I've been working the business way too long! Many little things reinforce this belief on a daily basis, intolerance of customers, disdain for repetitive tasks, waking up at the same time my alarm normally goes off even on my days off. But by far the most telling of all the signs is the generation gap between me (apparently the old timer although I'm only in my mid 30s) and most of the other staff.
There was a time, that seems like only yesterday, when I was partying all night and turning up to work in the morning no worse for wear. When the 45 year old Chinese lady who was working only to save money to have her dog taxidermied when he died, seemed ancient. When I was cool and young.
Certain little episodes in the last few years have served as cruel reminders that those days may sadly be behind me, at least in the eyes of my young co workers. Here are a couple of examples:
Several years ago, I was working in the restaurant at a hotel. The classic Aussie actor, Bryan Brown came in for lunch and coffee. After I had taken his order, I excitedly pointed him out to my somewhat younger co worker. "Who is he?" she asked. "You know, Bryan Brown, He was in the movie 'Cocktail' "
"I've never heard of it" - Ummm WHAT?
Fast forward a couple of years and I'm working in a different restaurant, in a different hotel with similarly young co workers. Somehow we got talking about how time goes really quickly once you finish school and get out into the world. "What year did you finish school?" one of them asked me. I told her "Wow, really? I was born that year!" - Get the fuck away from me!
Fast forward again to yesterday at work. Not only did the girl who turned up in high wasted pants and coke bottle glasses, on her day off, for lunch, not get my Steve Urkel reference, another of the girls, after asking me how old I would be at my upcoming birthday, kindly informed me that her mother was only a few weeks older than me. - Fucking Yay!
While sometimes it's a big, fat slap in the face working with a younger crowd, it does have it's advantages. They may be completely in the dark when it comes to the cultural references of my generation, but they do keep me up to date on the cultural references of theirs. When instances like yesterday happen, and I'm told I'm almost the same age as someone's mother, (and this has happened more than once!), it's usually followed by "but your heaps cooler than her". While this makes me a little smug, I also can't help but think there's every chance their mum is just as cool as me, when the kids aren't around!