The grandmother behind the viral ‘be kind’ note has revealed how a ‘cruel’ female HSBC manager took her into an office and ‘aggressively dressed her down’ on her last day before retiring from the bank.
Cleaner Julie Cousins, from Southampton, who works for an agency but cleaned at the bank for five years, spoke to FEMAIL and said while ‘nobody is perfect’, it was ‘important to be kind to others.’
The 64-year-old, who is a mother-of-seven and grandmother-of-seven, said despite misconceptions it was ‘just a little cleaning job’, she had enjoyed and relied financially upon the work in the past, adding: ‘Cleaners are the forgotten people.’
Julie, who said her own mother had passed away at the end of last year, revealed: ‘I think the main message is to be kind to people – especially at the moment. Nobody knows what is going on in other people’s lives.’
It comes after her son Joe, from Southampton, shared Julie’s now-viral resignation note online, in which she wrote she had chosen to leave after a female manager had ‘dressed her down’ in an ‘aggressive’ way, adding: ‘So going forward, please all of you remember: in a world when you can be anything, BE KIND.’
Cleaner Julie Cousins, from Southampton, who works for an agency but cleaned at the bank for five years, spoke to FEMAIL and said while ‘nobody is perfect’, it was ‘important to be kind to others’
Speaking earlier today, Julie revealed she had been working as a cleaner at various banks for 35 years, often leaving for work after her husband Kevin returned from his job at 5pm to look after their seven children.
She said: ‘People think it’s “just a little cleaning job” but it’s not. I enjoyed it.
‘I’ve had seven children, look after the kids all day, get dinner ready, hubby come in, leave at 5pm and do the cleaning.’
Meanwhile she revealed she had been working at the HSBC branch for 5 years and said she had ‘looked after them quite well.’
In the note, Julie said she had chosen to leave after her manager had ‘dressed her down’ in an ‘aggressive’ way (pictured with her son Joe)
She explained she ‘rarely saw employees’ because she would arrive after people had clocked off for the day, adding that: ‘Cleaners are forgotten people.’
Meanwhile Julie revealed she had also had already had her own struggles over the last year, with her mother sadly passing away.
She said while she could have stayed at the bank after the incident she ‘wanted to work with people she feels comfortable with’ and she ended up leaving the note ‘in the cleaning bucket’ to be found the day she stopped working at the bank.
It comes after her son Joe’s post went viral and was quickly flooded with praise from other users, with one commenting: ‘Yess! What a woman. No one is better than anyone else. I really hope this gets the attention it deserves because the bank needs to know lol. Good on her. Happy retirement.’
In her retirement note, Julie urged those working at the bank to ‘be kind’ and reminded them that ‘you’re no better than the cleaners’ (pictured with her son Joe)
Joe posted the note, writing: ‘And this is why I love my mum. She’s been cleaning banks for 35 years and today walked out with this lovely note left for that awful manager.’
The note read: ‘Hi ladies, tomorrow will be my last clean for HSBC. I have made up a bucket of cleaning materials for the next cleaner whoever that may be!
‘I’ve left the job [manager’s name] after the way you dressed me down in the office.
‘It was nothing more than aggressive and cruel but that’s a reflection on your character, not mine.’
In the note, she said she had chosen to leave after her manager had ‘dressed her down’ in an ‘aggressive’ way (pictured, a branch of HSBC in London)
She continued: ‘So going forward, please all of you remember: in a world when you can be anything, BE KIND.
‘Because you are all no better than the cleaner.’
The tweet quickly went viral, with 144k likes on the platform in just days.
One person commented: ‘Your mum is an absolute queen and please give her all my love (and all of Twitters) for a happy retirement.’
Her son Joe shared the note on Twitter, saying he was proud of his mother for ‘walking out on an awful manager’
Another wrote: ‘A manager dressing down someone in public. Always remember that a clown always needs an audience.’
One wrote: ‘Never understood why people think what they do for a living reflects their importance. I was raised to believe that a job is a job and anyone getting up and going to work deserves the same respect, whether they pick up the trash or run the company!
‘Good for your mom, respect.’
‘Good for her. Kids are often rude to cleaners and dinner ladies in school too. I spend half my life pulling them up on it,’ a third added.
The tweet quickly went viral as other users flooded the post with praise for the cleaner, with some calling her ‘an absolute Queen’
‘Makes me sick, ‘ another wrote, ‘Maybe cc her managing director. That’s a red flag. People who treat staff like that are also the ones who are likely to bring major problems to the organisation down the line.
‘Some companies seem to keep their “A-Hole Quotient” high. Dorks who’ve ‘arrived.’
MailOnline has contacted HSBC for comment.