holiday shopping etiquette

during the holidays many people coming into the shop comment on how calming and peaceful it is. a break from the madness of the holiday shopping world. i appreciate hearing that because we certainly try!

my belief is that shopkeepers should treat shoppers like they would treat a guest in their home-- with helpfulness, trust, and respect. i also expect that people shopping should have the same trust and respect towards the shopkeeper. but sometimes, especially at this time of year, the pressure is on and people get a little bit whacky! shoppers are trying to find the right gifts at the right price in the right amount of time. shopkeepers get jaded, overwhelmed, and tired due to the steady stream of customers and the lack of good solid breaks to re-group. sometimes none of us treat each other as we should.

i have heard several stories in the last few weeks from customers and fellow shopkeepers about testy situations that have gone totally off the tracks-- where shop keepers have yelled horrible things at customers, including nasty follow-up e-mails, where customers have been completely unreasonable in their requests, including demanding to return items that are seriously damaged 18 months after their purchase, where both shopkeepers and customers have behaved very badly, resulting in elitist and racist comments on both sides.

holy cow, people! get it together!

i have to say, this time of year brings out the best in many people, but in others, not so much. so: a little something about holiday shopping etiquette this time of year-- on both sides of the counter:

start by being nice. remember that the person you are dealing with is a person, and may also be under a lot of pressure in this moment. then, be polite. no matter what you are feeling you really don't have the right to yell at a relative stranger. any situation in a shop can be dealt with politely. do not make it personal because it isn't. ever. a shop is a place of business, first and last, and if people are having a problem, it is a business problem. and ALWAYS REMEMBER that shoppers and shopkeepers are dependent on each other-- that one cannot happen without the other.

and really? remember that this is not a life or death situation. it is just about presents and homes and food and all of those should be fun! so have fun!

we do.

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