DEAR MISS MANNERS: My partner and I have an amicable disagreement about window shopping.
In my eyes, it’s perfectly acceptable to walk into a store and look around, even if the chance of buying an item is a little low. On the occasions when I speak with a representative, I set expectations by saying, “I’m not sure I’m ready to make a purchase yet, but I have a quick question” — and I make a point of keeping the question brief. I also refrain from doing so if the clerk seems busy or if the store is full of other customers.
My significant other is deeply uncomfortable with this. They feel it is impolite to raise a store associate’s expectations that you may be making a purchase – especially if you ask a question or derive some benefit from the interaction without making a purchase.
I disagree. Stores know that not every customer will buy an item, but providing a reasonable level of assistance will increase the chance of converting a window shopper into a paying customer. I never bothered answering brief questions from polite visitors when I worked in retail in my youth.
On the other hand, my partner points out that some associates still earn commissions on sales, so every person who walks into a store will raise their expectations, despite my good intentions.
KIND READER: Both things can be true. As long as you’re not treating the store like a museum, taking up associates’ time (although if the store is quiet and they’re passionate about their products, they might enjoy the conversation), Ms. to browse.
Of course, window-shopping means window-shopping from the outside, not the inside, so you might want to define your terms more clearly. But on the other hand, every store employee knows that a sale is never guaranteed – and being polite and answering questions is always more apt to pique a potential buyer’s interest than the other way around.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: For many years, a friend invited me and a guest to an exclusive annual gala event at a historic private club. I would reciprocate with invitations for a similar occasion.
For obvious reasons, we don’t socialize that way during the pandemic. But now that the quarantine is over, I see you’re going to this event without me.
Obviously, that’s their right, but I’m sad. I miss their company and the event. Is there any way to ask about this without sounding crass and rude?
KIND READER: The next time you see them, wistfully mention, “I miss our galas together. Perhaps one day we can return to them together.”
For maximum guilt, Miss Manners suggests you make this at your house — over a lovely meal you’ve just cooked and served.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it appropriate to wear a black dress to a wedding?
KIND READER: No, unless you are protesting.
Please submit your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, email@example.com; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
#partner #concerned #behavior #stores