Okay, I get it, waiters, waitresses, aerobics instructors; all these professions are known for being held by younger people. My hair stylist is twenty-three. Most of my clothes and possibly make-up are older then her. (And I think I just threw out a tin of McCormick’s cinnamon that expired the year she was born). Whenever I have to deal with a person of younger stature I just think of them as one of my children. I talk to them the way I would talk to one of my kid’s friends. I think if everyone treated younger people in this fashion it would work wonderfully. However, I expect the same treatment in return. Well, maybe not to be treated like their mother, maybe their favorite older aunt.
The other day I was at the mall at a local department store looking for a white blouse. Easy right? A simple white blouse to wear with my dark jeans, I like the look, in fact I have pictures taken in this look since I was eighteen. So I walk into the store, to the ladies department and I locate the sales clerk who is leaning against the counter talking on her cell. The store phone rings and she hangs up from the cell to take the call with a, “Gotta go, the boss gets pissed if I miss a call”.
The young woman talks for a few moments, being sure not to make eye contact with me, then, “let me check,” puts the phone down and moves away possibly to check on a size in stock. When she returns carrying an item, she informs the person on the phone that yes she does have it in stock and yes she will hold it.
I’m standing there, waiting for the opportune time to ask about a shirt I saw advertised but can’t find.
Finally I have her attention.
“Excuse me; I’m looking for this shirt.” I show her the ad.
“I’m sorry ma’am, (Strike one) but those didn’t come in.” Large sigh, (you’re bothering me, strike two). “We have some on the other side that are comparable.” She looks down but doesn’t make a move to at least point me in the right direction.
“Could you please show me where they are?”
“Yeah sure.” (To the tone of I can’t be bothered but now you’ve put me on the spot.)
I follow her over to the section and she pulls out some white shirts. Then she says something that will set the tone of my day. “My mom loves this line of clothes.”
That’s it; I’ve been ignored, been ma’am and look like I wear mom clothes.
In my head I see the scenario as it should have gone.
I walk up to the counter, “Hello, how can I help you today?” Phone rings. “I’ll get that later, you’re here in the store now so I’ll help you first.”
“Thank you. I can’t seem to find this shirt.”
“I’m so sorry, those didn’t come in, but we have some that are pretty close on the other side. Follow me.”
She hands me the shirt. “This is one of MY favorite designers.”
“I’ll take two.”
I like my way better.