How many us us used to work at a grocery store? Especially when you were a kid? High school boys went to work doing stock, bagging, and carry-out; girls usually worked as cashiers or handling produce. That's how it was when I was growing up, working in a local grocery store.

Of course, being high schoolers, we realized this was not going to be our life's chosen profession...so we started out doing great work, usually slacking off a few months later after we felt comfortable enough.

Then came the pilfering, the sneaking food and drinks off the shelves when the bosses weren't looking. One of my co-workers - Doug – grabbed a bottle of pop off the shelf and took it into the dairy cooler, hiding it among the boxes of cheese. He'd do a little work, take a swig, and continue. Unfortunately for him, during one of his big swigs the manager goes walking by, looks into the open cooler door, and sees Doug gulping down the pop. I'll never forget the look in Doug's eyes. Panic. He takes the bottle out of his mouth, holds the bottle up, turns to the boss and says nervously, “uh...how much is this again?”

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Caught in the act, but he was not fired. We really did have an awesome guy for a boss.

I can only imagine that teenage boys from the early 1900s might have pulled the same kind of stunts while working delivery or stocking. Maybe they pocketed some loose candy, or went out back to gnaw on a pilfered meat stick...maybe even chug a quick beer.

The gallery below shows 50 more old Michigan grocery stores, from 1900 to the 1940s!

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