J.P. Gasway

Responsive - Innovative - Trusted

Digital or Paper is the new Paper or Plastic

Would you like paper or plastic?... The age old question everyone's encountered at a grocery store. At least it used to be. I was a grocery store kid in my day. Worked there all through high school and part of college. I did everything from stocking shelves to cleaning up spilled milk in the dairy section... It was a great experience those 20 hours each week. But, it all started on the front lines - sacking groceries. Every time someone checked out, I was tasked with asking the simple question "Would you like paper or plastic today for your groceries?" 

Fast forward however many years to 2017. I went to the grocery store with my wife a week or so ago and when we got done with checkout, I was asked the simple question "Would you like a digital or paper receipt?" Um, what? That was my thought when asked and I'm sure the guy behind the register thought he had just asked for my first born child due to the expression on my face. I gathered myself and said "paper of course." This is where my lovely wife says, "Oh no, just email me my receipt." I about fainted right there in the check out line. I looked at her dumbfounded as she told me "It's just easier." 

I was flabbergasted. My own wife who is married to a paper guy... not getting a paper receipt? No shame. She said sometimes it's just easier to have them send it and look at it later. But, is it really easier? That is my question. Doesn't seem easier to me. Easy to me is having them print a receipt and hand it to me. But, I'm the same guy who doesn't have a debit card and only uses credit cards in emergencies. 

Anyway, back to this digital vs. paper receipt thing... when did this happen and why? Is it a cost savings? I know some promote it as "think green", but that is not thinking green. To me it's "Give us your email so we can send 3,000 emails each week about deals on cottage cheese or toaster strudels while saving money on receipt paper." Maybe I'm old fashion or behind the times, but I always get a receipt. The bank, I get a balance printed. The golf course, I get a greens fee receipt. Even if the digital option is there, I never say yes to it. Even if I wasn't a paper guy, I wouldn't say yes. As I'm expressing all of my concerns with this digital receipt movement that seems to be happening, my wife says to me "Next time, I'll just go the grocery alone."

So moral of the story is never expect to be asked if you want paper or plastic again, but instead always decline the digital option.