Woolies worker brought to tears
A heartbreaking photo of a Woolworths employee in tears captures the bleak reality for supermarket workers in the firing line of angry panic-buyers.
The photo, which is believed to have been taken at Rosebud Woolworths - a seaside town on the Mornington Peninsula - was shared on Facebook and has garnered an outraged reaction from fellow supermarket staff sick of bearing the brunt of furious hoarders.
The image, which shows a woman in the supermarket's uniform crying in the self-serve checkout, seems to encapsulate the sentiment of overwhelmed retail staff who are fed-up with sprays from frustrated customers desperate to get their hands on products in low supply.
Australia's supermarket chains have been forced to impose product limits for customers to curb shelf-stripping since the coronavirus outbreak.
Shortages - particularly of toilet paper and pasta - have led to customers taking their anger out on staff and other shoppers, with several instances of brazen physical fights in the aisles over scarce and sought-after items.
The woman who shared the image on Facebook urged customers to "be decent" when dealing with supermarket staff who are just trying to their jobs.
"All of you need a god dam reality check! (sic)," she posted.
"These poor workers are being brought to tears because of the way people are treating them, blaming them and abusing them for something they have no control of! They're humans just like the rest of us, trying to make a living, trying to do the best job they possibly can for everyone at the moment.
"Before you act like an a**hole just looking for someone to blame for all of this mayhem, maybe try and think about the fact that these people are just trying to do their jobs and don't need to be abused every 10 minutes just because Woolworths or Coles is out of stock!
"Be a decent human in these time you never know what someone is struggling with in their lives and you're abusing someone over not being able to buy 3 packets of pasta or some toilet paper!!!!!"
According to the woman, the photo was taken in the same Woolworths supermarket where a worker was stabbed in the car park last week.
A 25-year-old man was arrested in relation to the incident, which occurred in the car park of the Rosebud supermarket last Tuesday.
"It is believed a staff member was collecting trolleys when he was approached by an unknown man and stabbed to the lower body just before 1pm," a police spokeswoman said.
The 37-year-old worker suffered non-life threatening injuries and was airlifted to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison ripped into panic buyers, saying the hoarding of supplies is one of the most disappointing things he's seen in Australian behaviour in response to the coronavirus crisis.
"Stop hoarding," he said. "I can't be more blunt about it. Stop it. It is not sensible, it is not helpful and it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.
"That is not who we are as a people. It is not necessary. It is not something that people should be doing."
Product shortages have this week spread beyond supermarkets, with Bunnings announcing on Thursday that it was placing limits on sales of some products.
Bottle shops have also fallen victim to the packs of desperate hoarders this week after pubs and clubs were shut down, and Aussies feared the likes of Dan Murphy's and Liquorland would soon follow, leaving them without a drop of booze in the house.
Under potential stage-three lockdown measures, which may be implemented in a matter of days, supermarkets could be the only places open to the public.
The UK lockdown model, which Australia may follow in the next phase, means people are only able to leave their homes for four reasons: to shop for essentials, exercise outdoors once per day, alone or with household members, receive medical treatment or provide care and to travel to and from work, if it's impossible to work from home.
Originally published as Woolies worker brought to tears