“Grocery Bragging Rights: A Day in the Life of a Dignified Grocery Bagger,” by J.B. Davis

Jul 15th, 2020 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

As a certified grocery bagger at the local Freddy’s Foods, it is my Assistant Manager given right to discuss, with each customer, the items that they have purchased as I bag for them. I would also add that I can do so as loudly as needed to ensure that the customer is satisfied. I refuse to remain quiet and let the cashier dominate the conversation, to where I’m only allowed to ask, “Paper or plastic?”

Last night during the evening rush, I encountered people from many different walks of life coming through, and upon seeing what they purchased, it caused me to make a comment. I was able to talk freely with these strangers about how Captain Crunch is still my favorite cold cereal even though it gives me big cankers. Luckily, I was able to pause bagging for a moment and put my fingers into my mouth to show the lady my big canker sore. She seemed to feel bad for me, or was just disgusted with how much she was spending. I couldn’t really tell why she was disturbed as I handled her tomatoes.

Later on, a man bought a 12-pack of beer. I asked him if he wanted a bag, and he said, “Sure.” I deserve to be told a clear “yes” or “no.” I told him that I once saw a guy pulled over by the police in the grocery store parking lot, and they kept pulling out empty beer cans, placing them on the guy’s car roof while he looked upset sitting on the curb in handcuffs. The customer looked uncomfortable and grabbed his drinks and left quickly. It was a little suspicious if you ask me- which no one did- but I told the woman who was next in line about it. I also told her it was refreshing to see her buying gallons of water and not alcohol. She asked me how come, and I told her that the other day in church I was taught about avoiding that poison. I went into detail about church, assuming that she goes to the same one I do. It appeared that she couldn’t get out of the store fast enough to drink that water. She must have been really thirsty, which is what I told the customer who was next in line.

The real reason I do this job is for the children. The best part of the day is when I get to talk with kids as I bag their parents’ groceries. Children seem to get my humor, as they laugh at my jokes. My favorite game to play with the children is when I hold up each item that their parent/guardian has gotten and ask if it is for them. I love to make a big scene out of it, like I am performing a comical skit, and get the attention of the other customers in the next aisle over. Depending on what the adult has bought, I will ask the children: “Is this your shaving cream?” “How about this gossip magazine?” “What about these tampons?” The adults always seem shy from all the attention their kids are getting.

While on shift last night, there was a mother who couldn’t seem to appreciate the activity I was playing with her kids. She told me to quickly bag her items since she was in a hurry. I was fine with that, but then she got very mean with me after I patted her kids on their heads as they were leaving. “Please don’t touch my children,” she rudely said. Looking back on it now, I wish I had responded by saying, “Well, excuse me. If you can trust me with your bread and eggs, you can trust me with your children.”

Overall though, I feel valued and applauded for the great work I am doing at Freddy’s Foods. I know the regulars love me and always breathe a sigh of relief when they see me as their bagger. I’m not one of those snobby quiet baggers who minds their own business, doing the job quickly and moving on to the next person. All this is possible due to my knowledge as a well- trained courtesy clerk, and because I never put raw meat in the same bag as grapes. Most importantly though, it is because of my excellent communication skills and, fortunately, my deep understanding of the craft of putting groceries into a shopping bag and then into a shopping cart. It just comes easy to me. Every day is my day to conquer, and every day is mine to bring a smile to a customer’s face.


After receiving an education in history and how to laugh at life, J.B. (if that’s his real name…) has taken it upon himself to write fictional humorous and historical stories with a spatter of honesty. When he is not yarning on and on about Bigfoot and tacos, he can be found on a road trip with his sweet wife and four adorable children, or at his day job – which he won’t be quitting any time soon. He is mostly known by those around him for having once had a mullet (when he was four).



Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.