A Greggs customer was left shocked after reading a note put up at one of their stores - which appeared to be from staff "mocking" their own boss.
Jodie-Louise Theyer visited the popular bakery chain in Orchard Shopping Centre in Taunton, Somerset.
However she noticed an "inappropriate and passive aggressive" handwritten note penned by staff to explain why the store would be closing early, the Mirror reports.
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Pinned to a display, it read: "Customer notice: Unfortunately this shop will be closing at 2pm due to management being off sick (again); and covering manager only being available until 2/2.30pm. Sorry for any inconvenience."
The 28-year-old HR worker said the message made light of people taking sick days, and urged staff to be "more understanding" of the sensitive issue in the future as you never know what other people are going through.
Greggs has said it is investigating the incident and 'have policies in place to support valued colleagues when they are feeling unwell'.
Jodie said: "I saw the sign outside Greggs and thought it was a bit inappropriate.
"I was on my day off and I was just in town. I went to go get some lunch.
"I just thought if I was that manager, or a family member of that manager, and I saw that sign, it's quite passive aggressive."
She continued: "I tried to put myself in the position of if this was my partner or my child, or someone in my family.
"[If someone I knew] was at home really poorly, with an underlying condition or mental health condition, and they were really unwell, I'd be devastated. I'd struggle to see that.
"We're in a situation at the moment where I think communities need to be more understanding of one another, more appreciative of one another. It's a bit tone deaf. It's not appropriate."
Jodie shared her anguish online, arguing the note highlights pressure the industry is under following the pandemic and should have been worded better.
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She said she didn't want to criticise Greggs or its employees, but urged people to be more understanding that there are workers who are worried about "going back into environments where there are lots of people around" due to Covid-19.
"The important thing to highlight is we need to be more understanding of one another at the moment," she said.
"Someone commented saying you need to understand the pressures people are under - I get it.
"A simple 'we're closing at 2pm today - sorry for the inconvenience' would have been fine. It doesn't need that detail about somebody and what they're going through."
A Greggs spokesperson said: "We are currently investigating this internally and will contact our shop team to find out what's happened. We have policies in place to support our valued colleagues when they are feeling unwell."
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