Helping hand sparks trolley tantrum

Ellen Fedele, Plumstead

I was waiting my turn in a queue at a shop at a new mall in Plumstead (it was just before the festive season and understandably busy) when I noticed a mother with two daughters in front of me.

The mother had put her purchases on the conveyor and then crossed her arms and stood stock still, only speaking to snap at her two young daughters to pack the trolley.

The young cashier was struggling to keep up with scanning and packing so – as I have done many times in the past and have had people do it for me too – I offered to pack so the girls could load the trolley and the cashier could scan items less frantically.

All was fine and we finished it all in less than two minutes. Then when I asked the mother whether she would like more bags to pack two large items that were left, she turned on me in fury and started shouting at me that she could have packed her own bags and just who did I think I was?

I stood speechless. I said after a few seconds, “Ma’am I was simply trying to help the cashier and your daughters as you stood back and simply crossed your arms.“

She stormed off swearing and performing all the way out the store and mouthing obscenities through the store window. At no time did anybody intervene: not security who were two metres away, not a floor manager who was nowhere in sight, not management at the booth, nothing.

The store’s manager called me and apologised – what am I supposed to do with that? In civilised countries, they take a still-shot of a customer like this and ban them for life. I will never set foot inside this store again and I have heard many other people complain about its service.

To that woman I say, “I feel really sorry for you because you must be very miserable to act the way you do, but the ones I feel most sorry for are your girls. I hope they don’t grow up with such hate and vitriol in their hearts.”