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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dear Bitchy Waiter

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.

Dear BW,

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?

signed,
Juliet

Dear Juliet,

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.

Love,
Bitchy Waiter



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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this, as an older than average employee in the industry, I have been accused of being stuck up and anti social for not wanting to go to social events with the younger staff, The simple fact of the matter is, I have better things to do with my free time than watch a bunch of co workers get stinky drunk. and as for on the job sociability when you get to be my age ,( 44 ), the concerns and conversations of the younger crowd quite frankly bore me, so I just stay out of them. I do my time, I go home, this is a job to me, I am not there to make friends or be social. Sorry if this offends anyone but it is the truth.

Anonymous said...

Having been a server for over a hundred years, and being quite ancient myself, I really enjoy working with younger staff. It really does help me to keep a more youthful outlook. I do get tired of hearing about their escapades and whatnot ( I even join them--very briefly--every now and again), I just walk away in relief that my years as a 16/18/20something are over. Well enjoyed as they were, I do not wish to relive them.
I love my "gals" and have a blast working with them. They are wonderful, and make my work experience fun and lively.

Rogue Wino said...

Awkward, and kinda inappropriate for a manager to ask why you're not chatty. It's my boss's dream to have the employees not socialize with one another. I'm assuming this manager is also 12?

Anonymous said...

Oh Bitchy. I love your digs on Springs1. You make me lmao.

Anonymous said...

I love the younger people! A lot of the people my age (46) or older can be bitter and mean. Not all of them of course but many.

CityGirl said...

laughed aloud at the Springs 1 thing. also, the comments today are especially lovely.

Anonymous said...

I think bitchy's advice is right on the money. I used to be the oldest of everyone at one job-owner, mgrs, etc., and was called "grandma" for years....at 46! However it gave me clear insight into what the young ones were up to-and I knew what to expect from my own kids. It also has really broadened my outlook and knowledge.

JoeinVegas said...

Doesn't anyone young read and comment?
I don't usually socialize with people at work, but I'm not in an industry where I have to ask for favors, but it sounds like your questioner should at least start interacting with coworkers a little bit.

LS said...

"She said I was doing a fantastic job but everyone thought I was stand offish."

Sounds like the problem is with the other employees.

Anonymous said...

The Springs1 comment made me giggle :) I am also the oldest one at my job (I'm 35), but I don't really feel that old. I don't hang out with many people outside of work either. There are two exceptions: my boyfriend and a friend I've known for ten years. If it wasn't for those two I wouldn't socialize with work people at all. I do, however, socialize with them at work, so maybe that makes the difference? You may not have a lot in common with these people, but at least try to enjoy them while you are there. I'm sure there are a few people I work with who think I'm a bitch, but I don't really care. Chat up the ones you can tolerate the most and the rest can just eff off :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish I read this before my shift today as I quit today by just walking out. All was fine before this girl came back from her holiday and started bossing me around. I'm new too. I tried to take it lightly, but on my break I just balked, took my apron off and walked out. I'm the oldest there, and I feel like such a loser. Now I don't know what to do. I'm still crying. :-(

danapronounceddonna said...

I went through the exact same thing at a museum I worked in for two years. My manager so desperately wanted these twenty-something airheads to like her, and it bothered her that I didn't give a shit. I am almost 40 and am not interested in talking about "The Hunger Games" and what bars these girls try to get picked up in.

Damian Byrdy said...

(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.)

Love it!!

omcdurham said...

I am also one of the 'dinosaurs' where I work (three of us are 40+, the rest are under 30, including full-time management). I enjoy hanging out with the 'kids' every now and then. I then get to realize how stupid I was when in my 20s while laughing and poking fun at my co-workers!

Jordan said...

I wish I would have read this yesterday too, as I got let go from my new job after 4 10-hour days of training, because I wasn't "bubbly and upbeat" enough. So basically, not the giggly, giddy, cheerleader early 20-something year old like the rest of the girls. I'm sorry, but I'm older, more reserved and laid back, and go there to do my job and make my customers happy. I'm as cheerful as they come when I deal with my customers. I just don't bounce off the walls and giggle and gossip all the timer like the younger girls I was working with. I couldn't stop crying after I got the phone call. But then I quickly realized I belong more in a restaurant environment where they don't tolerate that attitude than in a bar where all the waitresses are under 25.

Confessions from the Hairdresser said...

Juliet could always spank them, or ground them...

Mary A. said...

I'm the youngest one at my work. And I'm 47.

I do not work at a retirement home. Shaddap.

But let me go on record as saying that I hate Baby Boomers.

Anonymous said...

Springs1 must be a real bitch! I just wanted to add that I, too, am a crusty, old server (ok, not crusty, just 34) but that still puts me 10-15 years older than almost everyone. What I find funny is that if I do have a story, observation or just something witty to say, I look for a fellow "grown-up" to say it to. Otherwise, I run the risk of my intelligent, hilarious, off the cuff remark becoming lost in the Jersey Shored-Twittered-tweeted- texting-consciousness of the average server. But it is fun to watch them run into walls/booths/rails while they try to text covertly on the way back to the kitchen.

Stuck Serving said...

Holy moly, we thought we were the only ones with recent Springs1 problems...really appreciate that dig haha! We have a new troll named Sasha.

Anonymous said...

I am an old broad too, much older than most of my coworkers. Guess I couldnt find a "real job."
When I get invited out to social events,my standard reply; "I dont even like you fucking assholes. I have to work with you, I dont have to socialize with you." Gets me off the hook, and usually dont get invited out for a while.