Store worker reveals how abusive shoppers 'bombard' her shop

Convenience store worker reveals how abusive shoppers ‘bombard’ her shop as soon as lorry deliveries arrive to demand their essentials

  • Employee, known as Michelle, has worked at Wolverhampton store for 19 years
  • She described the past few weeks as ‘horrific, absolutely terrible and shocking’
  • Michelle added some shoppers will descend on shop moment deliveries arrive
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A convenience store worker has described how she is ‘bombarded’ by ‘abusive’ shoppers who demand she retrieves their essentials from the back as soon as deliveries arrive.   

The worker, known only as Michelle, said she has witnessed some of the ‘worst behaviour’ in her 19 years at the store since the outbreak of coronavirus. 

Speaking to Paddy O’Connell on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, she said: ‘It has been horrific, absolutely terrible and shocking I can’t believe this has happened.

‘I can’t believe we are one of the frontrunners who are just inundated with abusive people day in, day out.’ 

People wearing protective face masks queue outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Streatham, London on Sunday (stock image)

She explained how some shoppers will even descend upon the store as soon as lorries arrive outside with deliveries during opening hours. 

‘Because it is convenience, the lorry pulls up any time of the day when we’re open,’ Michelle said.

‘We never stock up at night – it’s during the day when we’re open, so when [people] see the lorry outside they are bombarding the shop, demanding that we go in the back and get them the necessities they need.

‘Bear in mind we’ve probably had a delivery of 12 cages with everything on, and you just haven’t got the time to sift through for a specific item for somebody.’ 

Asked what happens when she requests customers keep two metres apart, Michelle said she has heard ‘don’t you dare call me a leper’ and ‘who do you think you are’ in response.

Shoppers observe social distancing measures as Sainsbury’s supermarket introduce protective screens at checkouts due the the coronavirus outbreak on Sunday (stock image)

Pictured: Stock image of shoppers visiting a Waitrose supermarket in Frimley, south west of London on Sunday

‘I haven’t got any diseases,’ she added, recalling more replies. ‘The government are blowing this all out of proportion, they don’t know what they’re talking about so don’t you dare talk to me like that.

‘I will stand where I like.’

Britons have flocked to supermarkets and convenience stores since coronavirus began to gather speed in the UK earlier this month, with shortages of toilet paper, pasta, bread and milk reported across the country.

The government last week ordered all non-essential shops to close to customers alongside bars, clubs and restaurants as politicians attempt to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

Supermarkets, corner shops and pharmacies are among those which have been permitted to remain open.

A police officer from the Hampshire Constabulary looks on as shoppers observe social distancing as they wait in a queue outside a supermarket in Fleet, Hampshire (stock image)

Pictured: Stock image of shoppers outside a supermarket in Fleet, Hampshire on Saturday

Michelle said that, despite the ‘abusive’ customers she has dealt with on a daily basis, she will continue to go to work for the sake of her colleagues. 

‘I have had enough, but I am going to work on Monday because it’s not just for me is it – it’s for my work colleagues,’ she said. ‘I’ve been here nearly 19 years, it’s your work family, isn’t it. 

‘There’s no way you’d leave them to struggle and suffer.’

She added that staff at the convenience store have been ‘provided with plastic gloves’ and hand sanitiser this week.

‘I think we might be getting some plastic to put behind the tills so that the staff are protected from people,’ she added.        

The UK coronavirus death toll today jumped by 209 in 24 hours from 1,019 to 1,228, as the infection rate dropped for the second day in a row. 

There are now 19,522 confirmed cases nationwide, up from 17,089 yesterday. 

Today’s increase in fatalities is the second biggest Britain has seen so far, but with 51 fewer deaths than yesterday, it could offer some hope that the figures are beginning to plateau.  

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