Thatz Not Okay: Lying to Looky-Loos; Giving Your Hubby the Summer OffS

Welcome to Thatz Not Okay, a regular column in which I school inquiring readers on what is and is not okay. Please send your questions (max: 200 words) to caity@gawker.com with the subject "Thatz Not Okay."


I have a small shop and 2 shop dogs. There's a local lady with a dog who walks by daily. I recognize her from the pet store as being every shop owner's nightmare aka a time suck who doesn't buy anything. My dogs are great shop dogs, friendly and outgoing to customers. They will bark at another dog thru the window though make friends once the other dog is in the shop. I want to pretend my dogs are not dog friendly to deter this woman from entering my shop and wasting my time. Is that okay?

Thatz not okay.

What exactly is the plan here? For you to brace yourself in the doorway and scream, “AWAY, AWAY INNOCENTS! O THAT MY STORE WERE NOT GUARDED BY SUCH CERBERUSES! NOT REALLY SURE WHY I KEEP THEM IN A RETAIL SPACE, TO BE HONEST. WHO KNOWS WHY I DO WHAT I DO?”

Why would you keep unfriendly dogs in a store?

After receiving your email, I looked up the Yelp reviews for your shop, as this woman might, upon hearing that your business is home to vicious street curs. Many of the write-ups mentioned the “very sweet," “friendly” dogs who are only working at the store part-time to put themselves through cooking school. While these reviews reflect wonderfully on you, a responsible pet owner with well-socialized dogs, they hinder your harebrained scheme.

Phase I of preventing this one random woman from entering your shop because you hate her for no clear reason is to write a bunch of fake Yelp reviews for your boutique.

"The only thing more terrifying than the dogs was the terrifyingly excellent service.”

“The dogs are SO CUTE but I think one of them is a coyote and gave my Samoyed rabies.”

But! What if the woman wants to come back on her own, without her puppy chaperone? The dog in question is presumably not a guide dog. (If it is: you are the devil; your shop's scented candles burn with the eternal flames of hell.) How will you keep her out of the store once the (pretend) hell hounds are no longer an issue? Just stand on the sidewalk and yell "EVERYTHING I SELL IS BAD! I PROMISE YOU DON’T WANT IT"?

Not that logic or rational thinking is really a factor here, but I'm curious as to how, from merely watching this woman in a pet store, you deduced that she would not buy anything from your store. Do you own a pet store? Is the pet store you own the one in which you saw her not buying anything? How does she feed her dog if she doesn’t buy it food from the pet store?

Generally speaking, it is bad business practice to keep potential customers away from your store on the chance they MIGHT not buy anything. (This is why one rarely sees signs reading “Store is for customers only” and “You SEE it, you BUY it" hung outside souvenir shops.) If you must, a surefire way to keep this lady (and others like her) off your property is to throw a “closed” sign up anytime someone walks by; that way no customers will ever come in and waste your time.

Incidentally, everything I've just said is irrelevant, as this woman has given no indication she WANTS to enter your store. She walks by daily and yet has never set foot inside. It sounds like you’re already doing a great job of keeping her away.



At work, I get half-day Fridays in during our Summer Hours schedule. Husband decided to take half-Fridays off from work this summer, too. Problem is: I don't want to be obligated to spend this time with him; I like the 4-hour afternoon freedom & personal time. In fact, it annoys me that he intruded. Is that okay?

Thatz not okay.

If you don’t want to spend time with your husband, "Husband," on your summer Fridays, I would tell him what you just told me. Word-for-word. Print out the email and give it to him.

Just because your job gives you summer Fridays doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t deserve summer Fridays. See how that sentence doesn’t exactly make sense? That’s because your complaint doesn’t exactly make sense.

You’re fortunate that you have a job that gives its employees half-day Fridays. Your husband is fortunate that he has a job that allows him to decide out of the blue that maybe instead of working on Friday afternoons, he will just not do that. (What is his job? A neighborhood lemonade stand?)

“Summer Fridays” are not a concept invented by you for the enjoyment of you and no one else.

Yes, it is possible that your husband is hoping to spend time with you while you’re both off work. I can understand how this guy would have gotten the impression you wanted to hang out with him; it probably happened at or around your wedding. (Little did he know you were marrying him only to escape him. Keeping your enemies closer, etc.)

Does he come on vacations with you? Invite himself to breakfast when you’re having cereal A-L-O-N-E? When’s he gonna get a clue that you are a lone wolf: private; independent; crepuscular, becoming particularly active on Fridays?

Wanting time alone is fine. The newsflash here is that your husband probably does not plan to spend every one of his (equally precious) summer Friday hours Velcro'd to your side. What were you planning on doing with those four-hour breaks? Banging a stranger in your marriage bed? If it’s anything other than that, it probably won’t be adversely affected by his being home (or even more broadly: not being at work) at the same time as you. He’s probably got some plans too.

If you’re really desperate to avoid him, I’m sure your employer can find some work for you to do during what would have been your summer Fridays.

But my advice is to keep your chin up and muscle through it. Summer only lasts for a few months and you won’t be married much longer.

Submit your "Thatz Not Okay" questions (max: 200 words) here. Art by Jim Cooke. Source photo via Shutterstock.