There are "Help Wanted" signs all around Acadiana, business owners can't find help. The initial thought might be that people are lazy these days, and while that might play a part, a bigger problem is that customers have gotten too mean.

The behavior of customers, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, is abusive, ugly and dangerous. Customers mistreat employees by throwing things at them, shouting obscenities, hitting them, attacking them on social media, etc. And many people say they'd rather stay home with no income than put up with that type of behavior.

Recently, in San Francisco, a security video captured and out of control customer who received chili fries instead of cheese fries. The price difference is 25 cents. And the employee made it right, by getting her cheese fries to her as fast as she could.

The employee behind the counter is a "hard worker holding down two jobs", said Dat Thieu owner of Umai Savory Hot Dogs. The employee has not returned to work since the incident. Thieu says last year a customer spit on an employee.

In Shreveport, Louisiana September of last year a pregnant convenience store employee was abused and threatened with a gun.

He came up to me and showed me the gun in his pants and hit my arm and threw my phone across the room, it hit the window, and broke my phone and then they left. -Convenience Store Employee to KTAL

In Lafayette, Louisiana, about a year ago customers inside an Ambassador Caffery restaurant hid under tables when a man pulled out a weapon on a female employee.

And in Rockford, Illinois last September a SubWay employee was suspended for sharing a video of her protecting herself and the store from being robbed.

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