Liam checks in to com­pete for top spot

North Waikato News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

At just 18 years old, Huntly’s Liam Loveridge is work­ing his way to the top of the Count­down check­out ranks.

The Huntly Col­lege head boy made it to the top 20 in New Zealand within the su­per­mar­ket chain af­ter com­ing first in the North Waikato re­gion.

On Au­gust 28, he will com­pete for the over­all Check­out Op­er­a­tor of the Year award in Auck­land.

‘‘It’s pretty cool, I never thought I’d get this far... it’s pretty awe­some to achieve this for some­one in Huntly.’’

To win the re­gional ti­tle, Loveridge was in­ter­viewed and came un­der scru­tiny of a mys­tery shop­per who judged him on cus­tomer ser­vice, pack­ing and speed.

He couldn’t pick out the shop­per, but said that in it­self was a per­sonal test to prove he per­forms well no mat­ter who comes through the doors.

The de­ter­mined teen hasn’t al­ways held so much con­fi­dence how­ever.

It’s been two years since the ‘‘ter­ri­fied’’ younger Loveridge started at the store which was his first job.

‘‘It wasn’t re­ally the peo­ple that scared me, [I thought] was I go­ing to scan the wrong thing? Or give the wrong change?’’

But with time, Loveridge worked his way up the ranks and it’s all sec­ond na­ture to him.

Nowa­days he doesn’t have as much time on the check­out.

But that hasn’t stopped him from hav­ing the high­est scan rate in the Huntly store with around 21 items per minute.

Pro­cess­ing big bags of coal and re­duced to clear items are chal­lenges, but he en­sures they get done as quickly as pos­si­ble.

‘‘Cus­tomers don’t want to stay in here too long... at the end of the day, cus­tomers are the most im­por­tant thing.’’

In his last year at high school, Loveridge is set for ter­tiary study next year. Work­ing as a su­per­vi­sor at a young age, he’s dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for man­age­ment and said he will take ev­ery op­por­tu­nity that comes his way.

CAITLIN WAL­LACE/STUFF

Liam Loveridge has mas­tered the art of be­ing a check­out op­er­a­tor and is ready to com­pete against 19 oth­ers fi­nal­ists from across the coun­try for the Count­down Check­out Op­er­a­tor of the Year.

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