A Toronto woman was shopping at the Dollarama near Yonge and St. Clair on July 28 when she noticed two men without masks on.
One of the two men was wearing a mask on his chin below his mouth, while the other had no face covering on at all.
The woman, Tiffany, who asked to only use her first name for this story, said she immediately took action and spoke to the cashier about the issue as it made her feel unsafe, but the employee told her she was simply sick and tired of arguing with customers who refuse to don masks on a daily basis.
"She said she was tired of arguing every day with people who refuse to wear a mask," Tiffany told blogTO. "She said everyday people are asked to put their masks on and are super rude and say the most awful things."
Face masks have been mandatory in indoor public spaces across Toronto since the beginning of July, but the city quickly made it clear that there wouldn't be any strict enforcement due to the fact that there are a number of exceptions, including people with certain health conditions and children under the age of two.
Instead, the onus is on individual business owners to implement, communicate and enforce their own respective mask policies.
"Our employees have been instructed to ask that customers comply with these orders upon entering our stores, unless customers are exempted from the requirement to wear a mask for legitimate health reasons," said a spokesperson for Dollarama when asked about the incident.
"In line with the provisions of the Toronto masking by-law, our policy does not require customers to provide proof that they indeed qualify for the exemption," the spokesperson continued.
"We have also deployed store signage and regular reminders are made over the store's PA system. We do not expect or want our employees to do more than this, to avoid situations that can escalate. Our experience is that the vast majority of customers have been complying with requirements in place."
But according to Tiffany, the woman behind her in line was also wearing her mask on her chin when she complained about the two men, though the woman promptly readjusted it when she overheard their conversation.
Tiffany said her experience at this Dollarama was the first time she witnessed customers so blatantly ignoring the rules, and it made her feel so unsafe that she does not plan to return to this particular location.
"It bugged me because that's the only store I've been so far where so many people weren't wearing any masks and weren't also being asked to do so," she said.
"I felt really sad for the cashier who was clearly tired of arguing with rude people and I was mad because I hate disrespectful people."
Looking back, she says she wishes she had confronted the two men directly since her conversation with the cashier got her nowhere, though she also doesn't want to go around arguing with people and acting like a "vigilante."
"I did this once and these people are always aggressive and just resort to foul language. I should have called the manager and demanded action," she said.
"I think this is an issue because it shows how selfish some people are. Businesses are trying to get back on their feet and frontline workers are providing a great service to all of us in the community at great risk. When someone does not want to wear a mask, they threaten the health of others."
by Mira Miller via blogTO