Dear Annie: I am a small-business owner. It's challenging, but I have wonderful customers who seem to like our service. So, I'd like to ask your readers a question:
Is there a business establishment that you enjoy going to? A restaurant that is part of your life? A store where you always are treated well? You can help them stay in business by writing a positive online review.
It's human nature to complain when things go wrong, but it's rare to post something to let people know when things go right. My business has only a few online reviews, and they are negative posts from customers who were not happy with some small thing. I always try to make amends, but even so, the review is never removed. For every bad thing that happens in my business, there are so many good things and so many happy customers. They thank me over and over, yet they don't write reviews, even when I ask.
So, please, if you like a business, let the world know. "Like" them on Facebook. Post a review on Yelp or TripAdvisor or Google. You don't have to write a lot, just a couple of positive sentences. It will make more difference than you realize. — Business Woman
Dear Business: It's human nature to write only when you have a complaint or a disagreement. (We should know.) When people are satisfied with the service they are getting, they rarely think to say so, but you are right that small businesses depend on good word of mouth. Please, folks, if you have had a pleasant experience with a business or service, say so in an online review. It means a great deal to them.
Dear Annie: When I was growing up, the rule was that if you had to cancel an appointment, you would call to let the person know that your plans had changed. Now that everyone has cellphones, it seems that the rules have changed.
A couple of friends stood me up on my birthday because my cellphone was turned off. They said they didn't come over because I hadn't called to verify that I was actually going to be there at the appointed time. But we had already made these plans a week before. I thought I only needed to call if I was NOT going to be there. Am I out of touch with how things are done now? — Sad Birthday Girl
Dear Birthday Girl: It was wrong of your friends to assume you had canceled, but even if they apologize for their rudeness, it won't change how they respond when they cannot get ahold of you next time. The problem is, so many plans are transient these days. People expect to be able to reach you at any moment of the day or night in case something changes at the last minute. But it also means people need constant verification to be sure the plans are still on. We think they would be happy to reschedule, and we hope you will let them.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.