Wizard and I went to the grocery store. We have this down to quick routine. Our biggest challenge is the part where the courtesy clerk bags the groceries.
Lately, they’ve been an interesting group.
There’s Aggressive Guy. A middle aged cheerful man who threw…and I mean like picked up each item and lobbed them into the bag. Whatever his hand hit, it went in the bag until no one could lift it. Tomatoes and cans of soup became intimately acquainted. They finally moved him to stocking shelves.
Then there was Engineer Kid who I liked. He was slowish but that’s because he would stop and think. I could see him scanning the groceries, mentally fitting them into bags, then following through. No one trained him, but his engineer brain was sorting it out. I don’t know what happened to him, he just vanished. Probably making the others look bad.
The one today packed most things fine…until the end. She was down to the last bag (we bring our own…because California makes everything expensive and complicated). I bought two dozen eggs which is more than I needed but one dozen wasn’t enough
So there’s one bag, two cartons of eggs and bags of heavy fruit. I see her mental struggling for a second and started to turn to the checker to tell her I’ll buy another bag (Because…California…don’t ask.)
Before I could she put the two cartons of eggs side by side in the bottom of the last bag. I turned back and stared in horrified fascination. It’s like watching a car (make of egg shells) crash in slow motion.
Next she put in two bags of heavy pairs. On top of the eggs.
Then two bags of bananas.
And she finishes it off with a bag of apples. (Yep we eat a lot of fruit!)
Thank the Lord I didn’t buy bricks. Or a bag of cement because it would have gone on top too.
Then, she lifts the bag, and proudly tells a frozen Wizard, “Your eggs are in here, so you might want to be careful.”
She was so sincere that I clamped my mouth closed on hysterical laughter. Once we were out the door, I said, “Good thing I bought extra eggs.”
Wizard turned his head slowly, still processing what he just witnessed. “You saw that?”
I couldn’t hold back anymore and laughed. Hard. Most of the time, I’m aggravated, but today in a world filled with violence and rage, this just cracked us both up. She’d been so genuine and sweet about being careful with our eggs — that she’d just piled ten pounds of fruit on top of, that how could we not laugh?
We rearranged the groceries in the car while I kept laughing and Wizard grinned at me. I think my reaction was more amusing that the eggs. But honestly, he didn’t see the way she turned to him holding that bag like precious cargo, and his face frozen into deer in the headlights expression.
The eggs made it home.
And before anyone asks, we sometimes say something, and sometimes don’t. These grocery folks are overworked and undertrained, and I strive to keep that in mind. Heck, at least they’re working, and working hard. Add to that, we don’t have enough stores in this part of my town so they are crazy busy, and times are tense in general. I pick my battles. This girl packing today was trying, but she was clearly not trained and thrown out to do a job she didn’t know how to do. I wasn’t there to embarrass her when I was going to fix it myself once we got to the car anyway.
Some days, it’s better to just laugh.
April 20th, 2022 at 7:31 am · Link
I’m so glad your eggs made it without any casualties and that you got a good chuckle out of the whole experience. It seems like common sense to not put heavy things with fragile things, but common sense seems to be in short supply these days. What’re ya gonna do?
The last time I went to Wallyworld, there were only two lanes open and one of them had a cashier I know is awful, so I went to the other lane. I didn’t recognize the dude working it, but I had hopes. I bustled to get all my stuff on the conveyor belt and then stood there. The gal in line in front of me was someone I’d already chatted with in the aisles, so we smiled at each other and then she mouthed ‘he’s so slow’. I didn’t realize how slow until he got to my stuff. He even spoke slowly. And when something screwed up with the check reader, he slowly walked back to get help. It was like watching slow-mo. I dubbed him Yertle the Turtle and we laughed about it when I got home. I don’t expect him to work there long. Poor Yertle.
April 20th, 2022 at 8:34 am · Link
I miss the days when they taught common sense in school and at home! Also, kudos to all those folks who are…you know…actually working in a grocery store! That goes for baristas, waitstaff, clerks of all stripes, cooks, dishwashers…heck! Kudos to EVERYONE who gets up and goes to work!
Yes, pick your battles and that girl was trying hard. And was sweet. And y’all needed a good laugh.
This is why I usually grocery at Wallyworld. I can do the self checkout and bag my own. I also use my own bags and I have specific bags for specific types of items because I’m all…uhm…persnickety. Yeah. I’m persnickety. This goes back to my early married life as an Army wife and shopping in the commissary. The baggers were “volunteers” that worked for tips–usually enlisted wives and older kids or retired folks from the community. That said, there was a standard way items had to be put on the conveyor belt–all canned/jar goods together, all refrigerator stuff together, all meat together, drinks, fresh fruits and veggies which should be near the fridge stuff (like milk, eggs, butter), and if you bought beer or cigarettes, they had to be first on the belt. Actual alcohol was sold at the package store. Anyway, I digress. The baggers were REALLY conscientious because…tips! Soo eggs always on top! And I got totally trained. Back before self-checkout, I put all my items on the conveyor belt just like that. It made the clerks laugh. Now I can just bag my own so I can group stuff by fridge, kitchen cabinet, pantry, garage, bathroom, misc. LOL And yes, I DID use the word persnickety in place of the A word.
Happy Hump Day! Now I’m glad I don’t have to do anymore shopping this week.
April 20th, 2022 at 3:09 pm · Link
Wow! You two certainly have an experience when you go grocery shopping. We don’t have baggers anymore. Most of the time we have to scan and pack our own stuff. When we do have a cashier, they bag. Men are terrible. How can they back a backpack but not groceries? Amazes me.
I’ve had nothing but bad news on the family front. It’s sad.
Harrison got to his new rental house last night. He found the park today with his bike. He’s going to be okay 🥰. Hubs goes down a week from Thursday and I expect Harrison to be a tour guide 😊.
I hope you are having a great day!
April 20th, 2022 at 4:57 pm · Link
B.E, it seems like common sense to us, but maybe a lot of these folks live on food prepared by others and have no real experience with things like the fragility of eggs. It’s kind of worrisome.
You have a great attitude about it. Slowness like that gets on my nerves after a minute or two. But you seemed to handle it well. I’d avoid that guy’s line for sure! But I also feel sorry for him — either he’s super passive aggressive or the slowness originates in his brain. Either way, life will be a struggle for him.
As an aside, my son worked at Walmart years ago in college. Some other checkers complained that he was too fast. Not sloppy, mind you, just fast and super nice to the customers. Um…. we still laugh about it.
April 20th, 2022 at 5:02 pm · Link
Silver, I’m with you applauding all who work! It’s a grind but so is life.
The girl was sweet and she tried. Points for that! in another week, she’ll have it down.
I want you to bag my groceries! You definitely had excellent training. And it’s so nice to have it organized to make unloading easier. I do unload my cart that way, but baggers don’t always grasp that. These days Wizard unloads the cart and I’m always harping — eggs and bread last as they can go together in the last bag. Sometimes if there’s no bagger, then Wizard does it. I prefer that!
You can digress all you like. I love other peoples stories.
April 20th, 2022 at 5:07 pm · Link
Viki, I’ve had a lot of experiences at the grocery store. Wizard and my sons swear there’s something about me that gets people to spill life stories to me. These days, I actually try not to engage which makes me look aloof, but it’s just me trying to not get trapped for an hour and a half hearing everyone’s tales.
I’m so sorry it’s been a week of bad news. I’m assuming its with your mom and brother. I hope better news is on the horizon.
Harrison is such a smart and resilient little guy! I bet he can’t wait to show Grandpa his discoveries! Your husband must be counting down the days to seeing him. And I bet you’re going to have a lot of fun video chats with Harrison updating Grandma Viki on his latest adventures in his new town!