Friday, September 17, 2004

Whatever happened to grocery baggers who knew what they were doing? I remember when they knew how to "build walls" with the groceries in the bags; when they knew that the cold stuff gets bagged together unless that cold stuff is raw meat; when bread and chips got their own bag so they wouldn't be crushed by things like cat litter; when heavy bags were double-bagged to prevent the bag tearing, thus keeping the contents from catastrophic kitchen calamity; when baggers were high school students with whiteheads, glasses, and greasy hair, but boy did they have manners. But those were then, however long ago that was. The years escape me, like a drunken hillbilly from a "Cops" camera crew.

Today's bagger is just that: a bagger. That's their job: bagging. They put stuff in bags indiscriminately. The put my lettuce in with the roast that was poorly wrapped to begin with. I got blood on my hands when picking it out, so I had to buy sani-wipes because I was so grossed out that I had to run to that aisle and bust open a package of wipes. My frozen peas were in with the canned catfood, which was with the laundry detergent. The flour, sugar, powdered sugar, oil, and baking soda were bagged together, which seems smart, but do you know how heavy that bag was? In one plastic bag? That tore? And almost caused the aforementioned catastrophic kitchen calamity?

I need to give the bagger credit where it's due. He put my bread in the same bag with the marshmallows...that he proceeded to heave ONTO the cart rail like it was a bag of flour. So the bread was destroyed after I had carefully chosen the freshest loaf and laid it gingerly on top of other soft, flat stuff in my cart. He just threw it back on there like he was throwing back a small fish. It made me angry. I glared at him and told him, "Okay, now go to the bread aisle and find another loaf that is good until September 25 or thereafter that hasn't been squashed, and bring it back here carrying it as though you are carrying food on a platinum platter to go serve dinner to God."

The full-service gas station is another institution that disappoints me now. I only visit a full-service station now because I was going to fill up my g-ma's card, and the only gas card she has is for Fina. The only Fina I know of is full-service. If someone is going to pay and extra 10 cents per gallon to have someone fill up their car, that someone should expect a clean windshield and an oil check. These are just normal full-service things. It's also how full-service gas stations that don't have quicky-marts make money. You check oil, and "Ma'am, you are about a quart low on oil. Would you like me to top that off?" "These windshield wipers are tearing. Would you like me to replace them for you?" The same questions could be asked about any fluid that should be checked by a full-service station.

I don't like to think of myself as old-fashioned mostly because it contains the word, "old", but I am a little old-fashioned. I know that jobs like grocery bagger and full-service grease monkey aren't the most prominent jobs to hold, but they are jobs. They provide an income, which affords a life. But more importantly, it should encourage self-respect, it should teach respect for others, it should promote pleasure and positivity. But because these jobs are "crappy", the people holding them have a crappy attitude. They definitely aren't bettering their job or their position. They are prohibiting themselves from getting promotions or recommendations. The 30-something husband and father who was bagging my groceries is a bagger because he has a dumpy attitude.

I could go on about fastfood employees, but we all know about that.

I love saying "catastrophic kitchen calamity!" CATASTROPHIC KITCHEN CALAMITY!!! HA!

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