accidental ageism

I haven’t blogged in so long, I almost forgot the little rush of giddy I get when I start typing out a post. Needless to say, it’s great to be back in the blogosphere!

A little update: I have moved home for the summer and am waitressing at a local restaurant (and boy, it is quite an eye-opening life experience for a 20 year old who has never served before), which I find to be enjoyably fast-paced and pleasing for the pocketbook.

This is just going to be a short post about a tongue-in-cheek moment I had the other day while at work: I had finished serving a table of four (two young children and two older adults), and when the woman from the table came to the till to pay, I was making conversation, as is customary. Casually, and not thinking anything of it, I asked her, “Out for supper with the grandchildren?” Imagine my embarrassment and guilt when she answered, “Actually they are mine. Surprising at my age, isn’t it?” with a small laugh. Mortified into a loss of words, I just gave her what, I hope, looked like a crinkly-eyed smile rather than the grimace I felt inside.

After she left, I couldn’t help but kick myself for my wrongful assumption. Granted, this circumstance of subconscious labelling wasn’t especially harmful or degrading in comparison to others, but it was definitely a reminder to myself that, no matter how much I have learned about stereotyping and discrimination, I am still human, make these mistakes, and can’t possibly know someone from a glance.

This situation actually reminds me a lot of a video that went viral a few weeks ago. It involves a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent that really blows some stereotypes out of the water. If you haven’t already seen it, I suggest you give it a watch:

And here is one of my absolute favourites about judging people from a glance and how inaccurate it is:

Hope you enjoyed this ‘food for thought’ entry! Have you ever had an embarrassing ‘assumption’ moment?