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Opening Arguments

Boycott fever

Remember the simpler days of retailing years ago when a company would offer a product or service and people who wanted that product or service at the stated price would patronize the company? Nowadays the retailers get so easily distracted and customers so easlily annoyhed. First of all, let's never, ever offend the Muslims:

Furious M&S customers threatened to boycott the store last night for allowing Muslim checkout staff to refuse to serve customers who want to pay for alcohol or pork.

Managers at a London store told the workers they could ask any shoppers trying to buy the items to wait until a different till was available, it emerged yesterday.

One shopper said: 'I had one bottle of champagne, and the lady, who was wearing a headscarf, was very apologetic but said she could not serve me. She told me to wait until another member of staff was available.

Yeah, if you don't want to (or think you're not allowed to) handle certain things, then you probably shouldn't work at a place that sells them, and the company shouldn't have hired you in the first place and should definitely fire your butt now. Pretty simple.

And while we're at it, let's not rile up the conservative Christians, either:

Nationwide country restaurant Cracker Barrel has reversed its decision of Friday to stop selling some Duck Dynasty merchandise with Papa Phil's face prominently displayed. Thanks to fierce customer backlash and a strong anti-Cracker Barrel Twitter campaign, the restaurant tweeted on Sunday that Duck Dynasty products are back on the shelves.

If you're in the retail business, you should probably have a good handle on who the majority of your customers are. Since Ducd Dynasty" haters are probably not Cracker Barrel customers and Muslims aren't the biggest chunk of M&S customers, perhaps the retaielrs should be a little more careful about offending Christians.

I'm not crazy about mixing politics with my retail choices. I like a certain pizza chain whose owner supports a lot of rightwing causes and a certain ice cream whose owners have strongly held leftwing views. All I care about them is that they make wonderful pizza and ice cream.

Of course I might be tempted make an exception for a company that gets annoyingly deep into political correctness. Tempted, only. I don't want to become like the idiots I detest. But serve me a lously meal or screw me over on the price, and I'm outa there.