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Hill Commissary offers bagger positions

John Ingram bags commissary groceries at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, April 8, 2021.

John Ingram bags commissary groceries at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, April 8, 2021. Commissary baggers provide a valuable service to shoppers, and the Hill Commissary currently has openings.(U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

Earnest Aycock (left) and Damaris Lee bag commissary groceries at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, April 8, 2021.

Earnest Aycock (left) and Damaris Lee bag commissary groceries at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, April 8, 2021. Commissary baggers provide a valuable service to shoppers, and the Hill Commissary currently has openings. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Being a bagger at the Hill Commissary offers much more than a place where military ID card holders can go to earn a few dollars.

The commissary is a place where teens learn valuable work skills and life lessons, military members and dependents stay connected and retirees meet friends and remember the good old days.

Above all, commissary baggers provide a valuable service to shoppers, and the Hill Commissary currently has openings.

“This is your opportunity to give back to the community and also to receive from them, too,” said Scott Conrey, Hill Commissary store director. “It doesn’t matter if you’re retired, a youngster or somewhere in between, you’re still taking care of the greatest customers in the world and they take care of you.”

Customers take care of the baggers, who are actually independent contractors, by offering monetary tips for bagging, wheeling and loading their groceries into their vehicle.

Hill baggers say they usually receive $10 to $20 per hour in tips.

John Ingram, Hill Commissary head bagger, said financially there are good and bad days, but he tells those who work with him to gage the entire workweek.

“Don’t worry about how much you make in a day,” he said. Take it as the total of a week. In the end, it will all even out.”

Air Force retiree and current commissary bagger, Curt Singleton, bagged at Randolph AFB, Texas, when he was a teen.

Singleton said, “It’s a blast here. It’s a fun environment. Come and be part of a team. Enrich your life through relationships and enrich your pocketbook at the same time.”

Singleton said the most important part of the job for him is the relationship he builds with customers.

“We’ve had two customers who were veterans of WWII, Koerea and Vietnam,” he said. “We have people who come in for social interaction along with getting groceries. I make a point to talk with people. It’s about enriching our lives and theirs.

Ingram said baggers provide a personal touch to shopping because customers want to be recognized.

“They walk in and when we know their name, it makes a difference,” he said. “We try to make it a pleasant experience for everybody.”

Ingram began providing that pleasant shopping experience at the Hill Commissary when he was an active-duty Airman and has continued for 36 years.

“By the time I got ready to retire, my maintenance officer joked that the Air Force became my part-time job and the commissary was my fulltime job,” he said.

Ingram invites anyone who has commissary privileges to see him at register 11 for an application to join the group, join the fun and make a few dollars as a member of the commissary bagger family.