‘Frontline’ Employee Starts “Retail Life During COVID” Facebook Support Group After Being Assaulted By Customer
Sun, 05/24/2020 – 17:30
There is no doubt that frontline workers during the pandemic – including those who work in retail stores that are remaining open – are getting the short end of the stick. In addition to having to deal with the virus itself, they also have to deal with thousands of terrified customers, all on edge and worried that the virus is going to jump out from behind the next corner at the supermarket and suffocate them to death on the spot.
One California retail worker caught the worst of it, being left with a bloody face after she was attacked by a customer earlier this month. So she decided to start a Facebook support group for other retail workers can go to share their experiences of customers confronting them.
The worker, Sam Clarke, works for a sporting good store in Modesto and wrote online that employees like her have become “punching bags” for shoppers, according to CBS. In her case, she meant it literally.
She wrote: “My business has been deemed essential. So myself and my employees put ourselves at risk every day so that people can shop for their needs. Well, the public, not all, but too many, hate the guidelines put in place that allow us to do business and keep our jobs. Multiple times a day I get cussed out or argued with.”
In May, a shopper that was “upset about a merchandise pick up” assaulted her. The customer, Clarke said, was upset that the store didn’t have a swimming pool that they wanted.
Shortly thereafter, she started the “Retail life during Covid-19” Facebook group, which aims to be “an open platform for retail and front line workers to share their stories and struggles of that they’re going through.” It already has 27,000 likes and 1,300 members.