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  #21  
Old 12 July 2013, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I consider that it is insulting to older people to imply, by saying that it's insulting to be asked if one is over a given age, that there is something wrong with being older.
I disagree. If someone is hurt or insulted because they are being taken for a senior citizen when they are not that doesn't mean they think there is anything wrong with being older. It means they are not older and don't appreciate a total stranger assuming they are a senior citizen especially if they are still in their 40s.
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  #22  
Old 12 July 2013, 07:22 PM
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What about asking "do you have one of our discount cards?" if the cards are only available to those above a certain age. Do you consider that an insult, too?

I think people are weirdly sensitive about age, but I wouldn't want to insult someone if it were easily avoided (I also refuse to feel guilty about insulting someone inadvertently when it's difficult to ask a necessary question without risking insult).

Seaboe
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  #23  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I disagree. If someone is hurt or insulted because they are being taken for a senior citizen when they are not that doesn't mean they think there is anything wrong with being older. It means they are not older and don't appreciate a total stranger assuming they are a senior citizen especially if they are still in their 40s.
I'm not following the logic here. If there's nothing wrong with being older in the offended person's opinion, then why would they not "appreciate" a total stranger assuming they're older? Why would it bother someone to have the assumption made that they're a senior citizen if there's nothing wrong with that? If someone said "There's a discount today on hair cuts for people with black hair" why would I be hurt if I just had dark brown hair, and they were mistaken about how it looked? If I feel there's nothing wrong with black hair, why would I be upset if someone mistook me for having it? Either there's something wrong with being older, and thus being mistaken for being older is a bad thing, or it just doesn't make sense.

ETA: Now, if we could agree that in general being seen as older IS a bad thing then it makes sense. I would say that, from my experiences, being seen as a "senior citizen" can be a blow to one's ego, especially if the person places a heavy emphasis on their physical appearance, because "old = not attractive" in many social portrayals/media portrayals, especially for women.
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  #24  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I disagree. If someone is hurt or insulted because they are being taken for a senior citizen when they are not that doesn't mean they think there is anything wrong with being older. It means they are not older and don't appreciate a total stranger assuming they are a senior citizen especially if they are still in their 40s.
If what they ask is whether you want, or whether you're eligible, for the discount: they're not assuming; they're asking.

If they don't ask, then they are making an assumption: they're assuming you're not eligible. If there's nothing wrong with being older, why is it better if they assume that you're younger than if they don't assume that they know what age you are, even though that particular assumption may result in your being charged extra?

And no, even if you're 40, your appearance does not guarantee to a stranger that you couldn't possibly be 60. There are people who are 60 who look 40. I know people in their late 70's who look as if they might not yet be 60. I have met a person who was 40 who looked 15, for that matter.

ETA: and what Kallah said.
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  #25  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gayle View Post
If you're going to assume, I'm going to take the discount.
I'll go one step further and say that if they ask if I want the discount, the answer will always be 'yes'. Of course, people want the discount. If they don't, then something is clearly wrong.

Can a store claim fraud against a customer who received a discount, but did not verify that the discount was legitimate? If I bought a car and it was sold to me with a "supplier discount", I'd only be fraudulent if they asked, or provided false credentials. So if I was offered, and accepted, a senior's discount, but wasn't asked for proof of age at the time of sale, I think that would be fine.
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  #26  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
I'm not following the logic here. If there's nothing wrong with being older in the offended person's opinion, then why would they not "appreciate" a total stranger assuming they're older? Why would it bother someone to have the assumption made that they're a senior citizen if there's nothing wrong with that?
You might follow the logic better when you are in your 40s and someone assumes you're 65, or even 55. If it makes me vain to believe I looked my age back then and not 10 to 20 years older so be it.
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  #27  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:42 PM
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At 52, I do qualify for some discounts here and there. Most people don't guess me to be over 45 so I rarely get asked and if I did I can't imagine me being upset. I checked out Canadian stores for discounts and haven't found out much except that instead of American ARP we have Canadian ARP. So now I can go into businesses and shout "Holy CARP! Gimme a discount!"
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  #28  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Avril View Post
Is there a reason why such discounts wouldn't just be posted somewhere?
With my Experience with Weight Watchers, the senior discount can be written in big letters on every poster and people simply don't read them. And also in my experience, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. Ask someone if they qualify and you get an earful for mistaking them for 60 when they're 59; don't ask and you get an earful for trying to diddle them out of their 1.49 discount. GAH!
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  #29  
Old 12 July 2013, 08:54 PM
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You might follow the logic better when you are in your 40s and someone assumes you're 65, or even 55. If it makes me vain to believe I looked my age back then and not 10 to 20 years older so be it.
I'm 62. I've been in my 40's.

The first time I was asked if I was eligible for the senior discount, I was mildly startled. I certainly wasn't insulted.

Saying that it might make you vain to believe you looked your age and not older certainly implies that it's better not to look older. I don't see how that can be so without its also implying that it's better not to be older.

And I have apparently entirely failed to get across the point that there are people who look 10 to 20 years younger than their age; so that your looking 40 in no way guaranteed that you might not be 55 or 60.

I ask you again: why is it better for the clerk to assume that such people are not eligible for the discount, thereby potentially charging them extra, than to not make assumptions about people's ages and ask?

Oh, and Hero_Mike: if I'm asked, and I'm under the cutoff age (which varies IME from 55 to 65), I say so. Otherwise, I consider that I'd be stealing. I'm sure that some people will claim to be whatever age they think will get them the discount, whether it's older or younger than they actually are; but my guess is that the places offering discounts don't think that the percentage who will do so is large enough to make it worth their demanding proof of age.
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  #30  
Old 13 July 2013, 12:58 AM
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D'oh!

I have a faint sensation of deja vu. We've had this conversation before. I don't know if I think it's a "bad" thing to be old, but I know, as I say on my b-day every year, "One more year closer to dead". Dark humor I understand. I, however, do not like to be asked if I need a senior discount.

I told the story in the last thread about how a city dial a ride guy asked me if I wanted the discount. I was either 49 or 50. Now if the discount had been for 51 or 2 I probably would have sighed and said no. But the discount clearly stated on a sign above his head read: "68". I honestly did not and still don't look 68. I will not apologize for my feelings here. I do not like to be mistaken for almost 20 years older than I am. Does it make it "bad" in my eyes to be old? I don't know and at this point I don't care. It ticked me off. I'm pretty averse to harassing csr people so I just said no. But I seethed. It's my prerogative.
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  #31  
Old 13 July 2013, 01:41 AM
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It's your prerogative to seethe, to yourself, about anything that you please. But I'm glad you didn't take it out on the dial a ride guy, who was asking a perfectly reasonable and non-pejorative question.

And for at least the third time in this particular thread: one doesn't need to "look" a given age to be that age. There are people who are 68 who look like most people's idea of 50 (and of course vice versa).
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  #32  
Old 13 July 2013, 01:55 AM
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Example: I recently found out Martha Stewart is 71. I thought that was a typo when I first saw it. I would have pegged her in her 50's.
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  #33  
Old 13 July 2013, 02:12 AM
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Does it go both ways? I'm short and I have a facial structure that makes me look a lot younger than I actually am, and at 33 I still regularly get carded and I'm often asked if I qualify for student discounts (not that I couldn't be a student at 33, but most people in their 30's aren't automatically asked). I don't think there's anything wrong with being in your early 20's, but that doesn't mean I like being mistaken for that age group, especially in professional situations (yes, it's annoying to be asked if I'm a recent grad and talked down to when I'm meeting someone face to face for the first time, especially when we've been working normally through email or phone conversations before that). I had to hear all my life that I'd appreciate it when I was older, but even though I'm not as livid about it as I was when I was mistaken for a middle school student in college, I'd still rather just look my age.

Or what about an overweight woman who's asked if she's pregnant? I had that happen a lot when I was overweight because I carried it all in my belly and I looked pregnant (and then there's the time I got the combo pack with a lecture about being a pregnant teenager when I was just a fat 25-year-old). Being insulted by that didn't mean that I thought that a pregnant woman was a horrible thing to be.
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  #34  
Old 13 July 2013, 02:14 AM
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I was thinking about people who look younger than their age as well, Quink. It comes down to total strangers making assumptions about people and asking them personal questions and I don't think that ever works out well.
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  #35  
Old 13 July 2013, 02:52 AM
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Quink: I think it boils down to how you feel about how you look. It is a subjective and personal thing and not really commentary on other people.

I have to ID people in my job. Recently one of our associates (an assistant manager) failed a tobacco sting. I'm even more careful than I was. I get people angry that I card them, but it's usually a guy who just turned 18/21 depending, or someone not really old enough, or someone who thinks because they are "regulars" that I should know them. I could understand not wanting to look 13 when you are 20. Most of the people I card in that category are understanding though because in this case it's the law, and my job, and a big fat fine for me and my store hang in the balance.

No one should tell you how you should feel about how you look/feel. They could be encouraging and tell you how wonderful you are inside and out, but no one should ever imply that you are somehow a bad person for feeling a particular way about yourself.
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  #36  
Old 13 July 2013, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Saying that it might make you vain to believe you looked your age and not older certainly implies that it's better not to look older. I don't see how that can be so without its also implying that it's better not to be older.
If we lived in a society where ageism didn't exist, then it might be fair to blame an individual for randomly wanting to associate with youth. But in a culture where advancing age can come with a loss of certain types of social credit, you can't expect everyone to welcome that classification with open arms.

Both the young and the old sometimes feel dismissed. The problem lies with the people who dismiss them, not the people who don't want to be dismissed.
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  #37  
Old 13 July 2013, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kallah View Post
ETA: Now, if we could agree that in general being seen as older IS a bad thing then it makes sense. I would say that, from my experiences, being seen as a "senior citizen" can be a blow to one's ego, especially if the person places a heavy emphasis on their physical appearance, because "old = not attractive" in many social portrayals/media portrayals, especially for women.
I missed this, but it's very close to what I was trying to say, not that being older IS a bad thing, but that is sometimes treated as a bad thing. Social/media portrayals and personal observation can make a person want to avoid the discrimination that can come with being perceived as elderly.

Most women would be offended if a stranger asked them their due date when they weren't, in fact, pregnant. Is this because they, personally, put a heavy emphasis on being non pregnant, or is it because society stigmatizes the robust?
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  #38  
Old 13 July 2013, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Mosherette View Post
With my Experience with Weight Watchers, the senior discount can be written in big letters on every poster and people simply don't read them.
I can have three large posters up at the market stand saying that I take FMNP coupons and people will still ask me if I take FMNP coupons.

I've done the equivalent a number of times: asked a clerk for information that was clearly posted. I've also pulled on doors that say "push". I think there's so much written matter posted all over the place that people get in the habit of glancing past it without seeing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
Does it go both ways? I'm short and I have a facial structure that makes me look a lot younger than I actually am, and at 33 I still regularly get carded and I'm often asked if I qualify for student discounts (not that I couldn't be a student at 33, but most people in their 30's aren't automatically asked).
Yes, of course it goes both ways. As others have said, the clerk can get in considerable trouble for not carding you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
I don't think there's anything wrong with being in your early 20's, but that doesn't mean I like being mistaken for that age group, especially in professional situations (yes, it's annoying to be asked if I'm a recent grad and talked down to when I'm meeting someone face to face for the first time, especially when we've been working normally through email or phone conversations before that).
That's not the same situation. People should not be talking down to you in professional situations, whatever they think your age is. This is especially true if they already know your qualifications.

The problem, however, isn't that they think you might be 22. The problem is that they think they're entitled to talk down to younger people.


Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
Or what about an overweight woman who's asked if she's pregnant? I had that happen a lot when I was overweight because I carried it all in my belly and I looked pregnant (and then there's the time I got the combo pack with a lecture about being a pregnant teenager when I was just a fat 25-year-old). Being insulted by that didn't mean that I thought that a pregnant woman was a horrible thing to be.
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I was thinking about people who look younger than their age as well, Quink. It comes down to total strangers making assumptions about people and asking them personal questions and I don't think that ever works out well.
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Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Most women would be offended if a stranger asked them their due date when they weren't, in fact, pregnant.
Strangers on the street have no business asking you about or commenting on your physical appearance, whether they think you're young, old, fat, skinny, pregnant, or anything else. Casual acquaintances, workmates, etc. don't either, unless you've brought up the subject yourself.

The person asking, in the line of their job, whether you're old enough to buy a particular product or the right age to get a particular discount is not in the same category. Do you get angry at your doctor for asking if you're pregnant? How about the pharmacist, who's about to hand you medication unsafe to take during pregnancy?

And, again: the person who asks you isn't assuming they know what age you are. The person who asks you is assuming that they can't tell what age you are. This is not the same thing. When you want the clerk not to ask people, you are expecting the clerk to make assumptions.

I am flabbergasted by the apparent expectations of some that people can judge the age of strangers within two or three years. It is just plain not possible. You appear to have a set idea within your heads of what forty, or sixty, looks like. That's not the way people are.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
If we lived in a society where ageism didn't exist, then it might be fair to blame an individual for randomly wanting to associate with youth. But in a culture where advancing age can come with a loss of certain types of social credit, you can't expect everyone to welcome that classification with open arms.

Both the young and the old sometimes feel dismissed. The problem lies with the people who dismiss them, not the people who don't want to be dismissed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
not that being older IS a bad thing, but that is sometimes treated as a bad thing. Social/media portrayals and personal observation can make a person want to avoid the discrimination that can come with being perceived as elderly.
If we lived in a society in which ageism didn't exist, then wanting to be associated with a particular age group would be a harmless quirk. The problem with getting indignant when somebody misidentifies one's age is that it contributes to the ageism, rather than diminishing it. "How dare you treat me as if I might be elderly!" is likely to imply to those who hear it that if you actually were that age, it would be OK to treat you that way.

If you feel that people are being dismissive, complain about the dismissiveness, not about the fact that you think they guessed your age wrong.

Consider this example: people are sometimes asked if they're members of a different race / ethnic group than their own. If the tone of voice and/or the circumstances of asking the question is wrong, being indignant that the asker is categorizing people in that fashion is in order. But if, instead of saying "that person had no good reason to ask that and it's none of their business", or saying "that person used insulting and/or dismissive language towards x group", the complaint is "how dare they take me for a person of that race/ethnicity! they should have been able to tell I'm not one of them!": do you see the difference in the type of complaint?
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  #39  
Old 13 July 2013, 03:06 PM
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Most women would be offended if a stranger asked them their due date when they weren't, in fact, pregnant. Is this because they, personally, put a heavy emphasis on being non pregnant, or is it because society stigmatizes the robust?
I know when I was asked when my due date was (with my 4 month old in my arms) I felt almost as bad as the person who asked me felt when I told her that I wasn't pregnant. In part I was upset because I hadn't lost enough baby fat and people still thought I was pregnant (vanity again?) but it was also because I didn't appreciate someone else taking it upon themselves to tell me I was fat!

I think it would be the rare individual who wouldn't be bothered by it and it's one reason among many why people really shouldn't go around making assumptions about others. Aside from all else it's just plain rude.

Last edited by Sue; 13 July 2013 at 03:25 PM.
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