Is this story NAR or NAW?

Hi, your friendly neighborhood editor here, again.

The other day we published a story where even the OP didn’t know if it was NAR or NAW?

This is the story! I was weighing it up on my own when I remembered, “We have forums now!” So hopefully you can help me figure this one out; does this story lean more NAR or NAW?

  • NAR
  • NAW
  • Both NAR & NAW
  • Neither

0 voters

NAR. You could tenuously say NAW because the OP didn’t go and report to the supervisor about 5 cents worth of fraud, but most likely a manager would just let that kind of thing go. After all, it’s usually not their personal nickle.

It feels like one of those that can go either way.
I see the argument for a “clueless worker” story for NAW, but it feels equally like a “interesting/non-standard customer” NAR story, since the customer went off script a bit and kept rolling without missing a beat. (And got what they wanted, even if petty/minor xP)

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Its NAR-its the customer not the worker

I suppose the case for it being NaW is that while the button specifically says this discount is for bringing your own bag, they don’t actually enforce it in any way. Still, I think it leans more to NaR – she does have a point and if it’s not enforced that you have to have a bag to get the discount, it’s on the store, but technically, it’s still a loophole.

Usually, discounts like that are meant to discourage people from using disposable bags, not to encourage use of reusable bags. At least where I am, it’s basically five cents added to the total, so if someone isn’t using a disposable bag, then arguably that’s five cents of theft on the store’s side. It would be helpful if we had a location tag here.

Regardless, the customer was acting in accordance with the spirit of the rule if not the letter, while the worker was following the letter but not the spirit. Which is fine, but stopping someone over five cents when they didn’t take a disposable bag is pretty NAW to me, as is the fact that the employee was too afraid to talk to their supervisor about it. Why would an employee be unable to talk to their supervisor about the finer points of a rule they’re supposed to be enforcing? That sounds pretty fishy to me.

So I’m coming down on the side of NAW here, though I can also see the argument for tagging it with both.


Clearest would be to just re-name that button to “I didn’t take a plastic bag” to remove ambiguity, but it would probably be unnecessary expense to solve an almost nonexistent problem.

My take is that it could be a NAW for the person who programmed the machine! The button is clearly wrong, people who are not taking new disposable bags should get the discount regardless of bringing their own bags.

But they might have another reason for phrasing it like that - maybe other phrases would encourage customers to always push the button to get the discount?

So I’m sticking with “neither”, but that’s just my five cents.

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What is weird to me is that there is a discount for NOT using a bag, which you have to ask for. Where I live they charge you IF you take a bag. So if you have a plastic bag you get charged, if you use your own bag or your arms or your shirt or whatever then you’re not charged. The system in the story is confusing so that’s why I voted NAW.


I voted NAW because, far as I can tell, the customer is correct. The idea is to discourage using plastic bags and well, they’re not using plastic bags. It’s keeping with the spirit of that policy.

That being said, I prefer the system here, where if you want a bag, you pay for it. And if you don’t, you don’t.

I voted NAW, but it’s all pretty weirdly phrased.

I’ve never really thought about this before, the self-check outs here also gives the option “I brought my own bag” or “I will need a bag”. I press the IBMYB, either because I really did bring my own (which I do 99% of the time) or I’m buying something small enough to fit in my pocket, or convenient to just carry in my hand.

Here you don’t get a discount if you bring your own bag, but if you need one from the store, you’re buying it for 10 cents.