A bored toddler’s mum couldn’t believe her eyes when an assistant in a Spalding high street store smacked her daughter’s bum for knocking some items off a shelf.
Angela Cropley said she had gone into Boots in Hall Place with her eight-month-old son and three-year-old daughter and needed help finding some soya formula.
She said: “I had just found out my son was lactose intolerant and usually the staff are very helpful.
“I went to the pharmacy counter and spoke to a lady there. She seemed to know what she was talking about and managed to find what I needed as I had no clue.
“While we were talking, my daughter started to get fed up and was playing with things on the shelf and knocked a couple of items off.
“I went over to pick them up and while I was bent down, the woman smacked my daughter’s bum and told her she was naughty. I didn’t believe what I saw and just said that I would pay for anything that was broken and left.”
On the way home, Angela said her daughter asked why the lady smacked her. She said: “I told her that was wrong.
“When I got home I asked everyone what to do and they said I should go back and speak to the woman privately to find out why she felt she could smack my daughter.”
Angela said she went back the next day and the assistant “got upset” when she spotted her. She said: “I told her I wanted to see her manager. After being left waiting for 20 minutes, the manager came over and spoke to me. I told him what happened and he said he would get back to me in a few days.
“Later he phoned saying the staff member said it was a tap not a smack and he wouldn’t be taking it any further. I said, ‘I don’t care what she called what she did, I never gave her permission to lay a hand on my daughter.’
“From the moment I met the manager, he treated me like I was after some financial reward, when all I wanted was an apology.”
On Wednesday, Angela received a letter signed by the staff member and the manager, claiming the actions “were only a gesture of empathy for your daughter”.
A spokesman for Boots said: “Our customers are of the utmost importance to us and we pride ourselves on providing great customer service. As soon as we found out about this incident, we conducted a thorough investigation and reported it through the correct procedures.
“We have reminded our colleagues of the high level of customer service that we have become well known for. We would like to apologise for any distress caused to Angela Cropley and her daughter.”