Usually Right

I do not know what’s wrong with embracing whatever age you are, but I do know there is age discrimination when there should not be. It happens often in the way senior citizens are treated when they are interacting with younger people.

Today was one of those days. I went to the grocery store here in town and my youngest son went with me. I was having a bad day, but felt capable of buying a few groceries. I gave him part of the list and he took a cart and headed off. Then I got my own cart and put in what was on the other part of the list.

We met at the front of the store and I got in one lady’s line. Another woman stepped out and motioned my son to her line, so we pushed our carts that way. She was taking her time ringing up the purchases, so I decided to head over to the customer service counter to do my weekly lottery ticket buying. I handed him my debit card and asked if he remembered my pin number. He assured me that he did. I’d taken two steps towards the customer service counter when the woman yelled out at me . . . “Are you two together?” I said yes, but she asked again, so I turned around and said YES more loudly. You’d think she’d have noticed all the signs, but whatever. Since she had delayed me, my son had swiped my debit card and handed it to me. I walked off towards the customer service counter.

While I was at the customer service counter, my son called out that he needed the debit card again. It seemed that the cashier, who had taken the items out of the cart had missed a couple. So I went back over. It was too late to add them to the already rung up order. I noticed my son holding the plastic bag with my coupon in it that I had handed him when I gave him the debit card. I asked if it had been scanned? It had not. The cashier grabbed it and said she could scan it now and she did. She could do that, but she could not add those two items to the order???? As I saw her pick up the two items, they were exactly what the coupon was for. It was a 20% off coupon for health and beauty products. One of the things she’d failed to scan cost $20 and that is why I’d brought the coupon with me. I began to tell her the problem. “The coupon was for that product.” She replied that she had scanned the coupon and the money had been deducted.

How could that be, if she hadn’t rung up the item? How did she take off the 20% if she hadn’t rung up the item yet? I asked her. She told my son to give me the receipt from the previous order and show me where the amount had been deducted. Yes, I saw that he had put vitamins in the cart and the coupon had deducted a little from their cost, but it had not been used for the item I brought it to the store to use it for – the $20 lotion she currently held in her hand. She continued to argue with me like I was a stupid old woman until it finally dawned on her what I was saying over and over. She said “No problem. I’ll use it now.”

I told her if she’d already used it, I doubted it would work again. She insisted it would! So she scanned it and I stood there watching and said, “It’s not working.”

“You have to be patient,” she told me, as if I were a child.

I stood there. “It’s not working,” I repeated. (I’ve been a cashier and you can’t use a percentage off coupon more than once – not that kind.)

She repeated that I needed to be patient.

After about four minutes, she said she needed a manager. Thank God one must have heard all the problems I’d been having. I’d also told her I’d pay for that in cash. She’d already had my son swipe my card twice to use the coupon the first time. I know they say it cancels itself, but I’ve been in a store, believed them, got home and had the amount deducted twice and had to wait five days while the bank processed the request to refund the money to my account. We seniors have more experience and usually know more what we’re talking about than the younger folks do. But they treat us like we’re stupid.

Finally the manager over-rode the request so I got my money back. All that took a long time and I got a good look at her. I’ll never get in her line again. If she steps out and says she can take me, I’ll tell her, “I’ll wait.”

Had I been younger, I feel like she would have paid what I said more attention. She seemed to have nothing but contempt for me as I tried to explain what was going on to her. She didn’t listen.

I’ve actually heard some younger people remark that the baby boomers need to go ahead and die and get out of the way. The younger people need to change their attitudes. God help them, if technology ever quits working. I remember when you could walk into a bank and no one said they could not help you because the computers were down. We kept records on paper and we could add and subtract in our heads. I’m sure my brain has been used more than hers has and I’d appreciated being treated like I wasn’t an errant child.

I like being my age. There are more advantages than disadvantages. All the young people who think anyone with wrinkles has seen their best days are wrong.



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