Take your plastic complaint and bag it, sir

As a supermarket employee, the upcoming plastic bag ban has enabled a lot of complaint, and I’ve had enough. Just bring your bags from home, and pop your manners in it. Simple.



Somebody once said: Whattya mean I gotta pay for plastic bags, you want me to carry me shoppin’???

I didn’t catch his name, but I caught his drift. He was a man of indeterminate age and indeterminate rage. The lack of plastic was the last straw, and that’s why he wanted to speak to my super.

Hello, my name is Jim, and I’m a supermarket employee.

On Sunday, the plastic bag ban will come into effect, a feared move which has enabled the creation of a new national crisis: bag rage.

In my experience, this is certainly legitimate. Can confirm. As a shepherd of the auto-checkout, I’ve become acutely aware of the increase in angst. Bad enough you can no longer steal at the self-checkouts, but now we’re saving the environment too?! We’re the absolute worst. Please abuse us.

Rushing to our defence, some rusted old crone named Bernie Smith (the NSW State Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association – Ed) has had the time of his life saving our souls with the pun: “Please don’t bag retail staff.”

Thank you Bernie. It wasn’t exactly a Malcolm X level of resistance, but hey, wordplay.

The reason why I’m writing this, is because we can’t say it… Just chill the fuck out. It’s not that big an issue. The feedback I’ve heard since the announcement has been high-grade nonsense. Another complaint I heard was: What, some whale washes up on the beach with plastic bags in it, and now I have to, what, give up plastic?

I mean, I didn’t kill the whale, and neither did he, but that’s sort of the point.

These are dangerous times. Things just ain’t the same for bagsters, we’re in a war. It’s a cold war with cold cuts. The battles we fight are not in the cost, but rather the savings. Coles or Woolworths. One must pick a side, and one must shop only there. I’m a fairly certain that if management allowed us to, there’d be an influx of middle-management types doing drive-bys on Woolworths with pricing guns.

Like all wars, the small people who fight it (like me) are conditioned through songs. I will defend “Down, down, prices are down” til my final breath – which may be hastened by my own hand, as I’m sick of hearing it. As reported, Coles management has offered their staff training to be able to handle you people.

I can confirm this to be true. Was it helpful? No. Was it a lengthy excuse for someone in management to hear themselves talk? Yes. ICYMI, we were advised to not poke the bear. Remain calm as Hindu Cows. Yes, sir, the single use plastic bags are gone, sir, but please sir, bring your own from home next time, sir. Yes, it’s our fault. Sorry. Sir.

Retail, as anyone who has worked it will know, is a dehumanising existence. One enabled by meeting other humans. I feel I have to say this anonymously, to avoid being dragged. I know there’s nothing worse than someone irrelevant complaining about their job. Just bag it, bagboy, if not, quit. True, and I agree. But only if you let me come to your work and angrily bitch about the slightly different grade of toner in your printer, or concrete in your mixer. But it won’t be just me, it’d be a never ending wave of whine. A sea of angry faces and flailing limbs all railing against something unimportant. I know you had nothing to do with it, but I don’t care. You’re here. Deal with me.

I know we’re a first-world country, and I’m the same as you. I dislike my routine being changed, and it bristles me when things are made harder for some opaque reason. But just chill the fuck out. South Australia and the Northern Territory have already gone through this many years ago and got over it.

All they have is mass murderers, crocodiles and our derision. Do we really want them to have the moral high ground?

Just bag it, you lot.


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