High expectations as we get older

High expectations – am I turning into Victor Meldrew?

When I was younger I always joked I’d be a Victor Meldrew (or maybe Victoria) when I was older. 

I find a lot of things that irritate me, but this seems to be increasing as I get older.  This, even though with N I’m fairly laid back, compared to how my mum had been with us.

It doesn’t matter what or where, I think my expectations seem to be increasing the older I get. Maybe I really am turning into a grouchy older (wo)man. Talking to friends it seems I’m not the only one.

Are my big expectations unrealistic?

High expectations as we get older

Photo by Denys Nevozhai 

Eating out

I’m quite particular when I eat out. I’ll eat lots of cuisines but most of the time we go out it’s pub food. Near us it’s usually poshed up pub food. Lots of seafood and fish, lots of sauces and weird cuts of meat. Because I don’t eat mushrooms, vegetarian options are usually out, and often it’s that type of sauce in a dish. I usually rely on there being a burger, pie or sausages as a back up if there’s nothing else. The guys all have steak, but I’m not really a big chunk of meat fan, plus when you can get steak off the farm, I don’t really want to eat it when out. So I struggle with lots of menus.

Other than menus going posh, my expectations have increased. We don’t eat out in really smart places, but I expect things to be correctly delivered to the table. If I’ve asked for tap water, I don’t expect to be waiting and waiting and then have to ask again. I’d like a bit of eye contact, or at least enough at certain points of the meal in case we’ve got a request or need to ask for the bill.

When I’m paying £13 for a meal I hope it’s going to be reasonably cooked, and I want to be informed what it comes with. Not be surprised by a random sauce over the top of it that I can’t eat.

Customer service

I don’t know if it’s my expectations of customer service that is higher, or whether customer service is falling. But I find I’m getting more irritated.

It can be hanging around in queues for ages, waiting for a member of staff on the shop floor to realise that there’s a queue at the till. Then they don’t even apologise. Or staff talking to each other at the check out and ignoring customers while they serve them. I don’t expect a conversation but I’d like to have their attention.

I also think with the internet, sales people in certain places have got lazy. While I might ave done my research beforehand, I want to be convinced and get someone else’s opinions when I’m in store. Buying a car, buying a laptop – I’m expected to know everything about them, and compared without having any real knowledge. Unlike a sales assistant who I’d expect to work for their commission and to still try and sell to me.


We work with a lot of contractors to outsource work. They’re more experts than me, but we have contracts which state what they need to provide, and we discuss at the start expectations for project management and keeping me informed. But the silly little admin things get missed, or they don’t keep me informed until I’m chasing them. Or invoices come with no details on. Or they don’t invoice at all until we chase and chase and chase. These aren’t all new people we’re working with either.

I’m not even that much of a perfectionist. I’m definitely less so than I used to be. It’s too hard nowadays to be so. But I do have fairly high expectations of others.


N is where I’m more relaxed. It helps that he’s an easy child and apart from a bit of nagging around picking up his stuff, I don’t worry too much.

But when I look at some other children I see around, I do think I have high expectations. To me they’re just ones that my mum expected of us, and that I want to see from N too.

I’m mortified by the behaviour of some children I see out and about, or that they’re wildly running around with their parents running behind ryin to catch them down the road before they step out. Or children mucking around in restaurants and parents not even trying to calm them down a little.

I did say at the start of the school year that now he’s in key stage 2 he should be starting to get his own school uniform and bags ready. It’s not happened yet, but I’m kind of hoping by the end of the year he’s doing in sometimes, if not all the time.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. In the rand scheme of things, does it matter? Not realty but it helps the enjoyment when you’re served a brillian meal, or you’ve had some great customer service.

Are you getting more patient or less patient? How do you not get frustrated?

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  1. take it from one who turns 60 this year, you will get a LOT grumpier and a LOT less tolerant in the coming years.
    Totally agree on the customer service side of things, and I had a right go a few weeks back at a shop owner on his mobile speaking in his native language while he rung up my goods and help out his hand for the money without speaking a word to me…..he got a few choice words and I can assure you he put his mobile phone down and spoke to me before he got his money.
    I am like you with meals, pub lunches are our thing as I know I can eat 2 or 3 choices in there.
    As a grandparent I see a MASSIVE decline in discipline and respect both to and from children in public. Cant say that 30 yrs ago I heard parents roaring obscene language at the children when out, no wonder some children and obscene back. Manners breeds manners and while my children were far from perfect they knew acceptable behaviour in public and in school. Modern children know there is no deterrent to their misbehaviour, I just wonder what the working place is going to be like in another 15-20 yrs when these children get to the work place and have been mollycoddled enough in school to not to have to do what they dont want, or not having learnt to lose a race etc – how they going to deal with instructions at work and not getting that promotion?

    1. Crikey, the workplace of the future doesn’t bear thinking about. Although they’ll all internet superstars rather than normal office workers lol.
      I’m planning on being Victor Meldrew

    1. Definitely manners have decreased over the last few years. Very hard to teach your children what’s right when they hold doors open for others, say thanks, but other people don’t notice them or barge through.

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