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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Miss Conduct

‘Are you all set?’

Annoyed by an apparent trend in customer service. Plus, how to tell a friend her gifts might be dangerous.

At some point, employees began replacing “Can I help you?” with “Are you all set?” — a question that seems to shut down the buying process. I can’t help but see it as a thinly veiled way for the employees to say that they are too busy to help. I must be misunderstanding something, since retail owners and operators would never support practices that are bad for business. Can you help me out?

G.L. / Andover

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