Author Topic: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter  (Read 2866 times)

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kherbert05

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Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« on: April 16, 2014, 06:52:41 AM »

http://www.uexpress.com/missmanners/2014/4/15

The LW asked what to do about people who stand too close in line while you are using the POS machine. Personally I'm not going to have my transaction suspended and let a shoulder suffer go first. Which is what Miss Manner's recommended.


I see no etiquette problem saying, "You need to step back so I can finish my transaction." If they get offended - then that is just a sign they knew what they were doing was wrong. Whether they were crowding you to get you to move faster or if they were actually trying to see your PIN.
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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 07:06:49 AM »
OP, I agree. I also see nothing wrong with giving them a cold stare.

shhh its me

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 07:14:33 AM »
   I don't think MM was intending the transaction actually be cancelled , she is assuming the person will back off.  I'm not sure some literal minded cashiers wont void the transaction before the person does or that some people wouldn't take you up on it.

CakeEater

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 08:32:50 AM »
I don't call PA very often, but that response just seems very PA to me. Just cover the keypad with your hand and call it done.

m2kbug

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 10:57:07 AM »
There's nothing wrong with asking a person to please step back.  "Would you mind stepping back while I finish my transaction?"  Also, most of those machines swivel, so you can swivel it away from the person's view, or say "excuse me" and move into that space so your body blocks view of the machine.  I would not cancel my purchase and wait for them.  There's an assumption that the other person will understand the subtle hint that they need to step away.  I think that one will backfire and set you back however much time it takes for them to do their purchase.  Another option would be to run the debit like a credit card and hand the card to the cashier and say "run it as credit this time."  It will require a signature instead of a PIN (in my experience). 

I'm going to hazard a guess that most people don't realize how much they're crowding when they crowd.  I catch myself doing it on occasion when I'm distracted or in hurry.  Usually I catch myself because it's a huge pet peeve of mine.  It wouldn't be an issue for me if someone asked me to please step back.  The person crowding, if they have never been told before, they've been told now and will keep a few steps back in the future (we hope).

mime

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 11:03:36 AM »
I agree there's nothing wrong with asking a person to give you some privacy. I personally am more likely to use the type of body language and cues that m2kbug suggests.

Something else that works for me (long hair is necessary for this): I toss my hair back quickly in the direction of the offending person, so they either have to back off or their face will get whipped with my hair. Honestly, it is also amusing. I mean, if I can feel your breath on the back of my head then you deserve a faceful of hair.


Coley

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 11:18:50 AM »
I don't call PA very often, but that response just seems very PA to me. Just cover the keypad with your hand and call it done.

POD. I thought MM's response was PA, too. The intent of the response is not to cancel the transaction but to make it known that the other person appears to be pushy. Rather than speaking directly to the pushy person, one would be speaking of the pushy person to the cashier. That strikes me as PA behavior.

I would likely say to the pushy person, "Do you mind?" and expect the pushy person to back off. Covering the keypad with my hand or turning my body to block the pushy person's view of the keypad also would work.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 11:52:21 AM »
I thought MM response was funny and would enjoy seeing the stunned stare of the interloper. You don't always need to address everything head on and can get your point across more effectively in a less direct manner.

Two Ravens

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 01:07:06 PM »
I think her response was very witty. The first two letters were clearly written by people who just want to complain about other people. I mean really, the LW couldn't come up with "please step back," by herself?

I loved her response to the second letter too.

sweetonsno

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 03:44:22 PM »
I'm with CakeEater. Cover the keypad with your hand (or swivel it if it is the swiveling variety) if you're not comfortable saying, "Would you please step back while I'm entering my credit card information? Thanks."

gellchom

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 04:32:50 PM »
I agree with most of the posts here that the LW knew perfectly well that he obvious solution is just to ask nicely that the person step back.  I would (and do) ask people to step back if necessary, but I always ask, not order, and say please.  I wouldn't just say "You need to step back" or give a cold stare.  Sure, the people crowding me are wrong, but as m2kbug pointed out, they probably don't realize that they are too close or just aren't thinking about it.  Anyway, being polite about it works just as well as acting as if you presume they are identity thieves.

magician5

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2014, 11:08:22 PM »
OP, I agree. I also see nothing wrong with giving them a cold stare.

I would think that instead of a cold stare, you could effectively say "Please, I'd like a little elbow room."
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Allyson

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Re: Miss Manners 4/15 First Letter
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2014, 11:12:11 PM »
Every time I see the cold stare recommended here, I wonder if anybody's ever tried to use it on me and I've been just oblivious as to either it happening at all, or the reason. :D I've felt like someone was giving me an evil look before and figured "well, I am not doing anything wrong, so I'm just being paranoid..."

So I feel like if the person genuinely doesn't realize they're too close, saying "please step back so I can finish" will be way more effective than staring at them and assuming they'll take the hint!