Sixty Something: A day in the life 133



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After being accused of lying and perhaps being a bad mother on my last section of my sixty something pages, I have decided to write this section about one day only in the life of this sixty something woman. Can’t get into too much trouble with this one. Or can I? Everything I say is the truth, albeit stupid, boring or otherwise. This is my day yesterday.

It seems as you grow older, you have more trouble sleeping later, although you would think it would be the other way around. I am usually awake before 5am, but yesterday, I was sleeping peacefully, later than usual when bang, grate, screech!  God, has a car gone through someone’s front window? I was woken very startled and confused. Wouldn’t you know it, the only day I sleep late in months and it’s the bloody garbage truck. Now most places I have lived, the garbage man is early.  Some are very quiet, some not so, but none as noisy as this one. Not only has he almost slid sideways around the corner, but he has just dropped several rubbish bins and there is rubbish spewing out on the path and road. He gets paid to do this? I wrap my gown around me and go out into the semi darkness and rescue my bin and the one next door from the road. I make a mental note to let the council know about the rubbish everywhere. Surely he needs to be more careful, or am I getting grumpy now that I am sixty something? Rhetorical question folks, no need to tell me how grumpy I was!

Oh well, I’m up now, so after coffee and toast, I get ready for the day ahead. I have to tackle Centrelink. I shudder at the thought. I don’t call Centrelink anymore. The call waiting time has increased dramatically, so I think it is easier to go in, that is if you have transport. I do so off I went. The luckiest thing to happen to me all day was that I managed to get a park right out front of the office. After an hour or so, my name was called. Have you noticed they only use your Christian name? Have they not heard that familiarity breeds contempt? The young woman was polite but could not answer either of my inquiries. She gave me a form letter to help with one and a phone number to call to help with the second. Why I was here for Centrelink related inquiries was a mystery to me. She did however tell me I was allowed to use their phones for the second inquiry, which turned out to be answered by someone identifying herself from Centrelink. Is that not where I was? Oh well, count to 10 Fran, breathe deeply and move on.

Next stop was the job agency I am assigned to. Now Centrelink say it is not necessary for me to attend these appointments, but keep making them for me. When I arrived, the woman said she didn’t realise she had someone coming in this early.  By now it’s mid morning. She proceeded to tell me that they were shutting down and the government would send me a letter as to what the changes were, BUT I didn’t have to attend these appointments. I left the office with another appointment made. Go figure.

The pharmacy was the next stop. I, like many others, leave my scripts in the hands of my local pharmacy. The young girl behind the counter was prompt to serve me. I waited for my script and then this 16-something says, “is that all I can do for you dear?” Could she tell how mad I was? “Dear”? I am just past 60 and she is a snippet. Calling me dear in a condescending voice was not the way to win friends and influence me. Believing that I don’t look too bad for 60-something, certainly not old enough to be called dear, I was not impressed. She has my name in front of her. Please do not talk down to me. Am I getting grumpy in my “older” years or has the garbage man set the scene for today? Could it be that someone at 16 sees someone at 60-something as old and needs to be spoken to as though they are deaf, dumb and stupid?

The supermarket was the best place I had been all day. I was left alone with my trolley and my thoughts on what I would spend my meagre allowance on. I was happy for half an hour. I use the self serve, so when I was done, I lined up. My turn came soon enough and the register started asking me questions. I answered and proceeded to put my groceries through. As I headed out of the store with my purchases the alarms started sounding. I looked at the assistant and she promptly told me everything was fine. She didn’t look to see if my bag was filled with stuff I hadn’t paid for, she just continued talking to the girl at the next counter. I could have had anything in my bag.

Finally I was home. Most of the day was gone. This 60-something was pooped. The best part of the day was standing just inside the door wagging her tail at me. Someone was glad to see me. I hugged my little puppy and gave her the treat I had for her. I thought about my day and wondered, “was this 60-something getting grumpier as she got older?” Nah, it’s not me, it’s the rest of the world.

What’s a day in the life like for you?

Fran Spears

Born in 1953. Came to Hobart from the north west coast of Tassie to be closer to my son as I have mild chronic bronchitis. Mild and chronic in same sentence – even that makes me laugh. Have just completed and passed my diploma in Public Relations. Love to write and have lead a reasonably interesting life. My motto: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

  1. Dear is a term of endearment, dear!

    5 REPLY
    • Totally agree with you Willamina I use it all the time for either the young ones or people my own age 70 I might say thank you dear I certainly would not be offended if someone called me love or dear So thanks dear lol

    • The companies need to teach the young people how to address the older customer, when we were young our parents taught us how to address older people, I doubt if the young people of today sure taught this. When I worked in retail I taught the younger one how to address the customers and if I caught the saying the wrong thing, I would pull them up on it, we were voted the most polite store in town and became very proud of this and it was carried on.

    • I have a close friend that calls me ‘dear’. As she is my age, it does not bother me, but I would not like a young stranger doing it.

  2. It’s not that we’re extra grumpy now. It’s that we were too timid and quietly put up with so much when we were younger.

  3. You sound normal to me, I hate going to Centerlink, it is not the staff, I think they whole system is mismanaged, you were brave going there. My garbage man comes before dawn and makes the same racket yours does, must be part of the job description

  4. Wow, sounds like a day in life of a lot of us Fran,especially the Centrelink fiasco,just does your head in hey??? Life is good though,we are breathing yeh!!! I like your writing skills. Keep it up.

  5. You are doing OK, I get overwelming urges to punch people in the face LOL, you are not quite there yet Dear

    6 REPLY
    • Yea it’s so damn annoying , I even hate hearing them call the people in the age care homes , love , dear and the oh so damn hon …

    • Yes and there are “terms of endearment” and terms of endearment, especially coming from a sixteen year old.

    • I got called ‘chicky babe’ the other day, the chap was about 40, so I just sucked it up. He seemed to be calling all the women pet names.

    • The dept I work for has a client who kept calling me honey if I happened to answer the phone, I just hated it so one day I just said to her that it made me feel uncomfortable and would she not do that any more, she was a bit silent for a moment but took it on board and has not done it since. I was pleased I had the courage to say something as I really did find it offensive considering I had at least 20 or more years on her.

  6. It’s not just you. I now tell people I’m not dear just expensive. Love is another I dislike thank you love can they just say thank you. I’m still working F/T with many younger people and most don’t make me feel anything other than one of them some well we all know about them. So when I get home toy girl whose been home alone all day not only do I get a yelp of delight a wagging tail. I also get dropped at my feet a piece of her treat she had saved for me just in case I’m hungry. Bless my girl.

    1 REPLY
    • I tell people who call me dear that if I were a”deer”I would have antlers and would ram them up the backside with them…..!!(a bit aggressive,huh?)

  7. Good day all things considered! Centerlink is like a maze you always get sent after cheese the wrong way!

  8. Thanks Fran great read. Some days are just shite. Maybe a karma thing you know you should have stayed in bed day.I remember a young assistant working in my pharmacy said to my about my scripts”I’m not a mind reader u know” I some times get muddled due to the meds. I remember just staring at her and thinking I should have stayed in bed or booped her on the nose lol.

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