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    19 Horror Customer Service Stories From Australia's Latest Lockdown

    "Working in customer service during this pandemic has absolutely shattered my faith in humanity."

    As Australia continues its fight against the highly infectious Delta strain of COVID-19, essential workers in retail and hospitality have taken to Reddit to air their frustrations with non-compliant customers.


    In a "Rant from a customer service worker," user u/takhen blasted lazy, ignorant and belligerent customers, who disobey COVID safety rules.


    "[I see] a significant amount of people under the age of 30, who come into my store, wearing masks and following the rules. But as soon as they get to the front counter, they’ll pull their fucking masks all the way down to talk to me! Please be considerate of our essential workers — if it’s just a lapse of awareness in the moment, that’s fine, but please keep it in mind for next time and don’t be complacent!"

    They also called for other essential workers to share their own horror stories, saying: "If you work in retail or fast food, I want to know what stupid shit you see customers doing?"


    Here are some of the best responses:

    1. "I work at a grocery store and customers here eat peanuts, dates, mandarins etc, and then leave the chewed-out seeds behind. It's fucking disgusting in normal times, but even worse during a pandemic. How do people not have basic decency to at least throw the seeds in a bin? It sucks that I need to clean that shit."


    Flickr @terry / Via Flickr: terry

    2. "I saw someone pull their mask down to cough the other day. How does that seem sensible to anyone? How?"


    3. "I saw an old lady come in to my Woolies, face mask, face shield and gloves on. Took a plastic bag to put her apples in and then removed the shield and the mask, licked the glove on her finger and used the wet finger to open the bag."


    4. "I saw a guy wearing a sanitary pad as a face mask. I miss the chaotic energy of lockdown one."



    5. "At the start of mask-wearing requirements I saw someone take their mask off to sneeze. While talking to someone else. And they were the security guard brought in to enforce the guidelines at that supermarket."


    6. "Working in customer service during this pandemic has absolutely shattered my faith in humanity. My latest pet peeve is customers who come in with the mask either around their neck or bicep??? And they always have the gall to look shocked when you tell them that's actually not compilable with the mask laws."


    Manuel Milan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

    7. "My girlfriend works at an art gallery in the city. This was during a period where we were allowed to go places, but always had to be masked indoors. She noticed this one guy continuously pull his mask down as he approached an artwork, then put it back on to move to the next one, then take it off again."

    "She approached him and said 'Excuse me sir, the mask has to stay over your nose and mouth at all times' and he then pulled it down to say 'I can't wear it when I'm looking at the paintings, it ruins them!' 

    He was not wearing glasses, so it wasn't a fog issue, but even that's not good enough. She told him it stays on, or he has to leave, he didn't like that and went to put in a complaint about her. It didn't go very far."


    8. "Not mask-related, but we did have to call the cops on a customer. We are open for click and collect, but the way we had it set up was in the airlock at the front of the building — before you come into the actual shop. Customers would come in through the middle door, wait at a table and exit through either of the side doors."

    "Guy came in wanting to shop, we explained he was only able to do so online. Managed to talk him into placing an order on his phone and we would pick it up as soon as we could, and told him he had to go do it outside the store or in his car.

    He pitched an absolute fit and refused to leave the airlock, started abusing the team, getting in the way of other customers.

    Our store manager lives close by, so he had to come in and managed to get the customer to leave and by the time the cops showed up he had gone."


    Instagram @ardengroup1 / Via

    9. "Pulling mask down to lick fingers and flip through cash that they plan on handing over to pay for goods."


    10. "Saw a guy walking down the aisle in Coles, had a sneezing fit and lifted his mask for each sneeze — spraying the items on the shelves. WTF?!"


    11. "If there are dots on the ground saying 'stand here', STAND ON THE FUCKING DOTS. I was very very close to having a fake coughing fit in the supermarket today, just to prove the point to the lady behind me."


    Instagram @axtelco / Via

    12. "I'm told 'I can't hear you with [the mask] up.' I think it's just a social thing, that people can't help — like they think you can't hear them through the mask or on the phone. To prove it, medical staff have to speak with one another while in surgery wearing masks and it's incredibly important to be understood. They are understood. But the general population are morons."


    13. "I hate customers who wear a mask, but under their nose. Like, if you're breathing through you nose — which is unfiltered — what is the point of the mask?"


    Picture Alliance / via Getty Images

    14. "I'm actually hard of hearing, but I've said to people 'Hey, I have hearing issues, don't take off your mask, just speak slowly and clearly.' What do they do? Take off the mask and continue to speak quickly and/or mumble. Even worse, this happened while I was getting tested for COVID! Like, lady, I might have COVID, that's why I'm here, don't take off your fucking mask."


    15. "I hate when customers keep their masks off because they have a coffee in their hand."


    Westend61 / Getty Images

    16. "I work in a bookshop and had a lady try to pull the coffee line. My response; 'Oh, I didn’t see your coffee, we don’t allow drinking in the store — can you pop that on the counter or finish it outside?'"


    17. "I have a click and collect station at the front door of my shop. It's basically a huge screen with a little cutout (at about waist height) to hand people's orders through to them. Without fail 80% of people will crouch down and literally put their fucking head through the cutout to talk to me."


    18. "My beef is with check-ins via the QR code. Why do I have to remind 95% of customers to check-in? Then remind them to wear their mask. Then remind the one behind him that we can only allow two people in our tiny store. Over and over and over."


    Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

    19. And finally, "Why do people use facial recognition? It's like: Hang on, let me unlock my phone *pulls down mask* — JUST HAVE A PIN LIKE THE REST OF US!"


    Do you have any gripes with customers behaving badly during lockdown? Let us know in the comments below!

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

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