No Plastic, No Paper, No Training

In my small way I am trying to keep as much plastic out of our lives (and our planet) as possible. I bought the bags that my grocery store sells and I bring them in each time I shop. I have one large insulated bag for produce and perishables as well. When I’m done shopping, I put the bags on the conveyor belt first so that the bagger knows to use them, not plastic bags. Simple, right?

No, not at all simple. I had assumed that people who work at the grocery store are trained on how to pack a bag of groceries. It’s common sense; don’t put fragile or squishy things like bread or bagels at the bottom of the bag and stack heavy stuff on top.

But evidently there is no training. I end up directing the bagger myself: “no, please don’t put the giant bottle of orange juice on top of the eggs,” and “can you please not put the package of hot barbequed chicken on top of the frozen yoghurt?” Then there is the guy who wants to put everything in the insulated bag; I’d need a body builder to pick it up.

Honestly, I really didn’t think that I would have to explain all this; what in the world has happened to 1) training and 2) common sense? Shouldn’t packing bags be on the training agenda for folks who work in grocery stores? I’m sure that the cashiers are properly trained in using the cash register, but how about the baggers?

No matter what job you have, whether you are the ultimate guru in a high-flying electronics business or a bagger at a grocery store, where’s the pride in doing a good job? When I was living in Texas, I always went to the same small mom-and-pop shop, and their son was the bagger. He had some minor mental retardation, but he knew how to pack a bag and he did everything with a sweet smile. When he put the bags into the cart, he always said, “y’all come back soon, and have a great day!”

It was obvious that he loved his job, and he enjoyed his interface with people. When I think of that bagger and how much he joy he gave everyone around him, it made me think of how we view and serve others in our daily lives.

Why not be joyful, no matter what we do? Why not take happiness from the day? Why not smile instead of frown? Why not do our best at whatever we do? Even if we are a bagger at a grocery store or the ticket taker on the subway, why not be the best at it?

It’s a wonderful thing to come home from work, knowing that you did your best despite all odds. It isn’t so much about the job, but about how you approach the job. When I think of that sweet and kind boy in Texas, I’ll bet he went to sleep each night thinking, ‘I helped people today. I did a good job.’

What a wonderful way to end each day!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s