Death Of A Bag Boy

So bye-bye, miss american pie.
Drove my chevy to the levee,
But the levee was dry.
And them good old boys were drinkin whiskey and rye
Singin, “this’ll be the day that I die“.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Don McLean, American Pie

As we commence with the first installment of The Restricted, and my declaration that “the old business models just don’t work”, it’s kind of ironic that one of my first topics of discussion is about a fast fading job title that I just don’t want to see disappear…

In this day and age of self-checkout lanes, Wal-Mart Super Centers, and getting things done in a fast and cost efficient way, this can only mean one thing: the death of an American icon and the end of something as American as apple pie… the bag boy.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those nostalgic types that longs for the days of yesteryear. I’m just fucking tired of getting home, opening my newly acquired bag of potato chips, and finding that they’ve all been smashed to hell. All because the cashier (who also serves at the person that throws all of my belongings into a plastic bag and spins it around for me to load into my cart for myself) is so focused on getting me in and out as fast as possible, that she couldn’t take the time to make sure that she put all of my fragile items in one bag, even though they were neatly placed together on the conveyor belt just for that reason.

It’s obviously more cost effective (for the store) to have their cashiers franticly grabbing at whatever items cross their paths with little or no regard for what they are and bag it all themselves, all while trying to keep the line moving as fast as possible; because out of the 80 check out lanes that they‘ve so prestigiously lined the entire front of the building with, they only ever open up three.

I came to this conclusion while standing in line, believe it or not, at my local Wal-Mart. (Yea I know, shame on me for supporting the evil tyrannical super chain, but like Tom Hanks says in You’ve Got Mail: “That’s right. They’re gonna hate us at the beginning, but… but we’ll get ’em in the end. Do you know why? Because we’re going to sell them cheap books and legal addictive stimulants.” – and like most Americans I find it hard to say no to their prices. If you want to discuss how Wal-Mart is the devil and responsible for the end of all civilization feel free to stop by WalmartSucks.org, you’ll find many like-minded individuals there.) As I’m standing in line I couldn’t help but notice that everyone is getting noticeably annoyed (including my wife), but what they didn’t notice was that this little old lady with the slowest line in Wal-Mart is actually take the time to “Bag” my groceries. I don’t just mean putting them in a bag for me, but she took the time to neatly place my eggs, bread, potato chips, and other fragile items in their own bag and warn me that it contained fragile items so that I wouldn’t inadvertently place other bags on top of it. So amidst the overly exaggerated sighs and groans coming from the other customers, I stood quietly with a smile on my face because for the first time in years I didn’t just watch the young lady at the register put my bag of Ruffles in a sack, and then nonchalantly toss three cans of green beans on top of them; reducing them to a four dollar bag of crumbs. (he he hell!)

Thanks to this little old lady whose name I don’t know, but like to imagine that the biker gang she runs drugs for calls granny, I have seen the error in my ways. “The old business model just doesn’t work” may be something that we are coming to accept, but doesn’t always hold to be true. So like a Bud Lite commercial: “Here’s to you Mr. Bag Boy Position Inventor Man, may your way of thinking live long and die hard.” *cheers*

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