Books

The Checkout Girl – Tazeen Ahmad

Next time you are in the queue…

…spare a thought for the COG – that is Checkout Girl or Guy who is serving you. They could well be sizing you up to cast you in a story but at the same time they will be letting you in on a few secrets from their side of the till.

Tazeen Ahmad spends 6 months working at Sainsbury’s as one of these COGS towards the end of 2008 and the beginning of what some have called the worst recession since the 1930s. Here is an insight into how the recession affects the weekly shop.

Read this book because you will see an insight not just into the wonder concept of ‘the customer – the general public’ but also how a large supermarket works and ultimately how they treat their staff. The customers who do not want to converse with the COG, to those who play their personal lives out in front of a stranger.  The elderly who avoid the weekend rushes, and those who push their luck with their financial budgets. There is many a trick that some customers play to get the most of the money with vouchers, and point’s but also convincing their other half’s that they have not spent so much at all!

I was really surprised at the treatment of the staff by such a large employer. There was a lot of emphasis on making the customer experience so high that the customer comes back again again despite some of the higher prices that other supermarkets. I do not think it has reached my local Sainsbury’s…. and the amount of work the company are getting out of their COGS for free is fairly shocking if it is added up.

It made me smile, and I will recall the funny and frustrating moments next time I am in the queue when those wonderful tannoy announcements ask for all till trained staff to report to the tills and miraculously no one appears…… Sainsbury’s Black Hole needs to be filled!

The reason for picking this book above the other ‘my life on the checkout’ books which seem to increasing by the day, is this one kept coming up on Kindle through the most recommended, movers and shakers etc. It seemed from that worth a go, I tried a sample and was hooked immediately so bought the book. It was as simple as that. I do enjoy these types of books, I am thinking here the the Babylon books by Imogen Edward-Jones and the infamous Anonymous. These are for when I feel I want to read but do not want to get involved too much, if you will some peripheral reading! 

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