Yesterday I was in my local bakery, buying a muffin. The owner was training a new employee, and they were fiddling with something at the touch-screen PC which served as the cash register.
The owner was trying to scan the employee’s fingerprint, using a little USB fingerprint scanner that sat on the counter. They were having some difficulty making the thing work.
They wandered off, enabling me to pay another staff member for my muffin. I asked her what the fingerprint scanner was for.
It’s a biometric time clock (this company makes them). Employees ‘clock in’ at the the start of their shift by scanning their fingerprint at the front counter.
Does anybody else think that’s a bit creepy? Talk about not trusting your employees. The message is “I think you’re going to lie to me, so I’ve devised a foolproof system to foil you.”
It’s been about fifteen years since I worked in customer service, but I never actually had to clock in at any of my jobs. If I was late, the manager just hassled me. I could never be particularly late for those early shifts where a manager wasn’t around (probably common in a bakery), because I had a bunch of stuff to do before a certain time (also, I’d imagine, like a bakery).
In any case, I wouldn’t leave the USB scanner in view of the public. I imagine there are lots of patrons who have the same response that I did.