Put a question to Bridget Phillipson, Shadow Education Minister

My feed

to access all these features


to have found myself saying "will you please stop touching my shopping?"

115 replies

ICBINEG · 22/06/2013 13:39

Okay so ordinarily I would imagine anyone saying that to be a card carrying nutto control freak....but...

I have tried...I really have...to make peace with the "can I help you with your packing" charity collecting gang that seem to be perpetually staking out the end of the tills in my local super market. I have tried to not feel imposed upon that I have to defend my right to pack my own bloody shopping while being made to feel guilty about it....

I have a system when packing...designed to get through the hairy bit before my toddler time bomb detonates as rapidly as possible. It is fast, it is efficient and it is my fucking shopping anyway (I digress).

So I have learnt to say, oh so very politely, that "no, I would not like any help with my packing". Which is exactly what I said today.

Normally this results in the charity packer moving out of the way, or even going to a different till end to help out there for a while...but not today.

Today's charity packing woman is determined to "own the space" at the end of the conveyor so that I cannot actually park my trolley there while..you know...packing my stuff into it.

So I take the first two items and slot them into their assigned bags. When I look up she holding my quiche (well this is an MN story after all). She is looking at the bags like "which one does this go in", I look at her like "you don't know because it's MY fucking system" and hold out my hand for the quiche and file it correctly. The 4th and 5th items go in fine...but then one of my bags falls over and the extra second it takes me to right it, affords my nemesis the chance to snatch my eggs. I feel I cannot let this go without comment...so I not only hold my hand out to receive the eggs but remind the woman that " no, really I prefer to do this myself".

Things progress apace, without intervention, and I begin to relax, feeling the battle has been won. I then do what I always do, which is leave the soft squishy bread out on the end of the conveyor while I pack the heavier items first. This is a fatal mistake as it leads the charity packer to believe that some sort of cataclysmic packing failure has occurred that, presumably, can only be corrected with her assistance. She seizes this golden opportunity with both hands and proudly dumps my bread into the fridge back (on top of the milk and next to the raw meat etc.) and beams wildly in triumph.

Which is when I say the thing that no sane person in the history of the world has ever said.

""will you please stop touching my shopping?"

Is this it? Have I left sanity behind? AIBU?

OP posts:
RhondaJean · 22/06/2013 16:11

Imagine one bursts!

Bet you sit the carrier bags on your work surfaces too tee Grin

startwig1982 · 22/06/2013 16:15

I can relate to this. I nearly was apoplectic with rage today when the 'helpful' till person started putting stuff through before I'd finished emptying the trolley. Shock Which meant that my carefully planned stacking o the conveyor belt was pointless and everything was crammed at the end in the little packing bit. Plus I had my ds(2) with me, whinging about wanting to go on the jcb ride he loves.
I just about held it together.

Tee2072 · 22/06/2013 16:20

Imagine what bursts? The milk? Then you have bigger problems. The meat? Then again, I ask, are you licking the outside of your milk.

And yes, I do put my carrier bags on work surfaces even after they've been on the floor of the bus!! And then I wipe the surfaces!

::waits for Rhonda's head to explode::


FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn · 22/06/2013 16:24

Vote for Classics Grin

RhondaJean · 22/06/2013 16:24

Omg tee!

You will be telling me you reuse bath towels next Grin or even worse SHARE them!

AmazingBouncingFerret · 22/06/2013 16:30

Could have been worse, she could have snapped your French stick in two. Sad Sad

TheRealFellatio · 22/06/2013 16:31

I live in the middle east and we get bag packers (that is actually their full time job) in every supermarket. Woe betide anyone who tries to do it themselves. They are pretty good at packing to be fair but they sort and categorise to a ridiculous degree and they never put more than about four items into a bag, so you end up with about 35 carrier bags for a big shop - some of which have one thing in them. It drives me nuts. Sometimes I say:

'that doesn't need a bag' (it might be a giant pack of loo roll with its own handle)

'No, really - that's only small - it will fit in with that stuff there...I don't really want a whole new bag for one can of Coke'

'I said NOOOO!'

and then I wrestle it out of their hands, and they look a bit stricken and bewildered.

MalenkyRusskyDrakonchik · 22/06/2013 16:32

Can I make this even more first-world-problem-y?

I was in the supermarket and unpacked my trolley with the asparagus blunt ends pointing towards the till. So she could pick it up without bashing the tips. So she picks it up by the bloody tips and crushes them so the little bits fall off. Angry

I asked for another bunch. Blush

Then I felt like a twat.

(In my defence it was a very un-busy supermarket and I realized it was twattish as soon as I said it.)

The packers annoy me for similar reasons. If I wanted my herbs crushed flat I've got a perfectly good pestle and mortar. You do not need to use three layers of tinned beans to achieve the same effect.

Tee2072 · 22/06/2013 16:37

We each have our own towel Rhonda, but we use them for a week.


RafaellaNhaKyria · 22/06/2013 16:39

I love these threads. I'm and American living in the US, so I've never encountered a pack your own shopping experience. I have however worked in grocery several times over the years and have quite strong opinions on the proper way to pack. When I go through the checkout I always tell the packer (in the UK...theyre sacker in the south US, bagger in the north) that ill be packing my own. They are invariably flummoxed Grin

But it's also because I bring my own canvas bags and they have no idea what to do with them, being accustomed to throwing three items into each plastic bag Angry

RhondaJean · 22/06/2013 16:46
answers · 22/06/2013 16:53

Just got back from Tescos.... I admit that I said no to any help but then felt obliged to put a £1 in the bucket..... ahhhhhh !!!

SummerRainIsADistantMemory · 22/06/2013 16:54

I once said 'I'll give you the money as long as you promise not to touch anything'

In my defense ds2 was tiny, it had been a long day and the thought of a teenager mangling my shopping tipped me over the edge slightly.

The cashier was highly amused.

springtide · 22/06/2013 17:02

My son is doing a bag pack in a local Morrisons for yes - a charity trip. Actually he already raised/earned the costs so will mostly go to the school they are going to work in. I shall brief him accordingly! I like the sugestion of unloading trolley onto the conveyor - far less potential for disaster!

SoleSource · 22/06/2013 17:06


I recall a Mother died in shock because a charity supermarket packer had put the bacon in with the toiletries carrier bag.

sonlypuppyfat · 22/06/2013 17:10

Why don't you make a quiche!

limitedperiodonly · 22/06/2013 17:14

In Sainsbury's I obey the written instruction to lay bottles with their necks pointing towards the checkout operator rather than across.

It does stop them rolling about.

My mother is obsessed that I don't put food in with cleaning products and we have had tussles over things that are well-packaged and vacuum-sealed.

Therefore I don't buy alcohol when we're together because it's just not worth the disapproval.

MrsKwazii · 22/06/2013 17:17

I'm another shopper who gives them a quid not to touch my shopping. I tell them that I'm a control freak and that it's best I get on with it myself.

littlewhitebag · 22/06/2013 17:24

I also take my own bags and I am very particular about what goes in each of them. I never allow the bag packers to touch my shopping. I also unload it onto the conveyor in a particular way. DD2 is the only person who has fully grasped my system and is therefore the only person who is allowed to come shopping with me.

Justfornowitwilldo · 22/06/2013 17:27

'I was in the supermarket and unpacked my trolley with the asparagus blunt ends pointing towards the till. So she could pick it up without bashing the tips. So she picks it up by the bloody tips and crushes them so the little bits fall off.'

Shock [anger]

You can help me pack or put milk in the meat bag but Don't Fuck With The Asparagus.

RevoltingPeasant · 22/06/2013 17:30

NOOOO you can't have people unloading the trolley! There is A System for unloading trolleys and loading onto conveyor belt, starting with loo rolls or bottled water that won't need its own bag, then tins and bottles, then juice cartons and potatoes. It all has its order and then you pack it in the same order?


This thread is giving me palpitations... I may be over-invested in my shopping.....

Panzee · 22/06/2013 17:35

Maybe this is the one and only time I am grateful for the tiniest kitchen in the world. I don't need a system for packing/unpacking because everything is on top of each other and I have no storage space

Tee2072 · 22/06/2013 17:37

Has someone revived Rhonda?

DramaAlpaca · 22/06/2013 17:37

Well done OP!

Sometimes if I've loads of stuff I'll allow packers to help, but if I don't want them to I just tell them I prefer to pack my own and usually they back off without any bother & I put some money in their collection box when I'm done.

One time I had a similar situation to the OP where a persistent packer kept picking up items of my shopping when I had told her I wanted to do it myself. Because she wouldn't leave me alone I didn't give a donation. She was clearly put out & said sarcastically "thank you very much" - so I'm afraid I told her exactly why I didn't donate (I was in a bit of a bad mood that day!)

On another occasion when I was in a hurry I let a packer help me. He threw all my items willy nilly into the bags without any care whatsover, so I asked him to stop & said I'd finish off myself.

His response: "I wouldn't pack it like that if it was my own shopping!" Confused

MrsMook · 22/06/2013 17:40

Our brownies do bag packing. It's by far the most effective method we have for involving the girls in fund raising. At events like the local gala we struggle to do much more than break even after pitch fees. We're not insured to do car washing.

The money we raise gets used for equipment, keeps a healthy float in the account to cover deposits until parents pay the balance and allows the unit to be affordable to girls on low incomes (where we charge half subs).

We train them to put heavy things at the bottom, fragile at the top and group the different temperatures together.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.