You may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the arrival of Operation Checkout (see this post) which is the refit program centred on checkouts and kiosk.
Well the day has now dawned. About an hour before the store closed last night a team of electricians came from nowhere armed with ladders, tools and all kinds of dramatic-looking equipment. By the morning we had shiny new checkouts and a new kiosk.
Now, I was quite looking forward to this happening because the original plans I saw looked quite good. But it would seem somebody decided to change the plans prior to the work being carried out. Instead of the planned ten conveyor-belt-checkouts, we have just seven - one less than we had before! They have, however, made up for this with extra express tills, so it remains to be seen what sort of impact the new setup is going to have on our out-of-control queue problem.
But my main concern is the awful layout of the new checkouts. For a start, half of them are left-hand-scan. I was only serving for ten minutes and my back was breaking! I found myself reaching my right arm across my body to lift things off the conveyor belt. And the cash drawers are now sited to your left (or right, depending which way your till faces) as opposed to directly in front of you on the old tills. I kept trying to dip my hands into the scanner to get customers their change. The receipt printers have also swapped sides so I kept reaching the wrong way.
So, really, I spent the time I was serving jiggling about on my chair like a Morris dancer.
The kiosk is, however, a vast improvement. They've moved the lottery machine so it sits in the middle of the tills as opposed to right at the end, like before. Much less walking time. Sadly, however, they've put the whole thing in a rather stupid place so it practically blocks the entrance doors.
Still, I suppose we'll adapt to this new fangled layout in no time.
In other news, I chased a thieving bastard halfway across town this morning. I spotted him loading razor blades into his pockets from one of the till racks. As till merchandise sort of falls in my jurisdiction, I felt duty-bound (power-mad more like) to take pursuit. And I ended up five streets away, scooping razor cartridges out of the gutter.
Still, it could have been worse. Like the time I actually managed to catch up with a thief and they hurled their stolen booty into my face and cut my forehead. At least I got a battle scar to exhibit to all and sundry.