Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shopping Manners

Yesterday's post got me thinking, perhaps the reason why people have so many unfortunate shopping experiences is because they are not sensitive to their companions' needs. See how you fare on all counts on the checklists below. Needless to say, if your answer is "No" to more than three of each, you need to seriously over-haul your manners.

How Sensitive A Shopper Are You?
Do you ensure that your companion has a comfortable place to wait while you go around the store?

Do you try to go to shops that are near other shops which might entertain your companion so that he/she too has something to do while you browse?

Do you remember to stop for refreshment breaks? Do you keep in mind that your companion needs them as much as you do?

Do you try to direct your companion/driver to a central parking spot so that you can visit several places without needing to park the park car each time?

Do you remember to evenly share the load of all the shopping bags?

Do you make the mistake of asking him/her to buy you expensive things that you would dearly love to own but cannot afford to buy? (Casting overt, longing looks or dropping heavy 'hints' in front of your companion counts as asking.)

Do you make allowances for the effect the heat and the crowds might have on your companion?

Do you accept that the final choice, particularly for clothes, is yours? His/her views may influence but are not be taken as deciding factors for which they can be held to blame later.

Do you remember to wear comfortable shoes and clothes so that they do not add to the stress of the day?

Do you accept that you ought not in all fairness take longer than fifteen minutes to make your final choice and that you cannot do this more than thrice in one shopping trip?

How Sensitive A Shopping Companion Are You?
Do you remember to carry a bottle of water and enough change for parking tickets in the car?

Do you take charge of the baggage token at the big shops so that your shopper can keep his/her mind on other things?

Do you notice when he/she is looking exhausted and would probably welcome a quiet drink someplace nearby?

Do you nag when they cannot decide between their top two choices or do you step in promptly for any one (it's your privilege to choose at random so long as you come up with a good reason)?

Do you accept that your choice has nothing to do with the item bought? If it did, you would be the shopper and not the companion.

Do you wear comfortable, fuss-free clothes so that you can carry the shopping without worrying about what they will do to your outfit?

Do you understand that for the day, you are the nanny, the minder, but not the instructor? You may cater to your shopper's needs, but not add to them.

Do you understand how rude it is of you not to enjoy the shopping when it's your stuff that's being bought?

Do you accept that buying the first thing you see when it's shopping done on your behalf will usually mean less money to spend on computer games/petrol/cafes/any other little treat you enjoy occasionally? Shoppers hunt for bargains for a reason! And the first thing you see in any shop is usually expensive or poor quality being sold cheap. It's called marketing, the terms being downselling and discount respectively.

Do you accept that grocery shopping is as important as any other kind and in case it's for your own family, that you ought to take a vital part in it?

Hope this was of some help. Shopping's fun, guys.*

*So long as you do it in moderation. If you feel the need to even window-shop every other day, learn to enjoy it by yourself. That's another kind of fun too.

Note: "Downselling" is a marketing strategy that means to show more expensive goods first so as to make the cheaper goods more attractive. For those who wondered.


Beq said...

The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I need money (that's what I want)

Sue said...

Beq - Actually, the best things in life (chocolate, car rides, port wine, holidays by the sea etc.) are not free.

Just thought I'd point it out. Nice to have you drop by.

First Rain said...

Why those are some very good points indeed! Hope it makes shopping less harrowing and more bearable for the-one-who-has-tag-along.

First Rain said...

Eeeks! These typos are going to be the end of me... make that the-one-who-has-to-tag-along please.

WishfulThinker said...

Its all too complicated man! Just too complicated! No wonder girls luuurrvvve shopping!!!! :D

Sue said...

Rain - Worry not about typos. They afflict us all.

Wishful - I really must take you shopping the next time I'm in Madras...

panu said...

I think Grocery shopping is extremely important!!
*Makes the Martyr face, serene and sensitive*

That way, I get to buy chocolates alongside flour, eggs, milk and Vim bar...

Rohini said...

What an eye-opener. I am a terrible shopper. No wonder my husband hates to come along. The only questions that I answered yes to were the ones about parking (not so great if you consider that I am the driver in the family) and the shopping bags (which I carry because I am scared my husband will leave beahind)!!!

Sue said...

Panu - You got the point! Accompanying just about anyone on almost any kind of shopping trip can be turned into some personal gain, with a little thought. (I'm an expert at this, ask my parents!)

Rohini - Er, well, for someone who pontificated with such will, I'm afraid I didn't score too high either. I've decided to be nicer to my husband in case he reads this and wants to make an issue of it. (Whoops!)