Q. I went shopping the other day for a new dress. I picked out a couple and went inside a dressing room. I tried them on but needed a different size in one. I waited and waited, hoping a clerk would come check to see if I needed any help so I wouldn’t have to get dressed again and come out to look for it myself. Well, that didn’t happen, so I had to get dressed, take my purse and a couple of other little packages and go out and look for another size myself. Then back to the dressing room to get undressed and try on the other size.
When I took the dress to the cash register to pay for it, I asked the clerk if they still check on customers in the dressing rooms to see if they need other sizes. She gave me this weird look and told me that wasn’t part of what she was hired to do. I told her I wished it could be, but she didn’t even answer me. What’s happening to customer service these days? Is it unrealistic of me to expect some help when I’m trying on dresses?
After I got dressed again and stepped out of the dressing room, I had to give myself a pep talk to go look for another size and repeat the process. I wonder if next time I should ask the clerk in advance to please come check on me in a few minutes to see if I need another size?
A. No, it is not unrealistic to wish a clerk would check to see what you might need while you are trying on clothes in a fitting room. Unfortunately, it is unrealistic to expect and actually get that type of customer service in many stores today. Profit seems to be overtaking customer service in so many areas. Some stores continue to cut personnel and hours. The result is poor customer service and very stressed clerks who feel they can never get caught up on what they are supposed to accomplish. As to asking the clerk to please check on you, it is definitely worth a try.
Q. If I get a verbal invitation from the groom to go to his wedding and I know others have received written invitations, should I go? If I go, do I take a gift? Can I take my girlfriend with me?
A. If the groom gives you all the details of where, when and what time when he invites you, yes, you can attend. If you do attend, yes, you should take a gift or a card with a gift certificate of some kind or cash. Unfortunately, unless the groom included your girlfriend in his verbal invitation, you should not take your girlfriend.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.