Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It’s in the Bag

When I was in high school, one of my summer jobs was being a bag boy at Pick and Pay Supermarket in Hilo.
Baggers these days have it so easy. All they do is put the stuff in bags (paper or plastic or customer bags), load ‘em in carts, and the customers wheel the carts out to their cars.
Why in my day, we actually carried the stuff out. The store was on an unpaved lot, so we baggers had to carry the customers’ purchases out to their cars. Believe me, it was hard work, often requiring more than one trip back to the checkout counter.
There were no plastic bags with handles, and I don't recall there being brown paper grocery bags either. What we used were cartons small, big and medium-sized  –  that the canned goods came in.
But y’know, it was good, all good. We got our exercise and got to know the customers. Some of them actually tipped us a dime (those were the days when a dime could buy you a doughnut or a comic book, so the tip was appreciated).
I bring all this up because last week, a young lady named Krystal Smith from Burlington, Vermont, because America’s top grocery bagger. The 24-year-old won the Golden Grocery Bag trophy at the National Best Bagger Championship in Las Vegas.
The big prize (in addition to bragging rights and a huge trophy) was a $10,000 check from ConAgra Foods, the competition’s organizers.
It only took her 38 seconds to stuff the stuff in paper bags.
I would have tipped her a dime too!

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