Getting Over Generational Humps

677832_unripe_bananas One of the blogs that I enjoy reading is Gen Y Girl by Kayla Cruz.  She is so refreshing with her insights on being a Gen Y and how hard it is out there to get employers to take a good look at what they have to offer.

As I have mentioned before in our office we have a few different generations working together and although at times we do rub each other the wrong way, we have learned to understand where each of us is coming from and take the time to listen and learn from each other.

But today I experienced first hand at what Kayla’s frustrations are and I have to say I was pretty floored by it in today’s age of accepting each other for who we are.

I was in the Whole Foods store picking up a few things for our office luncheon and the man (maybe in his 60’s) ahead of me in line was complaining to the clerk because the bananas were too ripe and he wanted green ones.

The nice young man who was checking told the man that usually customers will complain that the bananas are too green, but that he understood where he was coming from because he likes to camp and if the bananas are too ripe they do not last long.

The man did not seem to find comfort in this man’s response and asked if there was a manager that he could talk to because he actually held stock in Whole Foods and knew others that did too and another local market could carry green bananas so why couldn’t they?

The clerk said certainly there was a manager, and she was right over at the booth by the door.  The man looked over there and so did I, and there was a nice young woman (maybe 30 or so) at the booth.  The man said, I don’t want to talk to that “girl” she won’t be able to help me, I want a real manager who can do something.

Now the clerk looked a bit surprised and I started taking mental notes (yes, there is blog material here). He told the gentleman that she was the floor manager and would be able to help him.  He said “didn’t you hear me?  I want a real manager, don’t you have a male manager that I can talk to?”

The clerk said yes, “the store manager was “Bill” and if you go to the booth the floor manager can call the store manager for you”.  He then said “and how old is this store manager?  Will he really be able to do anything for me?  The clerk said “I am sorry I do not know his age, but he is the store manager.”

This man, was not real happy, but headed over to “the girl” and all I could see was him waving his arms around and she was just smiling at him ready to help.

I have to tell you I was pretty amazed at his behavior, not sure why, because in my office we get all kinds of people also.  I guess it was that this man saw these people in management positions not worth much because they were young.  He felt that only a manger who was older could really get something done for him.

It wasn’t the position to him, it was the age of the person who was filling it that made the difference.  Like age, would mean that they had more pull to get things done.

When I went back to my office I shared what happened at the store with my Gen Y’s and Gen-X’s and they totally knew this type of thinking toward their generations.  I feel their pain and totally get a fresh understanding at What Kayla is writing about.

What is that age old saying? “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?”  Let us not do that..


6 thoughts on “Getting Over Generational Humps

    • Hi Carol, you are so right. It amazes me that after all that we have moved ahead as the human race it appears we will always have those that refuse to. This is where our better understanding of each other needs to take place so that we can not collide with those who choose to not see as we do, but work with them in a peaceful manner. I call it walking the high-wire…do it ever so carefully 🙂

  1. I also noticed he specifically was gender biased first… ” I want a real manager, don’t you have a male manager that I can talk to?”

    Tina, it’s not just age. I am a 55 yr.old career female and I still have to start talking business before older males start to take me seriously. I’ll have a male prospect call and expect my prices to be far lower as if I weren’t as professional as a male counterpart. As soon as they use terms like “darlin'” or “hon” I know I have been taken down a couple of notches… I even get that with some older women.

    It’s like that old joke:
    A man and his son are in a car accident. The father dies on the scene, but the child is rushed to the hospital. When he arrives the surgeon says, “I can’t operate on this boy, he is my son! ” How can this be?

    If you don’t know the answer immediately, you still have subsconscious gender bias…

    Have a great weekend, Tina 🙂

    • Great story Hania, it is true that this gentleman would prefer a man to speak to but he also wanted an older, wiser one.

      I too also deal with the woman gender issue in business. I could get up on my soapbox about this issue, but will leave it for another time.

      Thanks for all of your input and have a great weekend yourself

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