Supermarket Self-serve Attendant Gives Zero Fucks

Sally Antiope, 17, works weekend shifts at a Woolworths supermarket in North-East Melbourne. A "checkout chick" if that is allowed to be said anymore.


"It's fun, it's easy," says Sally. "You stand there and walk up and down the self-serve area and help people if they scan something wrong. That's it."

Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have slowly been transitioning away from manned registers over the last ten years in favour of self-serve checkouts, as well as ramping up online ordering.

Data shows that many suburban stores now have more than half of their sales processed through self-serve which is a valuable cost-saving measure in the competitive supermarket industry.

But a consequence is markedly higher theft. Several store managers told The Seagull that where once razor blades and batteries were thieves' items of choice, now it's everything from tomatoes and avocados to chocolate, vitamins and tuna.

"Our tuna supplies get swiped weekly. It's ridiculous," says one store manager. "Self-serve allows people just to walk straight out the door."

Have supermarkets thought about returning to good-old fashioned customer service with manned registers?

"No," the store manager told us. "We'll put Cadbury blocks in security cases before we think of hiring more staff."

What does Sally think of all this theft?

"Three of my friends have lost work because of self-serve checkouts. It was Woolworths' choice."