Monday, 13 June 2011

Spy in the shopping basket?

One of the more bizarre stories in the paper today contains the revelation that checkout cashiers at Sainsburys are to be trained to spot (from their shopping patterns) customers who might be entitled to carers' support without realizing it, and to make "discrete"(sic) enquiries - following a pilot scheme in Torbay. I daresay the idea is well-intentioned, as was probably the one that backfired rather spectacularly a couple of years ago when a pregnant customer was refused a piece of cheddar cheese because the deli assistant thought (wrongly, as it turned out) that it would be bad for her health.

But just where does this sort of thing stop? Am I to be identified for referral to an alcohol advisory service if I happen to buy more than one bottle of wine? Or maybe some counselling for obesity on the strength of the regular bag of jam doughnuts? Fortunately, I should find it relatively easy to avoid the "Colleague engagement director's" next whizzo idea as I only ever use self-service checkouts now (and I make sure I turn the 'voice' off before I start!)

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