An Open Letter to Chad, the Bag Boy

Look Chad, we need to talk about your performance. But if you’ll hear me out, maybe we can come to an understanding. I’m talking about an arrangement that will benefit us both.

You see, I get it. I know there’s literally nothing you wouldn’t rather be doing than spending your Sunday afternoon schlepping my Boar’s Head deli meats out to the parking lot. I’m sure there’s an Xbox calling your name. And probably some 15-year-old cutie blowing up your Snapchat as we speak – no doubt overusing that silly dog filter. And that’s cool. I remember those days more fondly than you could possibly imagine.

That’s right. I know you, because I used to be you. Hell, we all were. First jobs are menial and awkward. And bagging groceries is a drag. I hate to break it to you, but work doesn’t really get a whole lot better. You’ll just bust your ass in humiliating new ways, at a humiliating new place. I don’t ask about paper or plastic anymore, but believe me, some days I wish I did.

The point being, we’re two of a kind, Chad. Partners in crime.

So can I let you in on a little secret, bagger-to-bagger?

I don’t really want to be here any more than you do. It’s crazy, right? Like you, all I really want is to go home and enjoy what little weekend I have left before the soul-crushing reality of Monday begins to set in. I’m not here because of my deep and abiding love of Downy and Kraft 2% Singles. For me this is about efficiency, which is why I need you to step up your game.

First, do you realize we’ve had the exact same conversation about my dog every Sunday afternoon for 12 weeks now? You might have noticed from my earbuds that I’m catching up on Marc Maron’s podcast. But they are more than that, Chad. These earbuds are part of a social contract. They are a beacon, proclaiming to the world that I’d do almost anything to avoid small talk with strangers at the grocery store. And yet every week you use my dog food as an excuse to force the same stilted conversation.

What kind of dog do I have? I have the same dog we’ve discussed weekly since Thanksgiving, Chad. She’s a Chihuahua mix, but we aren’t exactly sure because we got her at a shelter…blah, blah, blah. You don’t really care, and that’s totally cool. Let’s just call this what it is: you trying to appease your manager with a question suggested by your mother. More sympathetic, I could not be. But you don’t have to do that with me, Chad. We’re bros now.

In its place, I propose a trade. We stop talking about mindless shit and instead you make just a little effort at not ruining my groceries before I pay for them. Raw chicken breasts and unwrapped produce in the same bag? Are you trying to kill me, Chad? That’s the worst combo since you bagged what were once my Doritos with that fireplace starter log. (Which is exactly how I’d amuse myself if I was in your position. Just not for preferred customers like myself.)

And would I like you to help me out to the car with that? You know I wouldn’t, Chad. I don’t want that much conversation with my own kids. And I’m going to send them to college. Here again, let’s drop the pretense. I don’t want your help any more than you really want to give it.

I guess what I’m proposing is an alliance.

Next time I’m ready to check out, you’re going to mention to the manager that there are stray shopping carts all over the lot and run out to “go collect them.” Once you’re free, you can go check that SnapChat and whatnot, and Maron and I will bag my groceries quickly, properly, and without so much as a mention of a no-kill animal shelter.

What do you say, Chad? Will you be a pal?

My Doritos and I would be forever grateful.