EndNotes

Senior shoppers

A branch full of a ripe, new apple variety hangs on it's bended limb at the Cornell University Fruit and Vegetable Research Farm in Geneva, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (Heather Ainsworth / Fr120665 Ap)
A branch full of a ripe, new apple variety hangs on it's bended limb at the Cornell University Fruit and Vegetable Research Farm in Geneva, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (Heather Ainsworth / Fr120665 Ap)

One of our local grocery stores offers a seven per cent discount on Wednesdays to shoppers who are 55+.  I make an effort to shop there on Wednesdays when I need groceries mid-week.

The best part is watching the poor check-out clerks determine whom to ask if they want the discount or inquire directly to the patron, “Are you over 55? If so, you receive a discount today.” Reactions vary.

I gleefully announce my eligibility when I load the bread, the milk, and the food stuffs on the moving belt. Yesterday, the clerk said, “Really?! I never would have guessed! You look a lot younger than the last woman in this line and she was younger than 55.” I didn’t confess I pay someone to color my irritating gray hair. Helps.

But one patron, so insulted by the inquiry, announced quite loudly, “Asking a woman her age or assuming she is older than 55, is like asking an overweight woman ‘when is your baby due?’ ”

The world is full of real problems – hunger among children, unemployment, catastrophic illness – that age disclosure in exchange for a few dollars saved, seems trite. Yet, the clerks struggle with their responsibility.

If you were the store manager, how would you advise your employees?  

(S-R archive photo)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.








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