Do You Have 5 Minutes to Talk About New Jersey’s Plastic Bag Ban?

Pardon me, sir! Sorry to startle, could’ve sworn you saw me with my clipboard stalking—Aah—standing near self-checkout. Whoops… Freudian slip.

Don’t worry, I’m not like those other clipboarders. Clutching their cheap, white BIC pen, ready to pounce at the first shopper that passes. Not this gal. See my laminated ID badge? That’s right. It’s on backwards. I’m the fun clipboarder with the pen that clicks.

Okay, you’re in a rush. Let me keep this brief. Is that an ice cream cake at the bottom of your cart?

Funfetti, balloons, beach balls… Looks like someone’s havin’ a Saturday.

As you dig for car keys, can I ask you about the bat man, have you heard of it? Oh geez, call me Miss Marbles because my mouth is full of ’em. What I meant to say was, BAG BAN. Sir, are you familiar?

Judging by the loose sodas rolling around in your basket, I’ll mark that as a yes.

Moving along. Shoot, these pages are out of order, gimme one sec… Here it is… Prompts for the “AWARE, BUT UNENTHUSED.”

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the red reusable bags at register?

Hmm. Valid point, the criteria is unclear.

Mmm. Yes, it is confusing I suppose.

Well, no argument there, we all could use more training.

No, of course I don’t believe my time is more valuable.

These questions certainly aren’t designed to comment on your character, sir.

Goodness, what colorful language.

Slow down, I want to capture all this in the notes…

Okay, so I’m hearing that you don’t like the bags?

What’s that? You actually HATE the bags?

The clipboard too?

And my voice? It’s shrill?

It seems we may have gotten off track. You and me, we aren’t so different. I was once like you, taking a fake phone call or staring at the ground, anything to avoid the clipboard lady. Because who cares about the clipboard lady, right?

Mind if I grab a tissue from the box under your arm?

Thank you for saying that.

It’s not easy, standing here, day after day, approaching strangers.

Can I tell you something else? Come close. Closer. I shouldn’t tell you this, but nobody wants to talk about the bags. Nobody. Not even the insulated bag I’m holding now, which is considered the Cadillac of reusable bags by the way.

Maybe you could try it on? Don’t be shy. C’mon give those handles a squeeze.

You’re not into it. Nothing wrong with that. Between us, I’m more of a canvas tote enthusiast myself. Have 50 of those in my own collection. Then, there’s the casual blue cloth bag that crumples with one fist. Fist bags people call ’em. Of course, there’s the store-branded red bags, the Toyota Camry’s. Safe and will get you there. Those are also quite popular.

What are you into then?

Your wife buys the bags? Bags of bags. Everywhere bags, bags, more bags.

Then where are your bags now sir?

With all due respect, this isn’t the store that lets people leave with “just a few things.” I know this. You know this. So I’ll ask again, sir, where are your bags?

Oh you forgot your bags. How convenient. They’re outside in your trunk.

Mind if I have a look?

You do mind?

Woah, fast walking. Despite that birthday card and candles jutting up from beneath your waistband, I’m impressed.

Watch the curb, wouldn’t want that canister of disinfectant wipes poppin’ out of that pocket in the parking lot. You got quite an arm on you, tossin’ those clementines in the truck bed like a pitcher in the majors.

Are you sure I can’t take a peek? Please. I only want to count your reusable bags, sir. Snap one picture. Two, tops. That’s it. For the greater good of market research.

No need to shout. I’ll leave.

When I hit my quota.

Which is not as many as you may think.

How many have I done?

Technically you’re my first!

Fine.

I promise to remove my hand from the hood…

…if you’ll answer one final question…

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your survey experience today?