Thursday, September 20, 2007


Not sure if this vignette of our times is funny or depressing? Seventy-two years old. The rationale given by the supermarket at the end of the report is pathetic and symptomatic.


flora_mundi said...

i think that this is a great example of "corporate stupid", a syndrome where a large business entity proves itself incapable of grasping something that would be clear to an average six year old...

although personally, i'm still at the stage where i'd be happy if someone asked me to prove i was over 21...

Sarah Trotsky said...

I agree that the whole thing sounds rather ridicules,

but let's see both ends of this,

the clerks in the store are surly all angry and pissed off. people have most likely been mean to them all day. Retail sucks, I know.

I even worked as a JANITOR!
(in college, long story, not very fun, etc)

the fellow was probably rude,
and here's a way to get back at him!

the only way possible!

quite passive aggressive, etc,
but something.

we all have to screw eachother over constantly to feel good about ourselves and survive, or at least that what I've been seeing.

(San Francisco DOES suck a great deal thought, maybe it's a bit better somewhere else?)

Thomas Transparent said...

The report is 'symptomatic', all right, and I think the disease is some malignant virus causing people to refuse the evidence presented by their own EYES and their instinctual reactions- waiting instead to see a stamp of approval from their governing body, telling them it's ok to believe this insanely obvious fact.

I don't trust my government any further than I can throw them (appropriate, in this case, that Dick Cheney is one of the more corpulent members of that body)- and most people, on average, also claim the same. But as soon as the spectre of "security" gets invoked (be it protection from 'terror', or, in this case, the checkout girl's own job security) people cling to their bureaucratic procedures for dear life. Even, again, if it means contradicting prima facie evidence.

Or maybe the store staff actually believed the customer was an 18 year old with a rare and tragic premature aging condition.

Sarah Trotsky said...

they knew damn well what his age was!

they were just being jerks!

being jerks and hiding behind policy, and bureaucracy.

It's a wonderful excuse, but it's not the real issue.

people are the malignant virus.
Don't get me wrong, I think we're a rad malignant virus, but hey,
so it goes/

David Cotner said...

Good God, who is next? Geri Halliwell?

SYpHA_69 said...

As a retail slave myself (nearly 4 years working full-time at Barnes & Noble, and before that 6 years working part-time at a supermarket), I'd have to say that sarah trotsky's right on in her first comment... I think both sides here come off looking like total fools. And I can't think of any retail employee who would ever pass up the prospect of annoying rude customers...

Thomas Transparent said...

I think it's strange that both of you assume this old man was being rude merely on the basis of your personal retail work experiences. It's possible, but I'm not so sure it's inevitable.

I mean, I worked in a record supermarket where clerks would do mild psychedelic drugs on the job with total impunity, and the supervisory staff would dress up like extras from *Liquid Sky* on Sundays. This particular gig was one of the most 'fun' hand-to-mouth jobs I've ever held down, but there's no way I'd assume that every other retail job was the same kind of Never-Never-Land just based on a couple years of kaleidoscopic experience.

Also if I was a 72 year old man these days; and had to endure a tiring procession of mouth-breathing twenty-something troglodytes who know the dialogue of every 'Simpsons' episode yet can't cobble together even the shabbiest overview of human history, I would be a little on the cranky side as well.

p.s. Sarah humans are indeed 'survival machines' for ancient communities of bacteria- so, close enough to a virus, i guess! ;)

Sarah Trotsky said...

(feel compelled to interject this here:
I don't watch the Simpsons.
Futurama: yes,
Simpsons: No.)

Richo said...

I think you just have to ask yourselves how you'd feel if you were in this pensioner's shoes. I used to get asked the same question until I was 27 years old, too. Whilst it, even at that tender enough age, felt like a compliment initially, it soon grew to become both irritating and inconvenient. I guess the one time I pointed to my car, the 'wife' who was in it at the time and our first child, essentially, didn't carry much weight in Herne Bay, though...?