Kate, 50, is a retail assistant with a high street fashion retailer in Worcestershire. Kate experiences customer abuse on a daily basis which is affecting her self-worth, making life miserable, and ultimately, having a detrimental impact on her mental health.
“I’ve worked in retail for many years, and the abuse of retail workers is at an all-time high. Abuse comes in many forms, and the expectations of customers has increased leading to abusive behaviour often on a daily basis.
“It’s the type of abuse that over time wears you down – comments that I can’t do my job, I’m useless, items being shoved at me, constant moaning in my earshot about how bad the speed of service is. There’s little or no respect for the workers, who are often low paid and already struggling with daily life.
“We’re told ‘you can’t do your job, it’s not a real job’. Every day, that weighs you down because we are capable of doing our jobs but there seems to be very little respect for shop workers these days. Many of us are classed as stupid or incapable and the insinuation is that we’ve got that job because we’re not capable of doing anything else, which is far from the case.
“It can affect you and how you do your job because you just don’t feel like you want to face the day at work anymore. It becomes a revolving circle of going to work then going home with little self-worth because that’s what you’re told.
“On more than one occasion I have been sworn at, called a ‘f***ing idiot’ and ‘f***ing useless’. It really does impact your life, and can have a detrimental effect on your mental health. It can impact home life and relationships and generally make life miserable. Shop workers should be able to go to work and carry out their job without the fear of what the day may bring.”
Would you put up with this?