Paper or plastic?


The checkout line was long, especially for an early afternoon on a weekday. Just one cashier; the other staff were scattered throughout the store restocking various shelves.

By the time it was my turn, she was visibly frustrated.

"I'm sorry, I forgot to bring my bags" I said.

"Paper or plastic?"

"Paper, please."

She quickly scanned all of my items (so quick I was impressed), then started putting them in a plastic bag. Briefly, I considered not speaking up. I didn't want to add to her frustration. But, I blurted "sorry, that's supposed to be paper".

Heavy sigh. Eye roll. No more words exchanged. Receipt thrown towards me.

I thought about this exchange on the way home. It annoyed me. I focused on trying to empathize with her. It worked. I don't blame her nor the store. I'll be back.

And I'll remember to bring my own bags.