Saturday, November 26, 2011

0082: Holiday Shopping Etiquette

NY Macy's on Black Friday
Picture: Reuters/Eric Thayer
So, I didn't participate in Black Friday and as I read and watched the news this morning I'm shocked at how some people lost all civility. It's probably more sad than shocking if we were to understand what drove some of these people to do what they did - not that it makes their behavior right... For all my non-American friends, I'd like to point out that this is a very small group of people considering about 130 million people shop on Black Friday. For millions of people it was fun, exciting and non-violent... the news just likes to highlight the bad... And on another really good note, I didn't leave Black Friday behind empty-handed - one of my brothers went and scored me a Play Station 3 :-) like I always say, my brothers are simply THE BEST! 

So, with all the madness of yesterday I thought it might be good to research and post a holiday shopping etiquette list. Almost a reminder of how to deal with the madness if it comes into your world (or avoid it if you feel that madness bubbling up inside :-) And to my delight a very good list has already been published so why mess with it. It was posted by Emily Post (an amazing site for all things etiquette related). Without further adieu:

10 Ways to keep those holiday shopping spirits bright:

  1. Smile – You can’t do it enough. Your face (and your soul) will thank you for it.
  2. Lose the ‘Bah Humbug!’ attitude. Yes, it will be crowded and there will be lines and it will take time to find a parking spot. Don’t let that dampen the season’s joie de vivre.
  3. “Please, Thank You and You’re Welcome.” Make this your mantra and you will smooth the way for better service and create a kinder, gentler atmosphere wherever you go.
  4. Be gracious. You have circled the lot for the fifth time when you spy a space, only to see that someone else is already waiting for it. Be gracious - let them have the space.
  5. A little patience, please. Checkout counter or airline counter, the rules are the same: first come, first served, one at a time. (This is a great place to practice your smiling.) When it is your turn, be ready with documents or payment to speed things along.
  6. Friendliness. Say ‘hello’ to the harried clerk behind the counter (and smile).
  7. Complain to the proper person. Yelling at a salesclerk because a store is out of an advertised item only makes you look foolish and rude. If you have a problem, ask to speak to the manager. Frame your complaint clearly and simply. (No venting, please.)
  8. Cell phones: They’re useful when trying to find out your Aunt Mary’s glove size, but turn them off when you are working with a sales clerk or checking out at a register.
  9. Shopping with children: Sensory overload is the word of the day: the music, the crowds, the lights, the toys, the Santas! It’s best to arrange to leave your children home. If they must accompany you, or when it is their turn to shop, make sure they are well-rested and fed – kinder to them and to those around them
  10. Don’t forget the lights—traffic lights that is! Please stop at the red ones and use your turn signals to alert other harried, distracted shoppers to your directional intentions.
    Side note - as I woke up this morning I thought to myself, "today is day 2 of my 30-day challenge" in which I have 3 things to do every day (bike, blog and draw). Day 1 (yesterday) I only blogged and didn't bike or draw - I know, how weak is my focus??? But my rose colored glasses are still on so Day 2 (today) WILL be better. I am already blogging and I have arranged for a bike ride later and will draw something at some point. Wish me luck :-)

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