For once, we are not sympathetic.
A woman in the UK has apparently been told to go home from work because she took out an e-cig and used it on the shop floor. The shop in question is called Mothercare, and is the biggest baby and child-clothing retailer in the country, so it has a bit of a reputation to uphold. That reputation was potentially sullied; when the lady, named Michelle Capewell, decided that it was appropriate to take out her electronic cigarette in front
of customers and start to vape. This was not a good idea, in hindsight at least, because the store sent her home.
At least she could vape at home, we think. But seriously, this is an incredibly stupid thing to do. Mothercare is a major retailer, and it has children in it all day, with mums who are trying to buy clothes and baby food, that sort of thing. If you see a shop assistant in front of you happily puffing away on what immediately looks like an e-cig then you are going to freak out just a little. We would.
No smoking please
If children are present then the last thing we want to see is smoking. Of course, it wasn’t smoking, but perhaps someone from the other side of the store saw it happening and raised the alarm with staff.
Capewell should have thought twice. We see people walk around stores at the moment vaping away and it still seems a little weird to us. Seeing an employee doing it would be double weird. Also, when you think about it, this is an electronic device she was using. She should have been, working, and was not. This is not that far from a manager chastising an employee for using a cellphone on the job. It is not right and it means that time is being wasted, when customer service should be the top priority.
She has been on record in various newspapers talking about how she feels victimized and treated unfairly by being thrown out of the store, and told to go home. We don’t sympathise. Instead, we feel she has orchestrated her little media campaign to try and get some news coverage and probably an apology and a pay rise. We know that’s cynical of us, but it is made clear in the newspaper articles that she is a mother of two and therefore a victim etc.
This is common sense. Some stores are very open about their dislike of anyone using an e-cig being asked to stop, customer or employee. But the one thing we can’t even comprehend as being anything near appropriate is an employee using an e-cig in front of us. Go outside and have a cigarette break like you did last year, in other words.
This is ridiculous, and we love e-cigs and we’re calling her out on it. Employers need to stand firm, like Mothercare did, and keep this wonderful little device we all love under strict control.