I didn't anyone else's response so this is to the original posters post:
I am 50, I started this journey August of '06. From the years of about '95 to 'early '06 I was around 60-65 years old (looking), overweight and more importanly I had been told I looked like a creeper. One time three of my colleagues & I were at a local restaurant and the wiatress came over to our table and took everyone's order but mine. She had abruptly walked away and I tried calling to her but she kept walking.
One of my colleagues was outraged (way more than me since this had happened several times before to me) so she got up even after my protests that it was okay I'd get the waitresses attention eventually. This woman friend of mine is very pretty and very assertive. Not only did the waitress come back and apologize for not taking my order my lunch was on-the-house.
My friend told us what the waitress said and she had said that she only saw three people at the table (there were four of us).
During this time of middle-aged and fat I remember saying "hi" to women that I either somewhat knew or a stranger (I always thought it was okay to say hi to strangers all the time) and more times than not I'd get that "you're a creeper, go away" look only to see another dude say the same thing and get a receptive smile.
This does not happen to me anymore. LOL, I told this story not too long ago to a new colleague of mine and she was laughing (I was, too) but then I just flat out said, "Huh, I guess you've had this kind of thing happen to you before, have you?" She said, "No." and then I said, "...that's because you've never been ugly." She quickly replied, "You're not ugly." I said, "yeah, but I USE to be."
I have no problem being greeted, no matter my weight or what I am wearing, but a smile makes one look friendly and I smile and look around when I need help. I am approachable.
There is a certain kind of man that will do what you described. I seen this from one of my daughters friends dad at a tiny photo shop. I went to take my daughter to get her senior portraits and this man was sitting in a chair next to his daughter, and about 5 of us ladies were standing since there were no available chairs. He never once offered his chair to any of us until this very attractive Mom came in, then he offered her his seat right away, she declined, she probably saw right through the pig. She was not blind she sees a man is sitting and five ladies standing as she walks in and then he offers her his chair. PIG! He only offers his chair to the gorgeous looking woman what a small dud of a man. Only a pig lady would have taken that chair feeling as if she was superior, but this woman is a good woman, she is my daughter's friends mom and too smart and sweet to be complimented by a pig.
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
4,472 11/26/12 9:04 A
I live in GA, and Southern Hospitality is no myth. Sure you'll occasionally get a grouch, but with jobs in great demand it's pretty easy to fill the slot with somebody who actually WANTS the job.
I feel invisible when I'm with family, IF my sister is there. She's very loud, so what I say is usually not heard. If it's something important to me, I'll make sure I'm heard. But most times I just let it slide. When sis isn't around, its' just the normal family stuff (as normal as any family, I guess!)
I've been ignored or treated poorly by service workers/sales people before, but I always attributed it to their lack of manners instead of thinking it was me LOL. I just try to always be friendly because I am more likely to get it back and if I don't I tell myself it's because they suck as a person and move on.
I used to work retail and after awhile the custermers just became a "herd of cattle" to me. I had to deal with them of course but they ceased to be individuals. This sounds awful, I know. But that's the way it was. It wasn't personal to them at all.
Now I'm older and as a customer I just speak up and I don't take it personally if they ignore me.
honestly i find that i get great service when i'm not looking for it and when i am i can't find anyone to help hahaha
Fitness Minutes: (35,715)
3,798 11/25/12 9:24 P
I find that I have gotten much better at commanding attention as I have gotten older. Money helps. So does projecting an air that you won't put up with bad serice and will actually make some sort of trouble for them if you don't get good service.
But most times, I don't want a lot of attention from sales people. I want to prowl around by myself, try things on, etc. without being bothered. If I have a question or want to make a purchase, I can get myself the attention I need.
Fitness Minutes: (11,017)
1,779 11/25/12 7:02 P
Chicchantal your singing my song!
I am obese and middle aged and I couldn't be more invisible if I were a ghost. I often get a little vocal when it is blatantly obvious I am being ignored and have been know to say out loud "I am the biggest thing in this store and still no one sees me!"
I do agree with the others though that customer service is almost non existent anymore and I dont believe I am the only one who is ignored or treated badly. However I have been in so many situations when other younger more attractive individuals are treated so much better than I am.
I guess we have a choice we can stop shopping at these establishments and/or complain to management.
I'm very friendly and outgoing so I make nice with everyone who is helping me or serving me, I don't have any problems at all, I am sorry you do, but that has never happened to me, so thats a new one for me, I'm sorry though!
Fitness Minutes: (8,773)
133 11/25/12 4:25 P
Well I have never been to America. Here in Dublin most shops are very friendly, you often see nice smiles on their faces. In China will be a different story. Where I am from, most girl are skinny, I will almost never get a service in the lady's departments. They often tell me to go to some places that has plus size and turn their back on me. Well I am used to that. But I don't mind their attitude because they are really busy and have lots of people to serve. And they really don't have my sizes.
I've experienced this both overweight and very slender. And on top of being middle-aged and female, I'm short. I OFTEN feel invisible, particularly in clothing stores.
When I experience that I make a point of calling the store afterword, speaking with the manager, and stating what I experienced and how that varies from my expectations for businesses with whom I spend my time and money.
I also make a point of calling (or going to customer service if I can find it) with complements. If there's time, I tell the sales associate at the end of a transaction that I've found her/him very helpful, that I appreciate it, and that I will pass that on to their manager.
Fitness Minutes: (213,815)
20,967 11/25/12 3:18 P
When I worked retail (back in the Dark Ages), we routinely had meetings where we watched videos on how to improve customer service. Things like smiling, greeting the customer, etc were common methods to help improve customer service. Yes, these things are important. However, what I considered more important was actually having clerks on the floor to help the customers. The meetings to improve customer service coincided with a reduction in staff ! How were we supposed to help a customer if we were also expected to keep the areas tidy, stock the shelves, answer phones, ring register, etc. I can't even tell you how many times I walked into Macy's and had to wander around the floor just to find someone to ring my sale.
My point ? I agree with the others. You're not invisible because you may be overweight or middle aged. Retail workers are overworked and poorly paid. There just aren't enough people working retail who care about what they do anymore. It's a job, not a career.
Here's something I have been thinking about. I'll bet if you put on a snazzy suit, did your hair and walked into the same store, more employees would help you. Some times I wonder if the way we dress when we go shopping has more impact than our size or age. because I have seen some very nicely attired people get service quicker than me in my gym clothes.
Fitness Minutes: (1,353)
1,581 11/25/12 3:16 P
Honestly, I thnk its customer service in general!
I was in a high end store in Las Vegas, and another woman walked in after me and the woman working there ignored us both. Theother woman was attractive and looked wealthy to me.
I have gone into nice restaraunts and the hostess doens't even gret people, she just looks at the customers like "what do you want?" and then walks them to a table wthut saying a word. I blame technology, people are too busy texting, and social networking, they can't communicate effectively!
Maritimer3-Those were males. A REAL man would have stopped to help you. :(
Fitness Minutes: (72,150)
6,843 11/25/12 2:48 P
I think older women tend to get "invisible". I hate it. I was coming back from a trip last week and really struggling to get my suitcase up a slight of steps from a subway to street level, and men were just walking past me.
"I think it has more to do with modern society and most shop workers just don't care. I'm not really overweight anymore and I'm not ugly or anything, and I'm young, and I still get ignored in many shops. Even when I am paying for my purchases, I smile and try to be friendly, and often I don't get a friendly attitude back. I don't take it personally though, because it's nothing to do with me. "
Oh, I make sure I'm not invisible. I'm way too fat for people NOT to see me, so I take it personally when people act like I'm not even there. I do get assertive. Some may even say I turn into a b*tch. One of my biggest pet peeves is being ignored. I agree that it has a lot to do with society. I may be fat, but I am not ugly, and I really am NOT a mean person! I've got a good sense of humor, I'm kind of a nerd, and I like intelligent conversation, and stupid movies. I know it doesn't really go together, but whatever. If I bring MY money into a place of business and I'm going to spend it there, Dammit you BETTER show me some respect, or I'll either have your butt reprimanded or fired for being rude. It is what it is. If you don't want to serve customers, than get out of a job that requires customer service. Did that make sense or did I just talk in circles?
Fitness Minutes: (120)
2,171 11/25/12 1:07 P
I think it has more to do with modern society and most shop workers just don't care. I'm not really overweight anymore and I'm not ugly or anything, and I'm young, and I still get ignored in many shops. Even when I am paying for my purchases, I smile and try to be friendly, and often I don't get a friendly attitude back. I don't take it personally though, because it's nothing to do with me. The other night at Target though, my checker was very friendly, and I left in a good mood because he was friendly.
As for the type of guy who won't even be civil and friendly to a woman unless she's attractive to him, well, that just shows more about his character than anything else. I don't get offended by guys like that, because I want a good kind man, and a guy like that isn't good and kind.
Anyone else notice that it's hard to get service in shops and you are not taken seriously when you're middle-aged and overweight? Sometimes I think I am being oversensitive but then something happens and I think 'Ah. Gotcha!' In partcular there's a type of guy who won't bother to speak to a woman unless he finds her attractive. You're just not on his radar.
Any techniques for dealing with this? I do tend to get very 'assertive' with people who are off-hand with me. And it's such an absolute pleasure when someone actually takes you seriously.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.