So Saturday night on the way to the memorial for Esko…a great musical tribute with talk about his connection with music and no mushy god stuff…I wish I had known him better, but I think I would have had to have been connected to church stuff more.
Anyway, I had to go to Safeway so I could get some money at the checkout and decided to buy a couple of important things for my lunch and on the way by the beer I got a six pack because it was cheaper than at Aldrich’s which in handier. Anyway, again, I went to the automatic checkout as I always do, knowing the guardian of the self checkouts would have to come over and wave something at the machine so I could finish checking out because of the beer. I have done this since self checkouts were invented. I like to challenge myself to put the stuff on the scanner faster than the checkout speaks just to entertain myself. So when I was ready to pay, and like every other time I have bought beer at that store, the lady comes over to wave the thing at the machine but instead she said, “What is your birthday.” Just those words kind of took me aback and I looked at her with what was probably a shocked expression. So I said “1943,” and stood there with my jaw dropped and brow furrowed at least mentally.
No one (store clerk-wise) has asked my birthday since after I turned 30. Not asked out loud in a crowded store with people hovering around trying to get to the self checkout. Then she said, “No, I need your full birthday,” and she actually had to punch it into a number pad on the screen. So I had to tell her, outloud, the numbers and dates of my birthday.
I felt like just walking away without my stuff I was so humiliated, mortified and shocked. Now part of the shock was that I’m not a very private person and I don’t care who knows how old I am. I can’t do anything about it and I don’t try to pretend I’m not old. I have all the symptoms of being old, white hair, not so spry, wrinkles, little beards, brown spots, most younger people ignore me or pretend I’m not there and seem shocked if I speak to them. I don’t expect to be taken for a younger person, especially not someone too young to purchase beer. So I am, still, a bit puzzled at the outrage I felt and still feel at having to say out loud in the crowded store, “oh-six-one-seven-nineteen-forty-three.”
Why couldn’t she have pushed a button that said something like “this person is obviously WAY older than 21”? Maybe it changed with their new system that takes chip cards and maybe she was pissed that she had to ask me even more than I was that I had to tell her, but I will say that if I go there again to buy beer and this happens. I’m inclined to not go to Safeway anymore. At least I’m going to ask to speak to the king of the store…or maybe it is a queen.