While the physical damage at the Vernon, BC, Expressions of Time bookstore was quickly repaired, employees are still feeling emotionally drained from Friday’s confrontation with belligerent customers.
Business owner Charlene Deuling said customers didn’t follow the store’s policies and were upset.
Deuling said it was one of the two problems customers didn’t fully comply with the store’s mask-wearing policy, but the pair were ultimately asked to leave because of their “aggressive” attitude, not the issue of their safety. mask.
“We usually kill people with kindness and helpfulness and things like that. They just started getting very upset because we were trying to help them. She started swearing, insulting my staff,” said Deuling.
Deuling said the man tried to knock down a showroom after he was told to leave and broke a window at the front door on his way out.
“He was trying to turn around and he turned around and just elbowed the door and broke it,” Deuling said.
She said a mother and daughter were both working at a closed store and broken glass on them.
“My daughter’s mother, who worked for me, closed the door and broke the glass all over her body,” she said.
Deuling said the business has seen customer behavior more problematic recently, “because everyone has their own opinion about what is and isn’t allowed” with things related to COVID. and masks.
Downtown Vernon Association executive director Keelan Murtagh said the city is “not immune to the pressures of a global pandemic,” but incidents like what happened at the Expression of Time aren’t very frequent.
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Murtagh said people need to remember that small businesses are trying as hard as they can during really trying times.
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce general manager Dan Proulx said the vast majority of people have been very supportive of local businesses throughout the pandemic.
“Especially now, I think, given the political climate, I’m concerned that maybe people’s hysteria is running high. I worry that some behavior like this may continue,” said Proulx.
“I definitely want to condemn those behaviors and make sure that people remain respectful of businesses and business owners.”
The bookstore owner is now feeling even more enthusiastic about his long-term plan to focus more on selling online, where the kind of confrontation that happened last week is unlikely.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8602035/vernon-bc-business-window-smashed-belligerent-customer/ Business groups in Vernon, BC call for respect after store window was smashed by ‘aggressive’ customers – Okanagan