I am insulted both on behalf of my brother and his insinuation that my husband is somehow available. Could you suggest a humorous but pointed remark that will negate this behavior and not cause too much embarrassment all around?
“Oh, ha-ha, he’s don’t get in the middle of it. Come on, honey, let me recuse you and let these two work it out on their own.
Dear Miss Manners: I am a craftsman who earns his living by exhibiting at craft fairs, and I really like that. However, collectors sometimes seem to think they developed a close bond with me once they purchased my work. These (rare, but annoying) people invite me to dinner, give me life advice, want to talk on the phone, and generally ask for more friendship than I would like to offer.
I find it difficult to put these people off, because they are collectors of my works. Also, it’s flattering that I seem so interesting to them.
Do you have any suggestions for cultivating an “air of reserve and mystery” and discouraging over-friendliness, while still being a good salesperson?
Small talk should be just that: small, and only relevant to the current business. Inquiries about your personal life should be answered briefly and quickly redirected to the work and the exhibition.
But Miss Manners has noticed that you’re not the only one struggling to distinguish between professional and personal life. You have an advantage that many don’t, however, which is a different workplace than your home. Establishing a work-only email and phone number can be a good idea. That way, if personal conversations or overly familiar requests start creeping in, you can politely say, “This line (or this inbox) is for work. Is there anything art-related I can answer for you? »
Dear Miss Manners: A birthday boy asked me for a gift card as a birthday present. I gave her the gift card. A day later, he asked me for the receipt. Should I give him the receipt? I think it’s tactless and mean when I bought what he asked for.
Is it possible that he can’t know how much it’s worth? Usually the amount is displayed somewhere, but maybe this one is missing. If you think it might be, and the boy isn’t old enough or smart enough to look it up himself, you might make him happy by telling him the amount. But if you suspect it’s a plot to return it for the money, Miss Manners gives you permission to refuse the request. There are only a limited number of requirements one can meet when it comes to giving gifts. And this boy has already exceeded him by two.
New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday at washingtonpost.com/board. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.