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Any key workers getting fed up of the abuse?

(53 Posts)
TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 13:18:31

I am doing essential work and have found that the increase in abuse from members of the public has increased massively over the past few weeks.

I’m trying to keep my chin up but it is relentless and getting me down.

Anyone else feel the same?

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TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 13:24:41

Sorry, that didn’t read very well. I meant: the amount of abuse has increased.

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MRex Thu 23-Apr-20 13:31:01

What abuse do you mean? Do you mean within a shop you work in, or when travelling to work?

LadyRivers1 Thu 23-Apr-20 13:34:01

Yes. I'm certainly not a key worker, but doing customer service call centre work from home, and while the majority of people are ok and understanding, the horrific calls are actually getting more horrific. Some people dont get that we are in the middle of a pandemic. I take calls for essential and non essential matters, and it's always the non essential calls where you get people being absolute arse wipes. Bonus of me being at home and behind a phone is that I can stick the finger up while trying to placate and manage expectation. Take my hat of to you who are doing it face to face.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 13:39:08

I work in a pharmacy. Our workload has tripled and staff are absent due to having to isolate. This inevitably means delays to getting prescriptions processed and increased waiting times. People are not being very understanding.

If it were a small handful of incidents I could handle it but it’s every day and then online so I can’t escape it.

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MissEliza Thu 23-Apr-20 13:41:12

I'm so sorry to hear that Op. I'm trying to be extra extra nice when I'm dealing with anyone as I know it must be hard. Some retail staff I've found to be a bit grumpy but I don't blame them if they have to deal with people under these circumstances.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 13:43:21

It’s getting harder to be pleasant and positive which then obviously makes people think you are grumpy and unreasonable. It’s a vicious circle.

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MissEliza Thu 23-Apr-20 13:57:57

Yes Op, I totally get it, which is why I make an effort. I hope dealing with more nice people than dickheads will make the day easier.
When I was in M and S the other day, the man at the checkout asked me 'how are you coping in the lockdown?' I thought it was such a nice thing to ask when he's been dealing with the public all day every day. Next time I'm in, I'm going to take a note of his name and email customer services to praise him.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:01:37

@MissEliza That’s a lovely thing to do.

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madcatladyforever Thu 23-Apr-20 14:05:58

I haven't had any abuse in the NHS apart from the usual dementia and mental health suspects who we always get abuse from but I was in the coop yesterday and this man was screaming at the cashier because she didn't have stamps, right in her face, spittle everywhere!!! Behind the plastic screen, I thought he was going to hit her.
They had to call the police.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 23-Apr-20 14:08:35

We have to remember that people are swimming in a sea of stress hormones, thinking about something that might kill them all the time. They have nothing left for us. Especially those people who were only just holding it together before.

I'm finding it's a balance. Some worse, but a lot who say thanks and ask how I am.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:20:58

I know it’s a different one. I understand why people are acting the way they are honestly I do but I’m honestly going home crying in the car some days.

I’m throwing everything I have into my job, working all hours and working non stop, eating my lunch standing up and having no breaks. I’m not sure how much longer we can all cope.

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TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:21:24

Sorry: Difficult one that should have said.

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MrsTerryPratchett Thu 23-Apr-20 14:27:02

I hear you. I don't normally carry the abuse around but I am at the moment. We are also stressed, right?

I have found it helps to remember the golden cases. When someone would have been worse off and they aren't now, because of what you did. I had sort of forgotten that. I had not time to think, "I wonder how Bert is" after I'd effectively saved his life. Maybe have a mental list of the really good outcomes.

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 23-Apr-20 14:30:38

I’m throwing everything I have into my job, working all hours and working non stop, eating my lunch standing up and having no breaks. I’m not sure how much longer we can all cope.

Therein lies part of the problem - you’re in the same situation as everyone else in terms of anxiety, uncertainty and the world being on its head a bit, but you’re also working more, resting less etc. Maybe starting to make sure you sit down and eat, take regular breaks even if you just get a cup of tea, set limits on how much extra you’re prepared to do. Working like that is usually manageable in the short term but as time goes on we become less resilient and more stressed.

People obviously shouldn’t be behaving in an abusive way, but you’ll be better able to challenge, cope with it or calm yourself and others if you look after yourself.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:31:24

That’s a good way to think of it, it’s easy to get upset by the negative experiences, we should all be thinking about the more positive ones.

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TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:33:03

@Jellycatspyjamas Yes totally, us being under stress makes the abuse harder to cope with. I’ll try and take more down time.

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ThatsWhatHeroesDo Thu 23-Apr-20 14:33:12

I would just like to thank you. I had to go to the pharmacy last week for a minor but painful ailment. Staff were clearly rushed off their feet but still so professional and I got my issue sorted without having to waste a GPs appointment. You're doing an amazing job and I'm sorry the world is full of cunts.

TooTrueToBeGood Thu 23-Apr-20 14:33:15

Any abuse in the workplace is completely unacceptable regardless of the situation. I think this is one you need to raise with your management. They are completely within their rights to put up signage warning that abusive customers will not be served and enforcing that approach.

Sorry you're experiencing this OP. You shouldn't have to.

TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:38:05

@ThatsWhatHeroesDo Thank you so much, that’s exactly what I needed to hear right now.

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TrufflyPig Thu 23-Apr-20 14:38:59

@TooTrueToBeGood We have a sign, and our company put it on FB, it was met with so many abusive comments they had to remove it!

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Gingerkittykat Thu 23-Apr-20 14:41:02

I collect meds from the pharmacy weekly and last week some goon came into the shop and got aggressive when he was asked to leave because there were already two people inside.

I'm sorry if people are taking their stress and anxiety out on you. Thanks for getting essential meds to people right now.

JDCS2019 Thu 23-Apr-20 14:42:35

Great to see so many different NHS staff groups on here. I'm an FY1 junior doctor working on a Covid Ward. Really interested in the impact Covid-19 is having on healthcare professional's mental health and wellbeing. I have been working in a research group who have started the Covida Study bit.ly/2XOnAp2 to look at the psychological impact on health workers. Would be v grateful if anyone could fill in our survey, it's a great way to make your voice heard. And please share with colleagues, groups, on twitter @CovidaStudy. Thanks, keep up the amazing work, and most importantly, take care of yourselves. Clara

SallyLovesCheese Thu 23-Apr-20 14:43:00

I like to think I always was polite to retail staff, medical professionals, the postie etc. but I'm making an extra effort now to thank them and not put my stresses onto their shoulders. I don't like it when parents take things out on me so I absolutely shouldn't do it to others.

Sorry you're finding it hard, OP. Do try and take some time for yourself in the day, even if it's just to eat a little something in a mindful way for 5-10 minutes. You can only give so much of yourself to your job, even at this time.

compassunreliable Thu 23-Apr-20 14:45:09

What kind of comments did people leave?

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