A FORDINGBRIDGE postmaster has barred at least three people from the branch after facing abuse for trying to enforce social distancing measures.
Customers have rallied round Meena Patel after seeing her being sworn and shouted at while trying to keep customers far enough apart at the post office in Salisbury Street.
One woman told the A&T how she saw one customer lose her temper: “She started shouting and swearing at poor Meena, saying all sorts. It was horrid.
“Another woman completely lost it when she became convinced someone was trying to push in. When Meena tried to talk to her she just ranted at her.
“Meena told her she was barred and, as she walked out, the woman stuck two fingers up at her.
“Another woman started shouting at Meena and her daughter while they were manning the post office counters that they should not have both opened as they were not social distancing.
“When Meena told her that she and her daughter lived together, the woman just carried on swearing at her.”
A message about the abuse Meena and her daughter Pritika have faced in recent weeks was posted on Facebook.
It said: “Incredibly disappointed to hear today that Meena and her team have been receiving a lot of verbal abuse from customers and have actually had to bar people.
“This is completely unacceptable. This is a stressful time for everyone, and key workers should not be abused while doing their job.”
Since the message was posted, customers have rallied round Meena and her team, with some dropping in with flowers and chocolates to say thank you for her keeping the post office going during the lockdown.
A friend of Meena said she had found it “very difficult” to deal with the abuse, saying: “She is only trying to make people aware of the rules and regulations but some people just don’t want to listen.
“Meena has carried on providing a service and this is not a nice way to be repaid. She said the last week has been the worst.
“She said her health is being affected, as she is now suffering high blood pressure, something she didn’t have before.”