A simple sign spotted in Red Rooster has gone viral online.
The 13 words attached to the cash register read: “The whole world is short staffed. Be kind to those that showed up.”
Australians responded to the picture on Reddit by sharing similar signs and messages that had popped up at businesses they had come into contact with recently, suggesting a widely shared problem experienced in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
“I rang up StarTrack to book a courier, there was a minute warning on no homophobia, racism, religion, foul language, aggression etc,” one person wrote. “It was one of the most intense, in-depth warnings to customers I had every heard. They clearly had been having issues.”
Another person added: “The amount of stores I have seen with ‘Aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated’ etc. signs since Covid is astounding.
“Before Covid you’d have a sign like this here and there, in particular stores. But like, a toy store? A muffin store? People have become extremely aggressive.”
One person shared that an employee at their local ice cream shop had been attacked by an “enraged” customer last year and the business was closed for about a week.
“I couldn’t imagine how unhinged a person would have to be to feel the need to attack someone at a freaking ice cream shop,” they said.
Some included examples of instances where staff dealing with customers expressed surprise when they weren’t abused over a mistake.
“KFC got my order wrong in the drive thru and made me wait two minutes to fix it and refund me. They were all TERRIFIED of me and were so thankful that I didn’t shout at them,” one person said.
“I rang a hairdresser supplies (company) to nicely enquire about my order (which) was a month late. The customer assistant was baffled and got a tad emotional because I didn’t get angry,” another added.
“I asked her why she was surprised and she said they cop a lot of abuse and horrible comments for late orders. Ridiculous.”
Many argued the Red Rooster sign had the right message – to respect staff – but was there for the wrong reasons.
They claimed companies were short-staffed because they were choosing to increase existing employees’ workloads instead of hiring new staff.
One person who worked for a fast-food franchise said their store displayed a sign saying the store was understaffed but didn’t do anything to fix the problem.
“I happen to know that we got more than SIXTY job applicants who want a position, and they’re giving me the bare minimum hours they can even though I’m willing to work more (and my contract allows more). They’re really milking it tbh,” the worker said.
“There is no labor (sic) shortage. Just a shortage of corporations willing to pay their workers what they’re worth,” commented another person.
“Funny that places say this and yet I’ve been applying for jobs everywhere with plenty of experience and no one bothers to respond,” another wrote. “Seems like it’s the workplaces that don’t want to pay more staff rather than people not wanting to work.”