Sunday, February 05, 2012

BC2012: Checkout Girl by Anna Sam

This book was a rare find at a Barnes & Noble half-price clearance table last month (Borders' post-holiday clearance sales were so much better, both in breadth of selection and depth of discount). In retrospect, maybe I bought it just to buy something. I probably would have put it back if I had I read a few more pages in the store.

Although I've worked retail and I'm certainly capable of running a register (heck, I've written computer programs to validate credit card transactions), I have never wanted to deal with the hassles of ringing up customers. I figured Checkout Girl would be good for a few laughs and remind me why I'd never want this job. The book definitely accomplishes the latter, but it barely clears the bar for the former.

It is written like an instruction manual for someone starting a job as a supermarket checkout clerk, awkwardly addressing the reader as "you" using a simple writing style. The original text was French, so maybe the translation is the problem. Positioned in the "reference/humor" category, the book didn't tell me much that I didn't already know from being a customer, and it didn't make me laugh enough either (like the book in general, the funny parts were too simple and/or obvious). I think Checkout Girl could have been much better as a memoir with more substance and details in the stories.

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