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In the Market for Manners - Etiquette for Shoppers

In the Market for Manners -
Etiquette for Shoppers

Reaching for Retail Respect

"Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Good manners have much to do with the emotions.

To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them."
- Amy Vanderbilt

"Whatever happened to common courtesy?"

Ask anyone who has ever worked in retailing, and you may receive similar responses. Although some retail shoppers go out of their way to be courteous and considerate of store employees, a host of store patrons do not. In too many cases, shoppers' behavior should be banned.

What is it about today's consumers that makes so many of them feel as if they can overlook the humanity of those who are employed in occupations that serve the public? The mere fact that a shopper or store patron may consider spending some cash in a retail store does not qualify that consumer to carry a superior, haughty or impatient attitude towards those who work there.

In ages past, folks in nearly any town would visit their local general store or neighborhood shop, where a long-time family acquaintance would help them to gather their desired purchases, ring them up and package them for carting home. During the process, the store staff and customer would probably discuss local news or family highlights.

Life has become a lot more anonymous, and we seem to have forgotten ourselves, particularly when shopping.

As shoppers and consumers, we must realize that we are actually guests in others' domains, when we visit retail stores. Let us consider how guests ought to behave, whether shopping at WalMart, at Macy's or on Rodeo Drive.

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