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    Aussie Workers Are Calling Out The Bullshit They've Put Up With From Customers During COVID-19

    Here's your daily reminder not to be a dick to staff enforcing COVID rules.

    In case you needed to be told, it's very uncool to act like a cunt towards staff in retail and hospitality who are just doing their jobs to enforce the government's COVID-19 rules.


    To be frank, you should probably quit being a piece of shit to people in general — but particularly to those workers who are trying their hardest to follow the laws mandating masks, social distancing and QR check-ins at Australian premises. 

    Reddit user qpalzm456 issued this timely reminder to all Australians in light of Melbourne's latest lockdown — announcing the simple PSA of "Don't be a dick."


    "I went to my local Woolies recently for my weekly click-and-collect and, while I was waiting, I saw some people being quite unpleasant to the teenager at the door who was enforcing the QR code check-in rules.

    Not over the top viral-Karen-video material, but still — no worker should have to put up with that shit.

    So please people, whatever you think of the rules, try to remember that they're not the teenager at the door's idea and don't be a dick."


    Aussies were quick to applaud the call to arms and sounded off in the comments with their own horror stories of confronting non-compliers.


    Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "Public librarian here. I did not invent the QR code. I did not decide to have the lockdown. I can't do anything about what Coles does. I can't do anything about what your child's school does. I'm not interested in your opinions on masks. I'm not interested in your opinions on vaccines."

    "All I want to do is collect books/movies/games/magazines and hopefully provide a little bit of something nice to occupy yourself with this lockdown. I'm feeling very privileged to say that this is the first lockdown we have been allowed to offer this service and I'm so grateful to be working right now. But please stop yelling at me about things I have no control over. And even if it is something I do have control over, I'm not yelling at you, you shouldn't be yelling at me. We can have a civil conversation.

    And if you didn't know libraries were open for click and collect, go online and get reserving! All these beautiful books just sitting here are much more useful in your houses."


    2. "I work at a bottle-o and asked a guy if he could please check in. He says he doesn't have a phone, but I tell him that's ok, I've got a sign-in book. He tells me he doesn't want to touch the pen because of COVID. I tell him I sanitise it after each use and give him a bottle of hand sanitiser to use as well. So he squirts the sanitiser onto the fucking counter and dips the pen into it."


    3. "I had one customer signing in while someone else walked straight into the store. The other dude refused to sign in. I legally (due to company policy) cannot refuse people service for this. All I can do is ask and hope they comply. But the guy doing the sign-in starts having a go at me for not forcing this other guy to sign in. I am not the fucking cops."

    "This shit on top of the cunty attitude that customers have at the best of times. We are doing our jobs. We don't make the rules. Stop being assholes."


    4. "As much as I'm proud to be a Victorian, we are really dropping the ball when it comes to COVID safety and compliance versus other states. Seriously, people should get out of their metaphoric bubbles and visit other parts of our country during this pandemic, you go to some parts that have zero/minimal cases and people are voluntarily masked up and are strictly checking into locations with QR codes without a fuss."


    5. "Yep, I work in healthcare. You don’t check in and we won’t check you in for your appointment — it's that simple. People always do it when you show them that you won’t back down and their excuses don’t work."



    6. "The weirdest thing for me is the people who say they don’t want the government to have their data, but they have a smartphone, they pay by card, they no doubt have social media, they use a rewards card."

    "You’re already being tracked, cunt. Normally, it’s huge private corporations who profit off tracking and manipulating you. But a government implemented safety measure is a step too far?"


    7. "I was informed by my manager that another business was taken to court for discrimination over refusing to serve someone for not signing in. As such, policy from the top is that we cannot refuse service over check-ins. Maybe it's less legal, more policy, but those are the rules I have to abide by."

    "But what I can do is refuse service on the ground of aggression and/or abuse, so that's my ace in the hole for when I will inevitably get a mega cunt."


    8. "I don't know about my store policy (I imagine its just we cant refuse service), but honestly, I am not paid enough to implement it either way. Not gonna cop abuse from cunts who can't go into the store because they wont sign in for $20 an hour. If they don't check in, they're assholes, but what can you do?"


    9. "I can kick people out for being abusive and/or aggressive. But refusing to check in doesn't fall under that. Although I will enforce that if people get mega cunt over me asking them to sign in."


    10. "As a waitress/hostess in regional Victoria, I’m really frustrated and emotionally drained from being the only enforcement mechanism to stop people from Melbourne coming to regional cafes. Like, I’m just a kid earning minimum wage. I don’t deserve to be getting abused, accused and harassed because of government regulations, which really aren’t that fucking hard! I’m just paid to carry stuff and smile."



    11. "I had a chat to a girl at the BWS saying that I hope people were treating her okay, as my friend works in another bottle shop and said customers had been horrible. She said yes, it had been a nightmare with people being angry about signing in. These low wage workers don't deserve people's abuse."

    "During the first lockdown, staff at Bunnings were thanking me for being a nice the fuck? How are people that appalling that me just being a normal person deserves thanks?"


    12. "I've had this at my work and we have a condition 'no check-in, no entry'. They need to be at these appointments and we have a QR code, an iPad, or manual pen and paper. The moment they start talking shit, I tell them to leave and it will be noted on their file."

    "Don't take shit from people. If you work in retail and people want to refuse to sign in, repeat what you said word for word. They'll change what they say, but maintain your stance and repeat your instructions and they'll do it. The moment people sense weakness or trepidation it's over for you."


    13. "Too many managers will come over and undermine the poor pleb at the door because it’s easier in the immediate moment than continuing the fight."


    14. "As soon as these teenagers/bottom-of-the-pecking-order employees, who are standing at the door, stand up to these anti-QR-code jerks, they will ask for a manager. Then in far too many cases, a manager will come along and say 'Hey Jerry, just let them through, not worth the battle'."


    15. "My old boss was amazing, told me I could use the line 'Sign in or fuck off' and when someone got pissed off and asked for management, the owner piped up and said 'That’s me, so are you signing in or fucking off?' Fuck, working in a bar can be rad."



    16. "I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that 99 percent of the people reading this won't be a dick. Also, I work in liquor and had issues with customers not scanning the QR codes. A gentle reminder that plain-clothed officers inspect the venue frequently (high traffic area), and that the fine is near $2000 — so it's not worth it, just sign in."


    17. "I own a small business and I deal with the general public a lot, so can confirm humanity is at minimum 75 percent garbage. At least where I work."


    18. "Our local primary school is a tier one exposure site, with hundreds of families in 14-day isolation. The Woolies is right across the road from one of the housing blocks that was in hard lockdown last year and these dicks are getting aggro about a very simple, easy, safety measure."


    19. "At our store, we are also open all night and if you were to ask the degenerate cunts that come in at 2 A.M. to check in you'd end up in hospital. What are you supposed to do?"


    20. "Some asshole had a go at me for 'ignoring' him while I was trying to run the oven in bakery. I couldn't hear him over the oven timer beeping and the fans going. But yeah, sure mate, I'll let the savoury rolls burn while I drop everything to serve you."



    21. "Unless you have ever worked in customer service, you have no idea how many cunts there are out there. Going on 18 years and it still astounds me."


    22. "I'd like to preach the same message for the sake of hospo workers out in regional Victoria. It’s annoying to get out your IDs and show that you checked in, but you only have to do it once. My entire shift is standing at the door, organising bookings, managing our capacity numbers and making sure we can stay safe and open. The front host is the only thing enforcing the lockdown and it’s extremely draining emotionally."

    "On my first shift back to work, I was abused because I refused to let someone in because they had no proof of address, people weren’t happy with where they were sitting, didn’t like how long the process took etc. Trust me, I know it’s a pain. I help sign in over 100 people a day. You just have to do it once and be patient. Sorry for the rant but I’m over being abused and harassed at work."


    23. "See this is why we need retail worker's purge day. A day when retail workers can literally tell Karens to go fuck themselves."


    24. "Had a mate have a go at me for enforcing mask rules towards the end of the last lockdown. If we were really friends, you would feel like the best thing you could do is just follow the rules that I have in place. I don’t go to a friend’s house and tell them how to do things, I respect their rules and if I don’t like it I can go somewhere else."


    25. "I literally just tell people to fuck off and have also told staff they are allowed to deny service to people who won’t comply. I had someone cheekily ask 'if we’re trying to go out of business'. Told him we’ve been trying since the start of COVID to lose all our money, but instead we’ve opened up another store, so he could fuck off with his 'I’m above the law' attitude, leave a negative review if he likes and not come back again."



    26. "If the likes of Coles and the big chains forced compliance, it would make it so much easier for us small businesses to enforce it."


    27. "I've noticed that at my local stores they're getting kids to enforce the QR codes rather than the store manager who is no doubt getting paid three times their salary."


    28. And finally: "I'm so thrown by the number of people who react negatively to QR codes. You walk around with a phone with location services turned on, you tag yourself all over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, you get navigation from Google maps, you use Uber Eats, but contact tracing during a pandemic is suddenly a step too far? Nah."

    "And the number of people who can have a whole entire internet life, but suddenly can't figure out how to hold their phone up to a square? I'm not buying it."


    Have you got a horror story about working in service during COVID? Let us know in the comments below.

    Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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