denise@etiquette-essentials.com
615.305.9706

Denise Marcia

27
Dec

Ahh, the Holidaze! Is This the Line For Returns?

Store LineThe day after Christmas is one of the biggest days in retail for returning items that were given as gifts: wrong size, wrong color, or just plain wrong! And usually customers’ nerves can be a little jangled even before getting to the “Return and Exchanges” counter. Add to that certain sales people who can also be a little “salty.”

And because many retailers have restrictions and limitations on returns, many people are anxious to get to the store a day or two after Christmas.

Here’s what you may encounter:

  • You may have to park some distance away, or ‘stalk’ people walking away from the store for their parking space
  • You may have to stand in long lines…check that…you will have to stand in lines in the ‘Returns’ area
  • You may encounter impatient and rude people in the parking lot, in the lines or even across the counter.We all know people who thrive in chaos, can’t wait to get in it, and even possibly add to it.

For those who would rather not, you have options:

  1. “Let your fingers do the walking.” People who remember the Yellow Pages know what this means. But in our technological age we can still let our “fingers” check return policies of retailers by going to their websites. There may be easier and more effective ways to be satisfied.
  2.  Get up and out early. By being one of the first customers into the store, you may have your choice of parking and shorter lines. Most important, you will probably encounter ‘kinder, gentler’ sales associates since they should be new to their shift.
  3.  If you would like to exchange an item? Find the correct item in the store before going to the ‘Return and Exchange’ counter. If returning, have your gift receipt and item handy. No receipt? You may have to follow the store’s policy or prove the purchase to the store – the tag should still be attached. If you are returning a clothing item, it should not have been worn.
  4. Keep the item! So what if it’s another punch bowl, or leather jacket, keep it. If it’s only a matter of size but suits your taste, exchange it. Otherwise, keep the gift. After all, it is the thought that counts, right?!
  5. Re-gift the item. The key here is discretion. Make note of from whom the item is given, so that you do not give it back to that person for a birthday or Christmas present, nor to someone whom may also know the giver. But that Santa cake platter may be a perfect gift for your teacher or supervisor.

‘Tis the season to be jolly, let’s keep the ‘Grinch’ in us from rearing its ugly, green head.

Talk soon!

 

18
Nov

Invitations and RSVPs

It’s holiday season and we are hosting and being invited to dinner parties and soirees. A few things to keep in mind as we extend and receive invitations:

As the Host:

Get those invites out as soon as possible, three to four weeks out is best. Mailing your invitations typically indicates a more formal gathering to the guest. Using email Evites is a handy tool to ensure you include everything – type of gathering, time, location, etc., and to keep up with guests’ RSVP’s.

Two weeks out, send a reminder to those who may not have responded, and to your “Maybe’s.” Consider calling or even shooting a “did you get my Evite?” text to non-respondent guests. Sometimes people don’t check email, so a gentle reminder helps.

Although preparation keeps us busy, it is most polite to acknowledge an acceptance or regret from a guest. It is honors your friendship.

As the Guest:

RSVP means ‘please respond’ (even if you cannot attend!). Whether you are invited through snail-mail, Evite, or text, acknowledge the invitation, and check your availability as soon as possible. Even if you’re not completely sure, honor your host by indicating “maybe” as a reply. But do not delay to respond yes, or no, as soon as you can!

Party-hopping is often necessary throughout the holidays. Plan well, by understanding what you are being invited to. A dinner party requires your evening; cocktails parties allow for more flexibility.

Begin enjoying the holidays with others, and celebrate old and new friendships by starting with these small courtesies.

Happy Holidays!