David, 35, is a Co-op store manager based in West Yorkshire. David has been punched and threatened by customers which weighs down heavily on David’s own mental health, upsets David’s family and impacts colleagues.
“I’ve worked in retail for approaching 20 years. The vast majority of customers are fantastic, and really value us. But the pandemic did seem to bring out the worst in some people – we had people cough at us when we asked them to maintain social distancing inside the store.
“In one instance a couple of women came in to the store who were clearly shoplifting. They began to throw stock at me, punched one of my colleagues and on the way out one of the women lunged at me and dug her nails into my head so that night I had to go home and explain to my two young girls why I had a massive cut on my head.
“I have been called a ‘fat, bald p***k’ and told ‘We’ll come back at the end of your shift to deal with you’. This is stuff we shouldn’t have to put up with on a daily basis, it really does weigh on our mental health, not just mine but my colleagues. It upsets my family, and I know they’re worried about my safety.
“Co-op is doing all it can, investing in the latest technology, including its use of body worn cameras, but we need to send out a loud and clear message that it is not ok to abuse frontline shop workers.”
Would you put up with this?