|Banks County Opinions...||
August 29, 2001
By Shar Porier
The Banks County News
August 29, 2001
Attention! Attention! Attention all baggers! Please report to the front!
I dread it, when I hear that at the grocery store.
I can be happily bagging my own groceries, when from behind I hear this fluctuating boy-to-man-to-boy voice, saying "I'll do that, ma'am." At that moment, I know what is about to come out of my mouth is not at all what I want to say. Instead comes this mumble, "OK." And, I step back and let the squeaker take control of my groceries.
It's not that I don't appreciate the help. I do. But I'd like it a whole lot more if I was really getting the help I wanted.
So, I stand there waiting for the question, "Paper or plastic?" In doesn't matter that in front of the young man is a plastic bag with cold stuff in it and a paper bag with canned and dry foods in it. I guess "observation" is not part of the criteria to be a bagger.
"Cold stuff in plastic, everything else in paper," I say. (Note: I've found plastic bags loaded with heavy cans tend to hurt my hands, while paper bags can be carried comfortably in my arms. Also, cold stuff tends to sweat and thus rips paper bags, so plastic is better for those things. Besides, then I know which bags to hurry into the house and the refrigerator.) To me, that seems an easy enough request. All the guy has to do is touch the item and he immediately knows which type of bag to put it in. Simple.
But, no. Not simple to him. I watch as he struggles to figure if evaporated milk is cold and should go in plastic or not cold and into paper. Making it easy on him, I say, "In the paper bag."
As the cans come down the chute, I watch as he piles them in. And then I watch as the bag rips and the cans fall all over. "Best not to make them too heavy," I say with a pleasant smile. I watch as he rebags the cans the same way, but crams the first bag into another. O-o-o-o-K! He missed the point of that one.
Next comes the laundry detergent and a loaf of bread. He sticks the detergent in the bag and puts the bread in the bottom next to it. As he reaches for the dish soap, I say, "Please put the bread in a separate bag so it doesn't get mushed." Is there a glimmer of hope for this guy, I ask myself?
Now, comes my favorite part, the produce and fruits. First, he looks at the plastic, then he looks at the paper. Grabbing the tomatoes he drops them down in the plastic bag. Then he grabs the five-pound bag of potatoes and just as he's about to drop them on top of the tomatoes, I say, "Please don't put the potatoes on top of the tomatoes. They'll get mushed."
"Oh," he says, and puts the potatoes in a paper bag. Peppers and bagged salad stuff gets put in with the tomatoes. "Well," I think, "he's getting the idea."
But the bananas and the grapefruit proved me wrong. "Please," I say, " Don't put the grapefruit on top of the bananas. They'll get mushed."
"Oh," he says and puts the grapefruit in a separate bag.
The cashier, by this time, is doing her best not to laugh. She looks at me and says, "They just don't get it, do they?"
"They will, when they start paying for groceries," I answer, laughing.
He looks at us, blankly, and says "Oh."
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
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