Assuming I am much younger than I am, then telling me I should be “flattered” that you thought I wasn’t an adult. This happened again today, when I got carded buying cold medicine (not even the kind you can make meth out of, because I am allergic to that). It happens at school when someone asks for an adult and then says, “Oh, I thought you were one of the kids.” Or when I’m skipped at the deli counter. The most annoying part is that the person who made the mistake gets miffed with me because I’m supposed to thank her or something for thinking I am not an adult and worthy of respect. And yes, I understand checking I.D. for alcohol, etc. because they have to check people who look considerably older than the legal limit. But I don’t think that they expect other people my age to be excited about it. And then they ask me to explain why I’m not flattered (because I don’t enjoy being considered a child? because it’s hard enough getting my students to listen to me without other teachers acting like I’m a teenager? because I deserve the same respect as your other customers?), thus lengthening the awkward encounter and often holding up the line behind me.
So today I was too sick to really state my case with this woman behind the counter who just wouldn’t let it go, so I resorted to being kind of rude (which I usually try not to do). And then the stupid signature pad for the credit card wouldn’t work. She was like, “You have to press down, honey,” all condescending. Argh. I tried a few times before she came around the bagging area to show me how to do it like I was a moron. I was pressing down so hard that the entire unit was shifting, so it wasn’t just me, but it really made the awkward encounter much longer than necessary and was really stressing me out. Finally the machine managed to record the first slope of the first letter of my name, and that was apparently enough to continue my transaction so I could get my receipt. And the woman was like, “See, you had to press down, honey,” like it was my first time using a credit card (since apparently I look 17), and I wanted to slap her but I just took my cold medicine and tissues and left.