Going outside these days is something of a privilege and a trip to the supermarket is one of the only few things we are actually allowed to do during lockdown.

That being said, we still have to be sensible in the shops that are open and many high street supermarkets are now operating on a 'one-in-one-out' policy and social distancing must be abided at all times.

Of course, there are always a few people that think the rules don't apply to them and they don't need to stand two meters apart from the nearest customer even when asked nicely.

Appearing on BBC Radio at the weekend, Michelle, who works at a convenience store in Wolverhampton, explained that the abuse that she has received at the weekend from customers who didn't want to practice social distancing has been unlike anything that she has experienced in nearly 20 years of working in the shop.

It has been horrific. Absolutely terrible and shocking. I can't believe this has happened.

Can't believe that we are one of the front-runners who are inundated with abusive people day-in-and-day-out.

Michelle goes on to explain what happens when people refuse to follow the social distancing guidelines.

[They say] 'don't you dare call me a leper. Who do you think you are? I haven't got any diseases. The government is blowing this all out of proportion.

They don't know what they are talking about so don't you dare talk to me like that. I will stand where I like.

She then explains that the staff themselves have only been given minimal protection against the virus.

We've been provided with plastic gloves this week and hand sanitiser. I think we might be getting some plastic to put behind the tills so the staff are protected from people.

According to Michelle, one of the worst aspects of her job at the moment is customers refusing to believe that certain products have sold out and aren't anywhere within the store.

They assume we've got them out in the back. The lorry can pull up any time of day, when we are open, we never stock up at night, always during the day. When they see the lorry pull up, they are bombarding the shop, demanding that we go and get the necessities that they need, bearing in mind that we have had a delivery of 12 cages and we just don't have the time to sift through for one specific item for somebody.

Defiantly, Michelle says that despite the situation she is going to carry on going to work in order to support her colleagues.

I have had enough but I am going to go to work on Monday because it's not just for me is it? I've been here for nearly 19 years. It's your work family isn't it and there is no way that you would leave them to suffer.

Michelle's heartfelt account shocked many people who heard it, who were in disbelief at how supermarket staff members are being treated by the public, given they they are just trying to help.

The UK has been in lockdown measures for just over a week now, with only "essential businesses" remaining open to the public.

At the time of writing there have been more than 19,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, which have resulted in 1,228 deaths.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)