CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO
The commissary baggers got new smocks or aprons or ponchos. Have you noticed? The front says something forgettable but the back packs a punch.
BAGGERS WORK FOR TIPS ONLY
I don’t get this but I am new to the military world so there is much, many and mountains that I don’t get. However, this sentiment nags at me. I completely understand and support that post WWII there were agreements about jobs and money that would be contracted for the Okinawans specifically. I like that. I get that. I’m happy to keep the love and peace floating and flitting about.
Yet the baggers aren’t necessarily Okinawans, I’ve noticed. Some are high school kids. And if they have this job why is there no contract or hourly wage? It all seems a little under the table. And under the table conjures up whispers and tip-toes and these new smocks or aprons or ponchos are hardly being sneaky with their bold print.
In addition to my general suspicions about this bagging gig, I also don’t understand why it’s a mandatory service. I have heard tell that this is just the custom. Same story every base, it seems. So, okay, fine.
But then, how much to tip the baggers? In a recent conversation among friends, there was much discrepancy between what each of us did and why. There were multiple (and complicated) equations leading to different tip scenarios.
If car is far and bagger is an old woman then tip…
If there are 18 bags full of back-breakers like milk, juice, and detergent then tip…
If the bagger piled canned vegetables on top of delicates like bread then tip…
I’m a simple girl and, WHOA, I just want some flat-rate tipping is all. If I am required to partake of the bagging services then just tell me what to do.
Here’s my usual approach
1. No tipping at the register. I have only once tipped at the register and that was because I was pregnant and the bagger unloaded my groceries. Most tip-worthy, yes?
2. I tip the bagger two bucks in an awkward exchange at my trunk while I stand idle and wait for him or her to finish up so I can shove in their hand what I hope is a decent tip for a service I don’t even really want before I shuffle off without looking them in the eye for fear of ruining their tip mojo. I mean, if they work for tips alone then that’s a lot more pressure than I am looking for in my trip to the grocery store.
So, yeah, two bucks. And you?