Everyone is doing it tough right now amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis but, like healthcare workers, hairdressers and school teachers, supermarket staff are bearing the brunt of a scared, anxious public.
They’ve shown up every day to provide Aussies with an essential service - food and household goods - and instead of respect and thanks, they’ve been yelled at, threatened and generally treated like crap by panic buyers desperate for a multi-pack of toilet paper.
The treatment of checkout workers by frenzied shoppers got so out of hand that stores such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi were forced to condemn abuse and violence toward staff via in-store notices and PA announcements.
But, there are some little acts of human kindness that are providing light among the darkness.
Here, we’ve rounded up some good news stories about supermarket shoppers going the extra mile to show struggling staff the love they deserve during this trying time.
Who knows, it might inspire you to do something nice on your next visit!
Love and lions
One Coles shopper took to Facebook to share a sweet message from a young customer.
“Thank you Coles staff. We love you,” the three-year-old wrote, along with a drawing of a lion.
An Aldi checkout worker shared this message on Facebook about a bad day turned good thanks to a kind customer:
“Ok, so I work at Aldi. As you can imagine things have been getting pretty hectic at work. Last week, alongside some pretty intense personal stuff, I had a break down at work.
Three shifts in a row I showed up, and by the time the store opened, I was already in tears. [I served] my first abusive customer of the day and I broke.
I spent the rest of the shift in various states of emotional turmoil, all on the register, on show for the shop to see. I even put my two weeks notice in mid-shift!
Towards the end of my day, I looked down to start scanning my first item, and there was a hand holding a small, white hand-picked flower. I looked up and a very very kind man stood before me.
He said as he handed it to me, ‘I really hope your day gets better’. That kind, simple gesture (it made me cry again in a nice way), did more to me than I could ever say.
I will take that moment with me for the rest of my life. Something simple can be the best kindness.”
A kind cuppa
A hot drink was all it took to make this Coles staffer feel valued, as they shared on Facebook:
“I work at Coles (not much more needs to be said about why that is a messy situation at the moment) and I was gutted in the morning because I'd spent the last of my money on a delicious and giant coffee to help get me through my Monday morning and stupid me left it at home.
I was explaining to a customer (who I'd never served before) that I was ‘offended’ how everyone in the past 36 minutes had bought coffee and that the world was rubbing it in my face that I had forgotten mine. He agreed how much that sucked and left with ‘I hope your day gets better!’
Ten minutes later I hear ‘excuse me’ and that bloody legend has his arm extended with a coffee for me. Day absolutely made!
I took on the rest of the day with a huge smile on my face even with all the grumpy customers that I was yet to serve. It's the little things!”
A couple of free pizzas filled the bellies and warmed the hearts of a Woolworth’s worker and their team, as they shared on Facebook:
“I work at Woolies. Its been a little crazy the last few weeks. So far our customers have been really understanding, accommodating and kind to us and each other.
Last night we had a team of 19 people... filling the shelves with stock. Our local Domino’s pizza popped by with free pizza for us all, saying ‘Just wanted to extend our thanks for the work you guys are doing here.’
Wow! Shout out to Domino’s Pizza Biggera Waters, Qld and all the team there. We really appreciated your kindness.”
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