Sometimes the truth hurts. That’s definitely true of the average Boomer shopper, who retail workers gathered in an online forum to complain about. Remember, these are the people who deal with average Americans on their good days, bad days and everything in between.
Find out what retail workers have to say about Baby Boomers, who they agree are the worst shoppers in the world.
They Can’t Stand That People Use Their Phones in Public
It may just be that Boomers can’t stand that phones aren’t corded anymore. That’s the sense one retail worker got from their daily interaction with Boomers.
“Almost every week I listened to a Boomer who concerned themselves with employees being on their work phones for…work. For scanning UPCs. ‘You should report them to management, they didn’t want to help me, they were playing games on their phone!!'”
Another commenter chimed in, agreeing with the original poster, saying that boomers are excessively rude.
They said, “They are very blunt and there’s not a lot of ‘excuse me/please/thank you’ which is rude to people my age who are used to apologizing for breathing, lol.”
People who work in retail have it hard enough.
Anyone of any age being rude to them is just uncalled for.
They Always Think Someone is Ripping Them Off
It’s understandable to be concerned of being taken advantage of by others. Especially when you’re shopping.
They are a lot of snake oil salespeople out there. But, one retail worker said boomers always think they’re being taken advantage of.
“There is usually some kind of power play involved. And they act like you’re always ripping them off.”
It’s best to give people the benefit of the doubt before assuming they’re wronging you.
They Complain Too Much
One retail worker shares a memory of a boomer complaining over having to wait in line too long.
They say, “Imagine being a boomer,…standing in line at Cosmetics, waiting for the cashier to come back from the restroom, and screaming at the guy they temporarily stuck in to watch the line for that cashier—
“and mind you, that guy hasn’t been trained to man a register—about how you’re in pain and can’t wait any longer or you might take your business elsewhere.
“All I know is that personally, every time a boomer told me, ‘I spend X amt. every week at your store and you’ve just LOST ME,’ I said: ‘Ok bye.'”
They Greet You By Name
While some might use a clerk’s name to show respect, it doesn’t always come off that way.
One retail worker says Boomers, “abuse their authority, greeting you by name to let you know that they’re in charge.”
Another commenter agreed, saying, “This is probably the thing customers do that pisses me off the most. I don’t know you,…so keep my name out of your mouth.”
Maybe a good habit to adopt is to just ask for help and remember to say “thanks” when you’re done.
Funnily enough according to retail workers, the thing that Boomers accuse Millennials of doing, they’re most guilty of themselves.
One commenter says, “Baby boomers, at least in the US, were by and large extremely spoiled.
“They were given so much, both in opportunity and in outright gifts. They then proceeded to mismanage it in the most a** way possible….They’ve got a serious case of cognitive dissonance, and they carry that sense of entitlement with them everywhere they go.”
They Always Want the Senior Discount
Senior discounts exist to help people who are no longer earning income still get what they need without too much financial pain.
But they can be painful to retail workers when irate shoppers take them for granted.
One worker says, “I had a boomer interaction about two weeks ago I still feel some lingering rage about.
“This hateful, tick like old woman had just thrown a fit to get her way, then wanted to whine to me about how customers like her were my company’s ‘bread and butter.’
“What she didn’t know is that the senior discount she was there to take advantage of means we barely break even on the purchase she was there to make. It only exists to stop the b**ching of ppl just like her.”
They’re Excessively Irritable
All people can lose their temper when they’re frustrated. But, one retail worker said Boomers are more likely to be excessively irritable in a store.
“I’ve worked in retail and been a server face to face with customers half my life, and I will say that yes, the Boomer generation is the worst. Older or younger generations can accept that I try my best to take good care of them, or abide by protocol, and the Boomer generation has temper tantrums in the store.”
They Have Unrealistic Expectations
Some retail workers thing part of what makes Boomers so intolerable is the expectations they were raised with.
“15-year retail vet here. They are the worst,” says one worker. “They were raised under the paradigm that shopping is an experience and the customer is always right (‘in terms of style’ but this part got lost over time).
Maybe we need to drop that mantra.
One server says the Boomer generation is the worst with losing their temper.
“…boomer generation has temper tantrums in the store, or expect me to risk losing my job or to even do something illegal….boomers want to practically fight.”
They’re Passive Aggressive
Some workers say Boomers are the worst, always. One says even when they try to do something nice, they treat them passive aggressively.
“…I grabbed a door to hold it open for someone and the woman literally snapped at me for ‘not opening it quickly enough.'”
No matter what age you are, it’s good to remember what you learned in Kindergarten.
When someone does something nice for you, accept it. Don’t treat them like dirt.
Lead Ruined Them
One user suggested the explanation for why Boomers tend to be so rude and easily angered was their exposure to lead growing up.
“Baby boomers are considered the worst affected generation when it comes to lead exposure. Exposure at a young age changes who they are. They didn’t ask for everything they put into their mouths as children to slowly poison them and alter their personalities. They were failed in that aspect.
“And as a consequence of that now they are impatient, irritable adults with no ability to regulate their anger.”
Lead? I get people being influenced by their environment and upbringing, but this feels like a stretch.
12 Stereotypes About Boomers That Are Actually True
Retail workers see everything, especially when it comes from one kind of individual. Here are 12 stereotypes about boomers retail workers say are true.
Things Boomers Need to Stop Saying About Money
Boomers have had decades of experience with money. It doesn’t mean everything they practiced financially still applies today. Here are 13 things Boomers need to stop saying to Millennials about money.
Millennials vs Baby Boomers
Generations often like to blame the ones before them. However, Millennials may not be as bad off as they think. Here are 12 reasons why Millennials have it easier today.
Areas Where Millennials and Boomers Agree
Not everything is a fight between Boomers and Millennials. They agree in some cases. Here are 12 points of unity between the two generations.
Boomers Are Pushing Millennials to the Brink
Generations often disagree. That’s especially the case between Boomers and Millennials. Here are 22 ways Boomers are pushing Millennials too far.
This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.