Gov. Larry Hogan recently gave new rules around the use of masks in public places (”Hogan expands mask restrictions, discourages travel to 9 states to ‘continue making progress’ against coronavirus,” July 29). I am totally okay with this and happy to follow the rules. However, the mandate to wear a mask seems to give some employees in businesses a free pass to be rude and belligerent to anyone who forgets this sacred rule.
As a senior of almost 69 years, I have my “senior” moments when I am distracted and something slips my mind. This happened recently when I entered a wine and spirits store on U.S. 40 in Ellicott City. I inadvertently entered the store without a mask; an employee reminded me, and I apologized and immediately went to my car and got a mask. However, while I was checking out with another employee, the employee who first noticed my lack of a mask proceeded to loudly complain about customers who did not wear masks and said those people should go to another store. It was obviously directed at me as she was standing next to the person waiting on me, so I apologized again for being a forgetful senior.
It was rude and unprofessional on her part, and I know many other people who have had the same experience in retail stores and businesses. Forgetting your mask, even if you are apologetic and leave the building to retrieve one before re-entering, has become a criminal offense. What happened to the kindness rule which would be respectfully reminding your customers of the mask rule and giving them a chance to comply? If businesses want customers to come back, perhaps they need to train employees on how to treat customers during a pandemic.
Jean Austin, Ellicott City
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