Who’s That Bagging Your Stuff At WallMart?

Read this, and you’ll let loose with more of your change
BY: CATHY WATKINS

One would never imagine, but there are many interesting and skilled people who sack your groceries at Walmart.  People with education and that had careers before this one.  Here are just two personal stories.

Isabel Negrete, a remarkable woman, is one person who sacks your groceries.  She’s 75 years old, and Cabo has been her home for 26 of those years.   Not only is her English perfect, but she also speaks French and Portuguese and of course Spanish.

2016-03-21-(2).jpgIsabel was born in Mexico City and attended a private British school there.  After graduating from high school, she went to the U.S. to attend the Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Texas where she earned  a degree in business administration.  While on a visit back home to Mexico City, she met her future husband who was in the entertainment business.  Working with Sid Bernstein, they were the first to bring big name bands to the capital city in the late sixties.   Eric Gordon and the Animals, The Doors, and Chuck Berry were a few of the big names she worked with.

After a divorce, Isabel took her two boys to San Antonio to raise them. Later in life, returning to Mexico, she came to Cabo.  She is happy to be here at Walmart and is grateful to the corporation for the opportunity to work because she can’t find employment. There is a lot of age discrimination in Mexico and it is legal. That prejudice kicks in at about 40. Mexicans know that if they haven’t found a permanent spot by then, they are in trouble and face a grim old age.

On a good day she makes around $20, which is often spent right there on groceries.  Isabel is struggling to survive and would like to remind customers to please tip. As a customer passed by, she said Bonjour and started to talk to him in French.

Another interesting person sacking your groceries is Maria Elena who is full of energy and has a friendly smile.  She says she is working here because she is too old at 75 to get any other job.  She was born in Mexico City, got married, had five children, and worked there holding primarily managerial positions. she has managed five pharmacies and was a supervisor for a money exchange office.  Sadly, her husband passed away, and she couldn’t get over it.  Her doctor told her she needed a change and should get a change of scenery. Leave. So she came to Cabo. Alone.  She works because she doesn’t like to stay at home and because she needs the money. 

Only two groups of people are given the opportunity to sack groceries at Walmart.  Teenagers from the ages of 14 to 16 are allowed to work to help with school fees, and senior citizens because it’s difficult for them to find employment.  The workload is four hours per day with one day a week off.   The people who sack your groceries are not paid by Walmart and work only for tips.  Many of them rely on this as their sole income. 

The next time you go through that line, be generous with your change.