Image: Cosmos Kramer
Jerry Lewis was on the Jimmy Fallon Show last night because he was in New York for a Friar’s Club honor. He said that he got the chance to take the subway for the first time in 50 years.
At one of the stops, a young guy gets on the train wearing a complete white leather outfit, high boots, rings in his ears, nose, chin, and eye brows and his hair was spiked green, blue, orange, and pink.
He saw Jerry staring at him and said, “What’s wrong old man? Haven’t you ever done anything outrageous in your life?”
Jerry replied, “As a matter of fact, I have. I once had sex with my parrot and thought you might be my kid.”
Now for today’s blog post.
I don’t claim to be a career expert. Actually, let me retract that. Maybe, I am an expert on seniors in the workplace,. After all, I am one. I have positioned myself in the tech industry the same way Joan Rivers was viewed in comedy, a unique character that is loved and hated at the same time.
Look, we all know, I’m no Joan Rivers, the same way Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy. However, I do go out of my way (like Joan) to insert myself in projects and become vital to its success.
Most people my age would never think of reinventing themselves or re-examine what they truly have to offer others. I try not to laugh too hard when I hear one of my contemporaries say that they have a lot of experience to share with the younger set. “I have been doing this for decades,” they claim. “I have a lot that I can teach.”
As far as I am concerned, those are the worst words a senior person can express. Young people today do not want to learn from older folks. They want to emulate and mimic the current stars (the big money makers) in their industries. Yes, there are exceptions to the new rules, but by and large, seniors have to adopt new practices.
I always talk in the future; what has to be done and what we need to do to get there. I spend countless hours thinking of innovative new approaches and creating big idea that are almost impossible to achieve. Sometimes, I over promise, but the results are always better than what my “play it safe” counterparts would promise. I enjoy big goals and like to make things happen.
I also go overboard complimenting the younger people I work with. Everyone needs encouragement and it is my role to provide that inspiration and energy. I don’t make it up. I just look for the personal assets and emphasize them to the respective individuals.
We all have our own ways of doing things. I hope those that absorb my words can read between the lines and apply them to what works for their careers. Don’t let the number of our age dictate our future.
Tomorrow: my friend Ben tells us why I am full of shit. We will learn his side of the story about being a senior in the workplace today.