Time for another installment of Dear Bitchy, also known as “I Don’t Know What the Fuck to Write About Today.” Please email me at The Bitchy Waiter if you have a question that needs attention. Or email me to say hello. That’s nice too.
I have a situation and could use some advice. I recently started a new job where I’m at least ten years older than everyone including my manager. For the first time ever I’m not using my restaurant job as a social outlet. I just don’t have much in common with anyone else there. I like everyone I work with. I just don’t engage much in their small talk or gossip. Yesterday my manager pulled me aside to ask if I was ok. She said everyone was worried that I must have a bad home life since I’m not fun at work. She said I was doing a fantastic job but everyone thought I was stand offish. What should I do?
Please set your glass of Metamucil down, turn up your hearing aid and listen to this. Okay, you won’t be listening to this advice so turn your hearing aid back down and put your bifocals on and read ahead, lady. I know your problem well because I too am the “old one” at one of my jobs. Luckily for me, I have two jobs and at the other one there are people who are even older than me (Hi, Tom! Hi, Eddie!) At the job where I am looked at as the senior, I too tend to not chat a lot with some of the people I work with. I want to talk about The Smiths and they want to talk about Lady Gaga. I like Bewitched while they like Jersey Shore. The gap in age is considerable and almost as wide as the space between Springs1’s ears. (That was a cheap shot, but I get a kick out of knowing that Springs1 gets a Google alert about herself and then comes here to write a comment and I shut her ass down.)
I embrace the age difference. I commend you for making the conscious decision to set yourself apart from the social dramas that tend to happen at restaurants. As for their small talk and gossip, who cares? If they want to imagine that you have this miserable home life which must be why you choose to not talk to them about who is sleeping with whom and how drunk they all got the night before after closing, let them think it. You don’t go to your job to engage in that shit, you go to your job to do it well and make your money.
One bit of advice though: it may be helpful to play the social game at least a little bit so that if the time comes for you to need to switch shifts with someone you haven’t ostracized yourself so much that no one wants to help you. It’s okay if they think you don’t socialize so much but you don’t want them to think you are so “stand offish” that you’re a bitch.
One final option is to get a job serving in a retirement home so you can surround yourself with elders and you can be the young one again. That way you can talk about how much you love the newest hit singles by Sheena Easton and Dexys Midnight Runners and they will all think you are so cool and hip on the music scene because they only know Benny Goodman and Dinah Shore. The tips may not be so great at a place like that (buffalo nickels and hard candies) but fooling yourself into thinking you’re young again can do wonders for one’s psyche.
Bottom line: don’t worry if they think you’re no fun. One of the benefits of growing older is recognizing that what other people think about us doesn’t matter. Just scream at them to get off of your lawn and go on your merry way, old lady.