you win, Bunker Hill HEB grocery sackers

won't someone please think of the children?
so shitty, it has to be intentional

We have a winner! In what has been an ongoing competition for shittiest job of sacking groceries at the Bunker Hill HEB, the young lady who bagged my stuff today is the grand champion. This comes after four-and-a-half years of going to this store every weekend and experiencing moderately shitty to super shitty grocery bagging on the regular.

It’s gotten so frustrating that last weekend I felt moved to state the obvious to the young man who was about to bag my stuff. I said, “Please put the cold stuff in the blue cooler,” to which he snarkily replied, “Yeah, I KNOW how to do my job.” I didn’t blame him for being insulted (it’s so obvious, right?). I let him know that not all of his coworkers share in that knowledge. His look of surprise suggested he must not spend much time in the employee breakroom.

There’s a lot to like about this HEB. It’s clean, the shelves are well-stocked, prices are affordable and the staff is always friendly. On the weekends, you can usually spot at least a couple of manager-types facing labels and keeping things tidy. These are the reasons I come back each and every week instead of going to Kroger, Whole Foods, H Mart or any of the other grocery stores that are nearby. I also like supporting a Texas company.

But here’s the thing: the last contact I have with the store is the checker/sacker combo. So even if I have a great experience while shopping, if I feel like I got dumped on right after forking over a couple hundred bucks, I leave with a bad taste in my mouth. It might serve HEB well to keep that in mind and invest in training their staff instead of making the only requirements for the position be four intact limbs and active respiration. There are plenty of online tutorials, and I’d wager that at least a few of the checkers and managers started out sacking and can provide some good advice.

As for today’s experience, where to begin… You’ll see my blue soft-sided cooler in the photo. At the bottom of the bag is an unused bag that I brought, which could have replaced the plastic bag the sacker felt like she needed to use. On top of my unused bag: dog food, soap, a box of pasta and a frozen pizza. The bag just north of the cooler, the one with the 2-liter of Topo Chico? Guess what’s at the bottom of that one. Yep, eggs. Eggs on the bottom, then bread, then a heavy bottle of water. Bread was smushed, eggs were fine. The rest of the bags were similarly populated. In fact, she did such a shitty job, it felt like it had to have been intentional. You have to work hard to get cold stuff into four different bags. And that means I have to work hard to put my groceries away when I get home.

Since we’re moving in a few weeks, I only have a couple more trips to the Bunker Hill HEB. I’m hoping to get the condescending sacker on the last trip. He may be bitchy, but at least he knows to put cold stuff in the cooler.

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5 responses to “you win, Bunker Hill HEB grocery sackers”

    • I think the fact that everything else runs so smoothly is what makes the shitty bagging so hard to take.

      The population of Monterey is probably equal to the number of customers this HEB sees in a week. Small town = smaller grocery stores, which may mean I’ll be sacking my own groceries. Which would be fine with me. I know how I like it.

  1. First, I’m really gonna miss you, Crystal. I may be a 71 year old man, but everything you’ve written I can relate to, whether raising babies or this one about the sacker at HEB. I also have another pet peeve….sandwich makers at Subway or whatever. How anyone can think that lumping everything in the middle of the bun or bread is a good way to make a sandwich is beyond me. I felt really vindicated when i saw David Letterman jump behind the counter and show the sandwich maker how to properly make a sandwich.

    • Harry, as far as this blog is concerned, you won’t even know I’ve gone anywhere. So please keep reading.

      And a well-made sandwich, with just the right balance of bread, vegetables and protein, is a thing of beauty. I don’t know if you’re from Houston or not, but my favorite sandwich was Antone’s poboy (back when the family owned the chain). Super fresh bread, good balance of meat, cheese and chow chow. If I could bite into one right now, I’d instantly be transported back to my childhood when we’d take a cooler of poboys to the zoo and eat them near the duck pond so we could toss bread scraps to the birds. Antone’s still exists in a few locations, but the sandwich is a distant memory.

  2. This problem is not HEB specific, it happens at Kroger’s, as well. I will even take the time to arrange my items on the conveyor belt so that the stuff that I want at the bottom of the bag hits the sacker first and all of my cold stuff is grouped together, etc. but there is no rhyme or reason as to how they will end up in my grocery sacks. There are a few that obviously know what they’re doing and seem to pay at least some attention, but most are too busy talking to their co-worker or texting on their phone to notice what their hands are busy doing. I often sack my own groceries instead of deal with the gross incompetence. Funny, I never have this problem when I go to Canino’s produce market on Airline, the sackers there are very conscientious of their job.

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