I was at the grocery store last week. I was in line for the cash register. The woman ahead of me had a cart full of groceries. With her were two young people, a man and a woman in their late teens or early twenties. At one point while the woman was transferring her groceries from her cart to the conveyor belt the young man noticed that a potato was bad in their bag of potatoes. The woman told him to take them back “or put them somewhere.”
I watched as the young man took the bag of potatoes, walked about ten feet away, and put them in a candy bin. He looked at me as he walked back, and I said, very pleasantly, “Why don’t you go ahead and either take those back to produce or give them to someone who works here?”
As I started to speak the woman unloading her cart immediately turned her attention to me. After my comment to the young man he turned to her. She said, “Just leave it.”
Well, I’d already stuck my nose into the situation and opened my big, fat mouth, so I left my cart, walked over to the bin, picked up the bag of potatoes, and took it to a nearby worker. I explained that I had found the bag in a candy bin and that there was a bad potato in it.
Now, I want to make it absolutely clear that these people were very polite. After they had put everything on the conveyor belt the young man put the divider so that I could start unloading my cart. I’m sure they are decent people.
I’m also sure that they thought, “It’s just a bag of potatoes.” Well, that’s true. A bag of potatoes isn’t that big of a deal. Still, when you multiply that by the thousands of people who do that in grocery stores across the nation it becomes a big deal.
I have friends who work in grocery stores. They tell me that a lot of man-hours go into locating items that have been improperly placed and returning them to their proper places. Frankly those man-hours add to the cost of the items I’m buying. Plus, it’s just rude and unnecessary.
So, it’s not really just a bag of potatoes.