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Taking offense...

(97 Posts)
CanadianGran Tue 09-Nov-21 17:50:31

A young woman at work was complaining to other co-workers of a customer-service line she was calling. It was to do with changing her drivers license to her new married name, and vaccine card being in her maiden name.

Anyway, the agent was having troubles, and as my coworker was telling the others, the 'woman was really old, no offense Canadian Gran', and carried on telling the story.

I jokingly said "hey, I'm not old!" and laughed, but now I really am feeling offended. I am the only grey-haired in the office. I thought that was rude, but not sure how to react.

Deep sigh and carry on. Ageism in the workplace.

MaggieMay69 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:03:20

I know its kind of been mentioned, but as I age, I feel luckier, we've come through a lot, and if I ever start to feel sorry for myself with my sagging eyes and wrinkly hands and stiff joints, I think to my grandsons best friend who sadly lost his life two years ago at 15 after being hit by a car. He was a wonderful young man, and so it helps when I have my down days and feel left out of the younger conversations, that I think of that boy, and I paint my wrinkly grin back on, for him! x

mrsjonesy Wed 10-Nov-21 12:04:21

There was an issue at work recently and I stood up and gave my open and honest opinion as to what they could do with the extra tasks that were being foisted upon us. I'm now known among the young folks as "Gangster Granny" grin.

I really don't mind because I think its swings and roundabouts. Sometimes the young 'uns save me the best chair because they know I have an arthritic knee.

Brownowl564 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:11:59

All rather ageist

Brownowl564 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:12:52

She was rude, just keep calling her junior if she does it again

LizzieDrip Wed 10-Nov-21 12:13:26

IMO ageism is the remaining dreadful ‘ism’ that society appears to consider acceptable. It infuriates me! I dare say the woman described in OP wouldn’t dream of commenting on the race or sexual orientation of the customer service person - quite rightly! But it appears to be ok to comment on someone’s age - and we should just ‘laugh it off’??? IMO that’s as bad as describing racist / sexist comments as ‘banter’!

LA68 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:14:42

Looking back, I know I didn't educate my children that 'older' people were the same as us, they did know that children from other countries were the same. Perhaps we should let our grandchildren know?

I am 68 going on 6 and clearly remember when people in shops etc started calling me madam instead of miss. How grown up, I thought. Then, it gets worse and they say 'yes dear' smile

Nannashirlz Wed 10-Nov-21 12:19:27

Lol come on your over thinking this. Remember you were her age at one time and you would have probably said same thing. And she will also be your age and someone will say to same thing to her. Personal I would have laughed it and said might be older in face but I’m 21 in head lol

inishowen Wed 10-Nov-21 12:26:54

Reminds me of when my mum turned 60. The church invited her to a pensioners coffee party. Mum asked what they needed her to do, maybe serve coffee or make sandwiches. They said "but you are a guest". Mum was flabbergasted. She didn't feel old enough for a pensioners party and thought she was being asked to help.

Spec1alk Wed 10-Nov-21 12:38:31

Trisher123. A perfect response!

grandtanteJE65 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:39:50

I think the point here is that most of the time we don't feel any older at 70 than we did when we were 40,

Of course, sometimes our bodies remind us that we are neither 20 nor 40 anymore.

But on the whole, unless it is one of the days where our knees hurt, or whatever it is that hurts and reminds of our age, we don't think about it, so it comes as a shock if someone calls us old.

The other point is that we have lived our entire adult lives in a time that glorifies young adulthood. We all know men and women who try very hard to look at least twenty years younger than they are, and probably none of us enjoy catching sight of ourselves in a window or mirror and wondering who that old woman is, or thinking "She looks just like Grannie! Oh, she is me!"

Perhaps we should try to remember that the alternative to old age in anyone' s life cycle is not youth, but death.

That alters the perspective a bit, doesn't it?

TillyWhiz Wed 10-Nov-21 12:48:46

Tell me about it! In my last place before retirement I was surrounded by young ones: I even had a young manager say I'd had my chance in my working life, it was their turn now! Guess who had to bail them out of problems each time. It IS offensive but rise above it. The panic and worry when I retired because I said no, I wasn't going back once a week, no not once a fortnight, no not once a month! grin

H1954 Wed 10-Nov-21 12:53:53

I would have been tempted to respond thus "with age comes maturity, common sense and manners, but you might have to wait longer than I did to gain all three'!

Gumtree Wed 10-Nov-21 12:55:45

I always replied by calling the offender 'middle-aged' or whatever

NannyG123 Wed 10-Nov-21 13:03:40

I was walking along the road. Last year when we were all meant to keep a distance, I passed a group of young girls all walking next to each other in a line. I moved over so I didn't walk to close to them. And I overheard one girl say. Don't know what she's worried about she's going
to die soon anyway. I was 65 at the time. I had to bite my tongue.

Janetashbolt Wed 10-Nov-21 13:03:57

My husband was working in retail with a load of younsters, told them it was his 50th birthday, they all went out to celebrate. He was actually 60, youngsters have no idea of age, in the same way I can't judge is someone is 15 or 20 or 25 for example

dogsmother Wed 10-Nov-21 13:10:05

Well it’s only when I have to look in a mirror that I’m reminded of my years ! The reality’s are to be older is a privilege not a right so we must celebrate and enjoy all that have whilst we can now ?

jenpax Wed 10-Nov-21 13:14:23

I am in my late 50’s now and do not feel old! However I have been called dear a couple of times in shops recently much to my dismay?

Maggiemaybe Wed 10-Nov-21 13:18:15

Sigh/smile and carry on seems the best response, OP. smile There are some advantages to being thought of as old. We went to a forest concert a couple of years ago. We were by far the oldest there, and we were allowed to make our way from the back of the audience to the front just by smiling sweetly and taking advantage of the “Aw bless” comments instead of being offended by them. It was like the parting of the waves.

Calendargirl Wed 10-Nov-21 13:22:55

When I was younger, we had relatives who were celebrating their silver wedding. It seemed ancient, being old enough to have been married 25 years.

As I (with luck) approach our golden wedding next year, I often think of this, and marvel at how old I thought they were, in their mid to late 40’s.


Daisend1 Wed 10-Nov-21 13:40:28

Age is but a number or led to believe.
It is not unusual for me to be told when in a phone conversation with a person I have never met face to face 'you don't sound it' How then as a seventy nine plus, supposed to sound ?

Dabi Wed 10-Nov-21 13:52:14

Offense is a state of mind freely chosen.
Grey hair is an indicator of years not ideas.
I am grateful to be old, many have been denied the privilege.

SueDoku Wed 10-Nov-21 14:05:34


Tell me about it! In my last place before retirement I was surrounded by young ones: I even had a young manager say I'd had my chance in my working life, it was their turn now! Guess who had to bail them out of problems each time. It IS offensive but rise above it. The panic and worry when I retired because I said no, I wasn't going back once a week, no not once a fortnight, no not once a month! grin

Yup. When I retired they had to send two younger members of staff on several training courses to learn how to do the IT work that I'd been doing.
I'd told them a year in advance, and offered on-the-job training - which was refused - and then they were quite upset because I refused to hand over my mobile phone number 'in case we get stuck'... I'm afraid that my reply was ? and ?

timetogo2016 Wed 10-Nov-21 14:12:34

Just tell her lightheartedly that she has got to get to your age so be carefull.

Fashionista1 Wed 10-Nov-21 14:14:29

Your workmates obviously class you as 'one of them' and efficient otherwise they wouldn't have said it. I think you are reading too much into it. Of course us older people did not grow up with computers so some will not be up to speed with technology. However, I do think that the word OLD should be made an offensive word and ageism stamped out just as they are trying to do with racism.

FarNorth Wed 10-Nov-21 14:43:06

I think she realised her blunder and tried to cover it up, quickly, without stopping her story.