To me, Boots has always been THE chemist. Since childhood, the mantra in certain circumstances was, "Have you tried Boots? They'll help." Such is the brand and the trust with which I regard Boots. However, I was shocked and sorely disillusioned at my experience in my local Boots in Leighton buzzard today. The main problems were the lax attitude towards safety by some staff (from the top down), the blatant disregard for Boots principles and the rudeness and disdain with which I was treated by some staff. My experience I have a son with cystic fibrosis. I have, therefore, been extremely careful since the beginning of March. I qualify as high priority for the flu jab, which I duly booked for earlier today. It was my first time in any shop in over six months. However, I felt sufficiently safe because of the emergency laws and the high esteem in which I hold Boots. Whilst I was in the shop, I saw two customers without masks. Nobody challenged them. So I mentioned to one that I thought he possibly ought to be wearing a mask. The response was aggressive and unpleasant. Why is it up to customers to try to ensure that the law is adhered to on Boots premises? I then noticed a young female member of staff talking to another staff member at a distance of roughly a foot, with her mask covering only her mouth. I asked the young lady if she perhaps ought to have the mask on her nose. She merely said, "Yeah." I found it difficult to believe the arrogance and rudeness of her response. When I pushed a little further, she told me that she didn't need to put it on properly because she was presently going elsewhere. As I was getting nowhere, I asked to see a manager. The shop assistant left via a door, presumably to the offices. At no time did she put her mask on properly. A few minutes later, she returned, again with the mask off her nose, with another staff member in tow. The new staff member said her name was Kirinjeet Sroye and she was the shop manager. I told her about the customers without masks. She replied that it was nothing to do with Boots and it was entirely up to the customers. I said that I thought it was illegal. Kirinjeet told me it was not. Again, I was thrown at the rudeness of a manager arguing with a member of the public and the sheer ignorance of somebody who is supposed to be running a shop. I then mentioned the staff not wearing masks properly. The response was further argument and hair-splitting: I was told that the staff member was wearing a mask on her mouth. On pushing the issue and mentioning that Kirinjeet had just walked through the shop towards me, alongside this member of staff incorrectly using PPE, she replied that the mask had slipped. She said that she would need to have a word with the staff member and find her a better mask. These disingenuous remarks are rather insulting. There was absolutely no sense of urgency to manage the risk - merely arguing with me and putting forward a robust defence of staff (and an implicit defence of inadequate management). The manager then told me that there was "...no need to be like that ..." I assure you that I was speaking calmly and politely. The only 'being like that,' of which I may have been guilty is persistence. I asked her three times what she meant by, "being like that," but she did not answer the question. As my concerns were clearly being brushed under the carpet, I asked for the manager's name and left to have my flu jab. At all times, Kirinjeet's tone was pleasant and she made enough of the correct noises to pay lip-service to what I was saying. However, she was argumentative and dismissive of the issues raised. Problems witnessed during my visit I was stunned at the way I was spoken to by two members of Boots staff today. In any place I have worked, such behaviour would have seen me hauled over the coals. I'm frankly amazed that your staff feel they have immunity from disciplinary action, perhaps because this behaviour is not seen as particularly serious. I would very much like to believe that the problem is to do with particular individuals, rather than something deeper-rooted. I note that one of Boots' core values is trust, and that respect and integrity guide you to do the right thing. My experience today fell a very long way short of anything I would call respect. My faith in Boots as a brand remains intact at the moment, but I shall never again use my local branch, due to the disgusting way in which some staff, from the top down, feel they can speak to anyone who disagrees with them. Quite apart from the public relations issue, there is still one of safety. Before my visit to the shop today, I assumed that, as a retailer whose very line of business means that its clientele includes the most vulnerable members of society, my time in the shop would be safe. However, I did not feel safe at all. I would advise anyone vulnerable or sufficiently socially responsible to realise that they should be part of the solution to Covid 19, rather than the problem, to stay well away from the Leighton Buzzard Branch of Boots. It is simply not acceptable for the shop manager to wash her hands of potentially dangerous law-breaking in her shop. It is also unacceptable for senior managers to have an, 'oh well,' attitude to infringements of the rules. All this occurred less than a week after the announcement of hefty fines for businesses which fail to comply. I notice, from your website, that Boots prides itself on caring for customers and being a socially responsible business, taking an active role in helping to build healthier communities. I have read that your safety management systems have regard for legal requirements and that the safety of every customer is really important to you - indeed that no one should be harmed as a result of shopping with you. I was also particularly encouraged to see that all staff are expected not to be guilty of "...walking past less than the best." Again, on the safety side of things, some staff are clearly flouting Boots policies and ideals. I hope this matter can be sorted out swiftly. It is extremely serious, as we are in the grip of a steadily-worsening public health emergency. I believe that the manager should face disciplinary action for the disgraceful manner in which she treated me and for presiding over a system which blatantly disregards the law, the ethos of Boots and the safety of customers. I would like measures to be put in place to prevent risky behaviour of staff and customers in the Leighton Buzzard shop because I do not want Covid 19 to take hold in my town. I also believe I am due a personal apology from the manager of my local branch for her attitude towards me. I am keen to read your response. Damian Hughes.