Thursday, 24 February 2011

Just Finished Reading: Checkout: A Life on the Tills title was one I picked up 'on spec' at the local library,  a quick read that I, as a superfast reader, finished in about two hours.  It was written by a French girl who got a job on the checkout of a supermarket to pay her way through college. However she didn't manage to hop onto to the graduate career ladder when her course finished and ended up staying there a few more years. This scenario that must be all too familiar to quite a number of young people in today's woeful economic climate if they are 'lucky' enough to secure employment at minimum wage level.

I admire anyone who makes the best of what could be construed as a bad situation by many others.  In spite of the trials and tribulations of her role as a 'beepeuse' as checkout girls are evocatively known in France,   Anna Sam first wrote a witty blog and then produced a bestseller that has been translated into several diffierent languages.

In this book humankind is astutely observed.  The rudeness of some customers reminded me of the time I was working in my university bar and I was amazed how some supposedly 'well-educated' people could order an entire round of drinks without a please or thank you, yet alone eye contact.   I'm sure none of my blog readers are like that!  Beepeuses  go home with the sound of the scanners ringing in their eyes long after they've finished their shift and I wondered if they too, experience the weird sensation of being next to a conveyer belt outside their work environment as I did after working on a factory production line.  

This is a witty and thought provoking read and we could benefit from more writing in this genre giving the perspective of workers in overlooked roles.  Give Checkout: A Life on the Tills a chance if you stumble across it in your local library

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