Grocery Scanner Hell | Street Jazz

Grocery Scanner Hell



The bulletin board outside the office at the grocery store in our neighborhood is probably the sort of thing that should be kept out of the sight of customers - in an employee break-room, perhaps, or even in the office itself. But there it was, right around the corner from the magazines and paperbacks, with the goal (18 per minute) for the employees scanning groceries, along with their first names and their average scans per minute.

Employees’ scores ranged from 12.17 grocery items scanned per minute to 20.53.

20.53 - that’s less than than one every three seconds, if you are mathematically challenged, as I am, most of the time.

Once I got over my surprise at such a sign being out in the open where every customer on the planet could see it - employee names and all - I started thinking about just how one achieves that magical number of 18 scans per minute - which gives you 3.333333333 seconds an item.

This does not, I suppose, take into account reaching for items, turning them over to look for the barcode, searching out the price of fruits and vegetables, sacking the items, and even, on occasion, reaching over and putting the sacks into the cart.

This is the part of the evening where somebody gets to say, “Well, if they don’t like their job, they can always quit.”

Many of us have worked retail, and so have opinions on this, but so many who have never worked under the conditions that grocery clerks work under have such entertaining opinions, many of which have little basis in reality.

Let’s assume they have now expressed those opinions, and just move on, shall we.

Studies have indicated that employees may flick their wrists back and forth up to 600 times an hour. In an eight hour shift, a clerk might handle more than six thousand pounds.

Three tons.

In the early part of the 21st Century, OSHA came up with new ergonomic standards for those who work with scanners, but they were rejected by Congress, a body which hasn’t done much heavy lifting in quite some time itself.

Public humiliation of employees aside - yes, that damn sign should be removed from public view - the constant “need for speed” on the part of management serves no one well.

Go Union!


The Great Fayetteville Public Access Survey

Fayetteville Public Access Television has a nifty survey which they have sent out, which is a handy tool for them. It only takes a few minutes to fill out, and since FPAT - thanks to the Internet - can now be seen almost everywhere on the planet, it’s a great source for entertainment, news, opinion, and all sorts of other programming, created by the folks of Northwest Arkansas.

Plus, if you believe (as I do) that restricting classes and equipment use only to folks from Fayetteville - an unfortunate decision made a few years ago - should be remedied, the survey gives you a chance to express an opinion on that, as well.

Check out the survey at:

The survey is completely, absolutely, anonymous.


Quote of the Day

My friends are my estate. Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them! - Emily Dickinson

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