A 25-year-old woman was asked for ID to buy teaspoons from a Sussex supermarket…
Teaspoons that had knives concealed in their handles? I mean, what other possible reason could they have for…
… because staff feared she would use them to take drugs.
Miss Zuke, who works for trade magazine The Grocer, which is based in Crawley, was stopped from buying the spoons at a self-service checkout at the store.An automatic alert flashed up on the checkout screen saying her age needed to be continue (sic) before she could purchase the cutlery.
Miss Zuke said a shop worker then intervened and told her it was because of the risk they could be used to take drugs.
In actually fact, it wasn’t anything of the sort; Sainsbury admitted it was because the item had been incorrectly coded.
A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We’re very sorry for any confusionthat this error caused.“Our Think 25 policy is designed to ensure that age-related products are sold safely and colleagues are trained to ensure they enforce our policy correctly.
“It is not our policy to ID people when buying spoons and there is no mention of ‘drug paraphernalia’ anywhere in the Think 25 training or policy. ”
Unfortunately, having this policy seems to lead to your staff assuming that there must be some nefarious reason for the item getting flagged – can’t argue with ‘the system’! – and just…filling in the blanks themselves!
“We do ask for proof of age when people buy knives and the self-scan system recognised the spoon’s code as one for a knifeand therefore triggered the alert.“The problem was immediately rectified and won’t happen again.”
Yes. Yes, it will.
Because when, say, a gift flowerpot kit gets wrongly flagged (perhaps because it contains a gardener’s knife or something that looks like one) some idiot will wrack their brains and after a period of desperate cogitation triumphantly exclaim that it’s because you might use it to grow cannabis, and we’ll be off to the races again!
Or….you could stick two fingers up to the Nanny State and tell them you aren’t going to bother checking this, unless it’s actually under the legal age of use?