Monday, January 5, 2009

Age Is More Then Just A Number

I've spent years smiling at the cliche, "age ain't nothing but a number." As I grow older, I'm starting to realize that it's not. As I inch closer and closer to the big "three-oh" I am less tolerant of youngins. I am even less tolerant of older people who don't have their shit together.

I'm thinking of that lady that we've all worked with. She's been in the office the longest. While she is lowest on the chain on command everyone calls her Mrs. Bernadette because she's older then everyone and just has the heir of oldness about her. Mrs. Bernadette boss is Chad, a 22 year old recent grad of The University of Maryland. Chad holds a degree in Psychology. What stands out about Mrs. Bernadette is that she is 36 but looks and acts like she's 56. She's been with the company for 15 years and while she has the same benefits as everyone else in the office, she hasn't taken advantage of the dental plan, the corporate gym memberships, the 401k, or the educational benefits.

Following 20 years of service, Mrs. Bernadette may be eligible for retirement but she won't be able to as she's saved nothing for the future. After 30 years of service, the only raised she would have received are those given for cost of living raises which will still max her out at $34,500 annually. After 30 years, Mrs. Bernadette will still have to punch in and out each day and talk someone into covering her phones when she has to run to the bathroom. Mrs. Bernadette will have developed hypertension and diabetes because she refused take advantage of her help benefits. Even though the company offered total tuition reimbursement, Mrs. Bernadette didn't have the time for all that and found comfort in making comments like, "ooo, honey, all these big words," and "these new girls talk so white."

As I grow older, while I am relatively young, I know there are things I need to let go of. I am not going to be a professional musician. When I look at the prospect honestly, I recognize that I lack the passion as well as the interest. Honestly, I don't care about that stuff as much as I once thought I did. If I wanted to work in music I'd hoing out my services far more aggressively. In Atlanta alone, there are far more people who love the microphone more then me. These days you have to force a microphone in my face.. I just don't to be another on of those moderately talented people with a whole lot of personality and trunk full of H&M accessories.

Realistically, we're all twenty-something going on 40 and I realize how hard it is to go back to school and work when you realized that your deal isn't coming.. I just don't want to wake up and be that guy or gurl when asked about my skill-set on the application responds with "my background is in 'admin stuff."

At the close of Mrs. Bernadette's career, her legacy will be simply that she was the only one who could unjam the copier. In 2009, I only want to be surrounded by people who are going somewhere. While we are not all going the same place, I can only be around those with substance.

1 comment:

In My Mind. said...

we walk around sometimes as if we don't have a care in the world...and sometimes the reality and time passes us by, and we end up in an office at age 50, and temp work has become our career...
Happiness doesn't live in corner corporate offices, or in the bank account of a successful entertainer, most of the time these people are the most unhappy...Make your own happiness, be true to yourself...the littlest things in life create the biggest smiles and thoughts of happiness...

You're a great person, and you'll be successful it what ever you strive to do...your future is bright sir, capture it.