If you are new to Panama, you may not know this. I didn’t when I moved here and now I always watch to see how many others are aware or who may not be aware.
The bag boys in all of the supermarkets and in PriceSmart do not get paid. They work only on tips. The money, many of them make a day, helps put food on their family’s table.
Many times in the supermarkets, I will see them bag up the groceries and then the customer just takes the bags and carries them to their car. In those cases, the bag boy got nothing. Many people that come from the states might consider tipping if bags are taken to the car, but I have seen some that think that is just a service of the supermarket. It is not a service in Panama.
TIP the bag boys. I have gotten to the point I try to always tip even if I only buy a small amount. Fifty cents to one of these young lads means a lot to them.
The next time you are going through the line get ready to have some fun. Load your face up with a smile and say to the bag boy as you give him some change, “Que tenga un buen dia.”
I will guarantee he will flash you back a smile and say, “Igualmente.”
You just made a friend and you will feel good about it.