labour of love toronto

Toronto store owner calls out customer who screamed at her for not being able to open

The holidays can be stressful at the best of times, which these certainly are not, but screaming at a local small business owner because they're unable to let you inside to shop won't help matters.

Regina Sheung recently expressed her frustration online over a customer who screamed at her for not being allowed to shop inside her store, Labour of Love.

"What happened with my incident was someone wanted to purchase a couple of greeting cards because he wanted to support us. I explained that he can visit our online shop instead as we're only operating virtually due to the lockdown," Sheung told blogTO.

"But he insisted on shopping in store because he was just shopping at Dollarama and was really frustrated that I couldn't let him in. I don't think he really meant to scream at me and I'm sure he’s exhausted with what’s going on all over the world."

Labour of Love is an exceptional destination for gifts in Toronto's Cabbagetown, and they've been slammed with orders this holiday season. It's no surprise as they're known as one of the best stores in the city for cards as well as paper and stationery in general.

"There are a lot of us that have been really overwhelmed with our current circumstance...frustration with which businesses are able to stay open and which are not," says Sheung.

"I think we're all exhausted and we all just need to learn to manage our expectations about what the holidays are able to look like this year. The reason we can't sell in store is not because we don't want to. The reasons are beyond our control. I hope this particular person will soon realize that."

Sheung highlights another story she had shared online about an argument with a customer, hoping to show that disagreements can be resolved, that "apology is crucial to our mental health" and that "having the ability to recognize our own mistakes is vital."

"I had a pretty brutal argument with a customer, right at our doorway. I was very stubborn with my opinion. We both were not very nice to each other. I went home feeling really shitty. Thinking how I could have done better," reads Sheung's online post.

"I wrote a note, left him a message to let him know that I look forward to seeing him today and that I have everything beautifully wrapped in a way to show my better side. He showed up today, I told him I was sorry about yesterday and how I could have been a better human. He pulled out a lovely card and apologized for the same reasons."

Though nothing is normal this year, including the holidays, we all have to continue to remind ourselves, as Sheung says, that "together we can definitely do better." So don't forget to shop small, wear a mask, follow the rules, and always be polite.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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