Any one who has ever worked retail will tell you that sometimes you get some really talkative customers. The ones that latch on and just won't let go tend to be the elderly. Makes sense, right? Sometimes they're lonely. They don't get out much and on that rare occasion that they have a captive audience the flood gates of their life experiences open wide. Personally, as long as I'm not super busy, I enjoy settling in for a little conversation. I've heard some fascinating stories over the years.
Lots of people who work retail have little nicknames for these types. I use L.O.L.'s for "Little Old Ladies" (it didn't have the same meaning when I coined that one) and L.O.M.'s for "Little Old Men". There are variations of course, some of them are cute and sweet, some are bitter and ornery but none are scarier than the D.O.M- The "Dirty Old Man". If you are a lady working retail you know the D.O.M and you run the other way or hide in the stockroom when you see him coming.
Older gents have been flirting with younger women since time began . That's not the problem. The typical encounter consists of a Golden Oldie telling a young lady that she's pretty, has a nice smile, has a lucky boyfriend/husband, etc. All perfectly harmless and both sides get a little bit of an ego boost. There is, however, a line. Some older men just have lost that self-censorship that keeps those dirty thoughts in their brain where they belong and they just come tumbling out. In those cases the man doesn't even realize he's said anything wrong, like when little kids ask inappropriate questions in public (usually loudly and often directed at some unfortunate stranger). These are uncomfortable situations of course, but easy to brush off after the fact.
Some encounters are creepier, more insidious. Like the D.O.M.'s that starts out harmless and emboldened by a smile or a giggle, take things too far. He may start out telling her she's quite a catch and then end up telling her he could guess her bra size or ask if her father is a baker (apparently because she has nice buns, I had to ask about that one). I've even heard of one instance where a male co-worker had to threaten to throw a D.O.M. out of the store because he wanted to ask a pretty little thing (who I think was only 17 at the time, BTW) if he could pay her for sex. This guy wasn't senile either. He knew exactly what he was asking, he just didn't think there was anything wrong with asking any young lady he found attractive to whore herself.
Seriously?! That seemed appropriate?! Age isn't even a consideration at this point, that's just...ewww. Why kind of a response does a guy (young or old) expect after that? "Oh wow, I'm so turned on by your lack of tact and social graces. Please, objectify me some more!" (swoons). Ugh. Listen, if you're a guy and you're reading this, just stick with "pretty smile" or even a "nice hair". If you start complimenting any feature below the chin it's just gonna be creepy.