I have had a few incidents recently that freaked me out a little.
The most recent was Saturday evening. I nipped into a little organic supermarket on the way back from work. While I was there a guy crashed into a stack of fruit crates knocking figs and cantaloupe melons in ever direction. He was trying to make a quick escape with a large bag stuffed full of expensive produce. This was a shoplifter with great taste. It was mostly cured meats from the deli fridges, and some expensive tinned tuna and pate.
Well a shop assistant grabbed the bag, leading to a raucous tug-of-war, at which point the duty manager jumped on the bag and started lifting the packets of fine meats out of the bag. In the end the guy left empty-handed and the staff had to tidy up the pandemonium left in his trail.
Anyway…there has been other stuff going on. A young woman pounced on me the moment I left work begging me to go into the supermarket with her and buy her shopping. I was willing to go in until she grabbed my bag and tried to pull it from my arm. At that point my will to keep hold of my handbag was stronger than her determination to prise it away from me.
What else has happened? Well, I think more than anything it is the aggression from patients at work that is getting to me. We have been told we are stupid, thick, liars, cheaters, money making, uncaring, immoral – yes, working for the NHS is not all about national applause and getting discounts at Costa Coffee. Recently I have seen patients have extreme tantrums and become very verbally abusive.
I choose to think that our customers are extremely stressed and their outbursts are unusual for them. But it is intimidating going to work when you don’t know what will happen. We are trying to do our job, when a patient who is in their older years is screaming and accusing us of terrible things, and refusing to leave the practice and telling every patient who walks in that we are demons.
It makes a long day even longer!!!