Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Guest post

Hi, it's Frank writing today. Dad is talking to a patient on his computer, which involves him putting on a nice shirt for 10 minutes.

After my school closed the dorms and I came home, I got a job at local grocery as a courtesy clerk.

For those of you who don't know, we're the people who bag your groceries, carry them out to your car if needed, collect carts from the parking lot (and spray them with bleach these days), tell you where  applesauce is, clean up the latte you dropped and your kid's mess after he puked in the cereal aisle, sweep the floors, clean and restock the bathrooms, put back the detergent you left by the bread because you changed your mind, and occasionally stock shelves if that team is overwhelmed.

Obviously, this ain't a fun job, but it's a job. When I signed up I was just looking for some extra money and didn't expect to be on the front line of the toilet paper wars, but that's life.

My shift is usually with Stephanie, Mike, and Pete. Pete has Down's Syndrome, but does as good a job as anyone else and is a hard worker.

Anyway, at the end of the checkout row is an area with extra bags for us, the straps we use to bring in a train of carts, paper towels, and a bottle of hand sanitizer (chained down nowadays).

Yesterday Mrs. Bagg came in. She wanders in about twice a week and is always yelling that we bagged her groceries wrong and accuses every cashier of shorting her a penny or two.

This time she was angry that she couldn't find hand sanitizer (like ANYONE has it right now, unless you go one of those websites charging $35 for 8 ounces). Of course, she called over the supervisor to complain about it. Then she got angry that she couldn't have the bottle that's chained down for us and the cashiers to use.

While she was yelling about us not being able to provide her with a bottle, Pete walked in from collecting carts and spraying them off. He went over and spritzed some of the hand sanitizer on, then headed for the break room to get a drink.

Mrs. Bagg went over the edge. She blew up at my supervisor and yelled "YOU'RE LETTING WORTHLESS RETARDS USE IT? AND WON'T SELL IT TO PAYING CUSTOMERS? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT KIND OF SCREWED UP COUNTRY IS THIS?"

Mr. Lettuce (he's the head of produce) immediately came over and told her to leave the store and that she wouldn't be allowed back. Stephanie, who was on her way out to get carts, began applauding (Mrs. Bagg accuses her of scratching her car almost every month). I went into the break room to make sure Pete was okay (he was). My manager gave Mrs. Bagg's cart to Mike and told him to go put her stuff back, since she wasn't allowed to buy it anymore and would have to go elsewhere.

As my Dad would say, "Fuck you, Mrs. Bagg." No one deserves to be treated like that, no matter what else is going on.

30 comments:

Suzan said...

I am so pleased that your staff backed the dignity of your co-worker. Sadly I am my mother's carer and her behaviour has seen us being banished for entire shopping centres. I know both sides of the story because I worked as a special education teacher as well.

Stay safe and stay well.

Tex said...

https://images.app.goo.gl/rWuj2dfic9hDEigdA

Anonymous said...

Bravo to Mr. Lettuce and all other staff. Mrs. Bagg should be flying at half staff off the loading dock.

Anonymous said...

first, thank you. thank you for doing this job at this time, and thank you for being a decent human being. and I am so glad your store did the right thing.

Unknown said...

Way for coworkers and bosses to support their co-workers!!

animal lover said...

Pete didn't ask to be born with Down's Syndrome. That's just how he is. He is to be commended for being out there being a productive member of society. I think I would rather spend time with Pete than the ragging Bagg idiot. Good for the co-workers supporting Pete. Ms. Bagg can go rain hate on someone else's day.

Nora said...

Great post Frank. I knew your parents are tip top, and it shows in the young man you are. Thank you for doing a thankless job. So glad that your co-workers are a great team.

bobbie said...

YAY for Mr. Lettuce and the other staff backing up one of their co-workers!
Very well written, Frank ~ good job!
All best luck ~

jono said...

While the job may not be glamorous at least it is dignified with good co-workers and decent management. We should all be so lucky. Sometimes the customer is not always right.

Rich said...

I hate people like Mrs. Bagg. I worked as a Front End Supervisor for Builder Square, HQ and I had a rule if you make treat my people like they weren't people you had to go. I threw people out of stores a few times, only to be backed up by management on each occasion.

It is more important NOW than ever to treat everybody humanely. Glad that you and your team are doing that.

Please be safe out there.

Rich the Rule Guy

Kern said...

Fancy shirt and tie?

Trousers optional?

Ms. Donna said...

Your dad is raising you right. So is Mom.

And funny, you are a lot more sensible than your dad's posts would lead one to believe. . . .

Steph B said...

I love how the manager stood up for you guys and kicked her out. My son is 17 and courtesy clerk at a grocery store. So many people are just entitled and crazy. Grocery store workers are out there being exposed. Stay safe and well.

gloriap said...

Nice post, Frank. You could take over for Dr. G until you run out of material. You will earn some money at this job but you will gain something much more important. People can be wonderful or horrible and there are ways to deal with both. I am so happy that your co-workers and management are decent people who value decency above profit. Have a good summer and stay safe!

Candi said...

One Not Always Right customer out the door! And in a way even corporate won't argue with. (A spineless manager might.)

"Customers" like Mrs. Bagg are often allowed to get away with crap due to "the customer is always right". But that doesn't apply to vicious, unreasonable people like her, who can never be satisfied, and get their jollies from hurting others.

Best wishes to you, Frank, and your awesome team of coworkers and boss.

Mad Jack said...

Good job, Frank. I'm glad Pete is working and has a good position.

There are people like Mrs. Bagg all over, and not all of them are bitter old women. Most just hate the world and will be in misery all their lives. Too bad, because it could be different.

My best to you and your father.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you do, and for all the impatient, unhappy people you do it for that makes it feel like a thankless job. Mrs. Bagg was way out of line and I'm so glad she was called on her behavior.

Macha said...

Nice to hear that sometimes people DO get what they are asking for. When I had a private solo practice, we had a rule that anyone who abused our front desk staff was automatically fired, registered letter and all.

azcrazy (Susan Maxwell Bjerke) said...

Great post, good news and wonderful writing. Thanks for being on the front line! Some of us think this mess would be so much worse without you and the other's you work with.

Thanks again!

A. Marie said...

Hi, Frank. Good for you, good for Mr. Lettuce, and--especially--good for Pete. And regards to the entire Grumpy tribe.

Manda said...

Good on you Frank. Well done to your coworkers. Fuck you, Mrs Bagg!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. People can be difficult to deal with at times - that's why I read this blog. Turning their idiocy into humor helps a lot. So was Pete OK after all that?

Anonymous said...

At one time, use by an eponymous character 'Old Bag' spewing such a crude and rude untranslated epithet would've been a priority over the deed, but I say, let's call a spade and spade or shovel, and realize we've no time for dillydallying over trying to understand why or how or what ifs about the behavior in question. I'm glad Mr Lettuce made short work of it, and Frank was there to assist Pete. I suspect it's a lack of affirming actions like those performed at the grocery store that day that led to the disgraceful display by the old bag (or, perhaps not enough folks called her out on it). Denigration is never acceptable, and sticking up for Pete goes a long way in ensuring they'll all have something of value from it. Bravo!

Swannie said...

Thank you.

Me said...

Frank, please tell your boss how much his actions toward this angry woman have boosted my mood today. As all of us struggle with the situation we're enduring, your boss did the absolute right thing. Thank him and thank you for sharing this story. I hope your entire family is doing well. ❤

Cathie from Canada said...

What a great story - it made my day.
The "School of Hard Knocks" has some lessons to teach all of us sometimes too.

Anonymous said...

Yay for Mr. Lettuce for doing the right thing. And for you for working hard, Frank.

However, please spare a bit of sympathy for Mrs. Bagg. She sounds like she has major depression plus the nasty version of dementia plying it's way through her brain. She clearly needs help and some socialization. She's probably not going to get what she needs in this time of isolation. Or ever, because nobody wants to deal with nasty.

Packer said...

My Dad used to say things like just assume people are scumbags until the prove otherwise. His adage was right in the case of Mr. Lettuce who proved himself otherwise and inthe case of Mrs. Bagg who did not. Dear God make the day ,where I prove otherwise.

Luckymom22 said...

Great post. It's amazing how closely your style of writing matches your father's; and hopefully you'll take that as a compliment as intended. Glad the right thing was done here, although I also wonder if that woman might be on an undiagnosed dementia journey.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Bagg's first name wouldn't happen to be "Douche", would it?

 
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