(A couple weeks ago in my post “My Week As a Door to Door Fundraiser”, I sited the elderly as one of my reasons for hating that job which I said I would elaborate on at a later date. Well, that time is now.)
Right now I’m working two part time jobs one of which is at a drug store in a high traffic area. As a result it’s generally pretty busy and our proximity to public transit means we get a lot of the same people in multiple times a week. Some of these people are cool, some are quiet, and some are a searing pain in my ass. If I didn’t wear pants I could probably shoot steam out of my asshole when dealing with these people.
One of these blistering anal probes is an older gentleman who clearly doesn’t speak english as his first language. Every single time he comes in, I spend the transaction trying to break through the language barrier while he talks to me like I’m stupid for not understanding what he wants from the lottery machine and scrutinizes the price of every item I ring through. Then, never fail, once I finally manage to complete his transaction so I can get started on the line that’s formed behind him he will ask to use the bathroom.
My store does not have a public bathroom. The only bathroom is behind a code locked door that leads to both the staffroom and the back room. It is not opened to the public. Exceptions our made for special cases, for instance a small child with bladder control issues, but for all intensive purposes we do not have a public bathroom.
EVERY TIME this bastard asks to use the bathroom and EVERY TIME I tell him that we do not have a public bathroom. And EVERY MOTHER-FUCKING-TIME his reply is, “No, I’m a senior”.
Yeah, so? Like fuck, I know when you get older your bladder isn’t quite what it used to be but isn’t that what ‘Depends’ are for? But that’s not the point. This guy is in his early 60’s at the very oldest and appears perfectly able bodied.
I then explain to the smug prick that the fast food place 20 feet away does have a public bathroom. His response? “No. I’m a senior!” What’s your fucking point bro? What do you want a congratulatory toilet flush for not being dead?
At this point he’ll tell me to talk to the manager. At which point I am now seething and begrudgingly stop helping other customers to go unlock the door for him. Buddy then takes 7min to reemerge, thanks me and finally moves his bags that have been cluttering up my station.
I have been through this exact same scenario 4 times in 2 week. Most people take note for the future the first time that there is no public bathroom and wont ask again, but not this guy because he’s “a senior”.
Now I know that this isn’t a fair representation of all the entire elderly population, but it is accurate for many. Some of the sweetest people I deal with daily are older individuals. At my last job working in an electronics department the sweetest little old lady used to come in every few weeks to look for old westerns on DVD and I would spend a good 10 minutes sorting through the $5 bin helping her look while she talked to me about John Wayne.
We almost never found anything but I didn’t mind taking the time because she was always kind and respectful to me.
But for the most part my dealings with the older generation are painful. Sometimes I’d rather deal with children than with old people and you all know how I feel about children. I know we’re supposed to respect our elders and all that tried old shit (see what I did there?) but they make it pretty hard when they start talking down to you because you don’t need a high fiber diet to help you poop.
It’s like having wrinkles is some pass to just not give a shit about other people and their feelings. You’re bitter. I get that. Hell, I even respect that but there is a fine line between telling it like it is and being a miserable old bat that only finds reason to continue living in making others lives difficult. It sucks that their youth has dried up but it’s not my fault. And not being old enough to remember what people did before electricity doesn’t make me an idiot, it makes me capable of finding the call button on a cellphone in under 15min.
Seriously old folks I know you didn’t grow up on technology like I did but if you don’t know how to use the debit machine than you shouldn’t have a debit card. Use fucking cash or the barter system or whatever the hell you used to trade for bread back in the day.
You all need to understand how painful this exchange is.
They’ll take forever just trying to find their card in their wallet with squinted eyes, then they’ll put their card in the wrong way. Then they wont know what button to press and after I tell them they’ll still hit the wrong button. Then they’ll mess up inputing their PIN. All the while 3-10 people are waiting their turn. Your slowing down the line and the progress of society old man.
Not to mention the pyramid of other things they do slowly, like walking. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been stuck behind some hunched over, glassy eyed mummy as it shuffles it’s way down the middle of the sidewalk or grocery isle. Either attack or at the very least take a step to the left so I can pass.
And then there’s the special requests they all think they’re entitled to. I already think it’s kind of unfair that there’s all these senior discounts, especially when I’m a broke too but ok. Whatever. You’ve worked your whole life and pension rates suck. I get it. On top of that the elderly are one of the most high maintenance hard to please demographics. The other being well to do middle aged women.
They just expect the laws of society to bend to them and be pandered to and worshiped like a tribal elder but the thing is reaching 70 is no amazing feat and back then they were lucking to make it to 40. Hell the average life expectancy in this country is 82 and the news has human interest stories about old broads turning 112 every damn week. It’s hardly impressive.
Plus, if I’m perfectly honest, people suffering from dementia and that shit freak me out. I had to visit an old folks home with school in the third grade. I was scared shitless yo. The whole place smelled like stale library books and disappointment, it was cold and sterile like a hospital, and the white haired occupants were way to eager to interact with someone who could actually remember what they had for dinner last night.
Incoherently crazy people already creep me out and time’s eroding of their physical likeness only adds to sinister undertones and sad atmosphere. They just get wheeled around spending their last years in a drugged up daze, watching soaps, playing backgammon with shaky hands and waiting for a phone call that will never come. It’s like being confined to a prison where your chains are flabby skin and bad hips…
I hope I die relatively young.