Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sainsbury's Checkout

I shop in Sainsbury's supermarket in Richmond several times a week. It's not perfect but it gets most things right. But there is one thing that I find a little vexing. When you arrive at the checkout the assistant slowly takes a carrier bag and places the first 3 items in it for you. Then, just when you think you have lucked onto someone who wants to pack for you, they shove the half filled bag at you and start firing the rest of your shopping through the till at near warp speed! Obviously it is beyond the capabilities of a gifted octopus to keep up with the torrential flow of produce flying down the checkout. So the assistant finishes whilst you are still frantically stuffing things into bags.

Here in lies the dilemma. At this point the assistant will demand payment. So do you continue packing away your purchases under the withering look of the till monkey or pay and then be tutted at by the next customer who cannot be served until you have cleared your bags away. After all, I'm doing them the favour of shopping with them, why am I being forced to rush?

Of course being a problem solving type of chap I have a solution. Make sure that when you buy loose vegetables and fruit that you don't weigh and label it. Why should you do their job for them? Liberally spread these amongst your other stuff and then bask in the relaxed packing experience where the torrent periodically judders to a halt as the spotty teenager consults their laminated cheat sheet to try and identify the difference between a King Edwards and a Vivaldi potato.


Anonymous said...

I work in Sainsbury's and i always make sure i ask the customer if they would like help with their packing, and if they say yes, then i pack all of their shopping or until they say they can do it from there. If you get frustrated at the tills, just ask the cashier to help pack for you, after all it is our job. we have a pair of hands, you have a pair of hands and no one likes to be rushed. I just like to make sure the customer isnt rushed and is helped as much as possible. Just ask for our help, thats what we're there for! The customers are who pays our wages, and if they arent happy then we are the ones that are going to feel the effect.

Anonymous said...

I'm a supervisor at Sainsburys, previously I was a cashier but even now I still jump on tills to beat the queues. I don't ask customers if they need help packing, I automatically start packing as soon as it starts to pile up and then continue scanning when there isn't much to pack, or when they can do it themselves. Some customers are fast enough to do it them sevles, and I always help to finish the packing after the last item has been scanned through the till, so there is less time wasted between the last item scanned and payment, so they can leave just after they have paid without holding up the next queue for too long.