So, I’m picking these three guys up at their hotel to take to to the airport. I’m in one of our luxury SUV’s, which are a little more comfortable for three passengers than the sedans. The guys all load up in the SUV, I load their luggage, and off we go.
Apparently, these three are professional colleagues, here in town for some convention, seminar, or something. There’s almost always one of those somewhere in this town, except in summer, when it’s so freakin’ hot, even we don’t want to be here. The guys converse on the way to the airport about what their “takeaways” were from the last few days. Hopefully, that didn’t include hotel towels.
By the way, don’t you just love those business buzzwords like “takeaways”, “bandwidth”, “deep dive”, “robust”, and one of my favorites, “at the end of the day”? Does anyone teach Business as a Second Language?
Anyway, it so happens these fellows are departing on separate flights, on separate airlines, so I’ll be dropping them off at separate gates. No problem; it’s a fairly common situation. I just need to know which flight the gentleman in the very back seat is taking, so I can drop him last and he doesn’t have to finesse his way past the other two guys in the middle seats to get out.
So, after briefly explaining this strategy to my passengers, I ask, “Who’s in the back?” Meaning, of course, which gate was the guy in the back departing from. I thought it was perfectly clear, but…
…the guy in the back makes eye contact with me in the rearview mirror and says, confidently,
“I’m in the back.”
( smack forehead here )
( no, YOUR forehead, not HIS )
( not that he didn’t deserve it )
Needless to say, his colleagues had some fun with that. (I think he already had that part figured out, dude!) Even I politely said,”Yes sir, I was hoping for a little more information than that.”
When what I really wanted to say was, “REALLY??? I could have sworn it was THIS guy! Are you sure it’s you?”
We had a good laugh over it and, after a little more explanation, we finally got it straightened out and I dropped him last at the correct gate. I love happy endings.
There are two morals to this story:
One: Make sure, when you ask for something, you are clear about exactly what information you need.
Two: Don’t say something stupid like, “I’m in the back.”
Okay, full disclosure time, because I don’t want to mislead any of you, assuming I haven’t already.
I am currently not a chauffeur. I’m not anything. I’m unemployed. Hopefully, that’s a temporary and brief condition.
The stories I tell you here are absolutely true; they all happened. But nothing is happening now. Again, I dearly hope that doesn’t last too long.
It’s certainly not my first rodeo as a jobless guy. I’ve lived this a few times in my life as, I’m sure, have many of you. Times are tough, let’s face it, and I don’t see them getting any less so anytime soon. Fortunately, my wife still works, so we’re not hurting (yet), but I’m trying to get on somewhere as soon as I can.
The thing is, even with the advent of all the job hunting sites online, it still ain’t that easy to land something. Probably because there are so many other people out there looking, too; most of them, I dare say, younger than me. I know ageism is supposed to be a hiring no-no, but you can’t convince me it never goes on. The cold, hard fact is, a person my age is not usually the first choice when it comes to hiring.
And I get it. You want someone you can invest in for a long-term career, not somebody on the back end of his working life. It’s a sensible business decision.
But I can’t help but wonder how many smart, experienced folks who still have much to contribute to the workforce remain on the sidelines in favor of the young go-getters, who may have more energy, but lack experience and, along with that, hard-earned wisdom.
(OK, pal, off the soapbox. That’s enough.)
Oh, well, time to get back on indeed.com to look for my future. Wish me luck.