I spent 16 years working in retail and have many friends still working for supermarkets or in other retail environments.
Hard times such as the one we are going through at the moment can bring out the best in human nature, but also the worst and some ex-colleagues are having a tough time.
In light of recent events, it feels like the #bekind movement was a long time ago, but in reality it is just a few weeks and it is a philosophy that we should all try to live by.
I have had stories of a colleague being spat at, just because the shelves were empty.
Another of a lorry delivery driver, bringing in much needed stock, not being allowed to go into the staff areas to use the toilet or the canteen. He is in his cab on his own for hours on end and probably one of the least likely to be carrying a disease.
Yesterday I witnessed a poor shop assistant being screamed at, because she was trying to limit the amount of eggs someone was buying, as per the store policy to make it fair for everyone.
Please remember that shop workers have family too. They are as affected by the events unfolding around them as we all are.
Many have children or elderly relatives to look after, they may have a chronic illness and have been advised to self-isolate, leaving the stores short-staffed and already under pressure.
Then there is the other side of story; from board members and to head office staff. Many have allowed to leave the office and work from home and reduced hours.
Where is the support for your store colleagues who still have to face the public day to day, who are running on an already tight team thanks to recent economic events?
My husband still works in retail and has tales of still being pushed to hit kitchen sale targets this week? Really!!!!!
No-one wants to buy a kitchen!
Customers are worried whether they are going to be paid next month, or the next, or the next!
Yes, they will still come into store but they want to buy things that will get them through the next few weeks. Maybe they are keen gardeners and want to spend time sprucing up their little patch of outdoor space after being ravaged by so much rain this winter.
Maybe they will use this enforced time off to catch up on those DIY chores that have been on the back-burner until now.
Customers want to buy things that they need, not what is nice to have!
So, to everyone using any type of shop, be it a supermarket, corner shop or DIY store, please be kind, be polite and be thankful the staff are still working to get the shelves filled with much needed supplies.
To the staff: thank you for doing your best in this difficult time!
Due to staff absence, many supermarkets have temporary 12 week vacancies available at the moment, from twilight and night shift, to delivery drivers and general assistants.
To find out more head their websites:
Do you have any heartwarming stories about your local shops from the last few weeks?