Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Am Now Officially A Git

(That’s an Old Git, mostly.) I don’t want to jump on M C Ward’s bandwagon, or indeed to enter some inverted-snobbery, Four Yorkshiremen type of contest, again. But nothing is more inexorable than the march of time, and nothing also makes one so irredeemably a whinger. So here goes. As some of you may know I have a job in computing for an American company here in Romania’s Silicon Valley. I work with some top computer people, though this hasn’t become so apparent until now. At first they afforded me some respect: I’m a foreigner who's inexplicably come to live in their mud-encrusted country, I have Qualifications, and (for most of them) I Am Old Enough To Be Their Father. Not any more. The last of these supposed virtues is now showing through like a bony elbow in a granddad’s worn out cardigan. I can’t do the work even half as fast as these youngsters. I can’t remember things either. The time between them asking me a question and then looking silently yet meaningfully at each another (during which time I'm saying “errr... not sure... errr... that was 3 weeks ago now... could be anything”) has now dwindled from a just-possibly-respectful 10 seconds to less than 1.

Of course, an old person has experience and therefore some advantages, in theory. In my own pitiful case I might protest “Well, I can dance better than you – even your own national folk dancing!”. I might as well say “I can dribble down the front of my cardigan better than you” or “I can not quite make it to the toilet in time better than you”. My back-up position is to try to make 'em laugh, but that would be about as appropriate here as coming into work naked. I respect them. I might even like to adopt one or two of them. Or perhaps just pass round the office with a bag of Werther’s Originals from time to time. Dhuurgghhhh. Old Git.


Gorilla Bananas said...

These youngsters sounds pretty nerdish. Have you considered getting a pipe? It might make you look quite distinguished, like General MacArthur. You don't need to smoke it, just suck it.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

Does that say "OU students do it in their spare time" ? Funny you should mention old age, Scarlet has an apposite post this week.

scarlet-blue said...

Never mind.... I have an award for you at my place. I hope this stops you being gitty.

Kevin Musgrove said...

A pipe's the thing. Essential for making Telling Points in a discussion.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Bananas, I used to smoke a pipe, and it got me through years of studying (where, yes, I was also the oldest git in the class). I favoured the "bent Rhodesian", see an earlier post at Boyo's.

Daphne, you've inspired me to do a post about Open University slogans. Do you mean Scarlet's post about incontinence pads? Very apposite, thanks for your support!

Got it, Scarlet, thanks. Errr, maybe, but it won't stop me being old though.

Yes Kev, a few people were vaguely impressed when I used to sit under a tree at The University smoking it. It's frightening that it's outward appearance rather than brains that gets one on in life.

Gyppo Byard said...

Our workplace old gittery is mostly channelled into impressing on the youngsters that the place was much better/more interesting a few years ago, and that they have missed the glory days. I find the phrase "You're probably to young to remember this, but..." very useful.

Good opening gambits include "Of course, when I was in China in the '80s..."

When I say 'good', of course, I'm not flattering myself for a moment that the youngsters are impressed, merely baffled. But at least it helps them forget that I've just had to ask them how to send 'one of those text-thingummies'. I hope.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Baffling my contenporaries is such a daily workplace constant that there's no joy in it any more.

If Daphne's lending you her support you may want to wipe it down first.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Give in to it - enjoy the benefits of being offered a seat and first dibs on the disabled facilties.

Just hold on to the fact that it was much better in the old days, they're the ones at a disadvantage.

Pearl said...

I, too, feel I'm not as quick as I was.
On the other hand, the quickness was a part of my youth, and I don't ever want to be young again.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Thanks for your advice, Gyppo, but mentioning such things would be of little avail. Even if I say "Of course, when I was living on the planet Neptune in the '80s..." I would get a blank stare and perhaps the word "ok", which I now know means "This is irrelevant; why are you telling me this?" I do kinda respect them for this.

Absolutely, Kev. And if you "give your trust to"* somebody you should also do the same!

Unfortunately, Lools, no and double no. There are people here in much more need of special facilities than I am, and for them and for my colleagues it certainly wasn't much better in the old days!

Pearly, I do so agree: my recurring nightmare is that I'm transported back to my youth. However... if I was transported back knowing what I know now that would be another matter, oh yes.

* Say this out loud, or you won't get it.

Andy H said...

There's got to be a way in which you can parlay your own lack of experience of living under Ceausescu to your advantage. "Yes, I may be old and slow and lightly urine-scented, but like you I too do not remember life in 80s Romania. I am, therefore, one of you cats, daddy-o*."

(* Note, the words cats and daddy-o may not be up-to-date and hip any longer, so you may need to ask a young person which words to substitute in this sentence)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Hi Andy, yes: "we are all brothers in post-oppression". They often do use phrases of English when they want to say something "cool", as maybe young people do the world over, though I've yet to hear "daddy-o"!