Be kind to shop workers during this difficult time


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?

7 thoughts on “Be kind to shop workers during this difficult time

  1. I cannot believe what this pandemic has turned people into! Kindness costs nothing but some people have become truly spiteful and selfish and it makes me so sad! It makes me so sad to hear about the abuse any staff are dealing with right now just for trying to do their jobs I just can’t believe people are really that rude and ignorant! I for one am super grateful to all the staff from nhs to retail who are doing their bit to help us get by!
    Jess Howliston recently posted…Helping Your Child to Become More ConfidentMy Profile

  2. the world has gone mad! Iceland in my town was only letting over 65 in last Wednesday for 2 hours. and People where just pushing their when in the shop when clearly they were not over 65 and was ignoring the women on the day. Good thing was though, that when they got to the till, they refused to serve them.
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…Chocolush PancakesMy Profile

  3. Kim Carberry says:

    Yes to this! It is shocking how quickly the “Be Kind” sentiment has been forgotten especially when it comes to shopping.
    My fella used to work in retail and is glad to be out of it. He still chats to his old workmates and the stories from them over the past week have been shocking. People should be ashamed of themselves.
    The 3 staff in our local Tesco were shouted at all morning on Friday and were all in tears. People have been going in with thank you cards, buying them flowers and boxes of chocolates to say how much our little town appreciates them. x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Five mums that I think are awesome! #MothersDayMy Profile

  4. It is so important to be kind. People made such about being kind just a month or so ago, it was forgotten so quick. There is never any excuse to be rude.

  5. Laura says:

    Retail workers in the food sector are so undervalued, I really hope that this shows the country how much they should be valued. I really can’t understand all of the panic buying and selfishness over food, nor the abuse these workers are getting. Seems ridiculous when last month the whole country was saying #bekind

  6. Rhian westbury says:

    I think it’s so sad that people are being treated this way. My dad works in a wholesalers are people have been savages and just clawing at things being pulled out to stock up x

  7. They along with NHS are helping to keep the country healthy. The ones who are making sure we get to eat and look after us. I don’t understand people who are rude to people who are actually helping us.

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