Dear Abby: I’m a small-business owner. I have an educational supply and toy store. Business has been pretty good, even through the hard times.
My problem is my customers’ children are about to put me out of business. They are out of control. They climb on shelving, open products, tear things apart and throw screaming tantrums.
Their parents let them run through the store like it’s a playground. I have signs posted at the entrance and around the store reminding parents to attend to their children.
We have lost a lot of inventory due to these brats, and my time is consumed trying to keep them in line instead of working with my customers. I don’t go to their homes and wreck them. I wish they’d show the same respect for my business. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
:Had It With Overindulged Kids
:Dear Had It: If possible, designate a small area of your store where kids can go to play while their parents are shopping. Also, post a sign at the cash register that reads: “Customers Will Be Charged for Broken or Damaged Items.”
The problem you are experiencing is one that is shared by many other retailers. If any of them are reading this column, I’d love to know how they resolved this problem.
Dear Abby: Since my mother passed away, I feel awkward when my parents’ anniversary comes up. I don’t want to ignore this important date for my father (we are very close), but I don’t feel saying “Happy Anniversary” is appropriate either. What do you suggest?
:Remembering In Orange County, Calif.
:Dear Remembering: Your father already knows what the date means. Pick up the phone, say, “Dad, I’m thinking about you and I love you,” and if he lives close by, invite him to dinner if he doesn’t have plans.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.