Working on checkout is practically a rite of passage for young females. As a youngster I donned a green and white striped apron as part of the early Countdown checkout uniform. It was fetching; it covered a green dress with roll-up sleeves and orange buttons. All you needed was a misplaced apostrophe and you’d be a greengrocer’s dream.
By the time uni rolled around, working on checkout had lost its novelty factor; you worked there to pay the $65-a-week rent on your icebox in North East Valley, rather than to treat yourself to special teenage goodies.
Most of the checkout chicks wore their angry pants rather than the greengrocer’s special, and the vengeful food abuse – 2 litre milk bottles squashing the fresh bread, ripe tomatoes hurled into the bag with furious abandon – was outstanding.
One girl I knew had a sizeable chip on her shoulder, and had come up with a creative scheme to get revenge on rude customers.
She memorised the barcode number for the most expensive box of condoms she could find. They also happened to be flavoured – and ribbed.
Faced with customer arrogance, she would quickly key in the barcode number, hit enter, then subtotal. They generally wouldn’t notice – and if they did, it was after they’d left the shop – thus getting stung with the charge for an item they never received.
Her theory was that they’d be too embarrassed to return to the store to demand their money back on their box of naughty condoms. She was correct – she did this for two years running and not once was she ever questioned.
Checkout sucked, so much so that we ever burned our uniforms. They went up like a nun’s skirt on a Friday night! Our group of arts graduates naturally hadn’t considered how quickly polyester would burn.
My dark memories are the reason why I’m completely tickled by 99’s new ad for New World. If only the reality of working at a supermarket were this much fun!
The ad features a bunch of workies – clad in polyester New World uniforms – building vegetable instruments for a jam session of Dave Dobbyn’s Slice of Heaven.
They made carrot recorders, cabbage guitars and pumpkin drums.
There’s even mad action with a watermelon, which ends up as a sort of unlikely trumpet.
The ad’s struck a chord with punters already – check it out (ha! Puns galore!) on Facebook.
A behind-the-scenes video, an instrument workshop, and a music video are yet to come.
Whichever 99 creatives thought this one up are really on fire. (But could someone check they’re not wearing polyester?)
Did you work on checkout?
Will you carefully check your supermarket receipts from now on?
And does 99 have a bit of a fetish for the ol' food and power tools combo?
That's what we call a keen kumara.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Next up, we'll show you how to make a guitar out of a cabbage leaf and a leek.
Beans are usually known as the musical fruit, however the carrot has recently challenged its stranglehold.