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Liquor board wants clerks to be bubbly, polite

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania liquor store clerks need to be more bubbly when they're selling Champagne.

The state's Liquor Control Board is spending more than $173,000 to try to make workers friendlier and more well-mannered at the nearly 650 stores it operates. The board says it wants to make sure clerks are saying "hello," "thank you" and "come again" to customers shopping for wine and spirits.

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It has hired Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Solutions 21 to help coach store managers so they can instruct their 4,000 clerks on issues such as how to greet customers and where to stand. Training begins this month.

Harrisburg good-government activist Eric Epstein calls the idea "a demented interpretation of happy hour." He says it's "a sad state of affairs when you have to train people to be kind and courteous."

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