The time has come that I can no longer take the abuse I get working as a retailer. Yesterday when I was at work something happened, and I am at the end of my tether. In fact! My tether is hanging on by a tiny singular thread which is so frayed it’s amazing it’s still even attached at the moment. Customers are mean, rude and basically bullies. They think they are always right, despite the fact that they are trying to break the law (underage and trying to buy cigarettes/alcohol). Then because I am doing my job and requesting valid ID before serving the customer they think it is okay to swear at me and call me names.
I don’t get paid enough for this. I don’t come to work to be abused and called names. I don’t come to work to be bullied by people I don’t even know. I don’t come to work to get stressed out, and feel unsafe. NO-ONE should feel unsafe when they are at work. NO-ONE should be dreading going to work because they are anxious about what is going to happen when they get there.
The drama that we have to deal with is ridiculous. But what’s even worse is when colleagues don’t keep up the same practises as one another. Confusing customers, and therefore creating more issues for us all to deal with.
We shouldn’t have to deal with this. Just because we work in retail doesn’t mean we are obligated to put up with abuse from other people, who, let’s face it, are strangers. If I walked around and treated others the way they treat me in my workplace I would probably be arrested. If I was allowed to retaliate the way that is natural to me when people treat me like I am scum, I would definitely be arrested. I am a feisty redhead, and if you upset me I can,and probably will over react and flip out. I protect myself and my friends, colleagues and most importantly my family. And if I feel like they are in danger I will help them out and stop them from being in the firing line. But I shouldn’t have to ever feel the need to when we are at work.
One customer (who is banned from the shop, and has been for well over a year), is a particular nuisance to our store. At one point he was becoming so cocky that he would walk into the shop, pick up the stuff he wanted get told to leave, and square up to the staff member in charge. Unfortunately my house mate is also a colleague, he moved in with me in the first lockdown as he had to travel from another county to go to work, so moving in with me (who had just split with my ex) seemed like the most logical thing to do. It was a win, win situation as it meant that I was not stuck in lockdown alone, and he got a roof over his head. This however has had it’s fair share of problems with this particular nuisance. He has threatened to attack my home, because 2 of us live there, and has actually attempted to follow my house mate home as well. I have never felt so threatened and worried for my life before. NO! Not my life, ISABELLE’S.
Thankfully for me my uncle is a member of the police force, so I informed him of the situation which has given me some comfort. However it hasn’t solved the problem at work.
Dealing with the “situation”
The area manager came to visit the store the other month for a security and safety check. There is already so much wrong with the building that we work in, but that is a story for another day.
The area manager was in the store doing his visit, and happened to still be there as my shift began. So I vented to him. I told him how I don’t feel safe at work, how I want to leave, how we aren’t paid enough for this and I can’t cope with the stress, anxiety and panic attacks that comes with working in this place.
Thankfully he is also in charge of safety and security of the staff members at our company, so he listened and saw how distraught I was about the way we are treated and the things we have to be put up with. Physical and Verbal abuse is never accepted by anyone and he wasn’t about to let his staff members leave because of the customers.
He managed to get some security things in place for us. A security tag we wear around our necks, with a camera and another person listening and talking to us at the push of a button. He has promised that if the thieves should appear in the shop again he will not reprimand us for the loss of stock, and walked us through how to bug both head office and the police to ensure that security is upped in the store.
This was working really well, and we were starting to feel much better at work, and within ourselves. Until a new family full of unruly and rude people came to town having been driven out of their previous town. And the problems have started again.
I can’t do this anymore, I feel threatened and unsafe when I am at work, and I am constantly curtain twitching anytime I hear anyone outside my house. I am going to quit my job, the stress, anxiety and paranoia that comes with serving particular members of society just isn’t worth it.
That’s all for now.
Much love xx