Savvy supermarket shoppers know Mahina Tuionetoa's queue is the one to join.
Her lightning-quick scanning and ability to identify nut varieties from the bulk bin aisle is what earned Miss Tuionetoa the title of Countdown Checkout Operator of the Year for central Auckland.
The 19-year-old Waterview resident took the title for her Pt Chevalier store ahead of more than 98 checkout operator finalists from west and central Auckland.
The competition saw operators scan a full trolley load of groceries in just a few minutes.
"There were a lot of tricks to try to make you stuff up," Miss Tuionetoa says. "Like dents or items that were damaged, or twin packs that had only one single item, they tried to hide stuff as well."
Countdown supermarkets spokeswoman Gillian Davie says checkout operators fulfil a very demanding role.
"The best checkout operator is someone with a friendly smile who can strike up a conversation but also pack and scan groceries quickly and efficiently."
Miss Tuionetoa certainly ticks all those boxes.
Not only is she speedy but her bright smile and friendly personality draw regular customers to line up in her queue.
"Even if it's long the customer will join my queue, because they know it's a fast pace and eventually I'll finish before the others.
"It's really nice having people just coming to your checkout," she says.
On an average day she will serve an astounding 400 customers.
Miss Tuionetoa has future goals within the company and has completed a security training course with a goal to work in loss prevention to stop shoplifters.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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