Senior Shoppers, Please Be Kind

Most of my Co-op shopping experiences are positive and sometimes neutral. But I recently had a negative shopping experience. A week later, I again left the store thinking, “Wow, that was stressful.” Another week later, a pattern emerged: My status as a senior shopper had begun, so I was shopping on my way home from work on Tuesdays. Most of my fellow shoppers were also seniors, also doing a week’s worth of shopping, armed with their 10% discount. And they were irritable, entitled, crabby, pushy. Oh dear.

People, let’s curb this. Let’s be mindful of one another’s feelings and challenges. It’s not easy getting old. But studies to determine the personal qualities that support aging well have concluded that the primary quality is feistiness, or the ability to look out for one’s own interest and advocate for it. And feistiness is often expressed in being irritable, entitled, crabby, pushy. In no way do I want to discourage seniors from being feisty.

But please check how you treat your fellow shoppers. Be respectful, be patient, be kind. The senior discount is a privilege, and I am grateful for it. Let’s not give the Co-op a reason to revoke it. Let’s treat staff like the hard-working, kind-hearted people they are. Let’s relax and enjoy shopping with our aging neighbors.

— Gwen Lindgren