Customer Called Out by Grocery Store Employee for "Double Bagging" at Self-Checkout

The math simply wasn't mathing when a grocery store customer was told he could not double-bag his items at the self-checkout. Here's what happened.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 13 2023, Published 6:26 p.m. ET

When it comes to the self-checkout line at the grocery store, customers and employees have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, they're generally shorter because people don't want to put the small amount of effort needed to scan and bag their own groceries which makes them more appealing. On the other, some employees feel this renders them useless and could put their job at risk. No matter how you scan it, it's a strangely polarizing activity.

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For one man on TikTok named Adam (, things took a turn when an employee of an unnamed grocery store chastised him for attempting to double-bag.

Now, plastic bags and environmental issues aside, sometimes a little extra help is needed for those more cumbersome items. There is no shame in that game. What's interesting about this story is what the employee suggested Adam do instead. Read on for all the math that just didn't add up.

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Why was this grocery store employee not OK with double-bagging at the self-checkout?

Adam's story begins with a trip to an unnamed establishment that also sells groceries. This store's reach is so far and wide, that Adam is convinced everyone has been there. So, we should all be relatively familiar with its checkout setup. "This specific establishment within the last couple of years has gotten rid of checkout counters," he explains. It's just self-checkout for the customers.

As Adam was ringing up his stuff, he double-bagged the heavier items until an employee came over to his line. "Why are you double-bagging your stuff?" she asked him. "Excuse me?" Adam said, clearly confused. At this point the employee said he shouldn't be double-bagging his groceries, as if it's not legal. It is.

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Adam let this person know that the double-bagging was purely to avoid the handles or bottom breaking. At this point, the grocery store employee dropped an extremely illogical alternative, suggesting he "pack less and use one bag." Despite Adam's repeatedly insisting the same amount of bags would be needed in this scenario, the employee simply did not get it.

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Adam and the grocery store employee reached an impasse.

The employee viewed Adam's double-bagging practice as wasteful, not realizing that halving the items per bag would require the use of another bag. Essentially the number of bags being used is the same but, visually, two bags looks worse. It's very tricky.

Adam then resorted to an example. "So I have one gallon of milk and some juice that's in this bag right now, and it's double-bagged," he explained. "I should take one of these items out, and put it in a single bag?" Evidently the employee wouldn't budge. "Yes," she told him. "Isn't that the same number of bags?" he asked. She said no.

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His only solution was to suggest the grocery store employee take over, as she clearly knew better. "No, it's not my job," she informed him. "OK, then I'm just gonna continue bagging them like this," he said. "But you're being wasteful," she said again. Around and around they went, like a self-checkout ouroboros.

We don't know how things ended for Adam. Perhaps moving forward he'll be a BYOBag kind of guy. That way, he can pack his groceries however he likes. Heck, Adam can triple bag them, because as Austin Powers once said, "This sort of thing is my bag, baby."

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