When you think of dangerous jobs, you probably think of first responders, of firefighters charging into a burning building to save a life, or of police officers risking their lives to stop a criminal from harming others. You might think of someone in the military, or perhaps an airline pilot or construction worker.
The more you think about it, the more dangerous jobs you can probably list. But how many occupations would be on that list before you got to retail workers? It isn’t a job many people think of as hazardous, but working as a retail employee, be it in a small shop or a major chain retail store, has its dangers, and those dangers have only multiplied with COVID-19 and all the safety regulations governments have put in place.
That is why, according to this report from Personnel Today, CEOs in the UK are banding together to call for action on the surge in violence against retail employees. Retails workers have reported an increase in verbal abuse since the start of the pandemic. At times, this verbal abuse, which is bad in its own light, becomes physical.
One customer was asked to leave because he didn’t have a mask, for example. He responded by forcibly coughing in employees’ faces and accusing them of having COVID. Another customer, when reminded that it’s best for only one person per family to enter the store, returned later that day with an ax, threatening all those that worked at that establishment.