Dec. 5, 2022

Picking the Correct Utensil for Mac and Cheese, Spelling Like an Australian, Lingering Past Closing Time, and More

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about picking the correct utensil for mac and cheese, spelling like an Australian, lingering in stores past closing time, and much more

Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah answer listener questions about picking the correct utensil for mac and cheese, spelling like an Australian, lingering in stores after they're closed, and much more. Please follow us! (We'd send you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)

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  • What is the correct utensil for eating macaroni and cheese?
  • Should we let our best friends know in advance that we plan on giving them a Christmas gift?
  • I'm an American living in Australia...should I use Australian spelling rules?
  • When driving down a busy street, is it proper to slow down to allow cars to exit parking spaces?
  • Is it rude for customers to stay in a small store past closing time?







Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema

Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton

Theme Music: Rob Paravonian



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Episode 165


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Nick: Hey, everybody. It's Nick Leighton.

Leah: And it's Leah Bonnema.

Nick: And we had so many great questions from you all in the wilderness ...

Leah: [howls]

Nick: ... that we have a bonus episode. So here we go. And oh, we're gonna get letters! Oh, we're gonna get letters.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So our first question is quote, "What is the correct utensil for eating mac and cheese—a fork or a spoon?"

Leah: I go hard on fork.

Nick: Fork. That's it. No conversation required.

Leah: I have childhood memories.

Nick: Uh-huh?

Leah: My parents weren't in on, like, processed food, so I didn't get macaroni and cheese.

Nick: Mmm.

Leah: I had one babysitter that every time I had her, we had macaroni and cheese. And I lost my little child mind. And I have fond memories of taking the fork and putting the little elbows of macaroni on each ...

Nick: One per tine.

Leah: One per tine. And what a dream! I feel like if you have a spoon, it's soup.

Nick: Okay. Well, so I agree. My instinct, my first thought is, of course, it's a fork. Of course, we use forks. And I would like to venture that most of our audience would agree with us. However, let's talk about it. So I looked up the etiquette greats to see has anyone weighed in? And it turns out Emily and Amy, they have not weighed in on this question. So we will not get any help from them. But I did look at the Kraft Mac and Cheese box, and on the box they show a spoon.

Leah: What?

Nick: It is not a fork. On the packaging, they suggest through their imagery that the spoon is the correct utensil.

Leah: Well, I mean, I guess whatever gets it to your mouth.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Uh-huh.

Leah: But it feels more shovel-y with the spoon.

Nick: Right. True. And I think on some level, when we think about etiquette and table manners, a lot of the table manners in the United States are sort of Victorian, where the idea is that we want to pretend we're not actually eating. And so anything that looks like you're trying to shovel food into your face is typically not the way we want to do it. So I think by that argument, yes, spoon would be incorrect because it's a little too easy.

Leah: I'm a huge shoveler. I mean, anybody who knows me, I'm just like, "Get it in my mouth now!"

Nick: [laughs] Okay.

Leah: And I think, A) if you have mac and cheese that has so much liquid in it that you need a spoon ...

Nick: Right.

Leah: It needs to go back into the oven or the pan or however—you mis-cooked it.

Nick: Right. If there's a viscosity problem with your mac and cheese where, like, spoon becomes correct? Yeah, maybe there is something wrong with this dish.

Leah: I mean, I believe in the goodness of a mac and cheese, so if what brings you joy is piling it onto a spoon, then by all means pile. But I would say fork.

Nick: Now I was thinking if it is a homemade mac and cheese, this is not like a KD dinner. This is like something you made, it's a mornay sauce. And the sauce is so good, the cheese you've used is so delicious that you want to get every drop of it. And so if the sauce is really the featured highlighted item in this dish, not necessarily the pasta, I can see maybe why the spoon would be the one you would reach for.

Leah: I could see it. And I'm sure at some point in my life I've had macaroni and cheese with a spoon.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I'm sure it's happened.

Nick: Yeah. All right.

Leah: But how are you gonna put each of the little elbows and give them all sleeves? You know what I mean? You're gonna give them fork sleeves.

Nick: How would you do that? Yes.

Leah: Which is way more fun.

Nick: Yes. Although I do believe that is not etiquette approved.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So let's not do that at the formal dinner party where we're serving mac and cheese.

Leah: Let's do that. And because I guarantee you somebody across the table from you will go, "Oh, sweaters for your fork?" And you go, "Yes!"

Nick: Sweaters for your fork?

Leah: And then you've found a new friend.

Nick: Okay. Now what about the third option—the unspoken option—the spork?

Leah: I can't.

Nick: No?

Leah: I just emotionally packed up and left the house.

Nick: Okay, so we cannot get on board with the spork.

Leah: I just find them to be—I've only seen a plastic spork. I've never seen a real spork.

Nick: Well, it actually is not a new utensil. I think they actually kind of started in the 1800s. Like, they've definitely been around a long time.

Leah: I thought you were gonna say chopsticks.

Nick: Oh, chopsticks!

Leah: I feel like that's for when you really want to make it last. You know, you're like, "I'm just gonna have one at a time."

Nick: And would you put the pasta on one individual chopstick? Is that how'd you do it?

Leah: [laughs] Chopstick sweaters!

Nick: So I think—for a variety of reasons, I think fork is probably correct, although the fact that Kraft uses a spoon on their packaging does throw a bit of a wild card in it, because I feel like they've done market research, and somehow a lot of their audience resonates with spoon more. And so why is that?

Leah: I would like to believe that they were mixing it with the spoon. They were putting it onto their plate with the spoon.

Nick: No, no. This is like, spoon ready to go into your face. That's what this photo looks like.

Leah: Maybe they're thinking it's more like a SpaghettiOs situation, and that was like—you know, in another episode, you said how to handle something—oh, it was the spa episode. And you were saying sometimes when we have something new, we think, "What's like this?"

Nick: Right.

Leah: And we handled that situation. So maybe when Kraft Macaroni and Cheese came out, they thought, "What is like this that people will understand what we're going for?" And then they went, "SpaghettiOs!"

Nick: I see. Oh, this is such a new thing. Nobody knows what this is yet. We're gonna have to help them understand how to get it from their plate to their face.

Leah: Yes.

Nick: And so to help them along, we will give them something that's familiar. That's the spoon. I see.

Leah: You know what it is? This just hit me right now, is that macaroni cheese is a comfort food.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: And I think that more comfort foods are eaten with spoons—ice cream, soup.

Nick: Oh! Yes, that's true.

Leah: So the spoon signifies to the viewer of the box this is gonna make—whereas a fork's slightly aggressive, it implies more work. It implies you're eating in a social situation where you have to think about not making fork sweaters.

Nick: There's linen involved.

Leah: A spoon says—there's linen.

Nick: Yes.

Leah: A spoon says, "You kick back. You relax."

Nick: I see. It's sort of a warm hug.

Leah: It is a warm—a spoon is a warm hug.

Nick: Oh, that's actually a good psychological point, that the spoon does feel like an embrace.

Leah: It really does.

Nick: Whereas a fork feels like work.

Leah: It's working. You're working.

Nick: Mm-hmm. You're laboring to get the pasta into your face.

Leah: It's a labor.

Nick: Whereas the spoon? Effortless.

Leah: Effortless, and it's very couch-y. I'm gonna sit on the couch.

Nick: That's true.

Leah: I'm probably wearing warm socks.

Nick: Yeah. No, it's definitely a wool type of a feel.

Leah: [laughs] Yes, it is.

Nick: Sure.

Leah: You're full of a blanket after you eat it.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. So you out there, if you have any thoughts about fork versus spoon or spork. Or if you have some terrapin spoons laying around, I guess you could use those. But yeah, let us know. What is the preferred utensil in your house?

Leah: And it quite possibly varies by mood, you know? I could see it—now that we've talked it out, I could really see it varying by mood.

Nick: Oh, like, "Oh, who am I tonight? Oh, tonight. I'm a fork person."

Leah: "Tonight I'm eating fancy macaroni and cheese."

Nick: Right.

Leah: "And I'm making fork sweaters. But tomorrow, I'm relaxed. I'm spooning it in."

Nick: Okay. So our next question is quote, "My fiance and I have gotten Christmas gifts for our best friend couple. It is not unusual for us to exchange gifts with them, but it is not necessarily a holiday tradition between us. I think it would be polite to let them know we plan to give them presents so that they don't feel empty handed if they would have otherwise reciprocated. I would fully intend to let them know that reciprocation is not necessary. Is there a standard for letting people know you plan to give them a gift, or should we just give them gifts without any warning? I hesitate to say something like, 'Would you be interested in exchanging gifts this year?' Because that seems more like we're looking for reciprocation than just letting them know or doing nothing."

Leah: So I feel like we had a question like this previously.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And I think this is such a great question.

Nick: Mm-hmm!

Leah: And I actually just had this situation happen. I love giving gifts, and I do not expect a gift in return. And I recently had this happen with a neighbor. And I just said, "Hey, I have something for you. I'd love to swing by, say hello, drop it off." So I'm giving them a heads up.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: I'm coming by with something. But it was more about, like, "What's a good time for you? Also, do you have time for, like, a quick chat? I would love to see your face," you know? And then that was that.

Nick: Yeah. I like the idea of not totally ambushing somebody with a gift, because that is awkward. I mean, that's when you then scramble in your closet and be like, "Oh, I have something for you." And then you look for something to regift really quickly and hope you have wrapping paper nearby. And be like, "Oh, yeah. Here's this thing I totally bought for you." So I think we don't want that embarrassment. So I think that instinct is correct. And then I guess the heads up, like the real casual heads up about scheduling a time to get together, I guess that feels correct.

Leah: And then I think the person receiving could also say, "Oh, I'd love to see you. Thank you so much. I'm behind. I don't have anything." Like, say it's like a gift-exchanging holiday, you say—and you don't have something. I think that's fine to be like, "I'd love to see you. Thank you so much. I haven't gotten my shopping done, you know, yet, so I don't have—" I think just be honest.

Nick: Yeah. I guess that would be the way to go. Because also if you ask, like, "Oh, do you want to do gifts this year?" Then they have to say yes. Like, are you allowed to say no to that question and be like, "No, I'd rather not do gifts with you." Like, you can't say that, can you?

Leah: But then also you just want to give a gift. So just tell them you're dropping it off. They can say, "Oh, I'd love to see you. This date works for me." You've given them the heads up, and then they can say, "Oh, I haven't done my shopping this year." And then you can say, "Oh, you don't have to. I just thought of you and wanted to drop this off."

Nick: Yeah, that would be nice. And I think it's key if the gift is not extravagant, I think it does become more problematic the more extravagant your gift is. If it's just sort of like a fun, friendly, thoughtful gift, but not necessarily like a crazy like, "Oh, I really need to acknowledge this with another gift" type of gift, then I guess that's fine. But I do worry, like, "Oh, if the gift giving gets a little more serious then, like, some reciprocation will definitely feel required.

Leah: I'm not gonna worry about it. And just in case somebody out there was thinking they wanted to just drop a car off in front of my house with a bow like those commercials, I will absolutely ...

Nick: Where do you buy those bows? Are those commercially available?

Leah: No, they come with—when I got my car lease ...

Nick: They come with it?

Leah: When I walked out to pick it up, they had the bow on it. You take a picture, it's a whole thing.

Nick: Oh! Like, the dealer has bows available?

Leah: Yes.

Nick: Oh, okay. I just thought that was like a car commercial thing.

Leah: No, they have them at the dealership.

Nick: What else could you buy somebody that has a big bow on it? That'd be great.

Leah: Maybe you could just go to the dealership and ask to buy a big bow.

Nick: "Oh, I got you this. It's a car bow."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: [laughs] I mean, what a fun gift. So our next question is quote, "I'm from the United States, but I've been in Australia for the past three years. Australia's spelling rules are similar to the UK. For example, they spell "neighbour" with a U. But I continue to spell things the American way. Occasionally, I wonder if it's rude to use the Australian spellings when communicating with Australians, but part of me feels awkward and frankly a little pretentious code-switching in that particular way. It feels like the written equivalent of trying to speak in an Australian accent in real life, which would obviously be completely ridiculous. I'm pretty sure I'm not required to change the way I spell in most situations, but are there some contexts where I should be more mindful? Like for instance, I manage our apartment building's Facebook page, and I just realized that I put the page's description in American English."

Leah: May I just say that I had never thought of that comparison, that it would be like walking around speaking with a fake accent. And it made me giggle so hard.

Nick: [laughs] Right?

Leah: So hard!

Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess it sort of—I could see why we might feel this.

Leah: No, I can absolutely see it. And that's why I was like, "Yeah, that would be—" and then I just laughed for, like, five minutes imagining the situation.

Nick: So there are definitely differences in spelling between the United States, Canada, Australia, UK. And there's also vocabulary differences and grammar differences. So it's kind of like the spelling is just one part of it. Like, are we also going to change the way we do quotes? And are we also gonna, like, use Australian terms for things? So I guess the question is like, if you're in for a penny, are you in for a pound?

Leah: I mean I, because I studied in Hungary, they—when they learned English, they were learning British English.

Nick: Mmm.

Leah: And then I was in Canada for so long that sometimes a "U" will slip in. "Behaviour."

Nick: Right. With a "U."

Leah: And I sort of just—you know, it always gets flagged in my word processor. Word processor. I mean, what is this?

Nick: Your Commodore 64? Uh-huh.

Leah: Yeah. But I kind of think it slips in and slips out. Do you.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, as a recipient of an email where there would be a spelling that's not American English, I'm not bothered by it. I mean, it'll probably catch my eye and I would be like, "Oh, you're just from a different English tradition." And, like, I'm fine with that. So I don't think your recipients are probably bothered if they see emails with American spellings.

Leah: I don't think it would be taken as rude. Like, "Oh, you're communicating with me. I'm Australian English. You should have switched." I don't think people—I would be shocked if people thought that way.

Nick: But I do think it's actually a good idea to use terms that are gonna be more understood in wherever you are. Like, you should refer to it as, like, your flat rather than your apartment, for example. Like, it's just easier to use the Australian term for something. Although actually I think they use the word "apartment" more and more now. But an example like that, whereas they're like if there's a term that's more commonly used, like, just use that term because that's just like what we all use. And I don't think it would feel like you're saying it in an Australian accent.

Leah: Yeah.

Nick: I think using an accent that's not yours, that is a little trickier.

Leah: But honestly, I'd love to be a part of that. I would love to watch it from afar and have a great giggle.

Nick: I mean, I guess if you could nail it and—where people couldn't tell, I guess that's fine. But if you're being Madonna about it, then I think that's a problem.

Leah: I just think it would be funny if people said, "What are you doing?" And you're like, "Oh, I was just trying to ..."

Nick: "Just being a local."

Leah: "... to be a local." And people are like, "No. Nope!"

Nick: But to answer the question about the Facebook page, I think when you are representing something that is Australia, so like, if you're writing a press release on behalf of your Australian company, or you're writing something on behalf of an Australian apartment building, I think the identity of that institution is Australian, and so that institution speaks Australian. And so your spelling should be Australian. So I think for the Facebook page I would change it.

Leah: Do you think?

Nick: I do think. Do you not think?

Leah: In the Facebook group?

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: I guarantee you everybody in that Facebook group knows that she's American.

Nick: Yeah, but it feels like the description of the page is describing the apartment building. And the apartment building is not American.

Leah: Oh, the description! Yes, the description. I see what you're saying.

Nick: When she's commenting, and be like, "Oh, why did somebody leave their garbage out?" Like, Oo, for your own posts. Do what you do.

Leah: But for the building's post. Yes. Okay. I see what you're saying.

Nick: Yes. I think it's just like when you're writing on behalf and you're not representing yourself and your own culture, you're representing the culture of something else, then I'd use the spelling of that culture.

Leah: Yes, absolutely. I was still lost in the visual of having an accent. But I absolutely agree with that. I think that's a great way to delineate it. Are you being you or are you speaking for somebody else?

Nick: That's it. I do think Australian English has some amazing vocabulary, and I do want to incorporate more of it in my life. It's not avocado toast. It's avo-toast.

Leah: Fabulous.

Nick: Right? Isn't that charming?

Leah: I think Nick and I actually have a favorite Australian, which we've maybe kept from our audience, but this might be the time to bring it up.

Nick: Oh, I don't know what you're referring to, but do we want to divulge whatever it is you're wanting to divulge?

Leah: I think it has to do with the question, and that's where we're learning our Australian terms. And that is obviously from Instant Hotel.

Nick: Oh. Sure!

Leah: And which Nick and I watch and then text each other about. And because we love other cultures and traveling.

Nick: Right!

Leah: And I think our new favorite saying is "Emotional arsonist."

Nick: Oh, that is good! So for anybody who doesn't know, Instant Hotel is basically people in Australia who have Airbnbs, and all these people who have their own Airbnbs go and spend a night in each other's Airbnbs and then judge them very harshly.

Leah: Very harshly.

Nick: And then somebody wins at the end.

Leah: At some points I actually had to walk out of the room and watch through the kitchen door because they were so mean!

Nick: Yes, I think it is not a study in politeness, but it is a study in amazing Australian vocabulary. And "Emotional arsonist," I think definitely stuck with me.

Leah: Which Nick and I would like to work into the show, because it really does describe certain people in certain situations.

Nick: Yes. So if you hear that phrase, that is where this comes from.

Leah: That's—we're giving you the bibliography of the soon-to-be-used phrase, "Emotional arsonist."

Nick: So our next question is quote, "When driving down a busy street in traffic that seldom clears between lights, is it proper to slow down briefly to allow a car trying to exit a parking space a chance to do so? I suppose my gracious offer that feels good to my soul is actually a unilateral decision for all the cars behind me. I admit I do this, but is this something repentable, or is it worthy of a vent for the whole line of drivers behind me?"

Leah: I think it's a really nice thing to do. And also we have to do it. If nobody let anybody in, people would never get out of their parking spaces, or the—whatever they're pulling out of.

Nick: Right. If we lived in a world in which you don't let people out, then no one will ever be able to get out.

Leah: And I understand the feeling of—I actually had somebody behind me the other day who was a little bit horn happy because I stopped and let somebody in. And no, I did not get out of the car and speak to them, but I did make direct eye contact through the mirror.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. How'd that feel? Did that feel satisfying?

Leah: It didn't feel satisfying at all. But you know my rule: no getting out of the car yelling with the dog in it.

Nick: Oh, but if the dog was not in the car, all bets are off?

Leah: All bets are off. I—if people honk and they're upset with you—we weren't going anywhere. There's another light. They're not—one car is not gonna make a difference. And it makes a big difference to the person trying to pull out. It's the right thing to do.

Nick: Yes. And I think in general, etiquette is about compromise. I mean, that's the whole point. As a society, we need etiquette because etiquette are the rules that tell all of us how to compromise. Because I would love to be selfish all day long and have it all about me, and not have to do anything for anybody else, but if we all feel this way, then this place stops working. Like, for example, on a subway. Like, the compromise is that I will wait a hot second for you to get off the subway before I go on. And that way this all works better. And you compromise by letting me off first so that I can get off the subway. And we both have that little compromise, but both of us in the end are better off. And, like, isn't that wonderful? And so yes, you might be holding somebody up behind you, but someday that person may be in a parking space and needs to get out. And so by them waiting a second, they in the future will have the same courtesy extended to them. That is the point of etiquette. That's why we do this. It's a little giving from all of us so we can all get a little too. So that's why this is polite.

Leah: It's definitely polite, and I think it's—except for a few people who I will skip over what I'm gonna say right there—I think we all agree that we let people in. You know, and that's why when we—we go every other. "Oh, you get in there, and then I'm gonna go." And then if somebody else needs to—in a tight traffic situation, that's how it works. We're letting every other persons letting people in, because we all gotta go.

Nick: Yes. Yes. So I think this is a great example of just sort of like why etiquette exists. And so you're doing a fine thing.

Leah: It's a perfect example. And may I say, I was so delighted. There was a big traffic thing here yesterday. And we were—everybody was doing a phenomenal job letting everybody in, and everybody—really, it was—it was a beautiful weaving. I was really proud of all of us.

Nick: Okay.

Leah: And then I—you know, there was a red light up ahead, so I mean, it didn't even matter. Of course, I'm gonna stop and let people in. We're not even going anywhere. So this truck had to go across both lanes, so I stopped and I rolled down my window to be like, "You can go. I'm not gonna pull forward." He rolled down his window, waved, and then when he made it to the other lane, turned around and waved again. And I was like, "That man is a person after my own heart." And it really made my whole day. It made my whole day.

Nick: Yeah. I mean, sad that that is what makes your day, but I'll take it.

Leah: Is it sad that humans communicating and being polite to each other?

Nick: I mean, I would want there to be better highlights than a trucker waving twice for you.

Leah: I don't think you get it.

Nick: That's as good as it gets.

Leah: I don't think you—no, I also enjoy the big things, but I love it when society is kind and polite.

Nick: True. That—no, I get—no, I get it. Yes. I should not be so flip.

Leah: So many people don't wave and then I lose, like, two to three hours tailgating them, not going where I was going just to prove a point.

Nick: [laughs] Oh, did you ever find that red Mini Cooper?

Leah: Oh, I've been looking.

Nick: [laughs] Okay. Let me know if you find it.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: Although I'll probably read about it in the news if you did.

Leah: You'll be—you'll just see the title and you'll be like, "Leah!"

Nick: "Oh, I told you, let it go. Let it go."

Leah: It's so funny. I do feel it's like the people who constantly try to take the high road such as myself, that just one day completely snap and are running down the highway after a red Mini Cooper.

Nick: Oh, yeah. No, I mean, this is what true crime podcasts are based on.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I'll just pivot the show. No problem. Don't worry about me. I got plenty of content if you get arrested for that.

Leah: You're like, "We no longer—it's no longer a co-hosting situation. Leah is in jail."

Nick: And we're gonna now investigate the crime.

Leah: But we actually don't have to investigate it because Leah's fully admitted to it, apologized and sent notes to the entire family.

Nick: Right. So our next question is quote, "I work in a lovely locally-owned home decor store. Our store closes at 4:00 p.m., and the store hours are posted on the door. So at 3:45, we usually begin turning off the lights, closing blinds, bringing decor items in that are outside in preparation for closing. Last weekend, two women arrived at the store five minutes before closing time. They've shopped with us before, so our hours are known to them. As we were preparing the store to close, they asked, 'Oh, do you close at 4:00 p.m.?' We answered yes with a smile, and assumed they would be making their way out of the store shortly. Instead, they casually wandered around the store—even in the back rooms where the lights were off—and even tried on clothes for another 30 minutes. As I was checking them out at the register, they both lightheartedly said, 'Sorry we took so long.' I just smiled and was too annoyed to answer with anything except 'That's okay.' I think they were the rude ones in this situation. What do you think?"

Leah: I think who are these people?

Nick: [laughs] Well, these are people who think the customer's always right.

Leah: The lights are off.

Nick: Yeah. And you know you have five minutes left.

Leah: You know you have five minutes. And trying things on is—this is how you, if you come in late and you wanted to grab—"Oh, I know you're closing in five minutes. I just want to give a quick look see. Is that okay?"

Nick: Yes. Asking for permission would be the polite thing to do.

Leah: And it would have changed the whole tone. It would have changed the whole tone.

Nick: And I guess in a business situation like this, professional setting, I think you can't really say anything, though. I feel like you have to bite your tongue.

Leah: No. And I think that's okay. Really walked a fine line because you didn't say, "Are you? Are you sorry? Because your behavior said otherwise." [laughs]

Nick: Oh, that's what I wrote down. I had a whole list of alternative things, and the first one was, "Are you?" [laughs] "Your time is more valuable than mine, so it's fine."

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: The third one I had was, "Clearly, you've never worked in retail."

Leah: Oh, clearly they have not.

Nick: Definitely not.

Leah: Or any form of the service industry. I don't think "That's okay" was rude.

Nick: No, that's fine. Yeah. And it was probably said in a perfectly neutral way. And also something like this, they're oblivious to tone, so they don't care. I mean, they know they did a bad thing.

Leah: They know they did. And they've shopped there before and the lights are off and you're closing down the store and they go, "Oh, do you close at four?" I mean ...

Nick: I think you could have, once it hit four o'clock, you could have gone up to them and been like, "Hey, we are now closed. Is there anything I can help you with?" I think that would have been a polite thing to do once your store was officially closed, and not let them wander for another half an hour.

Leah: Sometimes it's such a tough situation because they're past customers, and you know they're gonna spend money. And it's like ...

Nick: Yeah.

Leah: You want to keep your business.

Nick: Yeah, that's what makes it tough when it's business. And there is a difference between business etiquette and, like, social etiquette. In a social setting, you would just never invite them back to your store again.

Leah: [laughs] Yes.

Nick: [laughs] And be like, "Oh, no. We're just not open anymore. So sorry for the inconvenience." But yeah, for business, I mean, rude people's money is as good as polite people's. So sometimes in business you got to put up with rude people. That's like part of the deal of being in business.

Leah: You could always slip them a Were You Raised By Wolves? card in the bag.

Nick: Okay. I mean, a little passive-aggressive, but I like the promotional opportunity.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: So I'll take it.

Leah: [laughs]

Nick: But yeah, I'm sorry. I don't think there's really much you could probably do in the future to insulate yourself from this, but ...

Leah: I do think they were the rude ones in this situation.

Nick: Oh, absolutely.

Leah: And I've gone to stores when they were—when I walked in, I realized they were closing and I've asked, "Oh, I didn't realize you were closing. May I do a quick run around?" And I'm fully prepared for them to say, "Oh, no. We're closing."

Nick: That would have been the nice thing to do. But unfortunately, not everybody does the nice thing.

Leah: [sighs]

Nick: So do you have questions for us about doing the nice thing? Or anything else? Let us know. You can let us know through our website, Or you can leave us a voicemail or send us a text message: (267) CALL-RBW. And we'll see you next time!

Leah: Bye!

Nick: Bye!