DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is a kind and yet firm comment that I can say to the person in line after me at the cash register, who invariably comes and stands next to my elbow while I'm using my credit/debit card?
I wish to say, "Back off, lady," or "Would you please get your nose out of my business?" But I simply can't confront people like that, and I know that it would be rude.
GENTLE READER: Take back your card and ask the cashier, "Is there any way we can cancel my transaction so this lady can go ahead of me? She appears to be in a hurry, and perhaps it's important."
Whether your interloper reacts with annoyance or proper embarrassment, Miss Manners assures you she will have taken a step back, during which time you may cancel your request and re-tender your payment.