Now here is an initiative from Nanny that has in theory, I think, a decent motive. However, I am not fully decided as to whether this is intrusive or merely an amateurish attempt to be helpful.
The Department of Health is training supermarket staff (Sainsbury's initially) to "observe" (some say "spy on") customer shopping baskets.
The rationale being that a well trained "observer" will be able to identify if someone is shopping for another person who may be ill or elderly etc.
Nanny wants to find the "hidden carers" in society, in order to offer these people more help.
Apparently the cashiers who have been trained will, once they have identified a "hidden carer", ask customers about their personal circumstances while serving them and then put them in touch with charities that can provide information on financial/practical help etc.
Now I do recognise that many people who care for someone else need help. I can also see that this scheme appears to be very well intentioned.
However, there is something nagging at the back of my mind that makes me feel uncomfortable about training up "civilians" to "observe" ("spy on") other civilians.
I would also like to know in which supermarket Nanny does her shopping, where she thinks a cashier has the time to chat with a customer (as a queue patiently waits and grows behind the "hidden carer"). I have never come across a supermarket where the staff, or customers, have the time to chat beyond a few pleasantries about the weather.
What are your views about this scheme?
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