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Did you know famous people hang out at your local grocery store?

2003-03-02 - 10:48 p.m.



Has your grocery store, like mine, started the new corporate-scheme-with a-twist that is the Celebrity Bagger phenomenon?

If so, I think you should join El Jefe and me in becoming decidedly Anti Celebrity Bagger. The whole thing is an attempt to cover up corporate sleaze that�s nearly as bad the newest Wal-Mart commercial, which shows employees hugging a bunch of people with Downe�s Syndrome. This grocery store chain has a new way of downsizing and doing it with a down-home country smile.

The grocery store El Jefe and I go to is one that I believe is mainly a Midwestern chain, but I�m sure this phenomenon is happening all over the country. When you go through the checkout now, you are no longer greeted by an old man at the end of the counter who bags up your stuff in a somewhat egg-and-bread-friendly order, or even a teenage boy working after school to pay off his DUI court costs, but a bunch of little shits trying to raise money for their T-ball team. Or

some other group of everyday, ordinary, completely un-famous people you don�t really care about. The little ruddy-cheeked kid in a black baseball jersey who packed our groceries today did not look, to me, anything like Robert DeNiro or Jimmy Fallon or Kirsten Dunst, now, did he.

Not that I have a problem with the little shits themselves. Oh no. Even though they like to put all the heaviest items in the same bag, you can not blame them for this. After all, they are not going to get fired from this �job.� They�re working for free. And they likely haven�t been trained by anyone. Would you follow any rules if you didn�t have to? If you were bagging groceries all day and not getting paid for it, wouldn�t you put someone�s bananas under his or her 10-pound bottle of laundry detergent? I know I would.

After these baseball team members or Girl Scouts or Pom Squad members have squished---er, packed--your groceries, you are supposed to slip a buck into their construction-paper-covered coffee cans. But this is not the most annoying aspect of the Celebrity Bagger phenomenon.

The part that really bugs me is that the company has not only cut the positions of the grocery bagger, leaving people out of jobs, but has then put this community-friendly PR spin on it to make you think they are so damn altruistic. I�d rather give my buck to the poor old dude who lost his grocery-packing job and is taking his place in the ever-growing unemployment line.

I�m going to continue to object to this misleading name, and to this sleazy practice in general, until I see Dr. Dre carrying my Diet Doctor Pepper out to my car.

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