Sunday, January 25, 2009
By chronicling her experiences with wit and eloquence, [Anna] Sam has become an unlikely literary success. Her book, The Tribulations of a Checkout Girl, has sold 100,000 copies in France so far, and is set to be published all over the world, including the UK, later this year. There is a French film in the pipeline, a play, a comic strip and – this last bit she finds impossible to say without a gurgle of pleasure – "even 'ollywood" has expressed an interest....But can it top 11 Years, 9 Months, and 5 Days: Burger Store Episodes and Frustrations?
At the Rennes branch of Leclerc – the equivalent of Tesco – Sam would work eight-hour days as a beepeuse (a woman who beeps) with only two 15-minute breaks and a series of occupational hazards which still make her wince. "That beeping," she puts freckled hands to her face, "you can still hear it when you get home at night and as you fall asleep."In her book, Sam describes her job as "one of the most desirable vantage points from which to enjoy the full panoply of human idiocy."