Romanian woman - a care worker from Ely - describes the moment her mother and three friends ‘got a mouthful of verbal abuse’ at a supermarket
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A Romanian woman, living and working in Ely as a care worker, has spoken of her anger and distress after her mother and three friends were verbally attacked whilst shopping at Tesco.
“I’m one of your so-called unskilled workers. I am a carer/support worker and I’m now in the frontline of coronavirus. I’m looking after a vulnerable population, the same population that is high risk,” she said.
But that didn’t stop others seeing it differently, she said.
“My mom went to Tesco to get some food for our family, we’re key workers and we both care for my two years old son, so the situation is already very distressing,” she said.
“She managed to grab a few things, but she (and three other compatriots) also got a mouthful of verbal abuse just because they’re “f****ing foreigners”.
“Yes, we are foreigners and we are extremely proud of it, thank you!
“We also work our bums off like the rest of you and we pay taxes, we pay council tax, rent and childcare and we respect the country we live in.
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“We know we’re not British citizens and we’re not expecting to have the same rights as you, but I think that we deserve just as much respect as you do or at least ignore us if you can’t be a decent human being.”
The woman, who has asked us not to reveal her identity, added: “Our English may be a bit broken, but I don’t find that to be a good reason for verbal abuse, there is no good reason for racism and discrimination.
“What’s the point in threatening to beat someone or tell them to go back to their “f****ing country”? We would love to go back, trust me.
“We would really love that, but we can’t because corruption will kill us. Healthcare is extremely expensive, rent is in most cases bigger than the monthly salary, and you can’t make a decent living with the minimum wage. “There are a lot of reasons as to why homelessness and death rates are so high in Romania”.
She said her mother was “too shocked to defend herself and everyone was just quietly staring, and I wasn’t there but if I was I would have said something in the most respectful manner I know, because I know I’m better than that person”.
The woman added: “I’m not talking on behalf of all of us, I’m talking on behalf of those who really try to do their best, who just want to live a better life and do what’s right, but get verbally abused on daily basis”.
Nearly 200 people posted comments on an Ely Facebook group supporting her and expressing outrage at the verbal attack.
She said the support had helped and although her mother “is still a bit shocked, unfortunately is something we are used to but is not something we’re emotionally prepared for”.
And she added: “I thought that this crisis will bring us all together but maybe it was a bit unrealistic for me to think that.
“I know these people don’t represent most of the British public and I’m forever so grateful for that. I have some amazing and supportive friends, but it’s times when is overwhelming.
“Thank you all for the kindness and support”
She also pointed out what is required for her to carry out “my unskilled job” and listed yearly training, the ability to assist and administer medication, to know the law on infection control.
“But I ‘unskilled’; I’m the one that’s there when no one else is,” she added.
“Would you like me to take care of one of your loved ones? I would because I care, as do my fellow carers, and it is a skill that can’t be trained with a university degree.
“It’s degree in humanity; we are probably more skilled because we do at least 50 jobs in one day/night in a life of being a support worker”.