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Manners Quiz

August 27, 1992|AURORA MACKEY

So you think you're better mannered, better tempered, more cultured and more socially adept than 99% of the rude unsophisticates out there? Test your ability to deal with rudeness and find out.

1) You're in a department store line, waiting behind three people to pay for an item. Two salesgirls--the only ones in sight--stand behind the counter carrying on an animated discussion about how selfish their boyfriends are. Someone in line makes a comment about the long wait, but the girls ignore it. You:

a) take out a pen and ask the salesgirls if you can take notes for a Ph.D. thesis you're doing on work-induced brain-cell death.

b) ask in a loud voice if anyone has a spoon or a tongue depressor because you are susceptible to seizures any time you stand in one place too long.

c) comment from your place in line, "I thought your boyfriends had both gotten over that, especially after all that therapy they got since prison."

d) ask to talk to the manager.

*

2) You are the only customer in a fine furniture store and are considering making an expensive purchase. You can't decide, though, because heavy metal music is blasting out of the wall speakers. When you politely ask a salesperson if the music could be turned down, you're told, "No way. The people working here like it." You:

a) stand in the middle of the store and sing your best rendition of Wagner's "Die Valkyrie."

b) ask the salesperson if he had to go to school to be so rude, or if he was just born that way.

c) recline on one of the store's divans, lay one arm over your forehead and say you feel a brain tumor coming on.

d) ask the salesperson's name, then write a letter to the owner, listing the store's five most expensive items you would have bought if the salesperson hadn't been there.

*

3) You're in a restaurant with several business associates. After 15 minutes your server finally appears, offering no apology for the wait. The food takes even longer, and the waiter rolls his eyes when you ask him how much longer it will be. Finally, when he brings your orders, he undergoes a dramatic personality change: He stands by the table, trying to make conversation and won't go away. You:

a) shake your head with a confused expression and say, "Ich spreche kein English."

b) take a bite of the food and say "Mmmffff" while nodding your head.

c) place both hands on your face, stare open-mouthed in horror at your plate and say, "Oh my God!"

d) leave a small tip and, on the way out, mention to the manager that the service was disappointing.

*

4) You walk into your neighborhood video store to rent an old movie, which they don't have. But their other store across town, you are told, has the movie. You drive there and then ask the salesperson if it would be possible to return the movie at the store closer to your home. The person snaps, "No! If it's so much trouble, maybe you should get a chauffeur!" You:

a) ask if the video store includes a chauffeur service in its rental price.

b) ask if the salesperson is any relation to the main character in "Night of the Living Dead."

c) ask for the person's autograph, and then explain that you have a collection of signatures of offensive boors.

d) tell the person in a voice loud enough for others to hear that the rudeness was uncalled for, and that you will not do business there again.

*

5) It is a weekend and you and your friend decide to go shopping in your most comfortable sweats and tennis shoes. A woman customer next to you, who looks as though she fell off the cover of Vogue, is being doted upon by salespeople. You, on the other hand, are totally ignored. You:

a) begin doing aerobics in the middle of the store.

b) hold up an expensive outfit and ask your friend, "Do you think my Uncle Rockefeller would like this?"

c) remark within earshot of a salesperson, "You know, my therapist says I'm a compulsive shopper. But what's life without a little indulgence?"

d) leave the store and go somewhere else where they want your business.

Answers: All of the above may be tempting, but the correct answer to every question is D. Don't get rude, get even.

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