An NHS worker battling to save lives on the frontline was left in flood of tears at B&M as she tried to buy birthday gifts for her toddler son.
Robyn Fairfield-Bretherton was also struggling to come to terms with coronavirus-related deaths of at least two colleagues at the hospital where she worked when staff at the discount retailer ‘made a scene’.
After back-to-back 12-hour shifts at Liverpool’s Aintree Hospital, the 38-year-old health acre assistant had hoped to pick some presents up for her two-year-old boy.
But her sister says she was left humiliated after she wasn’t allowed to skip the long queue, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Her furious sister Stephanie Fairfield, aged 33, said: “Robyn went to pick up gifts for her son’s birthday.
“Robyn showed her ID to the security staff and was refused entry unless she went to the back of the long excessive queue.
“People in the queue offered to let her in before them and even said she was with them to get her in. [They] even offered to give their space up in the queue and go to the back of it for her but no this was also denied.”
The store manager was then said to have approached Robyn asking her to rejoin the queue at the back, according to Robyn’s sister.
She added: “Robyn explained she had just finished her shift and would like to nip in very quickly to get her baby boy a few gifts.
“Then the manager again refused her entry and said you get a 10 per cent discount but you need to queue like everyone else.
“My sister is extremely quiet and shy as it is, she then decided to walk away from the store as she was humiliated and embarrassed and was in floods of tears.”
A B&M spokesman said: “We have experienced that allowing NHS colleagues to the front of the queue has put them and our colleagues at risk, as other people in the queue don’t realise they’re NHS employees.
“We are unable to offer priority queuing at this time in order to keep our colleagues and customers safe.
“We fully support the work of the NHS and have extended our colleague discount to all NHS employees.”
Stephanie said she was appalled by the treatment given to her sister.
She said: “Robyn said she would have queued any other day just like she has been doing since the start of this.
“This was the first time she used her badge as she just finished her shift and wanted to get home quickly to her family.
“She was humiliated as she walked away and rang my mum and couldn’t talk for crying.
Stephanie added: “I’m absolutely appalled in the manner she was treated and shocked that even though the queue offered her to go in front or in as their partner and some people even offered to go to the back of the queue and her take their place, the security guard and manager still went on to make a scene and go against the public’s wishes.”
Stephanie still wanted to show her appreciation despite her younger’s sibling’s shopping ordeal.
She said: “She’s my baby sister and I couldn’t be any prouder, she’s a true hero, angel and a superstar in my eyes.”