As nationwide chains take sensible measures to require masks, ordinary workers at those chains find themselves the underserving recipients of abuse. Kelli Weill reports Walmart Workers Are Terrified of Enforcing Mask Rules:
Even in a time of record unemployment, some of Dan’s colleagues at an Indiana Walmart have walked off the job. They aren’t quitting over fears of catching COVID-19, he explained. They’re quitting because of customers who become abusive when asked to wear face masks.
“A lot of our people have been verbally harassed to the point of breaking down and just quitting,” Dan, who like other workers interviewed in this story used a pseudonym to avoid retaliation from his employer, told The Daily Beast.
If anything, jobs like Dan’s are about to get even more complicated.
On Monday, Walmart will begin mandating protective face masks—a policy that some stores already enforced based on local guidelines or management’s discretion. But the much-needed protection for workers comes with a catch: As masking has gone from common-sense gesture to culture war frontier, with right-wing figures and conspiracy theorists denouncing the protective gear, some customers are simply refusing to wear face masks—or worse.
That leaves workers at stores like Target, Walmart, and Kroger—where employees have already battled shoppers over masks—bracing for a summer of customer service hell.
Dan’s Walmart already had masking rules on the books before the nationwide announcements, he said, and workers were already sick of trying to enforce them.
How Whitewater’s Walmart will fare in this regard one cannot say. One can say, without hesitation, that Dan from Indiana and his co-workers didn’t deserve any of the hostility they received.
Customers who didn’t want to enter the Indiana Walmart should have calmly walked away. They make much of ‘refusing to live in fear,’ but it is they who display the hysterical fits of the fearful. These obnoxious customers don’t look strong – they look ignorant and undisciplined. A great civilization was never built or maintained through the ignorant and undisciplined. Men and women of that ilk would be unable to make America Great Again even if they wanted to do so.
Our country has made her situation worse by tolerating a collapse of marketplace conduct from customers advancing overwrought assertions of ignorant theories. A failure of national leadership has visited hardship on ordinary residents simply trying safely & calmly to do their work.