Six Little Words
For those of you who read my blog, you know that I’m a big fan of the physiological and psychological transformation that takes place in post-menopausal women and the fact that we older gals get a brand new lease on life. In truth, I do feel stronger, more self-confident, and sassier than ever before. That is…most of the time…
Every so often, something happens that rocks my world and not in a good way. Turning fifty was shocking enough for me and, I’m guessing, for many of us boomers. Adding to the rather distressing number itself, this birthday brought a trinity of assaults that seemed to come in waves.
First, and this took place a few weeks before the actual date, I received an invitation to join the ranks of that fine organization for America’s seniors, AARP. The letter, although carefully composed so as not to offend or imply any messages regarding old age and retirement is not always greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by the recipient. I, for one, immediately threw my invitation in the trash. (I’ve since learned that AARP knows this is a typical response so they automatically issue several opportunities to join.)
The next wave hit at my first doctor’s check-up following the big five-oh. Upon completion of the usual pokes and probes, the physician then handed me a daintily wrapped package containing all of the necessary tools to conduct a stool sample retrieval. “Now that you are in your fifties…” she said, and then began a litany of tests I now needed for my very survival. Believe me, this was definitely not the rite of initiation for which I had hoped or anticipated!
The final assault is continuous and pervasive. Everywhere one looks, be it supplements, exercise guidelines, or dietary recommendations, the instructions are always the same. The vitamins now come wrapped in silver packaging and the warnings for any health related regimes are: “If you are over 50, consult your doctor before beginning this or any other program…” Even more disturbing, many adult day-care facilities aimed at serving the infirm of mind and body, have age guidelines and these, not surprisingly, allow admittance starting at age fifty.
So, here I am, long beyond my half-century birthday and you’d think I would be used to such things by now. But, just the other day, I got another hit. A cheery young clerk, attempting to employ her best customer service skills, unexpectedly threw me for a loop. And, all she did was utter six little words: “Would you like the senior discount?” was her helpful inquiry.
“No!” I responded with a fury that surprised even me. I was shopping in the city that day, had taken care to dress accordingly, and thought I looked remarkably fetching in my finery. Her query came as an unwelcome and unwanted reminder—nattily attired as I was, I am no spring chicken.
So, to all you clerks out there, let me give you some free customer service training—NEVER, EVER, EVER ask about the senior discount! Remember, there is cautionary wisdom inherent to the phrase; “silence is golden.” And, this particular piece of advice is most especially true when dealing with customers who are adjusting to life in their “golden” years.
If we want the discount, believe me, we won’t require any prompts, reminders, or helpful suggestions. Better you go about quietly ringing up our merchandise. Let there be no doubt, should we want to save a few bucks, we feisty old gals will let you know!!