Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mixed emotions about the elderly..

As I have the joyous privilege of dealing with customer service at both of my jobs, as you can imagine, I get to meet lots of interesting people. As the tourism season is dying down with the onset of school, our largest demographic and traffic in West Yellowstone has been The Elderly. Before I worked this summer I would have said without hesitation that I love old people (probably because I was gifted with some incredible grandparents). But I must say that my good opinion and well-regard is not only being challenged but violently attacked. Although we all wish the 70+ crowd could be as charming as Betty White, I'll have you know it is simply not the case. According to my experience of approximately 50 "old folk" a day, only about 3% constitute her humorous and cheery type.


As much as I love receiving two-dollar-tips on a 40-dollar-ticket with: five iced tea refills (with lemon), three extra dressings, and ten extra napkins for a spilled drink, I don't know that I can cope with this five times a night anymore.
@ the hotel:
"Hello sir, how was your stay?"
"Well, <with a severely pained expression> let's just say we're glad we're leaving."
"Oh good. You must be going somewhere fun then!"
"...well..uh. Not only was a vanity bathroom light bulb out <out of the ten that surround the mirror>, but we found dust on our toilet seat and our pillows were just plain stiff. It just made it really hard to enjoy our stay. That kinda stuff is downright unacceptable young man."
"???hmm... I can imagine. Well have a good day."
"Yeah right.. we'll be telling all of our friends back home about how terrible your place is."
"Okay, have a good day sir."
Sound ridiculous? We are graced with gentlemen like this far too often. Women too.
Another thing. Discounts for the elderly? I'm glad my hotel does not offer these, and now secretly relish the times I get to relay that bit of information. I don't understand them. Why do people get discounts for being old?  Sure, here's a room for 30% off that your going to find reasons to be picky about and unhappy with anyways.

-Okay, okay. I know I'm generalizing and being stereotypical, but I had to vent. I just hope someone gives me a good knock on the side of the head before I reach a good age and start acting "old and senile."
OLDIES: step up your game, cuz your rep be hurtin.


  1. awww, that sounds like a pain! But what if it IS the hotel? And not necessarily the old folks? Hope it get's better!

  2. Wish everyone, at every age, were more like Betty White's persona.

  3. Sadly, some shitty young people just turn into shitty old people. There are some nice ones out there though! Some people use their age as an excuse to say and do whatever they want... I kinda want to be an eccentric old lady someday - but not at the expense of becoming painful and mean. Good luck :)

  4. I too adore older folks. They have a lifetime of experience to share and some of their stories are quite interesting! After all, with any luck we'll all be senior citizens one day. And let's face it, getting older is not easy.

    That said, I do believe that most of them figure they don't have a lot of time left on this earth so they're going to say whatever the hell they want to say. LOL!

  5. Wow, I wish somebody had told me I was supposed to wait until I got old to speak my mind...I agree with the other poster, age has nothing to do with it.If you're a jerk when you're young, you'll probably be just as much of a jerk when you're old, if not worse, 'cause now your body hurts, you can't walk as fast, and you can't eat spicy foods anymore.

    I like older people too, if they're anything like Betty White, but life is not so kind as it has been to Betty White, for too many other old folks......that's our destiny!

  6. Yep, bunch of cranky old people out there. I get annoyed because it seems like old people and small children get a free pass on being a**holes, it's like no one calls them on it because of their age, like only people between the ages of 18 and 60 can be a**holes. Well guess what, those little kids that are a**holes, grow up to be adult a**holes and then old a**holes.

    And thank you for letting me vent :-)

  7. I grew up in a very small retirement town so I was always fine and dandy with old people...until I started working and found out that half of those old codgers must slip viagra in their coffee in the morning! They are shameless flirts and I was hit on by more men over the age of 60 by the time I was 20 than by anyone my own age! And yes, if I had been desperate enough to go out with one, he probably would have complained that I had ordered something over $5.99 because I don't get a discount. Maybe that's why I married a younger man?

  8. I feel for you. Unfortunately this seems to constitute most of the customer service I have run into lately. Sad.

  9. On the tipping thing...I almost wonder if no one ever clued them in on tipping etiquette. I know my grandmother waited tables when she was younger and even she makes a horrible tipper! Last time we had dinner out, I went back and left extra for the waiter after she said she wasn't leaving anymore. Then I let her know why.

    She had no idea that wait staff wasn't paid at least minimum wage.

  10. Like Betty White and her golden girl!

  11. I too love old people and listening to all of their stories of life. I learn so much from them. However, I feel that old people at some point, which should be predetermined by the government, should definitely give up their licences. If you are too old to hear me laying on my horn behind you as you reverse and too old to remember to turn around and look and too old to see had you taken the time to look then maybe it's time to let someone else drive. Just a thought.

  12. I wish all old people were as cool as my grandparents. It's true some people sour as they get older.

    Mostly I think companies do it out of the desire to attract customers--and they know the senior citizen crowd are on a budget because most of them have retired and only live off of what they saved through their 401(k)s. It has to do with an economic lure, not as a federally legislative BS thing (like so many OTHER things are).

    Anyway, sorry. You got me thinking about it. When I worked at Wild Oats, we had a senior discount shopping day, and I agree with you. There were some jerks out there and I didn't always like it. Respect for elders should be earned, not demanded. And some elders forget that. It's sad, really.

    BUT at least YOU are kind in return. Nice job. That's never easy and it's admirable for you to compose yourself.

  13. Maybe they are cranky because the society we live in. Youth is good, old age sucks.

    I briefly volunteered at a nursing home once. Some repeat themselves and some are just want death to come quick separated from society.

  14. Maybe old people are bitter because they feel as if society no longer appreciates/ cares about them. The old people I talk to are cheery and thrilled to have any attention what so ever. Most of them are amazed when you pay attention to what they have to say and are genuinely listening to their stories or advice they are giving. Just the other day I was at my grandfather’s surprise 65th birthday party where most of the people there were in the 70+ category. Each person I talked to stated how refreshing it was that, as a young person, I had the ability to carry out an intelligent conversation with men who had 50 or more years on me. If anything the decline of our society and disrespect for our elders is what has made them “bitter” not them just waiting for death.

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