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Miss Manners: Electric vehicle etiquette
MISS MANNERS

Miss Manners: Electric vehicle etiquette

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Dear Miss Manners • I own a battery hybrid car. As these types of cars become more popular, there has been an increase in the number of publicly available charging stations. These stations are typically found at places of business like malls and commercial parking garages, and often (but not always) line up with a designated parking spot.

I have occasionally come upon a car parked in a charging space, and plugged into a charging station, although it is completely charged. (This can often be determined by indicator lights on the vehicle or on the charging station itself. Typically when they’re lit and/or blinking, the vehicle is charging.)

I don’t want to waste time waiting for the car’s owner to come back, or to have to return at a later time to plug my vehicle in. Would it be rude to unplug someone else’s vehicle if I “know” that it is already fully charged?

Gentle Reader • Much like the use of public laundry machines, it is difficult to determine exactly how long this process will take — and tedious to sit there waiting for it.

Miss Manners asks that you assume the best, but if you are forced to wait an unreasonable amount of time, she will allow you to change out the plug. If caught in the act, you may say, “I am sorry, I didn’t want your car to overcharge.”

While this may betray some ignorance of how the system works, at least it will have the guise of being thoughtful and polite — not just impatient, however justifiably so.

Dear Miss Manners • When we went with friends to a very nice restaurant, my husband and one of our friends split the bill and treated our group of six.

My very expensive dinner was blah and tasteless. The next day, I called the manager of the restaurant to let him know my dissatisfaction. He said I should have sent my dinner back to the kitchen immediately and asked for a replacement.

I hadn’t wanted to make any sort of fuss while everyone else was diving into their plates, and I was not technically one of the “hosts” of the dinner. What to do?

Gentle Reader • “Blah and tasteless,” while perhaps unpleasant, are generally considered matters of preference. You can hardly return the food now, and even if your stomach forced you to, it is not retroactively refundable.

If you didn’t want to make a fuss then, Miss Manners fails to see what good it could do after the fact — particularly since, as you point out, you were not the person paying for it in the first place.

What to do? Find another restaurant, or recommendation, that is more suited to your culinary tastes the next time you are charged with doing so.

Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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