Irish shop resorts to banning rude customers during coronavirus crisis

Irish shop resorts to banning rude customers during coronavirus crisis

A BUTCHERS shop in Dublin has been forced to turn away customers after frustrations due to social distancing measures caused some to lash out at staff.

The Village Butcher Shop in Ranelagh, a suburb in Dublin, has been as busy as ever since the pandemic began, but social distancing measures means people are waiting in longer queues and are becoming frustrated with the ordeal.

After multiple incidences where staff were subjected to rude, aggressive or threatening behaviour from customers, The Village has decided to outright bar those who are behaving badly.

A new sign in the window states: "Please do not complaint to staff about the length of time you have que'd (sic) for.

"We will no longer serve rude or impatient customers."

Co-owner Sarah Kelly spoke to The Irish Times about the decision not to serve rude customers, and said staff at the family-owned shop were under "a different stress.

The Village Butcher in Ranelagh and Supervalu in Clonakilty are among the businesses who have reported abusive behaviour from customers (Getty)

"This is physical, not mental," she told the outlet. "It's exhausting. It's like your busiest day every day for seven weeks. We are lucky if we get a 10 minute break."

The staff have already had to face the painful reality of the pandemic, with The Irish Times reporting that their butcher, Chris Murphy, lost his mother to the disease last month.

“People were very panicked at the beginning. Then it settled down, but in the past week people are getting very fed up and very restless and that’s projected on to us,” Ms Kelly told the outlet.

“We are listening to people complaining every day about queuing. You could be 40 minutes queuing at weekends. It [gets] to you after a while. People are saying ‘hurry up’. It is starting to wear us down.”

The Village have had to deal with people banging on windows, angrily complaining about the length of the queue and others complaining about the fact they had to queue at all.

Rude or aggressive customers have become a recurrent theme for retail business owners across the country-- last week, a series of Tweets from a Supervalu store in Clonakilty, Co Cork, went viral for its message pleading with customers not to abuse their staff.

The supermarket wrote:

"It is with deep regret that we have come to the point where we feel that we need to post this message.

"COVID-19 has affected all of us in many ways, and none more so than our team. Despite the daily risks associated with coming to work, our team continue to get up early, pack the shelves and look after you in store.

"They are our frontline. They are our heroes.

"Unfortunately, some of you feel that it is acceptable to verbally abuse them when requested to observe the new guidelines imposed as a result of COVID-19.

The Cork-based supermarket went on to acknowledge that the pandemic has left "everyone on edge", but while the shop has always welcomed customers with open arms, their staff are doing their best to protect people, and "it is unfair and unacceptable to take frustrations out on people who are doing their utmost to give you their time and serve you."