Monday, December 24, 2007

Let 'Em Do What They Do, Baby

This may sound strange, but when I returned home to Florida in 1999, one of the things I looked most forward to was shopping at Publix again.

In Maryland where I had lived for about three years, the grocery stores were weird, in my book. My most annoying peeve was that you couldn't take your grocery buggy to your car. All the stores had concrete poles that kept the buggies corralled just outside the doorways. So I would buy groceries, push the buggy outside and have to leave the groceries unattended, then go get my truck and pull up front where I would load my groceries and be on my way.

Then there's Publix. Friendly bagboys- and today, baggirls young and old- bag your groceries for you and take them out to your car, where they load them and then return your buggy.

For some odd reason, I see fewer and fewer people taking advantage of the baggers. People just want to take their groceries out themselves, it seems. That's fine with me, but what really gets my goat is the fact that they take their groceries out themselves and then leave the buggy in the parking lot, pounced and ready to roll into someone's car.

So this is my plea to all grocery shoppers: let the baggers do what they are paid to do!!! Let them take your groceries to your car. Then they will return the buggy to its proper place, and they will pick up all the stray buggies left by those other a-holes while they're at it.

I actually DIDN'T let a bagger help me to my car yesterday, but I had what I thought was a good reason. My bagger was an elderly lady to walked as though she had a bad knee or hip. I just felt guilty making Grandma walk me to my car. But I've had a change of heart since then. She obviously is able to perform the normal duties, so next time I'm going to swallow my pride and let her do her job.


Anonymous said...

Baggers seem to fall into two categories those who need the job: 1) For the money; or
2) Those who work because they need the social interaction. The sweet-faced smiling, unabashedly Christian little black man (with obvious bad knees, they are even bowed now) who is 81 and his wife fusses to him to quit. "Don't she think I got sense enough to quit working when I need to quit?" He always makes me smile and blesses my day, so the trip to the Jeep extends our repartee.

Worth just what it cost ya.

Anonymous said...

This was a good post Lorrie. I usually carry my own bags if I don't have that many. I like having the bag boys/girls assist me because you find out interesting things about them. I also like watching their progression at the grocery store chain. I had a baggy once that I would only go through the line where he was assigned. He became cashier than was promoted to customer service. He use to joke with me that one day he was going to be a manager. I was rooting for him until he got in trouble and got fired.
The baggers lead interesting lives and good to engage in conversation with them.

Anonymous said...

I moved from Lakeland to Nuerenberg Germany in 1981. I still live here but every chance we get we fly "home" and its always is a joy to shop at Publix. The baggers are always friendly the store itself is clean, products are top quality and the cashiers are always very friendly. Publix can very proud of its emplyee´s. It always was( and probably always will be) our favorite store to do our grocery shopping.

ChantRant said...

Doesn't your Publix have cart corrals to contain those big metal tumbleweeds? Most of ours do here in Atlanta.

If I'm in a hurry, I at least put 'em in the corral so they don't roll around and ding cars (I've had few dents thanks to carts that were bumped by departing cars and turned into missles).

But if I'm not in a hurry, I push mine all the way back inside. Why? I guess I'm that loyal to Publix, having grown up with Mr. Jenkins' enterprise, that I kinda feel a sense of ownership.

Lorrie said...

Yes, we have the cart corrals. But I guess I just long for the good ol' days, when they weren't even necessary simply because everyone let the bagboys take out their groceries.

Ladybug said...

I worked at Publix for 11 years and loved every minute of it. The reason I left were the retail hours were not working with my family life.

Baggers are supposed to do everything they can to take a customer's groceries out. When a customer would refuse I would simply let them know that I was going to bring the cart back for them and they would let me take out their groceries. If the baggers ask a customer "do you need help out?" then of course the customer is going to refuse service because they are technically admitting they aren't capable of taking their own groceries out. If all the baggers would simply say "which way to your car?" then customers would be more willing to let them do their jobs. I always let them carry out my groceries unless I have two bags or less.