Mayor displays grocery bagging techinique at Safeway
Mayor Vincent Gray donned an apron and pulled grocery-bagging duty at the Waterfront Safeway Tuesday evening. Shoppers reacted with a mixture of delight and indifference.
“Excuse me,” a man says to me. He gestures to the video cameras and fleet of mayoral staffers surrounding Aisle 3 as Gray wraps up some organic milk. “What is the point of this exercise?” I tell him the mayor is bagging groceries as part of Safeway’s breast cancer fundraising push. He watches the scene from behind his sunglasses for a minute before heading for the exit.
A few shoppers in Aisles 2 and 4 glance over curiously. School girls shyly ask for an autograph. Camera phones record the occasion. For his part, the mayor appears to be bagging adequately, though he’s a little liberal with the number of bags used. I ask the other grocery bagger on duty to comment on his technique.
“Good, I guess,” she says. “I mean, he must be doing alright if people keep getting in the line.”
Safeway spokesperson Greg Ten Eyck says celebrity grocery bagging is a regular feature at the supermarket chain—Hadassah Lieberman recently put in a shift at the Georgetown Safeway—and that the guest baggers generally do well.
“Sometimes we give a little training,” he says, to ensure that they know “not to put the cans on top of the bread.” He adds, “Nowadays, people have gotten a lot more experienced in bagging groceries. They’ll take pride in knowing how to bag.”
Gray does seem to be enjoying himself as he wraps up salad and steamable veggies for a guy in a Nats cap. A few customers shake his hand. One shopper in Superman knee-high socks and high heels poses for a picture.
A woman in a denim jacket calls out from the Aisle 3 line that she’s pleased to see Gray out working among the people.
“This is a first,” she announces. As Gray bags her groceries, she takes the opportunity to let him know about some of her concerns.
“I read about it in the paper,” she says. “I didn’t quite understand it, but…” The cashier asks her to pay and repeatedly makes gestures to get her attention, but she has the mayor’s ear and isn’t going to stop talking.
Gray is trapped. He makes some sympathetic sounds but motions to the cashier indicating that she should pay him. She keeps going. Eventually, the mayor politely points out that there are other people in line and hands her her bags.
“This is a first,” she repeats, as Gray goes back to bagging potato chips. She stands at the end of Aisle 3 for a moment before taking her leave.
RecommendedRecent Facebook Activity
Best of TBD In case you missed it
No one knows quite what Klout is, but these big 'myopic little twits' appear to have it.
TBD Blogs What you need to read
The Market Report
@TBD On Foot
Only On 7
"Like" ABC7 on facebook and you can win an iPad2! Enter daily before 4pm Friday! Plus, you can receive 2 additional entries for each friend who enters!