I am 54 years old, but until today, it’s mostly been just a number. That’s because I’ve been too busy feeling incredibly young, invigorated and alive. I’ve discovered storytelling, found that I’m good at it, and am busy turning it into a third career. I have dozens of new storytelling friends who are 10, 20 30 years my junior. I climb up creaky, fire code non-compliant steps to tiny Brooklyn theaters to experience the joy and wonder of my friends performing. And I have never felt so exhilarated.
Today, however, I unknowingly threw an anachronism into a conversation with my 20-something staff. Now first off, I want to make it clear that these millennials do not fit any of the denigrating profiles you’ve read about them over the past few years. They work hard, are eager to learn, invite constructive criticism – and make my job easier. They also defer to me since I’m older and have more experience (I especially like that).
But they took that deference to the extreme when they neglected to inform me that they had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned that a proposal from a vendor included a “Chinese menu” of services that we could choose from.
I guess if you’re used to ordering from GrubHub or Seamless, you will never encounter those 11X17 menus that were so prevalent back in the 80s that it became part of everyday language, like KIeenex.
When I finally figured out from their blank faces that I was speaking a language they had never learned, I quickly explained what it meant, we all had a laugh, and they now have a story to tell their friends about their boss, who came of age before Enlightenment.