Yesterday was the All Senior Picnic in the little town I call home. While I am not quite a senior yet, I do work for a company that provides transportation services for the elderly and disabled, as well as the general public. This year, I was asked to represent the company at the picnic in the form of having a booth.
So a customer service rep and myself had a super snazzy booth all set up. It was all glitz and glam (actually, it was a table covered with a blue cloth and a sign that said "Seniors ride for free." We also had some hard candy, because we're high rollers like that)
So there I was, holding down the fort, representing for my company, by handing out pencils and little flashy doodads to all the cute little seniors that walked by. Most of them were super polite, while practically swiping everything on the table into their little goody bags; but one individual in particular stood out.
An elderly gentleman walked by and was asking about the free passes that we have available. The passes are good for the fixed route bus services in our town for individuals who are 65 years and older. He seemed to be hard of hearing, so I had to repeat myself several times while practically speaking directly into his ear canal. A little uncomfortably close, but acceptable considering the noise level at the time. The gentleman walked off.
The same man then returned to our little booth about an hour later. He smiled as he walked up in a friendly old man sort of way. He then said to me, "So I can ride you for free?"
I smiled back and replied, "I don't drive the buses, but you can ride the with the fixed route services for free." I assumed he said "So I can ride with you for free" so I of course indicated that he would be riding with the drivers, not office staff.
He smiled again and said, "That's not what I meant."
I laughed, because I didn't really know what to say and the old pervert walked away.
This is not the first time something like this has happened. I used to work as a waitress at a retirement community where it was common knowledge to keep yourself at least arms length from several residents if you wanted to keep your tush to yourself.
But seriously? What has happened to the seniors of today though that they think it's okay to proposition young women at vendor booths? It is truly disappointing to see how far the sensibilities of seniors has fallen. Why is it that society has drawn a line saying that while it would be completely off base for a young man to say something like this to anyone, but if it's a senior citizen, its okay, they're just a harmless old person? That this behavior should just be chalked up to dementia of some sort as society just brushes it off to the dusty corners of it's room full of issues.
Don't get me wrong. Most senior citizens don't behave this way. But the ones that do.... they really are pretty skeevie.