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RealSimple: The Best Responses to Rude Behavior

Stuck-up Waitstaff

Your waiter “offers” you bottled water, but you choose tap. Instead of ordering an appetizer, you tell him you’re happy with the bread basket. You can feel the disgust dripping from his voice.

Advice: If the haughtiness persists, Carlin says, “you’ll just sit there and stew and spoil your meal. Instead, get up, find the person in charge, and say, ‘We’d appreciate it if you could have someone else cover our table.’ Tell him your waiter is being unprofessional.”

Indifferent Sales Help

In the bookstore, it’s just you and the clerk, and he’s on the phone talking about kegs of beer, fake IDs, and next Saturday night. You’d just like to buy your Shirley Hazzard novel and go home, but no amount of throat clearing can get the guy’s attention.

Advice: “Walk out,” Carlin says. “No one should have to take that.” If you’ve already picked out some merchandise, put it down on the counter to make the point that you’ve decided against the place, not against the goods. If a clerk is too immersed in a conversation with a colleague or on the phone to pay you any attention, that store doesn’t deserve your business. “If you are truly determined to make the purchase, ask nicely to speak to the manager,” von Mueffling says. Or call the store when the manager is likely to be in.

(Monika Aichele)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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