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Face mask face off

(154 Posts)
DonutDolittle Mon 13-Jul-20 11:13:42

In Tesco self checkout this morning: Woman shopping wearing mask, needs assistance with a voucher.

Assistant: I can't hear you, I'm a bit deaf, can you take off your the mask.

Woman shakes head and points to the notification on the screen whilst saying she needs help.

Assistant: Well I can't hear you and I don't know what the problem is. There is no one else. The mask thing is a little over the top.

Woman takes off mask: I work in A&E and last night dealt with a Covid positive patient. I'm protecting you, you idiot.

Woman storms out, leaving the shopping.

Assistant bursts into tears. Another person comes over. She's saying it's not fair she's not an idiot, she can't do her job like this, something about discrimination.

Manager comes over and tells her to go home and have a day off. Then all three walk off.

AIBU to think that through all of that someone should have really noticed my awkwardly flashing red light and given me some assistance..?! There I am stood like a fucking lemon waiting for someone to confirm that I have indeed bagged said item and they all just walk off. Fuckers. I'm half joking.

OP’s posts: |
20viona Mon 13-Jul-20 11:18:54

Assistant in the wrong and looks like a tit for crying IMO.

pooopypants Mon 13-Jul-20 11:22:32

Assistant shouldn't have been placed on the checkout where there are potentially lots of people wearing face masks, if she's hard of hearing. She shouldn't have asked anyone to take off their mask - that defeats the bloody point then.

But she looked like a bit of an idiot by crying, though I don't think anyone should be shouted at because they're doing their job.

Samcro Mon 13-Jul-20 11:25:03

people have a right to wear a mask. the assistant was wrong to tell them to take it off.

Appuskidu Mon 13-Jul-20 11:27:17

The assistant was wrong-the customer was trying to protect her. Could she have asked the customer to write down what the problem was?

Flopjustwantscoffee Mon 13-Jul-20 11:29:01

Dont the checkouts have screens up to protect workers and reduce the need to wear masks? Or was she in the self service checkout bit - in which case it would have made more sense to keep her on checkout. Sounds like everyone was very stressed though.

topoftheshops Mon 13-Jul-20 11:29:38

Assistant should be rotated into a different role if she can't hear people talking with masks on. That would be a reasonable adjustment on account of her disability. Asking customers to remove their masks at the moment is not a reasonable adjustment.

Customer shouldn't have called her an idiot but I do understand the frustration.

The assistant also really needs some support dealing with the public if she's getting that upset at someone calling her an idiot. Not condoning it but her ears would bleed at some of the things customers yelled at me in my first customer facing job!

Sparklesocks Mon 13-Jul-20 11:31:04

The assistant shouldn’t have said the mask thing was a bit over the top.

Chungus Mon 13-Jul-20 11:31:32

I'd have made sure her manager knew what she did so she doesn't repeat it tbh.

ThePants999 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:31:49

Nobody should be shouting at someone for doing their job - but she WASN'T doing her job, at least not doing it right.

MulticolourMophead Mon 13-Jul-20 11:36:09

I'm partly deaf, wear hearing aids and I've had problems with understanding some people wearing masks. I can't lipread fully, but find I rely on seeing someone's face to help with my understanding.

Assistant shouldn't have been placed on the check out if they were struggling. However, the assistant was wrong to say the mask was OTT.

And it wasn't the fault of the customer, either. I can understand their frustration.

And they should have left someone to man the check outs.

Socksey Mon 13-Jul-20 11:36:40

Assistant shouldn't have been put in that position.
And for all of you having a go at her.... seriously, I hope you never have anything like this to deal with.... how many times that day do you think she was insulted for her disability .... maybe you think it's OK to do this.... and if the other person actually was a health care worker, perhaps they should have cottoned on that the assisant couldn't hear her....
I have substantial hearing loss too.... but I can do my job too with most people not even noticing the hearing loss.... and then they cover their mouths and I can understand nothing. ..... as it's not just hearing loss but speech discrimination that's the problem and masks muffle the sound.... and if there is any background noise, as there might be in a supermarket then communicating becomes effectively impossible.... there is no need for people to be calling shop assistants idiots

cologne4711 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:37:33

Assistant has a disability, she wasn't to blame. Supermarket is to blame for not putting her in a role that she can do without needing people to take their masks off.

cologne4711 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:38:12

And the customer was rude and shouldn't be in a supermarket if she's been working with covid positive patients!

bloodywhitecat Mon 13-Jul-20 11:38:36

Maybe more of us need to consider the impact of face masks on those with hearing loss, surely a good old pen and paper used as a communication aid could've avoided this situation?

SoupDragon Mon 13-Jul-20 11:38:53

The assistant was hard of hearing and had explained that to the customer.. I'm not surprised she cried. The customer was a cow for calling her an idiot.

Most people have a phone where they could have typed their query if they had a modicum of intelligence.

contrmary Mon 13-Jul-20 11:39:05

YANBU, it's a pain in the arse when they don't attend to people with a red flashing light, regardless of whatever other situation is going on.

You should never have to wait more than 30 secs for someone to come - beyond that you should get 20% off for each 30 sec period until they do.

anon5000 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:39:11

The assistant probably has to deal with rude customers day in and day out. The customer could have removed her mask for a minute to explain if the assistant was having trouble hearing the customer.

The customer was a bit ott for storming out. Working in A and E doesn't give her a free pass to act like a tit and call someone doing their job an idiot.

StillCounting123 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:40:36

I thought people were supposed to self-isolate if they've been in contact with a Covid positive person? Why was she out and about in Tesco?!?

Saladd0dger Mon 13-Jul-20 11:42:31

I’m not deaf and I can’t hear people’s mumbling in those masks.

Meredithgrey1 Mon 13-Jul-20 11:43:30

No one covered themselves in glory imo. The customer shouldn't have called the assistant an idiot, and the manager shouldn't have had the assistant in that area. I feel sorry for the assistant but she shouldn't have said that mask wearing is over the top.

Littlegoth Mon 13-Jul-20 11:43:57

If the assistant said the mask was over the top then that’s incredibly rude. Who is she to pass judgement out loud on what a customer wears? She should have kept her opinion on it to herself.

Manager also in the wrong for putting someone who needs lip reading to communicate in a situation where they will not be able to do this.

chinateapot Mon 13-Jul-20 11:44:20

Customer should not have yelled. Can be out and about and in supermarkets (how else do you think HCWs can carry on getting shopping and in fact going to work?!) as presumably was wearing appropriate PPE when in contact with covid patient.

Assistant should not have asked her to remove mask.

Supermarket mostly to blame for not taking account of her disability in considering what work she should do.

ComDummings Mon 13-Jul-20 11:44:39

I think it’s so important for all of us to remember that many people have hearing loss, even partial and mask wearing is problematic for them. Nobody deserves to be called an idiot.
You had to wait, someone was upset, not a huge deal really.

PurpleDaisies Mon 13-Jul-20 11:44:55

Removing a mask to communicate with someone who is lip reading is a explicitly set out in the guidelines.

Calling the assistant an idiot was absolutely horrible. I’m glad the manager was sympathetic.

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