20 May 2007

Avoiding a scan-dal.

Here at Hofflimits we are a pretty law abiding bunch, though even I was taken aback by an example of Tesco's commitment to lawful trading on Friday night. I was queuing at one of the "self service" tills - where you scan your own purchases into a computer and pay the machine at the end. A clever way for Tesco to get you to do their work, but clearly open to abuse were it not for the monitoring of purchases by a Controller, who monitors all of these tills at once from a screen off to one side.

As I queued at such a till, a woman in front was scanning her goods and packing. In point of fact, her teenage daughter was scanning the food while she packed the bags. All was fine until the Ubercontroller realised three beers had been purchased - which requires her nod to make sure the transaction is legal. The thirty-something woman may have been the purchaser - indeed the one paying for the goods. But because her daughter had been the one who scanned the beer through the till, she was attempting to commit a crime.

Fortunately for the moral safety of the community, our Controller leapt into action. She made the woman unpack her shopping to find the beer, cancel the beer scanned by the daughter, and made the mother re-scan the very same beer through the till again before the transaction could be completed, all the while repeating her stock answer to all questions: "it's not my fault". Mercifully for the rest of the queue, she resisted calling the police to arrest the daughter.

So although Every Little Helps, that doesn't mean Every Little Helper.

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