“Excuse me!” “Pardon me!” “Can you please tell me where to find this?” “Can you please help me with a question?” “Can you please assist me?” Lately I feel like I am may be invisible at times. Could I be dreaming and they just can’t see me? No, I’m here and wide-awake. Are they choosing not to see me? This doesn’t make sense to me so I ask why? Do they think I don’t matter… that I am old… that I’m not going to buy anything?
I know that I matter; I know that I have buying power. I am buying for aging parents, my husband, myself, my children and my grandchildren… and my pups. I have the ability to spend money.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know I rarely write about struggles or negativity and although you may think I’m going there I’m not. I truly want to understand why some people look past a mid-life woman or cannot find it in their means to assist us.
What I have come to realize is it’s not about us. It’s a result of poor customer service skills, poor training, and frankly, people can be so mired in their own lives they don’t take the time to listen and are trying to get through their day as best they can. You never know what someone else is going through.
How do I know this because as many times as I have been silent and just kept asking for help, other times I have spoken up and persisted to get help. Those times, I have made it a point to ask about them and to show some kindness. A few months back, I was in a popular clothing store in NYC and had this very experience. I was trying to get my questions about returns answered after standing in a long line. I was told very rudely to move aside after my question was answered, and I had an armload full of clothes. After asking numerous people for help, I was at my whit’s end. Before I blew my top, I asked her if she was having a great day. She told me it had been kind of rough and our short chat developed into more. I moved aside to order online at a terminal so that I could in fact make a return and she came over to see if I needed help. I was touched and we proceeded to chat. She truly was a dear and I knew in my heart that she felt bad for our original interaction.
Time and time again, I am happy to share that this approach has worked. The time it doesn’t… you will see me talking to the store manager about customer service or walking out the door with no packages.
So these days, I don’t take these situations personally or think it has anything to do with my age or me… I know it truly has to do with them. I now know that because of my wisdom, maturity, grace and kindness, I just might be able to help someone else when I was the one seeking assistance.
I hope that you have not had a similar experience. But I also know that many of my friends and family have as I have heard their stories. Maybe we are more aware of it as we age and it was happening all along we just were mired in our lives at the time and did not notice.
Thanks for following along and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!