[OPINION] Frontline Worker Deals With Baggage

An “06880” reader who works locally writes:

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s executive order to suspend the 10-cent surcharge for paper and/or plastic bags expired on June 30. That took some residents by surprise.

Surprise! We frontline workers don’t like having our heads taken off by rude, ignorant customers.

Some retailers are charging the 10-cent fee. Others are not. So frontline workers like me are stuck in the middle. Customers don’t know who’s doing what, or what the law is. We get the brunt of their anger.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Some customers were disgruntled before COVID. Some were angry  even before the present White House administration. Some have been upset for the past 30 years.

They complain about anything that doesn’t fit their own personal narrative.

We have enough to juggle and deal with: stocking shelves. Following all the new rules and regulations. Wearing masks and gloves. Answering questions. Handling our own lives and uncertainties.

We would appreciate some manners, etiquette and courtesy.

It’s bad enough people don’t wear their masks correctly, when they come into our business. If they don’t get their acts together, we will be right back where we started, with this spread of infection.

Little kids actually wear them very well. They’re fine. It’s the adults who don’t. Not all of them — but enough to make a worrisome difference.

I have wear a mask for 8 to 9 hours a day. So do hospital staff, doctors and first responders.

So don’t tell me you are having issues breathing or having anxiety attacks. Deal with it! Wear your mask for a 30-minute shopping trip!

PS: Yes, you can bring your own bags. You probably will be asked to bag your own groceries, because frontline workers don’t feel comfortable bagging with reusable bags at this time. It’s for our safety.

8 responses to “[OPINION] Frontline Worker Deals With Baggage

  1. Jill Totenberg

    Bravo front line worker! People are so spoiled and selfish they would never have made it through the war. My cousin escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto with her mother when she was 5. Her father died there. Friends of her mother took her in and out their lives at risk (we are Jewish) while my aunt found a place to live. Food was scarce. They lived in constant fear of being discovered. This is nothing compared to that. Customers who are rude and selfish should grow up!

    • Michael Isaacs

      I too am Jewish, Jill. I understand your point, but comparing any aspect of the Holocaust to rudeness in a store is sadly off the mark.

  2. Nina Marino

    I sympathize with this frontline worker. While many people have become more compassionate in these stressful times we live in, others, lash out and and are so out of control and confronting with store employees.
    To complain that wearing a mask in public is taking away someone’s freedom is so strange to me. And to use the excuse of asthma ? ? My friend with asthma and those with other pulmonary problems have been strongly urged by their doctors to wear masks in public and to try to avoid going out.
    If having to wear a mask represents a loss of freedom, then these people have led charmed lives and haven’t been threatened with losing really important rights and freedoms.
    I hope that the bosses and managers take on a stronger presence in their stores and support their employees most of whom stand for 8 hours a day and wear masks when working.

  3. I love that the writer says that children comply better and easier than adults. That speaks volumes. And anyone who yells at these front line workers for baggage fees – should be escorted out of the store without said groceries. (I know that can’t/won’t happen) But I would love it just the same.

    • Arline Gertzoff

      A very simple solution is bring your own bag.I keep some in a carrier bag in the back.So one has to bag a few groceries. stores not charging for bags can display a sign saying free bags at the entrance near the wear a mask sign.A nice gesture of shoppers would be to return your shopping cart to the collection point so the workers can spend less time gathering carts I see it as good exercise .Also how about locking your car doors and cutting down unnecessary theftA little goes along way

  4. I do not believe it is fair to both
    Cashiers and the other customers to be subjected to
    the germs an unsanitary used bags some customers bring into
    Food store to save a dime.
    Let’s make a law against that
    Thank You

  5. Jalna Jaeger

    I feel bad for the workers. They risk their lives working,and have to deal with stupidity daily. I lived in the Netherlands in 2002. You brought your own shopping bag,or paid .50 cents for one! America is SO behind the times!

  6. If there is still a concern about germs on reusable bags, the Governor needs to remove the fees…makes no sense.