Most people are still hunting to find their rewards card by the time Fred Pereira has finished scanning and packing their groceries. The fast worker from Porirua was named Countdown Checkout Operator of the Year for the Wellington area last week, after scanning and packing 21 groceries in a minute. Mr Pereira topped 73 checkout operator finalists from 16 Countdown supermarkets in the region. Competitions began in June with in-store assessments where checkout operators were tested on their uniform standards, scan rates, till cash balances and overall customer service. First place winners in each store went head-tohead in the final where they were judged on the same criteria. Mr Pereira receives $250 of Countdown vouchers and will join nine other area finalists at the Countdown Checkout Olympics later this month.