A woman has revealed she feels ‘absolutely awful’ after she called out by a supermarket assistant for his behaviour – leaving him in floods of tears.
The anonymous mother posted on the Am I Being Unreasonable? forum on the British parenting forum Mumsnet, explaining how she was served in her local Tesco by a young boy who kept looking at his phone.
Describing him as no older than 18, she detailed how he ‘was looking at his phone’ and ‘kept chewing his nails and sticking his fingers in his mouth.’
She explained she was left exasperated by the transaction, explaining: ”I said, “You’re too busy playing on your phone, and it’s not hygienic to be chewing your nails when you’re going to be handling food”.’
She said the interaction left him with ‘tears streaming down his face’ – with other users suggesting she had been ‘appalling’ to the youngster, while others argued she was right to call out poor customr service.
A British woman has revealed she feels ‘absolutely awful’ after she called out by a supermarket assistant for his behaviour – leaving him in floods of tears (stock image)
Starting the post, she wrote she had ‘upset a staff member in Tesco’ and ‘felt bad now’.
She said: ‘When it came to pay he didn’t tell me how much. I was getting irritated at this point and just stood there until he looked up and I said you’ve not told me how much (obviously I could see on the screen).’
She pointed out that he was playing with his phone and chewing his nails, adding: ‘I didn’t have a go but said it in a firm manner.’
However, she told users how this telling off had upset the young supermarket assistant and embarrassed him.
The poster explained: ‘He went bright red, muttered sorry and didn’t give any eye contact the rest of the transaction.’
She then noticed ‘he had tears running down his face,’ and apologised, asking him ‘is everything ok?’
The young lad ‘ignored’ her so on her way out she explained to a security guard what had happened who said he would go and speak to the boy.
She ended the post asking: ‘I feel absolutely awful that I’ve upset somebody… but was I wrong to have said something to him?’
The anonymous mother posted on the Am I Being Unreasonable? forum on Mumsnet explaining how she was served in her local Tesco by a young boy who kept looking at his phone
The post quickly racked up over 400 comments with users torn between both sides of the argument.
While some were sympathetic with the woman and told her she had done a good thing for the boy by calling him out, others labelled her a ‘bully’ and called her actions ‘appalling.’
One user exclaimed: ‘Retail is a very hard job, customers are demanding and entitled – as demonstrated by your behaviour.
‘It’s not your job to teach him manners or customer service skills, if you are unhappy with the service you receive then complain to the management.
‘This young person was obviously distracted and stressed by something, everyone has bad days at work and it’s difficult when you feel like that in a customer facing role.
‘You made him cry – that’s appalling.’
Many users were disappointed in her actions and called her actions ‘appalling’ with one person labelling her as a ‘bully’
Another added: ‘Someone had a go at me once at work for looking at my phone. My daughter-in-law had been rushed into hospital at 24 weeks pregnant in early labour and I’d been given permission to keep my phone with me that day. Normally my phone was in my locker.
‘I was upset too. And as you can see 11 years later it still smarts.’
A third commented: ‘Yes it was unreasonable- you don’t know what he is going through, could be a very awful reason why he is was texting, and even if there wasn’t a good reason, what have you achieved here?
‘You made someone cry and you feel awful. It’s a really negative way to act.
‘If you were friendlier he would have taken more good out of that experience.’
Others were on her side and said that she had nothing to feel bad about as he was not performing his job well
And a fifth added: ‘Oh dear, poor lad. I think you were totally out of order,and a bully’
However, not everyone was against the woman’s actions and others understood where she was coming from.
One user reasoned: ‘As we go through our working lives we learn how to put on a professional face and leave our home life at the door or realise we are going to be unable to do that and approach our employer to discuss support/leave. We don’t just go to work and provide poor/unprofessional service to paying customers because of some other shit going on.
‘Maybe this prompted the lad to realise he had to stop trying to be strong or ignore it or whatever and he may have gone to get some support from a manager. I think that’s an important learning curve in a working life, to seek support when needed.’
Another posted: ‘You are not unreasonable, you just called out rude behaviour. If he got upset he won’t do it again. If we can’t call out poor behaviour in case someone gets upset we will be all be living in hell.’
A third agreed: ‘You weren’t being unreasonable to call out poor service. When he appeared upset, you asked if he was ok and got a colleague to check on him so no, you didn’t do anything wrong.
‘If you’d carried on telling him off when he was crying that would have been unreasonable of course but we can’t hold back on everything just in case someone’s having a bad day.
‘The solution is to be civil and concise with poor feedback, as you were, not make it a personal attack.’
And a fourth said: ‘His job is to serve customers and take payment. Courteously.
‘He was rude. More concerned by his phone than the job he is being paid to do.
‘That’s totally on him. He’s front line staff and is giving a very bad impression of the company.’