An Aldi customer who got in an argument with a fellow shopper was escorted out of the store by security – even though the other person had started the row by deliberately coughing in his face.
It's the second such incident in a week.
Paul Sexton was packing away his shopping at the chain's Walton-on-the-Naze branch in Essex on Wednesday last week when a woman approached the till to speak to the cashier, ignoring the government’s coronavirus -busting 'social distancing' advice.
Despite the 48-year-old repeatedly asking her to give him and the cashier some more personal space, Paul claims the shopper refused – before ‘lunging’ towards him and coughing in his face.
Furious that she could have exposed him and anyone he now associates with during the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul branded the woman a 'vile pig' as he shamed her on Facebook for her actions.
Although a manager was apologetic, Paul claims the woman went on to stick up her middle finger to him through the shop window.
Project manager Paul, of Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, said: “I don’t usually shop in Aldi but I picked up a couple of small things as it’s a bit more local.
“The cashier was running my things through the scanner and I’m bagging them up.
“This woman came and leant on the space directly in front of the cashier and tried speaking to him.
“I explained to her that I was being served and said ‘give me a bit of space – there’s no need to be this close’.
“It wasn’t a tit for tat verbal argument – she was just ignoring me and carried on talking to the guy."
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Paul continued: “I then said ‘no, you need to step back because you’re encroaching on my space and you’re right in front of the guy who’s trying to serve.’
“Then I got more firm with her and said ‘look, stay the f**ck away’.
“She was around 5ft 4, lunged herself towards me – and coughed in my face.
“Afterwards [the cashier] said ‘why on earth did you just cough in his face?’."
Paul was ‘shocked’ and questioned why on earth the woman thought that ‘would be OK or a justifiable thing to do’ – particularly during a pandemic.
He said: “I initially said you cannot be serious – you just coughed in my face and then I told her to get away from me.
“It was louder than how I normally would raise my voice and in an aggressive way because I was so angry.
“To be honest I wanted to hit her – I’ve never hit a woman in my life and never will but that was the surge of anger that went through me at that time.
“She not only didn’t consider my health, but also anyone I’m going to associate with."
Paul said he was shocked by the woman's behaviour, describing her as a "low level uneducated person" and saying she should be banned from Aldi for life.
But it was Paul that ended up being escorted out of the supermarket for his ‘aggressive’ response and waited patiently to speak to a manager about the awful shopping experience he had just had.
He said: “She just coughed in my face and then I was the one escorted out of the shop for getting aggressive – it’s laughable.
“They kept her in the store because I was waiting outside and wanted to speak to one of the managers.
“I stood there and another man came, which I assumed was one of their managers, and he was apologetic and said they fully understood it was wrong.
“And as I walked back to my car, the woman had obviously been told to move to one side and stuck her middle finger up at me.”
While still sitting in his car Paul shared his ordeal on Facebook to raise awareness of the ‘disgusting’ people that are around – and vowed to never return to the supermarket again.
Paul said: “I definitely won’t be going to Aldi again. I’ve only been there maybe three or four times and usually there’s no problems.
“But I try to avoid Aldi because of the type of customers there.
“Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that 99% of the customers are bad but I’m saying the mix of clientele is a bit different to other stores.”
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An Aldi spokesperson said: “The overwhelming majority of our customers have been very patient and understanding as we do our best to serve them at this time.
However, we will not tolerate any threatening or violent behaviour. Anyone who is aggressive in any way to our colleagues will be asked to leave immediately.”
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