51 Comments#MicroblogMondays, #MondayMusings, Ageing/Aging, Blogfests, Computers, Life

The draft for this was written last week and since then, I’ve been hit with a bad case of “internet fatigue”, exacerbated by the recent horrific events in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad. Add in a busy offline weekend which leaves me falling even further behind. Apologies to all whose posts and comments I have missed. I’ll do my best to catch up!

Be nice to old people - Bite Me!Last week, as I was browsing laptops at an office store a young salesman approached me. “Man” is actually a bit of a stretch. He looked about twelve years old and was unusually short. I’m not exactly up on all the latest technology. Hell, my cell phone doesn’t even have internet and I only use it for emergencies. Are you all recoiling in horror now? 😀 Let me explain, not that I need to—

Working from home, I spend a lot of time online. When I go out, my preference is to get away from it – not carry it around with me. Plus, I don’t see the point of paying a hefty monthly fee for a cell phone that mostly sleeps in my purse or pocket. It’s a prepaid one and costs about $100 a year. Good enough! I also still buy CDs and DVDs, because I have the equipment to play them, so why not? It’s the “old dog, new tricks” scenario. Back to the salesman—

Computer manufacturers are starting to phase out DVD/CD drives, so I asked if a particular model had one. Smart-ass kid says, “Oh, that’s so 10 years ago!” Smirk, smirk. “Why take that extra step when you can stream everything online?” At this point, my patience and good humour were still intact: “Because, it’s what I’m used to. Some of us still prefer the old way. Could you please give me the model number, for comparison purposes?” He literally rolled his eyes and pointed to the sticker on the computer. “It’s right there. Just take a picture of it.”

Impertinent little shit! Switching to icy, staccato tone: It would be quicker for you to write it down, than for me to rummage through my purse, locate the phone, turn it on and take a photo.” Looking perplexed, he mumbled, “let me find a pen” (in an office supply store!) and took off down the aisle. I was half expecting him not to come back, but he did, complete with a pre-printed spec sheet. I smiled and said: “See, that wasn’t so hard. You should be nice to old people. There are a lot of us and we buy stuff.” He looked a little sheepish now. Silly boy! Why alienate a potential buyer?

Rather than having to deal with Mr. Impudence again, I checked out the specs and ordered the laptop online. No commission for him!

New Laptop - subject of "Be Nice to Old People"



Have you ever encountered a rude salesperson?
How did you handle it?

Looking forward to your comments!


Linking up with Write Tribe’s #MondayMusings and Stirrup Queens’ #MicroblogMonday.

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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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51 thoughts on “BE NICE TO OLD PEOPLE!

  1. Egads, you can stream everything and pay for it everytime. At least with a CD, you can play it twenty years from now provided you have a CD player. I think I will buy a good CD player. When they phase things out, it happens pretty quick. I still got a few 8 tracks, four to be precise. I just can’t toss them. Good memories.

    1. So true, Ann! CD players are getting harder to find. I know what you mean about the memories. We tossed our 8 tracks about 10 years ago after the player broke, but still have all the vinyl 45s and LPs, plus numerous cassettes and CDs. We play them all, still! 🙂

  2. Good for you, Debbie! The little goathead deserved a swift kick in the manners department. As a kid, I would not have dared to treat an older person with anything but respect (grandma would have hung me out to dry!). It’s a shame kids, let alone store personnel, are no longer expected to be respectful.
    Some would classify me as ‘technology challenged’ but it doesn’t bother me a bit. If I don’t know something it’s because I don’t care to. Otherwise, I find out. That being said, I rarely use two minutes of air time per month on the tiny phone that resides in the darkness of my purse; taking exotic pictures of lint and paperclips, while I have yet to discover where the camera button is even located!
    As for experiences, a salesman left me to go get batteries to test whether or not my prospective purchase actually worked. A couple minutes later, a young woman came to me with batteries in hand and asked if I was the “old lady in red”. mutterin’ magpies….:-)

    1. I’m with you, Diedre. I learn whatever I need to for my own purposes and smartphones aren’t on that list. 🙂
      That young girl deserves a swift kick as well for addressing you as “the old lady”. Hope you had a snappy comeback for that one!

  3. LOL, I know exactly what you mean. I still use only me house phone, you know the old fashioned land line. Hubby has a cell phone, a flip phone for emergencies, that he barely keeps charged. Although, he does need one for work, we’re trying to decide which one. I just changed Internet service, or rather am in the process, and it isn’t going well. I called my current provider to ask if I could negotiate a better fee, since they were offering everything for less than what I’m currently paying. I just want what I have to work right – I don’t need all the bells and whistles – could we come to an agreement. No, she says, I can’t downgrade – I can only upgrade. I said, you won’t even negotiate with a client to keep them as a client? No, sorry I’m not allowed to do that. So I’m changing – well trying too. I waited four hours yesterday and no one showed up – today the wrong service did! If I could turn it all off I would, but I need the internet, now, for work, for finance – damn it anyway! LOL
    I did the same as you Debbie, Friday’s news took me offline and totally out of sorts as I tried to make sense in a world where none seems to exist! When Bush won the presidency way back when – I said the world was going to Hell in a hand basket. Little did I know the depths to which it would fall – not even Dante’s Inferno captured where we are now.

    1. We also have a land line, Yolanda and plan on keeping it as long as possible. I’m trying to convince my husband to get a cell phone for emergencies, but he’s balking at the idea. He had a company phone for 5 years that was okay to use for personal calls (within reason), which he (happily) gave back after changing jobs. He’s a real technophobe and freaked out when they gave him this Blackberry with all the trimmings! 😀 That’s nasty about your ISP not allowing you to downgrade services. They always offer better deals to new signees, but ours does let us make changes either way. Hope you get that resolved to your satisfaction. So aggravating!

      The sad saga in Paris and Europe continues and now a voice analyst is saying the message from the terrorists claiming responsibility was made by a man with either a southern Ontario or Northeastern U.S. accent?! Hope not; that hits way too close to home!

  4. technology is changing everyday. I sometimes fail understand the conversations my little cousins have. 😉
    I wish customer service guys were a little more considerate. Good that he didn’t receive any commission. 🙂

  5. Ha Ha, I found this very amusing. I think older people do buy a lot of stuff and don’t get the respect they should. But my husband buys most things online, even fridges and TVs. Much cheaper and we’ve found the follow up remarkable!

  6. Have you ever handled a rude salesman? Ha. Lost the count. But I remember this one time I was buying my car when the behavior of the boy handling our invoicing went through the roof. Official complaints had to be sent across to the parent company 😐

    1. Rudeness seems to be more prevalent, these days. 😛 That car salesman must have been terrible! Hope you got a satisfactory response from the parent company.

  7. Love this because it’s true — we have the money to buy things. You would think it would make more sense to help rather than hinder if he wants a sale.

  8. I had trouble getting service at Guitar Center, with an armload of high dollar music books when my son was Ops Manager!’

    Needless to say, the floor staff took the attitude that they were doing the customer a huge favor…they’re at New jobs now…

    1. Good to have a family member in management. 🙂 Arrogant salespeople seem to be everywhere these days. All the more reason to make more online purchases.

  9. Three cheers! I loved the way you showed him his place . I’m often irked by the fact that salespersons address me as ‘sir’ and when I ask them if I look like a man they say “NO SIR! ” I can’t seem to win can I ?

  10. Debbie, no disrespect to your plight, but I love a good rant.
    It’s generally a good idea to not be rude to ANY of your customers. How does he not know you are a big spender. What if you were truly looking to buy right then and there and his behaviour turned out off? It’s very likely it’s already happened.
    I can’t think of any rude sales people recently, off the top of my head, but I know I’ve dealt with them before.
    I also collect CD’s and DVD’s. I don’t like to collect anything digital. I also don’t read digital books. I’d rather have the book in my hand.

    1. Agreed, Jeffrey. A good rant does a person good! 🙂 I’m buying more stuff online these days. Customer service seems to be a lost art. 😛 No digital music here, but I do have some ebooks in my tablet, along with hundreds of real books.

  11. What a butthead! I mean, I sort of get his sentiment (I imagine it’s all day annoying questions from people that don’t understand technology) but that’s his job and being rude only results in rude (or a loss of commission). I typically research/shop for all that stuff online because I’m not the most techy person and oft times am made to feel stupid at these stores. :/

    1. Good description, Madilyn! Definitely a butthead. 🙂 I’m buying more and more stuff online these days since customer service seems to be a lost art.

  12. Mmmm….food for thought. When I travel (working) I have my smartphone, a pay as you go for out of country calls, a tablet for the plane and ferry and my laptop for the hotel. At home, I have two computers on my desk and I use them both at the same time. In my car I never listen to anything except CD’s. HOWEVER, I never have any electronic devices in front of other people or at the dinner table or in the living room when I am with my hubby. I will never allow my grandkids to have any devices during these times as well.

    Rude salesmen? Rarely. Rude Saleswomen? Yes. Do I call them on it? Absolutely — just the same as leaving a penny tip to a rude waitress.

    In the garage I have a turntable, an Atari, DVD players, playstation and others — you never know when I will sell them as antiques.

    1. Hi, Carol; You’re a busy businesswoman, so these are tools of your trade. Perfectly understandable. Great that you don’t allow electronics at the table. That should be a law, everywhere! Kids get so wrapped up in these things. I have encountered a couple of rude saleswomen over the years too, Your comment about leaving a penny for a rude waitress made me laugh because three friends and I did the exact same thing! We each left her a penny and hope she got the message.

      I’m sure all your old equipment will be worth something as antiques. I have a couple of VCRs, an old-style TV and a 1973 stereo console that still works well. That would probably sell, as it’s quite unique. Looks very “space age”. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping in. Have a good week.

  13. Dear Debbie, I hope writing your entertaining article helped relieve some of the other stresses. I found writing in my blog almost therapeutic, shutting everything else out, and just concentrating on that one article.
    I loved your topic this week, and oh boy – I can relate. I don’t have a smart phone, and although I have a Kindle, I prefer paperback books. It’s all too much technical stuff, which sometimes puts me into a technical-brain- freeze.
    The rudest sales person I ever encountered wasn’t too long ago. I was in a computer and television store. My granddaughter was with me. She was looking at the CD’s when she suddenly came running up to me. I could tell by her gait what was wrong. She needed to go to the ladies room… and fast.
    I went up to the closest sales lady there, and while holding my, by now, panicky grandchild by the hand asked where the lady’s room is. You won’t believe what the little bxxch ( I guess around 20 years old) said to me. “Don’t you have any manners? You first greet a person, and don’t just go up and ask them a question!” Meanwhile my granddaughter started wailing, “Omaaaa!” (grandmother in German)… I honestly could have slugged that woman. She actually refused to tell me where the ladies room is.
    Happy end… we found it on our own… but you can be certain, I will never take another step into that store again.

    1. Oh yes, writing is always therapeutic. As for technology, I think it’s a case of too many changes, too fast and too much stuff we don’t need. 😛 I prefer real books as well, but must say, having e-books in my tablet makes it easier to travel with reading material and doesn’t contribute to luggage overweight. 🙂 Plus, Kindle books are so much cheaper.

      That saleswoman certainly sounds like an arrogant bitch. (Please feel free to spell out words here – I do!) Good thing you found the bathroom in time!

  14. In India, ironically the place where I faced the most rudest behaviour is in some of the more famous temples from the local priests. They actively check your hand to see if there is money (an offering!) and if so, push you forward amidst the crowd to get a closer glimpse of the diety… if the money is less or no money at all, you get shunted past faster than you can say “Holy Moley”.

  15. While I can get a net connection on my phone I don’t bother to use it, only because, like you, I’m online when I’m home and I really don’t want to be so connected when I’m out!
    I hate it when salespeople act oversmart – I must confess I do try to bring them down a peg or two! 😉

    1. Hi, Corinne; I’ll never understand why some people feel the need to be online constantly. It’s nice to get away from it, sometimes and experience life in the physical world. 🙂 Good for you! These uppity salespeople need to be brought down a peg.

      Thanks for dropping in. Have a good week. 🙂

  16. I am a salesperson, and I am as congenial there as I am here.

    Looks like I need to be shopping for a new computer with a cd hard drive, too. Thanks for the heads up. I have over a hundred cds. Would be a crying shame if one day I could not listen to Gordon Lightfoot at the push of a button.

    1. Hi, Myke; I think the arrogance factor is related to the youth factor. We older people still have manners. 😉
      My CD collection is also large and I still buy CDs to add to it. Love the look on the shelves! CDs, DVDs, hardcover books and yes, even VHS tapes and (can you believe it?!) cassettes and old vinyl records. My stereo has a turntable, CD player, radio and cassette deck. Dinosaurs unite! HA!

    1. Well, he looked 12 years old to me, but I’m sure he was older – that would be against child labour laws. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for visiting.

  17. Sometimes I wish technology would slow down. What I have now works and does just fine for me. Some of the upgrades are not really improvements.

    Arlee Bird

    1. I agree with that, Lee! What I really hate is when they make everything obsolete and you’re stuck with a whole collection of things you can’t use anymore, so you have to replace them with new stuff! Joke’s on them! I still have all the old equipment. 😀 Well, except for the 8-track machine.

      1. I actually still have an 8 track player stored in the garage. I tried it about 6 years ago and it still worked. Most of my old tapes got all gummed up and sticky and unplayable so I don’t really need the working player. It’s kind of cool though. It’s in a big ol’ console stereo entertainment center from around 1971. I’ll probably put it on Craig’s List one day when I dispense with all the stuff that’s piled on top of it.

        Arlee Bird

        1. That’s an antique, Lee! Could be worth a few bucks.
          I have a 1973 model; round, black and silver. Radio and turntable still work. Looks like this:


  18. Good for you Debbie! Guess you weren’t so old that you didn’t know how to order it online, huh? Haha. And seriously, aren’t they all 12 yrs. old anymore? The tire guys, the drs., sales clerks, and I don’t think any of them have ever been trained in customer service. When I worked, it was required training. Bah. What do I know? I’m just an old person.

    1. For sure, Angel! 😀 Yes, good customer service is a rarity these days. I remember attending several seminars on the subject, back in the corporate days.

  19. Hi, Debbie the Doglady! I forgot you told me a couple of weeks ago that you needed to skip the 11-15 band battle. It completely slipped my mind. Is that what they call a senior moment? 🙂

    Yessum, Mrs. Shady and I encountered one of those smug 12 year old sales reps at an office/electronics store. We were shopping for a new television, knew the type we wanted and how much we were willing to spend. The kid repeatedly tried to steer us away from the dinosaur model we wanted and insisted that everybody in the world except us was making the switch to 4K (about $1,000 more). He kept saying things like, “You’ll be sorry.” Really, Skippy? 🙂

    I still buy CDs and DVDs and hope they and the machines that play them don’t become obsolete.

    Debbie, you have amassed a ton of friendship equity with me. I am familiar with internet fatigue, the feeling of being overwhelmed, burned-out, and needing time to clear your head. I wanted to do that last week when I took a four day blogging break myself, but I was surrounded by Mrs. Shady’s large family and never got a chance. I am always here for you, dear friend. Take care of yourself and I’ll see you when I see you.

    1. Hi, Shady; Weekend blogging doesn’t work well for me generally, so I try to avoid it. This weekend would have been impossible. I’ll be back for the next BOTB.

      What’s up with these young punks? ~best Rodney Dangerfield voice~ No respect, I tell ya! 🙂 Glad you stuck to your guns with the TV!

      Too bad your break didn’t give you much respite. Hope you get some downtime in the near future. I’ll be coming round for a visit, soon. Cheers!

  20. I have a $10/mth pay as you go phone that flips:) People laugh but I say it costs me $10/mth-how much is yours? I don’t need all the toys on the phone because I am not a jetsetter or in a field where that is required. I buy DVD’s and CD’s and glad you straightened out the impudent little brat. Heck I still have a VCR! I have dealt with brats like that and one was so bad I went right to the manager-not sure if the brat kept his job. Oh and I read that Cathy lost her mom-very sad and hard to deal with-I send my prayers

    1. We have the cell phone and VCR in common, Birgit. 🙂 Good for you, complaining about the rude service! I wasn’t quite that pissed off, but thought the lack of commission would be “just desserts”.

      Thanks for thinking of Cathy; that must have been a horrible shock.

    1. Yeah; I got the little snot-nose back! 😀 Sorry, Stephen. Weekends and blogging don’t mix well for me. The last one was difficult and this weekend, I was offline pretty much the whole time. Dec. 1 is for sure, though! Thanks for dropping in!

  21. I know what you mean about having Internet fatigue with all the horrific events these past few days. I was sad about that and then my mother died this morning so it hasn’t been that great a week so far. I didn’t know what to write about so I wrote about my mom since she’s on my mind so much today.Thanks for the smile regarding about your encounter with the rude sales boy who couldn’t believe you were so behind the times. No commission for him, little brat!

    1. Please accept my sincere condolences, Cathy. ♥ That must have been a horrible shock! 🙁 You wrote a lovely tribute.
      Glad this post made you smile for a minute. ((HUGS))

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