laplumeDear Ms. Plume,

We are not unused to experiencing the odd rude customer when we are shopping: the person who leaves the clothes that have been tried on in a wad on the dressing room floor, the person who puts 22 things on the express grocery belt designated for 15, the tired mother who lets her child scream in the candy aisle and then screams back in front of all of us, etc. But what about the rude shopkeeper?

I went into a consignment shop the other afternoon, the door was open, people were taking things in, so I followed. I noticed, just after getting inside, that the opening times were posted near the door and I realized it was after hours, so I turned to walk out when the saleslady swooped down on me and hooted like an owl: “Get out! We are closed!” It’s a clothing shop that I rarely venture into because my experience is that most of the people who work there are rude, as if their used clothing is somehow is more dear than that in the fashion houses of Paris. Obviously they don’t care if I shop there or not so my not going in, which I won’t again, will not affect them one bit. Is there something like a tripadvisor for stores? A way to let others beware?

Patty B.

Dear Patty B.,

I’m right at the top of the list with those who love consignment and thrift shops; and unfortunately I’m familiar with your experience. I think that people who are rude to their customers will eventually find out they don’t have any, unless they are the only game in town and they survive despite themselves. And yes, you can review businesses at

L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,

I was meeting a group of friends for dinner – and to listen to music – outdoors last weekend. I arrived ahead of everyone and got a table near the back; when people next to me were getting ready to leave, they kindly offered me their table. As I prepared to sit down, a woman came up to me and demanded that I move, that I couldn’t sit at that table; I tried to explain to her that the people leaving had offered it to me and since there are no reservations at that establishment, I wanted to sit there for a better view of the band. She rudely told me that she was the owner and she had friends who would want that table. Fortunately, my friends arrived just at that moment and another, better, table was available – which we quickly grabbed. The owner then stood in the corner and glared and pointed at me like she was going to ask me to leave. What possesses business owners to be rude to their clients?? I was just so stunned that I was temporarily speechless, and I’m not sure I will feel comfortable going there again. What would you do?

C. Love

Dear C. Love,

I would get myself an account on and write a review, then I would do the same on

A. Plume


Dear Ms. Plume,

I have a favorite little restaurant where the wait staff and bartenders know me and always find me a table, bring me my favorite drink just as I sit down, and are just really kind and solicitous. What can I do to show my appreciation?

Happy Camper


Dear Happy,

First of all you can tip generously, you can speak to the manager or owner and express your sentiments, you can write an outstanding comment on Facebook, and reviews on and

L. A. Plume