A supermarket worker is pleading with shoppers to please wear a mask while in city stores.
The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, said her plea comes after one shopper blatantly ignored mask guidelines, while wearing a t-shirt claiming there was “no pandemic.”
It comes as Morrisons warned it would now ban shoppers from entering its stores if they don’t wear a mask, unless they have a medical exemption.
Staff subjected to verbal abuse
The worker, who has worked on the checkout in one of Dundee’s major supermarkets for 23 years, said this latest incident was the last straw, after months of putting up with verbal abuse from customers.
She added that, despite rising Covid-19 positive cases, the number of shoppers who refuse to wear a mask is increasing.
And she said that the worse culprits are younger people in their 20s and 30s, who think they are “invincible”.
Now the supermarket worker is pleading for shoppers to wear masks and to have a little bit of respect for herself and her colleagues, who are among the key workers who have worked continuously to keep essential shops open during the pandemic.
She said: “This last year has been tough to say the least. I have worked right through the pandemic with a lot of my colleagues having to self isolate, putting more strain on us “healthy” colleagues.
“Having customers verbally abuse you as you ask them to keep their distance became a daily occurrence and the customers entering the store without wearing a mask is on the rise.
Young people ‘think they are invincible’
“Of course, you have the genuine people who can’t wear one but nine times out of 10, most of them, and from seeing it day to day, young adults and people in their 20s and 30s are the worst culprits for not wearing a mask.
“They just don’t seem to care and think they are invincible. The last straw came this week however, when I witnessed a 40-something year-old man with no mask, walking about the store with a t-shirt on, no coat, bearing in mind it is the start of January.
“His t-shirt read, in capital letters read THERE IS NO PANDEMIC. How he was able to come in the store in the first place beggars belief. If he had walked passed another customer who had lost a loved one to this dreadful disease and they confronted him, I’m sure the outcome wouldn’t have been the best.”
Supermarkets have a range of policies in place to encourage customers to continue to wear coverings.
In September, Asda introduced 1,000 safety marshals who work alongside security staff to monitoring face coverings, offer free masks to customers who have forgotten theirs, and ensuring social distancing is adhered to.
A spokesman said: “If a customer has forgotten their face covering, we will continue to offer them one free of charge – but should a customer refuse to wear a covering without a valid medical reason and be in any way challenging to our colleagues about doing so – our security colleagues will refuse their entry.”
Meanwhile, Tesco has similar restrictions to Morrisons in place.
A spokesman added: “We are also asking our customers to shop alone, unless they’re a carer or with children. Our colleagues are working hard in difficult circumstances to make sure everyone can get what they need, and we’d ask everyone to please be kind, patient and respectful as we all work to keep each other safe.”