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A tip on tipping at the Commissary

A tip on tipping at the Commissary

Lizzy Chase for The Breeze

Commissary "Baggers" join the community by participating in the Holland Happening Parade each year.

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Oak Harbor is well known for being a military town. Those who are military, at one point or another, end up at the Whidbey Island DeCA Commissary. Many people enjoy shopping at the Commissary, as they get groceries for less, for a very minor surchArge and still have the eligibility to use coupons. On the other hand, others do not enjoy it as much, because they know that by the end of checkout, they face the issue of tipping the individual who bags their groceries.

Many people thInk that tipping a “bagger” is simply outrageous- despite discounted groceries for all military personal, including all immediate family members. Many believe that baggers work almost like waitresses: working for hourly wages and tips. The truth is, baggers work for tips only and no hourly wages. In other words, the customers are the only source of income they have.

Some customers see bagging as a degrading form of employment, as they mutter “get a real job,” under their breath while walking away with their groceries, leaving the bagger without a tip.  What most people do not know is that majority of all who work as baggers are teenagers, immigrants or retired military/dependents. The work is fairly simple and no previous work experience or education is necessary, making this job the easiest for many to get. Like a “real job”, bagging takes time and energy- time and energy that is used to earn a living, as most are working to provide for themselves and their families.

So, here’s a tip on tipping: Don’t stiff a bagger- to stiff meaning to not tip at all. If one really, really did not want to tip a bagger, using self-check-out is seen as a clear way of avoiding tipping. Many wonder what is considered to be a good tip. According to a majority of surveyed employees, there Is no clear price, as it usually depends. Customers use many different tactics. Some tip $3 per cart, 25 cents per bag, $5 for every $100 spent, while some even have a starting tip of $5 and add or deduct dollars depending on the baggers work ethic. Customers frequently ask and wonder if there are exact dollar amounts to tip. From the View point of a bagger, a proper tip would go as follows:
·        No bag: $0 this is an exception; if the bagger did not do work, a tip is not necessary.
·        1-5 bags: $1-2
·        6-10 bags: $2-3
·        10-15 bags: $3-4
·        15-20 bags: $4-5
·        21+ bags: $5 or more
·        $1-2 on the Express laNe

There is no such thing as set tips, but there are appropriate tips. Surely if your bagger is rude, or not doing their job correctly, they may not deserve an “appropriate tip”. At the end of the day, any tip is appreciated opposed to no tip at all.

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