Senior Citizen Status

jody(7b - NC)December 19, 2006

The little "biscuit" fast food place across the street from my office has dark roast coffee that is very decent and the price is good. I usually stop in every morning for a cup on my way to work. There is this one very young clerk who automatically rings up the senior citizen discount for me. She never asks, she just rings it up.

I'm the person that was incensed that AARP started sending me letters. I'm not sensitive about my age - I'll tell you without hesitation, its just something about the whole label that irks me big time.

I've never had anyone ask me if I qualified for the senior citizen discount, I'm bumfuzzled that this kid takes one look at me and decides I'm old or something!

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I was in Lowes at the end of Oct wandering up and down the mulch isle looking for what I wanted for my roses, reading mulch ingredients. A guy who looked like his young 20's approached me and asked my opinion about the best soil for his new banana trees he was going to plant. I was smiling inside and chuckling to myself, I guess I now look old enough, at least 25 years older, that I must be an experienced gardener right?. He told me he asked for help at the check out desk and they couldn't tell him.

I also get ma'amed now at check out stands, I'm waiting for that senior discount next:)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 7:10PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Jody, I got a piece of mail from some kind of retirement place today. If AARP and the like didn't fill our boxes maybe we wouldn't get irked when it happens. I certainly don't need rude mail to remind me I'm old, having a teen certainly does that.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:39PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I bought flu shots at a clinic for myself, DH, our employee this year since our insurance doesn't cover them...

The woman taking care of the paperwork table asked me - Medicare? Ouch, and I don't mean the shot. I was even wearing makeup; hopefully she needed her prescription for her glasses renewed. Not a kid who thinks anyone over 30 is old, she was probably mid 60's at least.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 8:55PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I cannot tell people's ages anymore. It is really hard, and these people probably think nothing of it since so many older people today are as active or more active than everyone else.

I am not sure why the kid presumed that you are a senior citizen, but perhaps he/she saw you with someone he knew for a fact was. I think I was in my early 50's when I first joined AARP. I wanted the magazine when I first qualified so that I could begin to learn my rights, and also get voting information (rights for older people).

My students ask me all the time how old I am. They don't see anything wrong with it, and readily discuss their parents' ages. My students are 10th graders. I even hear many teachers just come right out and ask people how old they are. It always offends me a little, and I try to get around it, but maybe it is just acceptable to many people anymore.

Our school wants us to teach the kids to use ma'am and sir. I did not grow up in this part of the country, and I cannot do that, but many people around her expect that response. Frankly I hate for a person to call me ma'am. (I dont'think I am spelling that correctly.)


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:00AM
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Susan Serra

I think calling one ma'am is the same as referring to a younger person as "kid". Just yesterday, I hung up on the salesman who referred to me as "young lady" on the phone. Don't assign your own personal pidgeon-holed adjective to me without my permission, that really irks me too. ASK...."would you like a senior citizen's discount?" That's a tough one, it's like saying to a non-pregnant woman, "when's the baby due?" But, really, what is a store attendant to do? Maybe put up a prominant sign put up, or a little counter sign, "Ask for your senior citizen discount", yeah, THAT'S the solution. There is discrimination EVERYWHERE, we all get our equal opportunity discrimination, in it's many varieties.

Reminds me of yesterday's Paula Zahn show on race relations. An African-American man was asked in a restaurant to get a patron a glass of water and he got all upset. Heck, I was just recently asked by a rich looking person, when I was dressed down, to get them something in a store. I simply said "I don't work here", walked away and forgot about it (till now). The guy made a mistake, thinking I looked like the "type" to work there and it was a one time random thing. Given how no one really WANTS to age when you come down to it, and some people get really nuts about it, and some just annoyed, who wants to be reminded that they're aging via the kid at the counter? He should be retrained to shut up and put up a counter card. I'd send a note to the place. Rambling thoughts.....

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 8:18AM
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I just take the discount & say thank you when they hand me my change.

"Ma'am" is the polite way to address a woman here.
"Ma'am" respects or elevates, "young lady" trivializes & "puts somebody in their place".
kind of like "you people".

I grew up calling my mother, my aunts, my grandmother, my teachers, "Ma'am".

If I hadn't, I would have been thought rude, maybe trashy (didn't anybody teach her any *manners*???)

I still call older women ma'am, but I'm old enough myself that younger people call me ma'am.

It surprised me a little the first time it happened, but I got used to it.

The behavior in sales clerks & cashiers that I do find rude is the failure or refusal to look at me, no smile, no hello, cashier & sacker talking to each other & ringing up & bagging my purchases evidently just to have something to do with their hands while they're talking, etc.
Then when they've finished ringing up the order, they just look at me.
like they've forgotten what my role in the scenario is.

& they never say, "Thank you"...or anything else.
They put the money in the drawer & return to their conversation.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:18AM
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My mother used to always get questions when she went to a department store.

She was from the country & dressed up to go shopping, & the only other dressed up people in the stores were salesladies.

The guy in the restaurant may have been dressed up, too.

Have you ever noticed, at the Oscars every year, all the guys look like waiters?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:23AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Jody! I've got a picture of you that proves that clerks insanity, lol.

I used to get called ma'am with a chuckle because they didn't know what else to call me. Now the chuckle is gone :(

I did get carded for wine the other day and was told upon the clerk seeing my birthdate "you are well preserved!"

-- Meredith the Twinkie

ps - I did get asked once when the baby was due! Horrors... I've never worn that sweatshirt since.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 12:12PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Sylvia, people in the south have used it as a sign of respect for ages. The military also uses it, and my children who have been in the military use it most of the time. It is a sign of respect in places where they teach it.

I have a problem with my school suggesting that all teachers demand it of all students. We have enough conflicts without adding this to the list.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:08PM
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paparoseman(z8 WA. PO.)

No where near but the other day I was carded for beer. After getting old enough to be two twenty-one year olds with a couple years to spare it is kind of funny. I am a delivery person and in certain stores people are always asking me where things are located. I have found it easier to just tell them where the thing they are asking about is or showing them since I know more about the store layout than the people who work there.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 12:19AM
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