Monday, March 13, 2017

Baggers are controversial...

Every once in awhile, our local Facebook group comes alive with silliness.  Someone posts something controversial and it erupts into a big online melee.  Or someone posts something that other people think is petty and stupid and it turns into a long debate.

Here in the military community, there is currently an ongoing controversy about baggers in the commissary.  For those who don't know, most military commissaries employ people to bag groceries. They don't get paid for performing this service; they work solely for tips.  A lot of times, the people doing the bagging are teenagers, but sometimes you see older folks doing it-- especially in the stateside commissaries.  At Fort Belvoir, there were a lot of Asian wives bagging groceries for tips.

Anyway, someone recently complained because she's on crutches and one of the baggers loaded her groceries in bags so heavy that she couldn't lift them.  Her young kids also found them to be too heavy.  Consequently, some of her groceries are still sitting out in her car.  I guess her husband is not home to help her.  So she complained on Facebook and three days later, the controversy is still burning.

Actually, I don't really have a problem with the lady's rant.  She had apparently asked the baggers not to load her bags so much and they evidently didn't listen to her.  Given that she's on crutches, she had a valid complaint that the bags were too heavy.  A lot of people commiserated with her.

Ah... but there were also quite a few folks who were ready to shame her for her complaint.  Lots of people told the lady to remember that the baggers are just teens trying to make a buck.  At least one person told her she should "swallow her pride" and ask one of her neighbors for help, which isn't bad advice, although the way in which it was given was a little holier than thou.  One person told her she should be glad the kids are working and "not making trouble".  One person chastised her for going shopping and "not following doctor's orders".   And one said, "at least they bagged for you."

Lately, it seems like when someone makes a valid complaint on Facebook as a means of bringing attention to an issue, he or she runs the risk of being called a whiner or getting shamed by the masses.  Everybody's got a comment about what you could have done to make the situation better.  Sometimes that's a good plan.  There are people who whine a lot and need to be reminded that other people have war in their country.

On the other hand, speaking up and out is one way to get issues addressed.  People don't always act with empathy.  Young people, especially, don't always take a minute to think about how they would feel in someone else's shoes.  This lady is on crutches.  Simply walking is a challenge for her right now.  Being mobile and also getting groceries while you are on crutches is difficult, especially when you also have young kids to consider.  Maybe the initial tone of her post was a bit pissy, although under the circumstances, I can see why she was so annoyed.

Why is it that so many people want to blame the victim?  Why is it when you have a legitimate issue, people want to make it your fault that you're suffering?  Why do people feel the need to lash out at people who complain?  I wonder if it has to do with our Puritan ethics.

Anyway, I hope this lady is doing better soon and the baggers take heed that when someone is on crutches, they have special needs.  Meanwhile, we should all remember to cut people some slack when they deserve it.  Hell, as much as I've been angry at my husband's ex kids all these years, I've even found myself in a more forgiving mood.  The L word made a difference.

On a side note, it's amazing what passes as controversial in these parts.


  1. I agree that it's a silly controversy. The only thing I would criticize is her comment that the groceries are still in the car. I'm no grocery-bagging expert though i'm something of an expert on crutches having spent seven months of my life using them (in addition to time in a wheelchair because my fractured clavicle wouldn't allow me to use crutches for my broken leg). the problem of getting groceries to the house from the car could be simply solved by carrying a few extra bags out to the car and re-bagging the groceries. it would involved extra trips between the house and car, but no more than would have been necessary had the groceries been bagged in that manner in the first place. That comment was a bit stupid.
    i agree, though, that the baggers should have followed her directions in the first place.

    1. I think she lives in a "stairwell", though, so it means walking up and down stairs with bags while using crutches. And putting them in bigger bags would mean they'd be even heavier, which was her main complaint.

    2. Sorry... I misread. You weren't suggesting bigger bags. Anyway, I just thought people were rather shitty to her.


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