Retirement and the Dude
Once upon a time, we lived in an older home (wait, we still do…) that had older (actually, darn near archaic) equipment. We had an air conditioning unit that was so old, the younger repairmen (yes, they were all men) did not know what to do when they saw it. Essentially, the scenario went a little like this:
I show them the closet where the unit resided. They look at it and don’t say anything or do anything. Well? I think to myself as I look askance at them. I repeat the story and they always responds with, “I need to call my boss/office/supervisor.” A sigh inevitably escapes my lips as I walk away so he can “talk.” More like describe the dinosaur he’s looking at and beg for help. The story always ends with, “My boss/the owner/my supervisor needs to come out and look at your unit. Can he come tomorrow?” No fail. No kidding. Actually, once the owner was tooling around town and was able to swing by a few hours later the same afternoon. No, never mind, I just didn’t want Dude in my whatever closet if you get my drift.
I was in my early 20s and I wanted the man who was over 40 looking at whatever needed fixing in that house. Seriously, he’s seen it; worked on it; and/or is familiar with it. He was schooled at a time when things were hands-on and computers didn’t do the thinking for you. It doesn’t shock him like it shocks Dude, as if I had something illicit tucked away and he just happened upon it. The older man looks at it and gets cracking. Dude makes a lot of phone calls and a series of excuses. Plus, I was forced to spend a lot of unproductive time with Dude. No matter how nice Dude was I just wanted my archaic home equipment repaired and to be left in peace. I know I sound less than charitable but when a repair situation turns into something from a sitcom I really no longer want to be a part of it. Especially when that event was consistent.
As I was pulling out of my drive some 20 years later, the drive of a different house but nearly as old, I realized that all of the repairmen I generally want in my home (a.k.a. “the older guy”) are probably heading for retirement and that Dude is now just as middle aged as I am. At least our “new” home has newer equipment and I have age as a leverage. Imagine trying to tell Dude about how the ancient equipment works and what’s going on with it when he’s a) male and b) roughly the same age or barely older than you, a mere woman and a young one at that.