It's no secret that people always seem to be in a hurry these days.
At work, people are monitored and pressured by daily targets and deadlines, and this programming often carries over into our personal lives, as we rush from one errand to another.
Back in 2019, Jumbo supermarkets opened its first Kletskassa, or chat checkout, in Vlijmen in Brabant.
The idea was to offer customers a slower lane where chat is encouraged for those people who aren't in such a hurry.
In particular, it was hoped that it could help to combat loneliness, because quite frankly some people would rather take their time and have a chinwag than have their veg launched at them at a 100mph.
Jumbo received positive feedback about their Kletskassa, and so in September 2021 they pledged to spread them nationwide, with an aim of opening 200, targeting areas particularly affected by loneliness.
Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, chief commercial officer of Jumbo, said: "Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely.
"As a family business and supermarket chain, we are at the heart of society. Our shops are an important meeting place for many people and we want to play a role in identifying and reducing loneliness.
"We do this in various ways, including our Kletskassas. We are proud that many of our cashiers would like to take a seat behind a Kletskassa.
"They have a warm heart for the initiative and want to help people to make real contact with them out of genuine interest.
"It is a small gesture, but very valuable, especially in a world that is digitizing and accelerating."
It's a nice idea, isn't it?
Sure, if you've got somewhere to be and just want to quickly pick up some milk and the person in front in the queue is idly nattering to the checkout worker, then you're probably going to want to pick up one of those checkout divider things and clip 'em around the head with it.
But equally, why should someone in no hurry at all have their shopping flung at them without so much as a hello?
It would be chaos at the swimming baths if there were only fast lanes, wouldn't it?
Roll out Kletskassas worldwide, I say.
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