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)