An angry exchange between a confused shopper and Coles staff members has been shared online, sparking heated debate.
A video posted on social media on Tuesday showed an irate Coles worker yelling at a man to leave the store before a security guard arrives to escort him out.
In a tense exchange, the video shows a queue of people ostensibly lining up as a Coles worker hands out packets of paper towel.
One man, who appears to have been denied, is arguing about why some people were given large packs while others were given small ones.
“Get out, you’re not getting anything,” a Coles worker yells.
“Answer my question first,” he replies.
Another Coles worker also implores the man to leave. “You can’t treat people like that,” the worker tells him.
“What are the big ones for?” the shopper asks.
The initial Coles worker continues to scream and point at the middle-aged man, defending the staff’s actions.
“I am being fair by giving it out randomly,” she yells.
“You’re not being fair to everyone,” he responds. “Who are you giving the big ones to?”
The shopper then threatens the Coles worker with physical violence, saying if she was a man he would have “smashed” her face, causing the scene to escalate.
“Get out! Get out you piece of s**t,” the Coles worker screams before a security guard calmly ushers the man away.
Without the extenuating circumstances being abundantly clear, many online were critical of the supermarket workers given the fiery nature of the clash, while many others acknowledged the stress Coles workers must be under.
Others claimed to know those involved in the altercation.
“That’s my mate’s dad. We spoke to them and he said he asked why are they picking and choosing who to give the big packs too (sic) and who to give the 4 packs to,” one Twitter user wrote.
“He asked for a big one because there’s a full pallet there and those girls lost it.”
Coles looking to boost staff numbers
As debate kicked off, some were critical of people for being so disparaging of the supermarket staff members.
“She stuffed up big time but pls don’t keep shaming her,” one Twitter user urged.
“These are ordinary retail workers with their own problems abused for weeks now and untrained for this frontline battle with the public which has gone cuckoo.”
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Coles said it was monitoring security measures and looking to boost staff members to cope with demand.
“We ask for customers to continue to respect, show compassion and support our team members in stores and our Customer Care and Coles Online call centres, particularly if a product is unavailable or if the checkout queues are longer than normal,” a Coles spokesperson said.
“We have significantly increased the number of team members working in our stores to support this level of unprecedented demand and are actively recruiting for more than 5000 more casual team members.
“We are constantly reviewing security measures to manage the unprecedented levels of customer demand in our stores.”
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