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Festivus winners!

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 27, 2012 08:17 AM

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Happy Holiday gap! I hope everyone's Christmas celebrations are wrapping up nicely, or have done.

Lots of people wrote in Festivus Grievances, mostly on the topic of motion studies: annoying pedestrians, bikers, drivers, standers, riders of public transportation. The horrors of human trafficking! 

Here are 5 posts that got my amused attention, and hence will be rewarded with a signed copy of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners (e-mail me your addresses, winners, please!): 

My complaint is about shopping carts. I'm 46, and I can certainly recall that in my youth, you went into a store, you grabbed a cart, you did your shopping, you unloaded the cart into your car, and then you RETURNED THE CART. Do you have any idea how expensive these carts are? How many loads of groceries these carts have to bear in order to simply pay off their cost? To say nothing of the damage carts cause to cars, and the fact that a carelessly discarded cart takes us apparently vacant parking spaces. How long does it take to actually return your damned cart? Why should stores have to hire dedicated employees to have to walk around behind you and clean up after your laziness? Hell, they now even have conveniently placed cart corrals placed around the parking lot for you to return your cart and save that precious extra 20 seconds. 

+ 10 for thoroughness and macroeconomic perspective. I never had considered the cost of shopping carts, and now I find it a somewhat interesting question. 
- 5 for "in my day" reference, especially because if zzbottom1 were just a wee bit older, he or she would remember that stores used to have clerks come out with you and help you load the groceries. 

Rudeness in the city of Boston? I don't believe it. 

+ 5 for succinctness. 

People who walk in the street or bicycle at night wearing all dark clothing. Hellooooo! We drivers can'! 

+5 for possibly saving a life. This one is less of an Aired Grievance and more of a Public Service Announcement. It's easier to wear a reflector than to curse the darkness, people.

BDCs new-ish comment format. For the life of me I am unable to upload an avatar. The option doesn't exist. Please fix it. Thank you. 

+ 5 for letting Miss Conduct know she is not alone. I can't change my avatar for comments, either. Which isn't my logo, but a "Mad Men" version of myself like everyone was doing in 2010, and that doesn't even look like me anymore. Fix! It! 

Nastiness to the Cashier - too many times, after a customer is frustrated that the check-out line takes more time than they want, they snark at the cashier, fling their money at him/her, swear, and are just plain nasty and mean. C'mon - it's a 15-year-old minimum-wage kid who has NO POWER to make previous customers find their coupons faster, or reprogram the computers so that the sale price shows up correctly. Venting your spleen at the cashier might make your spleen feel better for the moment, but it ought to make your conscience ashamed for days. 

 + 10 for moral righteousness. Preach it! 

And a runner-up who was more impish than admirable

One of my pet peeves? Using words incorrectly. Miss Conduct, the
word is "regimen", not "regiment", which refers to a unit of ground forces in the military. 

+ 5 for eagle eyes 
- 5 for a (repeated) punctuation error in a post criticizing another person's linguistic mistake 
- 10 for assuming the worst when correcting another person's mistake. Of course I know the difference between "regimen" and "regiment" It was a typing error, not a lexical one. 

Happy New Year, everyone! There's no magazine, hence no column, this weekend. Hit me up on Facebook, and I'll see you back here in 2013.
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at

Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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