Report: H-E-B staff feel bullied into not forcing shoppers to don masks, because people are assholes

Report: H-E-B staff feel bullied into not forcing shoppers to don masks, because people are assholes
Instagram / heb
San Antonio-based grocery giant H-E-B may have been on the forefront of progressive COVID-era policies during the onset of the 2020 pandemic, but that hasn't stopped some of its shoppers from being assholes.

Ten months into the global health crisis, the chain’s employees have been bullied so badly by anti-maskers that multiple store managers feel their staff can no longer completely enforce the rules, media site VICE reports.

An email shared with the VICE from a Houston-area store manager revealed the hostility workers face from vehement anti-mask shoppers.

“Many [customers] have become verbally and even physically abusive in some stores. I have been personally told by customers that H-E-B does not honor the rights they fought for in the war, told they have medical concerns with masks, and I was violating their rights and HIPAA laws,” the email to VICE read.

“… When it comes to making them leave — due to the way many have reacted — we have stopped doing so. Our safety is priority, we do not want our leaders at risk for the abuse we have all taken the last several months.”

H-E-B’s mandatory in-store mask policy came months before Gov. Greg Abbott’s half-assed statewide mask order. In clear terms, the grocer stated that all shoppers and employees don a face covering while in the stores.

H-E-B patrons have likely noticed the chain's efforts to uphold its safety policy: signs posted on their front doors spell out the mask rule, announcements about masks are broadcast over store intercoms and disposable masks are available near the entrance for anyone who doesn’t already have one.

H-E-B declined to provide VICE with comment for the article.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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