The Insufferable Arrogance of Baby Boomers

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    Dec 09, 2013 6:02 AM GMT
    Sometimes -- well, often -- seniors can be the most horrible people to interact with.

    From The Stranger's I, Anonymous column:

    Okay, Seattle (I'm talking to you especially, Ballard): Enough with the merchants and others who want our money being SO NICE AND FRIENDLY to us seniors, when the rest of the known universe looks down their noses or looks away at shades of gray. (Hey, sorry I'm a boomer able to retire on a pension, ha-ha.) Anyway, what's with this "How's your day going so far?" question I get from checkout people at different stores? Well, my day goes about like yours—schlepping around doing this and that and trying to avoid phony checkers at the store (yay for self-checkout). I guess what I mean to say is that when it comes to customers, honesty and genuine human behavior wins, so stop with the stroking of the seniors. Stroking is not something we like.

    —Anonymous


    Choice comment:

    A great example of the reason that seniors are (often, certainly not always) the absolute worst customers if you work in retail. anonymous, you are not the center of the fucking universe, nor are you being "stroked" for your scrooge mcduck-rivaling piles of un-squandered pension funds. when i worked in service that questions was something i asked to nearly every. fucking. customer. you know why? because it was a simple opening for "genuine human behavior" and interaction. you know who most frequently ignored the content of my question and asked me "how much" without so much as making eye contact let alone displaying any evidence of recognition of my humanity in any way? seniors. so entitled they find a simple greeting to be an affront.

    Check out the other hilariously spot-on reactions:

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/i-anonymous/Content?oid=18393064
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    Dec 09, 2013 6:42 AM GMT
    Another example of Seattle's passive aggressiveness? icon_lol.gif
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    Dec 09, 2013 1:06 PM GMT
    I've done a lot of customer service and the seniors have always had the best manners (or should I say, the far from worst).
    Rich people are the least tolerable.
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    Dec 09, 2013 2:38 PM GMT
    I lived in Seattle 5 years, know the Ballard area quite well. I can't recall it being much different from other parts of the US. Except everyone is wired on coffee, and it's fairly gay friendly, but that's about it.

    I'm a senior (64) and when I have some retail or service transaction to conduct I want it to go smoothly & efficiently. And pleasantly, too. I can't see how being difficult & demanding is really going to advance those goals. And it's only going to make my blood pressure go up. Versus by being agreeable to the salespeople I often find myself getting unannounced discounts, or other special offers. It can literally pay to be nice to people selling you stuff.

    I was shopping for an artificial Christmas tree just before this Thanksgiving, at a Christmas specialty store, it's all they sell year round. A salesperson was assisting me on the floor, and I saw a tree I liked.

    I asked if it might be going on sale anytime soon. "Before Christmas? At THIS store?" she replied. "We never do that. Maybe afterwards." Well, about what I expected, and I'd come for their after-Christmas sales before.

    I told her I was still shopping around, and would consider their tree, and asked for her card in case I returned. Seeing my cane and limp she asked if I was recently injured and needed help getting through the packed holiday crowd. No, just fair wear & tear from my Army career I said, I can manage.

    My husband was in the Army, she said, and he's got a disability, too. What branch, I asked her? Military Police. OMG, so was I! Where was he stationed? And she named places I knew quite well no civilian would, though assigned at different times than me. His being an Army MP Officer was no BS, the facts were perfect.

    So we reminisced for a few minutes, I was surprised she could spare the time for me with the mob there. Then she took out a notepad and wrote on it, showing it to me. "Would this interest you?"

    "20% off" it read. "I'm allowed to take a little off for special customers, but don't tell others." "OK, sold," I answered. I was close to buying it at full price, anyway. It's standing decorated in our living room right now.

    I know that wouldn't have happened if I'd been demanding & snotty to her. Nor she to me. And while she may have played me, like a good salesperson will (though it was SHE who mentioned Army MP, and I certainly wasn't wearing that on my hat, I think a genuine coincidence, the details too perfect), I played her a little, too. And got what we both wanted, a sale at a discounted price.

    Perhaps that's a sales game they contrive with others, too, but I really don't care. I believe if I hadn't been friendly and outgoing I wouldn't have been invited to play along, and I did want that tree, very lovely. Or who knows, maybe I really did get a special deal, because, dare I say it, I was charming instead of bitchy?

    I get special deals all the time at other stores, it's not like it's rare for me.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Dec 09, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
    JohnSpotter saidRich people are the least tolerable.

    I tend to agree (based on personal experience). I've been in the retail sector (sales & management) my whole life and it has always been interesting to me how *most* people handle sales interactions reasonably well. However, there is a small percentage -- I'd say less than 5% -- who really make deplorable customers. An even smaller number, less than 1%, are so incorrigibly bad at it I wonder how they fucking survive. I'm talking about people who are so demanding and yet clueless, it is nearly impossible to have a harmonious transaction with them.

    PS: They aren't all seniors but many of them at least *act* like they have more money than god.
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    Dec 09, 2013 3:04 PM GMT
    Boomers have been and continue to be the worst generation in history, entitled, stupid and pampered. The faster these idiots die off, the better the world will be.
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    Dec 09, 2013 5:48 PM GMT
    smartmoney saidBoomers have been and continue to be the worst generation in history, entitled, stupid and pampered. The faster these idiots die off, the better the world will be.

    Yes, they should all DIE DIE DIE so we nice people can live in harmony. icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 09, 2013 5:50 PM GMT
    I never really paid attention to boomers before but this is interesting:
    http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/09/opinion/schwartz-baby-boomer-divorce/
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    Dec 09, 2013 6:16 PM GMT
    smartmoney saidBoomers have been and continue to be the worst generation in history, entitled, stupid and pampered. The faster these idiots die off, the better the world will be.

    HA! The baby boomers are not the entitled, stupid, pampered one but their children's generation is! Yep, I know, I have kids of that generation. They want everything handed to them and feel like the world owes them, why? because they exist….bad generation.

    As for baby boomer's attitudes, I think a lot comes from a couple of things, 1) not realizing that generations have different socially acceptable means of behavior and adjusting to a change it tough and 2) growing older takes away a lot of lust for life, leaving people lonely and sad, I think this makes people bitter too. I do think it's a small percentage that have this attitude though.

    I understand the whole conversation 'starter' though, when I go to the gym the person there looks at a computer screen and tells me to have a good workout by name. I don't know he/she, I don't care to know them and I'm not there to make friends with some 20 year old part time employee that could care less about my workout. Very insincere welcome where a thank you would be fine. I just ignore them, not because I have a pension but because I could care less if they say hi or not.
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    Dec 09, 2013 6:31 PM GMT
    Elusium saidSometimes -- well, often -- seniors can be the most horrible people to interact with.


    Aging since birth, I didn't even know I was born into the boomer generation until a few years ago when everyone started talking boomer this and boomer that and then I found out my birth date was supposedly in that category. I'd have thought post World War II parents would have finished fucking by the late 50s.

    So now I get to be subjected to reading ageist crap even by someone who I might otherwise have had a great deal of respect for. Such joy & disappointment right here on realjock.

    So let me see if I can figure out with my pathetically deficient boomer brain what's just gone down here: you took one petty person's comment, whose offense probably merely was only first figuring out how even niceties can sometimes seem patronizing but hadn't yet developed the skills to express that realization with an acknowledging humor to which you pitted in the worst light against yet another petty prick from a post boomer generation to show not the intolerance or similar lack of humor of the younger but as a generalized slam against all who are aging who have already gotten up in some years.

    The only thing you can blame a boomer for is teaching you to think like that. Or is that your own genius? Damn it. I know you can think better than this. Wake the fuck up.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post%E2%80%93World_War_II_baby_boom[/url]
    The end of World War II brought a baby boom to many countries, especially Western ones. There is some disagreement as to the precise beginning and ending dates of the post-war baby boom, but it is most often agreed to begin in the years immediately after the war, ending more than a decade later; birth rates in the United States started to decline in 1957.

    Oh look, my birth year is right on the cusp of them and you. That puts me in the category that gets to tell anyone from either generation to fuck off when they fuck up.

    It's not enough to be smart...

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    Dec 09, 2013 7:06 PM GMT
    "I understand the whole conversation 'starter' though, when I go to the gym the person there looks at a computer screen and tells me to have a good workout by name. I don't know he/she, I don't care to know them and I'm not there to make friends with some 20 year old part temployee that could care less about my workout. Very insincere welcome where a thank you would be fine. I just ignore them, not because I have a pension but because I could care less if they say hi or not."

    I get that at my gym also. The women are obviously forced to say hello to people who check in (as if we care).
    They say "hello how are you" but if I'm foolish enough to try to answer, I see they've already turned away and gone back to something else. It strikes me as pretty rude.
    I've stopped answering, myself.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Dec 09, 2013 7:14 PM GMT
    I always try to be extra pleasant when I'm a customer, pretty much no matter what. Saying please and thank you and appreciating the work someone else is doing is no skin off my nose. I notice a lot of people walk around in public with sour attitudes. I think it's more work to be miserable than it is to be friendly. Bitterness and impatience with strangers just makes everyone's day a little worse.
  • MikeW

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    Dec 09, 2013 7:51 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI notice a lot of people walk around in public with sour attitudes.

    I agree. Some people (regardless of age as some - ahem - posters on RJ can prove) just get in the habit of being disagreeable with just about everyone. Total waste of one's life energy. I don't mind someone who is 'neutral' or less than enthusiastically friendly. You don't have to "pretend" interest or happiness or w/e if it isn't happening but for god's sake, don't be a perpetually grumpy jerk! (not directed at HJ if that isn't clear)
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    Dec 09, 2013 7:55 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI always try to be extra pleasant when I'm a customer, pretty much no matter what. Saying please and thank you and appreciating the work someone else is doing is no skin off my nose. I notice a lot of people walk around in public with sour attitudes. I think it's more work to be miserable than it is to be friendly. Bitterness and impatience with strangers just makes everyone's day a little worse.


    It might not even have been bitterness. That might simply have been the older guy's humor, even if odd seeming. It could have been anything. My whole point is taking an individual issue and turning it into a generational indictment.

    I fuck around with the cashiers all the time especially at the supermarket. "Did you find everything you need," they ask in a perky voice. "NO" I say abruptly. "I was looking for love in aisle 4 and it wasn't there. You're all out of love. Now what will I do? I have company coming and I don't have time to shop every store."

    And then there's this young schmuck, obviously representative of every one of his generation saying to his other stupid friend "Listen to that old fuck being so nasty to that nice nonboomer cashier, just because he's over 50 so naturally he can't find love."

    Because as we all know, the store had a boomer stock boy who no one else would hire remove all the love from aisle four when the store alerted him that I was in aisle 3 working my way down from the canned goods.

    Oh life, what have you wrought.
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    Dec 09, 2013 8:27 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    smartmoney saidBoomers have been and continue to be the worst generation in history, entitled, stupid and pampered. The faster these idiots die off, the better the world will be.

    HA! The baby boomers are not the entitled, stupid, pampered one but their children's generation is! Yep, I know, I have kids of that generation. They want everything handed to them and feel like the world owes them, why? because they exist….bad generation.

    The worst are the Techies - at least in San Francisco. No manners. They're both young (20 to early 30s) and (almost) rich). A well perfected sense of entitlement, and generally oblivious to concerns of anyone else. A boon to the local economy, but a destroyer of restaurant and neighborhood ambience. Who wants to go to a fine restaurant these days, when you can't have a normal conversation because of them almost shouting on their cellphones? They principally benefit the landlords, who can now get $9,000 for a 3-bedroom or $5,000 for a 2-bedroom on market Street. They also make it dangerous to drive or walk in the city, because they are normally talking or texting on their phones while driving.
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    Dec 09, 2013 9:12 PM GMT
    "....when i worked in service that questions was something i asked to nearly every. fucking. customer. you know why? because it was a simple opening for "genuine human behavior" and interaction."

    WOW who's insufferably arrogant? ^^^

    We seniors (OK borderline, I'm 58 ) know the difference between real interaction and FAKE spiel. It is an affront! Not just to seniors, to anybody who is human. It's business's answer to "meet and greet": a totally canned response that is insincere. I hate it when someone says in their well scripted animatronic voice "Thank you Timothy B######...." You don't know me, I don't know you....but your business insists you greet me, your fucking customer. Your job requires it, you need a paycheck, so I smile weakly.

    Elusium, if you feel "Sometimes -- well, often -- seniors can be the most horrible people to interact with."....we feel the same about some of Xers and Y's. Shit, anybody can be horrible. Screw the stereotypes. I've been in service all my life: bartender, real estate sales, Automotive Service Advisor, Hotel Front Desk. Everyone is different. I know Lesbians who tip very well, I knew rich people who were NOT demanding, As soon as you submit yourself to a stereotype (age, race, sex, etc.) YOU'VE lost a bit of your humanity.

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    Dec 09, 2013 10:18 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI always try to be extra pleasant when I'm a customer, pretty much no matter what. Saying please and thank you and appreciating the work someone else is doing is no skin off my nose. I notice a lot of people walk around in public with sour attitudes. I think it's more work to be miserable than it is to be friendly. Bitterness and impatience with strangers just makes everyone's day a little worse.



    I agree wholeheartedly.
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    Dec 10, 2013 6:09 AM GMT
    Elusium saidFrom The Stranger's I, Anonymous column:

    Okay, Seattle (I'm talking to you especially, Ballard): Enough with the merchants and others who want our money being SO NICE AND FRIENDLY to us seniors, when the rest of the known universe looks down their noses or looks away at shades of gray. (Hey, sorry I'm a boomer able to retire on a pension, ha-ha.) Anyway, what's with this "How's your day going so far?" question I get from checkout people at different stores? Well, my day goes about like yours—schlepping around doing this and that and trying to avoid phony checkers at the store (yay for self-checkout). I guess what I mean to say is that when it comes to customers, honesty and genuine human behavior wins, so stop with the stroking of the seniors. Stroking is not something we like.

    —Anonymous


    Choice comment:

    A great example of the reason that seniors are (often, certainly not always) the absolute worst customers if you work in retail. anonymous, you are not the center of the fucking universe, nor are you being "stroked" for your scrooge mcduck-rivaling piles of un-squandered pension funds. when i worked in service that questions was something i asked to nearly every. fucking. customer. you know why? because it was a simple opening for "genuine human behavior" and interaction. you know who most frequently ignored the content of my question and asked me "how much" without so much as making eye contact let alone displaying any evidence of recognition of my humanity in any way? seniors. so entitled they find a simple greeting to be an affront.

    Okay, as long as I'm accused of being insufferably arrogant you can tell who's the boomer and who isn't just by the lack of capitalization.
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    Dec 10, 2013 6:59 AM GMT
    Elusium saidSometimes -- well, often -- seniors can be the most horrible people to interact with.

    From The Stranger's I, Anonymous column:

    Okay, Seattle (I'm talking to you especially, Ballard): Enough with the merchants and others who want our money being SO NICE AND FRIENDLY to us seniors, when the rest of the known universe looks down their noses or looks away at shades of gray. (Hey, sorry I'm a boomer able to retire on a pension, ha-ha.) Anyway, what's with this "How's your day going so far?" question I get from checkout people at different stores? Well, my day goes about like yours—schlepping around doing this and that and trying to avoid phony checkers at the store (yay for self-checkout). I guess what I mean to say is that when it comes to customers, honesty and genuine human behavior wins, so stop with the stroking of the seniors. Stroking is not something we like.

    —Anonymous


    Choice comment:

    A great example of the reason that seniors are (often, certainly not always) the absolute worst customers if you work in retail. anonymous, you are not the center of the fucking universe, nor are you being "stroked" for your scrooge mcduck-rivaling piles of un-squandered pension funds. when i worked in service that questions was something i asked to nearly every. fucking. customer. you know why? because it was a simple opening for "genuine human behavior" and interaction. you know who most frequently ignored the content of my question and asked me "how much" without so much as making eye contact let alone displaying any evidence of recognition of my humanity in any way? seniors. so entitled they find a simple greeting to be an affront.

    Check out the other hilariously spot-on reactions:

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/i-anonymous/Content?oid=18393064


    Maybe you should take a long look in the mirror and actually read what you write before you start talking about arrogance.
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    Dec 10, 2013 12:34 PM GMT
    They'll be around for awhile. They want to work for 35 to 40 years, begin drawing a check and Medicaid at 65 and living on another 35+ years to 100. There is not enough of us younger workers to keep their entitlements afloat. Especially thanks to their greed allowing the country to be sold out to Mexico and Asia. I'll never see a pension. I'm 35 and have not had nearly the quality of life like either one of my grandfathers had. The great generation understood hard work, thrift and the importance of keeping commerce within the States, if not local.
    If you bought a foreign product, they understood that it took a job away from an American. However on the flip side of the coin, they understood that you can't organize labor and strike routinely to the point that a company has to leave the country to turn a profit.
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    Dec 10, 2013 12:34 PM GMT
    They'll be around for awhile. They want to work for 35 to 40 years, begin drawing a check and Medicaid at 65 and living on another 35+ years to 100. There is not enough of us younger workers to keep their entitlements afloat. Especially thanks to their greed allowing the country to be sold out to Mexico and Asia. I'll never see a pension. I'm 35 and have not had nearly the quality of life like either one of my grandfathers had. The great generation understood hard work, thrift and the importance of keeping commerce within the States, if not local.
    If you bought a foreign product, they understood that it took a job away from an American. However on the flip side of the coin, they understood that you can't organize labor and strike routinely to the point that a company has to leave the country to turn a profit.
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    Dec 10, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
    Hmmm...the first of the boomers turned 65 in 2011. Most of them are still working. Bill and I come right after: Jones Generation.

    What some of you are saying about boomers is what some of the Boomers and Joneses said about OUR parents generation.

    What's equally funny is overhearing two Millenials the other day pasting all the Genxers as selfish pigs, just like the OP is doing here.


    I've come to the conclusion, from these kinds of remarks, that dumb and unkind exists in every generation, and I'm rather confused that the OP would decide on bigotry like those Millenials did, like those Boomers and Joneses did.

    ....and PS, a lot of boomers will never be able to stop working as large numbers were downsized just before their company pensions reached the point of paying fully, and had to get low paying jobs. This means that when they try to retire, their pension will be 1/4 of what it would be had they not been strategically downsized. This is what their bosses, many of them pre-boomers, did to them.

    Facts Elusium, for your depressing and untrue topic.
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    Dec 10, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
    Kentuckianaboy saidThey'll be around for awhile. They want to work for 35 to 40 years, begin drawing a check and Medicaid at 65 and living on another 35+ years to 100. There is not enough of us younger workers to keep their entitlements afloat. Especially thanks to their greed allowing the country to be sold out to Mexico and Asia. I'll never see a pension. I'm 35 and have not had nearly the quality of life like either one of my grandfathers had. The great generation understood hard work, thrift and the importance of keeping commerce within the States, if not local.
    If you bought a foreign product, they understood that it took a job away from an American. However on the flip side of the coin, they understood that you can't organize labor and strike routinely to the point that a company has to leave the country to turn a profit.

    WTF? I'm sorry but let me tell you something, pension, social security and Medicaid are not entitlements for those of us that have worked over 30 yrs and paid into them dearly! Your generation thought they should begin living their lives at the same level, financially, as their parents without having to put in the hard work and time. Get your ass out there, get a job, work hard, save your money and you'll do fine. The only thing my generation is guilty of is leaving a silver spoon your your generation's mouth. I started at the bottom, proved myself, worked my ass off and now I'm in a good place. That's the way it works, quit crying and make something of yourself!
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    Dec 10, 2013 4:24 PM GMT
    meninlove said ....and PS, a lot of boomers will never be able to stop working as large numbers were downsized just before their company pensions reached the point of paying fully, and had to get low paying jobs. This means that when they try to retire, their pension will be 1/4 of what it would be had they not been strategically downsized. This is what their bosses, many of them pre-boomers, did to them.

    You can thank organized labor for a lot of that too. More pay and benefits for less work = inferior products manufactured = opening for foreign companies to provide a needed product = consumer opting for quality and reliability regardless of where it's manufactured. One only needs to look as far as Detroit to see that!
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    Dec 10, 2013 5:02 PM GMT
    eb925guy said
    meninlove said ....and PS, a lot of boomers will never be able to stop working as large numbers were downsized just before their company pensions reached the point of paying fully, and had to get low paying jobs. This means that when they try to retire, their pension will be 1/4 of what it would be had they not been strategically downsized. This is what their bosses, many of them pre-boomers, did to them.

    You can thank organized labor for a lot of that too. More pay and benefits for less work = inferior products manufactured = opening for foreign companies to provide a needed product = consumer opting for quality and reliability regardless of where it's manufactured. One only needs to look as far as Detroit to see that!


    I'd agree that some blame can be allocated for some unions, but then there's this eb, an extremely large company here making billions annually sent its work overseas. Union company. The union had a history of compliance with the company. The company laid off several thousand workers, mostly boomers whose pensions were at the 23 year mark (they max out at 25). Bam instantly all their pensions would eventually pay out 1/4, about 700 a month. Where did the work go? To a place here the annual wage for that work is $1,500.00. No way for anyone in North America to compete with that.