Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - Send a money- or time-sav­ing hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San An­to­nio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

DEAR READ­ERS: Today’s Sound Off is about depart­ment store staff who ig­nore the cus­tomer:

DEAR HELOISE: I went shop­ping at a ma­jor depart­ment store, and I asked one of the sales staff if she could as­sist me, and she said, ‘No,’ she was busy, and just walked off. I saw a group of three gig­gling sales­peo­ple and asked if they could help me, and one young woman said, ‘In a minute,’ turned her back and con­tin­ued her con­ver­sa­tion. I left the store.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen sales­peo­ple ig­nore a cus­tomer. The ma­jor­ity usu­ally are help­ful and pro­fes­sional, but it only takes a few bad ap­ples to ruin the rep­u­ta­tion of a store. Is it a lack of proper train­ing?

— Emma Y., Scran­ton, Pa. Sorry to hear that, but you do have op­tions. You can call the store man­ager to let him or her know of your ex­pe­ri­ence, or write a let­ter to the cor­po­rate CEO.

DEAR READ­ERS: If you lose your wal­let:

Call the po­lice and re­port that it’s lost or stolen — do this im­me­di­ately.

Get a new driver’s li­cense — this is your most com­monly used form of ID.

Can­cel all credit cards and, if nec­es­sary, no­tify your bank.

No­tify util­i­ties in case some­one tries to open an ac­count.

If you kept a spare house key in your wal­let, have the locks changed.

DEAR HELOISE: I’m hav­ing prob­lems with gnats. Do you have a so­lu­tion? — Bugs in Kitchen,

via email DEAR READ­ERS: Make cer­tain all in­door plants are not wa­tered for a cou­ple of days, as gnats lay their eggs in damp soil. Re­move all food or fruit bowls from the counter. Clean all sur­faces with an all-pur­pose cleaner, in­clud­ing the floors and trash bas­kets. Cover drains with plas­tic and tape it down. Leave this in place overnight.

To make a gnat trap pour about a quar­ter cup of ap­ple-cider vine­gar into a jar or plas­tic con­tainer.

Take a cof­fee fil­ter and place over the open­ing of the ap­ple-cider con­tainer. You can use a rub­ber band to en­sure that the fil­ter is held in place and there is a tight seal.

Poke three holes in the cof­fee fil­ter, no big­ger than a quar­ter to a third-inch wide.

Place in an area where the gnats are, and leave it there for a day or two.

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