"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Saturday, March 7, 2015

When I'm 64

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four?

 I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I'm sixty-four? - The Beatles

I've been thinking lately how my role at work is changing. 

How I'm perceived as an "older" co-worker.  A mentor.  A teacher.

I've been with the same group now for 15 years and I'm getting used to the fact as the years have gone by, my younger co-workers (and patients) look at me like I'm a Mother figure. 

When did this happen?

Somehow I've become reassuring and dependable.  
The "go to" person when the shit hits the fan.   
The one who knows how to change the toner in the copier. 

Say what?

The other day Dr Boss asked me to scan and email her something.  
She's standing in front of The Beast.  
The Beast is this huge ass "do everything" copier that sits in control central. 

Dr Boss is mystified by The Beast.   
She's not the only one.  
Everyone is to a certain extent.  
So many buttons.  So many drawers.  
Paper is being sucked in and spit out to the tune of various beeps and alarms.  

Sometimes The Beast needs attention.  

When it does, everyone runs away. 

Or they come get me.

"Could you show everybody how to change the toner?"  She asked.  "We had a bit of a copier meltdown the other day when you were gone.  Nobody knew what to do."

"Really?"  Geez...

Toner is right up there with paper jams.  I can't tell you how many times I've walked up to The Beast only to find ERROR flashing and no one around.  Paper jams six ways to Sunday.  Everybody runs when there's a paper jam.  Just like everybody keeps hitting the CHANGE LATER button when the toner is about to crap out.

So later that day when the toner error message came up again, I gave a shout out, gathered all the little chickies together and pointed... 

"See?  Look.  Pictures." 

I pointed at the step by step pictures on the inside of the toner door.

"Toner's under here." I tapped the lowest door with my foot.  
Again with the pointing.  
"Pop this out, twist off the cap and TaDa!" 

Little heads nodding. 

Uh huh.

Yeah, right.

Everybody scatters.

Maybe I'm kidding myself.

Maybe the REAL reason I'll be gainfully employed when I'm 64 is because I'll be the only one left in the office who knows how to change a light bulb in the microscope.  

Or use a screwdriver to tighten up that chair.  
Or fix the TV feed, backup the computer, replace that gasket.

I can't find my way around a FaceBook page or photoshop a selfie but I can do a lot of things you young chicks can't.

I guess that's what they call job security.


  1. I can so totally relate to this post - just swap out the medical field for the legal field.

  2. Yay Beatles! That song is becoming more comforting as I age. It really pays to keep us older chicks around. Enjoy your status!

  3. Well written post. And oh-so-true! So very true. To bring it right down to basics . . . how many 22 year olds can get a delicious, nutritious, attractive cooked-from-scracth meal on the table that will knock the socks off all present? It's those rudimentary, common sense, self-sufficient tasks your hand-held device won't do.

  4. Knowledge is power and you have the power in this case:)