10 tips for talking to GOM*: Tip Four

by Lee Hopkins on January 1, 2010 · 0 comments

in clippings,customer service,ethics,humour,marketing,pr,revenue models,strategy,tools

Watch out! Theres a Grumpy Old Man about!

Watch out! There’s a Grumpy Old Man about!

Somehow I got sidetracked from going past three tips on how to talk to old curmudgeons like me (you can find tips one, two and three in my November 2009 archives).

But I am determined to finish this series off, so in this exciting instalment let’s consider ‘health’.

By the age of fifty, we GOMs (Grumpy Old Men) are able to look squarely in the bathroom mirror and say, “Life’s two-thirds over for you, matey!”

Yes, with an average lifespan of 74 years and with sand flowing ever faster through the hour glass, at 50 we are on the downhill snake, no more ladders for us.

Woody Allen once said, “I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Neither do I, but alas I am starting to think about how much time is left for me here on Planet Earth and whether I am going to be healthy and wealthy enough to enjoy it.

High amongst my health concerns are:

  • Alzheimer’s and senility
  • Erectile dysfunction* and loss of libido
  • Loss of balance
  • Falls and osteoporotic bones
  • Heart attack and cardiac problems 
  • Prostate checks – there’s no fun for me or the doctor in having a finger shoved up my bum
  • Memory loss
  • Cancer
  • Loss of hearing
  • I said, LOSS OF HEARING!
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol problems
  • Long-term care and retirement housing
  • Funeral expenses

* I always have a chuckle about how the US calls it ‘ED’, whereas in Australia ‘ED’ usually refers to an Emergency Department in a hospital.

I need to go to my GP more often, yet feel like a wimp for doing so. I also want to trust my GP to be the font of all wisdom and knowledge about health issues, but am more and more likely to explore alternative therapies and nutritional supplements because I hear more and more cases of ‘unfortunate outcomes’ in hospitals (aka ‘death by human error’).

So, when you are thinking of ‘talking healthcare’ with me, avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to scare me into doing something. Don’t bother ‘scaring’ me with stats about cancer, or diabetes, or heart conditions. I am more than just a little aware that my body is breaking down, thank you very much, and resent you going on about it whilst showing me pictures of models looking fabulous and obviously with no problem except what to spend their millions on.

Instead, offer me hope. Offer me positive messages about slowing down or even halting degenerative or age-related illnesses.

Trust me, if you come across as sincere about my problems, I’ll thank you for it with my wallet. And just about any business can fake sincerity [cough].


With thanks to Bob Bly for his excellent idea-fest, “Marketing to GOM”

* GOM = ‘Grumpy Old Man/Men’

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