal space, and most are hesitant to so. But having the bagger standing around waiting for me to bag is also awkward.

I'm really surprised how many people here think that promoting re-usable bags is a bad move. I love it!

*It sounds like Aldi does things exactly like Lidl, but I'm not going to delete all of this just because Diemo ninja'd me.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Jave D » Tue May 13, 2014 3:02 pm UTC

roband wrote:We don't have baggers here. My point was that if you want the cashier to bag for you, they're gonna fuck it up.


That's less a point made and more like an irrationally held belief to me.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby speising » Tue May 13, 2014 3:02 pm UTC

regarding paying for bags: they introduced a fee here (quite a while ago) for the big, stable bags (both plastic and paper), but the small bags for vegetables or fruit are still free. the consequence was that people just took a few of those, until it became a standard to have a roll of them at the cashier...
now they want to forbid those, too, but i don't see how that will work with the open veggies.

i, personally, take a cloth bag when i go shopping premedidated. when i'm spontaneously shopping after work, i carry the stuff in my hands, or take one of those small bags if really necessary, so that'll affect me, too.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 13, 2014 3:09 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:
roband wrote:We don't have baggers here. My point was that if you want the cashier to bag for you, they're gonna fuck it up.


That's less a point made and more like an irrationally held belief to me.

Man, all I know is that when I worked retail and sold things that generally speaking couldn't crush each other, I'd often ring people out, bag their shit and send them on their way and have no recollection of it taking place despite having a 1-2 minute conversation with them.

Because after a couple of weeks on the job, unless something noteworthy happens (Customer's a dick/customer is striking in appearance/customer tries to scam you) everyone blends together to this one giant blob of Person, and whatever they're buying blurs into one generic Product. Person bought six Product today. That's all I remember.

While most baggers get it right, most baggers are not cashiers.... I wouldn't trust a cashier to ring stuff up AND bag AND do all the stupid shit Corporate makes them do without fucking something up along the way. Because I've been there, and it sucks.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby K-R » Tue May 13, 2014 3:21 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:With regards to the cashier putting it into a bag, it would take a lot longer. The difference in time between a swipe and drop, and between opening a bag and depositing the item, can be up to a second.

Sure, if you were to do it like that. So instead, you have a rack that holds the bag upright and open, so putting the item down and putting in the bag are exactly the same.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue May 13, 2014 3:26 pm UTC

K-R wrote:
Diemo wrote:With regards to the cashier putting it into a bag, it would take a lot longer. The difference in time between a swipe and drop, and between opening a bag and depositing the item, can be up to a second.

Sure, if you were to do it like that. So instead, you have a rack that holds the bag upright and open, so putting the item down and putting in the bag are exactly the same.

Only if the person putting the items on the conveyer belt wasn't an idiot and put them in the right order. Otherwise, you're scanning eggs then a bag of flour, and putting that on eggs is a bad idea. But starting a brand new bag is a waste of a bag.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby roband » Tue May 13, 2014 3:30 pm UTC

2 on the ball posts in a row from ST there. Listen up kids.. that's a good influence right there.

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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Diadem » Tue May 13, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

Thirty-one wrote:It also seems to be avoided in the vast majority of cases, even at peak times of the day, by having the conveyor belt push the groceries into an area with a divider that you move back and forth. As for paying and bagging at the same time, that is indeed hard. You could bag as you wait for the last item to be rung up though, pay, and then bag the last few items. You're still spending a few seconds more than with a bagger there, but not a whole lot of time would be saved.

This. This is how every Dutch supermarket, or indeed every European supermarket I have been to, works.

I'm very confused by people here saying that lines get longer without a bagger. The cashier takes your stuff from the conveyor belt, scans it, and puts it onto a conveyor belt at their other side. Then your stuff gets put in bags. Whether you have an employee bagging your stuff, or you bag your own stuff after you are done paying, the throughput in number of customers is exactly the same. Sure, it takes customers slightly more time to bag their own stuff, but that's after they have paid, so that doesn't affect line lengths.

This all seems rather obvious to me. So I'm probably missing something about the way American supermarkets work. Why would having people bag their own stuff increase lines?
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Thirty-one » Tue May 13, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Thirty-one wrote:It also seems to be avoided in the vast majority of cases, even at peak times of the day, by having the conveyor belt push the groceries into an area with a divider that you move back and forth. As for paying and bagging at the same time, that is indeed hard. You could bag as you wait for the last item to be rung up though, pay, and then bag the last few items. You're still spending a few seconds more than with a bagger there, but not a whole lot of time would be saved.

This. This is how every Dutch supermarket, or indeed every European supermarket I have been to, works.

I'm very confused by people here saying that lines get longer without a bagger. The cashier takes your stuff from the conveyor belt, scans it, and puts it onto a conveyor belt at their other side. Then your stuff gets put in bags. Whether you have an employee bagging your stuff, or you bag your own stuff after you are done paying, the throughput in number of customers is exactly the same. Sure, it takes customers slightly more time to bag their own stuff, but that's after they have paid, so that doesn't affect line lengths.

This all seems rather obvious to me. So I'm probably missing something about the way American supermarkets work. Why would having people bag their own stuff increase lines?


I guess it could, if all the groceries go into the same slot for every customer, and the last one is slow to bag up stuff, but people are very rarely that slow here.

Jave D wrote:
roband wrote:We don't have baggers here. My point was that if you want the cashier to bag for you, they're gonna fuck it up.


That's less a point made and more like an irrationally held belief to me.


For some items it's obvious which goes on top, for others it's a matter of preference. I also like to bag the stuff that my right arm will carry very slightly heavier than for my left arm, and then if we have a shitload, a lighter bag for my wife, as I'm sexist. Fuck it up in this case means to get it very slightly wrong, making having it bagged actually be worse than having to bag it yourself.

For the record, I don't shoo either, we don't have baggers here. When I'm in Canada, and hit a store that have baggers, I resign to my fate.
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Re: Pant Thread (because we need more panting)

Postby Zarq » Tue May 13, 2014 3:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
K-R wrote:
Diemo wrote:With regards to the cashier putting it into a bag, it would take a lot longer. The difference in time between a swipe and drop, and between opening a bag and depositing the item, can be up to a second.

Sure, if you were to do it like that. So instead, you have a rack that holds the bag upright and open, so putting the item down and putting in the bag are exactly the same.
[...] But starting a brand new bag is a waste of a bag.


That's how they did it in that one Walmart we went to. We almost had 1 bag per item.
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