Bagger Boot Camp

My daughter (the middle one) recently (like yesterday) became gainfully employed at one of our local grocery stores.  I, modestly (not at all), take the credit for her passing the interview process.  Years of accompanying me to the grocery store, and listening to me complain about the crappy job the bagger did with my groceries, and watching me sigh and eye roll as this poor nervous kid botched his bagging job, and then being lectured all the way home on the correct way to bag groceries and a never-ending commentary on why grocery store managers/owners can’t do a better job training their associates, has trained her well in the art of Grocery Store Bagging.  So, all of you lucky people who get my daughter as your bagger, you are welcome.

I am a creature of habit and routine.  I visit the same grocery stores because I know where everything is and it cuts my shopping time down significantly.  I hate grocery shopping.  With a passion.  Unequaled and unbridled passion.  Not the romantic kind.

I visit the produce aisle first.  Today I learned about Organic Pluots.  The most exotic my family gets when it comes to produce would be the Gala Apple.  After produce, I proceed down each aisle, marking items off my list.  I make lists of the lists I’m going to make.  I’m a list-maker.  After perusing down each aisle, I work the perimeter of the store then conclude in the frozen section.   It is in the frozen section where I see all the things I forgot, so then I can be seen rushing frantically all over the store to grab these items before my frozen items begin to thaw.

Now I make my way to checkout.  I try to find the most competent bagger, but it’s an exercise in futility usually.  Every once in a while I get surprised, but mostly my choices are dismal.  Today is no exception.  I load my items onto the conveyor belt in the exact same way I want them bagged and placed in my cart.

Did you catch that?  This is extremely important. Take notes, my future baggers.


First up, bottled water, juice, milk, etc…  Bottled water should be placed underneath the cart, in that flat area specifically designed for cases.  DO NOT place the case of bottled water in the bottom of the cart itself, because it takes up valuable room, and then my groceries get piled on top, and inevitably fall on the ground on my way to the car which leads to the embarrassing scene of me cussing and yelling in the parking lot while whatever children that decided to accompany me pretend they don’t know me.  Please help me avoid such humiliation in the future by placing the case below the cart.  Okay?  Thank you.

Next tip:  Gatorade and soda bottles that come in those anti-environment plastic ring thingies that kill ducks can be placed on the edges of the cart, so as not to take up any room at all.  Genius!  I know.

Next up on the conveyor belt, all my jar and canned goods.  These are heavy, and should be placed on the bottom of the cart so they won’t squash my bread or smash my eggs.  The devil is in the details people.

Frozen foods quickly follow the jar and canned goods.  Another tip, please don’t overload my bags.  I realize that you only have to move it from the end of the cashier stand to my cart which I think we can both agree is a very nominal distance.  I, on the other hand, have to move my groceries from the cart to the back of my car and then from my car to my kitchen.

After frozen foods, I load cold, periphery non-heavy store items like cheese and yogurt.

Cold items are followed by boxed items which includes cereals, oatmeal, etc…

After boxed items, you will find easily squashed perishables like bread, eggs and chips.

I’ve made it so easy.  It SHOULD be idiot proof.  The emphasis on SHOULD here.

I made my weekly trip to the grocery store this morning, which is what brought on this particular rant, it’s definitely not random.  Yeah, I am pretty sure I am banned from this particular grocery store after “yelling” at my bagger.  To clarify, I don’t think I was “yelling”.  I prefer the term “strongly worded irritation”.  I wasn’t speaking in a whisper, and perhaps not in a conversational tone, but I don’t think I was “yelling”.  The manager made me sound like a deranged harpy.  I did forget to brush my teeth.  And put on deodorant. I’m not sure if I brushed my hair.  I forgot I was wearing this shirt that said “my workout is your warmup”, something fat people shouldn’t wear because it just invites stares from the skinnies.  So, where was I?

Oh right, I’m clearly not deranged.  Or a harpy.  Maybe a bit sketchy or homeless looking, but normal otherwise.  Anyway, the bagger put my case of water in the bottom of my cart, not the flat part (see above), despite my warning glare and pointed sigh.  It just went downhill from there.  People are staring.  I’m actually hoping in retrospect that no one I knew was there.  Right about this time, I get a text from my youngest daughter.

Daughter:  “Mom, man-child was playing Mario brothers on the Wii and he started yelling and crying so we turned it off and he’s sobbing, saying that he wants to play.  We told him he couldn’t play if he acted like that and now he won’t go to his room or calm down”

Me:  “Seriously, wtf would you like me to do from here?”

I mean really.  Are they kidding me?  This only makes me more angry and maybe a tad irrational.  And now I’m also in a hurry and have to think about beating all my children when I finally get home.  I mean, good grief, I can’t leave for 1 hour without all hell breaking loose!

On a completely different topic, do any of you walk around public places and wonder if you would know the people you see from their twitter handle?  Just a thought…

So, after the manager does a crap job finishing the horrendous work of the bagger, I am escorted out.  He kept up the happy chat, but I know when I’m being kicked out or politely “shown the door”.  Right now, my husband is reading this mortified that he can’t take me anywhere and wondering what kind of damage control he’ll have to employ to save me from myself.  Whatever dude, you didn’t see how that bagger manhandled your eggs and greek yogurt.

Since my grocery cart was loaded completely wrong, it takes some maneuvering to get everything in the back of the mini.  Oh, and it’s raining.  Awesome.  I hate everyone today.  I begin driving away and look down to see this:

Oh, just freaking fantastic.  Now I’m driving well under the speed limit terrified that my trunk is going to pop open and the $200 plus dollars I spent at the grocery store are going to spill all over the highway.   As soon as I get to a light, I do that fire drill game where I run around the car, slam the trunk down, and then jump back in my car.  Thankfully, before the light turns green and I’ve done my workout for the day.  Hip.  Freaking.  Hurray.

Now I have to find a different grocery story and repeat this process in about two days.  Joy.

8 thoughts on “Bagger Boot Camp

  1. I hate hate hate when invalids bag my groceries. Or even pack the cart. It is not difficult to see not to put peaches in the bottom of the cart or chips. I once had someone put canned goods on top of milk with a case of bottled water on top. My cart was dripping milk. I was so mad. Oh and they didn’t replace the milk either

  2. Completely agree with hating grocery shopping with a passion and making lists to speed the process!!! Yeah, and baggers….OMG!! Especially the ones who start putting my stuff in paper bags instead of plastic bags without asking….and over-stuffing the bag so that when I lift the bag from the cart to my car, the handles tear off!!!

    • Invariable, I always have a bag that rips. I used to carry my own bags, but then I got lazy, and it just felt like work lol. Maybe I need to go back to that, or just insist I pack my own bags and load my own cart. Ugh…I really hate grocery shopping!

  3. I love that you hate shopping with a passion, and NOT the romantic kind. You are so funny. I try to avoid teenage boy baggers. They are the worst.

  4. Honestly, I related most to your description of your husband picking up the pieces and doing damage control. Don’t get me wrong…I HATE shopping too. But my hate is more along the lines of laundry…I got it washed…now I have to FOLD it AND put it away? Are you kidding me? Lol, I’m enjoying reading your posts. I happened upon you from somewhere (I can’t even remember) and you’ve brought numerous chuckles to my day. Bravo!

    • Thank you so much and thanks for reading! I hate laundry too. I really just suck at housewifery overall. Oh well… I’m just giving my kids material to write a best-selling memoir about their life.

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