Samantha Clarke, veteran of retail sales, said she never expected that someone would sucker-punch her until she bled. This happened after a customer found out they sold the last above-ground swimming pool in stock to another customer.
Clarke said she has worked in retail her whole life. She added that she has had this job for 17 years and in those 17 years, she has “never heard of anyone being attacked, ever.”
“We had the normal upset customer from time to time, but rarely did someone lose their temper and cuss at us,” she said – referring to before the store began operating under coronavirus safety guidelines.
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“Now it’s just daily, sometimes back to back to back,” she said.
According to Rachel Michelin, the California Retailers Association’s president and CEO, “there’s just a high level of frustration everywhere right now.”
The Public’s Reaction
🇺🇸 Retail in age of coronavirus lockdowns can be dangerous, bloodied store manager says https://t.co/r4posEsfhK
— Neil Saunders (@NeilRetail) June 8, 2020
Thousands of people shared Clarke’s personal Facebook photos of her blood and bruised face. She also explained what it’s like to work in retail sales these days. She then created a separate page named “Retail Life During COVID-19.”
Fox Business reported that “thousands commented on her original post and subsequent messages as she talked of contacting the police and of healing physically and emotionally.”
In a statement, David French, senior vice president for government relations for the National Retail Federation said: “We are hearing an increasing number of reports of abuse and violence directed against retail workers who are doing their jobs by asking customers to wear face masks or comply with other guidelines intended to protect their own safety.”
He called on authorities to prosecute such cases “to the fullest extent of the law.”