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3/22/11

There are conversations, and then there are OLD PEOPLE conversations

Today I was going to rant about my most recent trip to BYU, but this now takes precedence, because of my Monday.

OLD PEOPLE!   GAAAH!!!

GET OFF MY LAWN!!!

The subsection I'm referring to (and bitching about) today are the older people who 'aren't quite there' mentally anymore.  They're slow to process, slow to talk, but ALWAYS want to share every little detail of their lives with you.

My new job has me working with the Aged population.  Most of them are pretty sharp.  You can be in your nineties and still have your wits about you.  To you, if you fall into this category, my aggravation is not directed to you.

It IS, however, directed to the clientele AND THE COWORKERS who see me as the newest 'friend' of theirs, and I need to be caught up on everything I have missed in their lives.

One trip to a senior center, when I was newer and training with my boss, I had an old lady come up to me.  She stood next to me for about a minute, not making eye contact... just staring off into the distance.  All of a sudden she spins to look at me and asks, "Well?  What do you think?"

"About what?"

"About anything?"

I'm speechless... how do you answer that?  Me, in my smart-ass-ness, paused for a second and quipped "Well, I try not to think about anything."  She smiles at me, says "Me too, it makes my head hurt." and then walks away smiling.

....huh??

Let's move to coworker #1.  She works pretty close to me, so there is regular interaction.  She's good at what she does, and when she's focused on her clients, things are cool.  But when I interact with her, I apparently need explanation on everything.

She asks me to help her understand the new phone system, or fix the sound-output on her computer (as simple as turning the volume knob on the speakers...).  I help her, show her what I did, and then the dam bursts....

Her:  "Ok, thank you.  I really wasn't sure what to do, because .....30-45 seconds of fluff here...."

Me:  "That's ok, I'm just glad to help."

Her:  "I appreciate that.  You know my son usually helps me with these things... another 30-45 seconds of fluff..."

mhm.  really.  wow.  you don't say.
Trying to wrap up a conversation with her is damn near impossible.  I'm probably going to have to end up hiding my phone in my pocket, and having a ringtone similar to my office phone that I can set off when I want the conversation to end.

"Whoops, that's my line!  I have to go!"  It's a great idea.

Next is a field worker that I interact little with.  It's usually a simple "hello" and "how are you?" if anything.

Not this day.

I'm in training, and they want me to learn everything I can.  I'm basically the information hub for the agency, so I have to know everything, right?  Well Monday consisted of shadowing this lady into the field, and seeing what she does at the local senior centers.

This chick likes to talk.  A lot.

I'm hip!  I gave Clark Gable a bj on the backlot of Gone With the Wind!

During the brief car ride to the senior center, I learned these facts about her.

- She's agnostic
- She hates it when people get overly religious in front of her
- She's lived in all continental 48 states at some point in her life
- She likes to paint
- She has a fine arts degree and wants to be a museum curator someday (but today she's visiting people at the old folks home... go fig...)
- She doesn't like one of our interns because the intern talks too much (REALLY?  Coming from you that says something, sister).

I said three words that entire car ride:  "Really?"  "Wow."  And "California" (she asked me where I was from).  The rest of the one-sided gab-fest was filled with 'mmhmm's' and 'uh-huh's' on my part.

Oh, and it gets better.

She's as old as most of the people in the senior center, so she gets along just dandy with the residents.  We are officially here to visit one person, but "we're gonna check in on a few others, just to see if they need our services."  The visit with our actual client takes MAYBE 45 seconds.  Pleasantries, are exchanged, and she hands the frail old lady a business card.

At that point I'm thinking "ok, strictly business.  Get in, get out, get back.  I like her style."

Nope.

We start visiting other residents.

People in old folks homes are usually a combination of bored and lonely.  If you have a family member in one or know someone who does, you'll know you can easily get your ear talked off in one of those places.

Not this lady.  She's in her element.  The oldies like to talk, and so does she.

Somehow she has an anecdote to share with every single resident.

"Your last name is Miller?  I know a Miller, back when I lived in..."

"Oh, you have an artificial leg?  My uncle had a wooden leg, and my grandpa made it for him.  Grandpa had an eyepatch, and they used to play pirate all the time... and..."

"Oh, you used to live on the west side?  I bought a house on the west side built by such-and-such... did you know him?"

By conversation #5, I was thinking of creative ways to kill myself.
Bunny Suicides came to mind.  I love those poor bunnies...

What was originally planned to be a quick half hour trip took about 90 minutes.  By the time I got back to the office, my eyes were glazed over and my head was spinning.

Luckily it was lunchtime.  I should have made it a 3 martini lunch, but I settled on leftovers and a Dr. Pepper.
Please Share it! :)

28 witty retorts:

PhotoClasher said...

Hipster old people .
It had to happen one day.

Kicking Rocks said...

i think we've all had our problems with old people, i know i have!

mac-and-me said...

i wonder if i will be like this when i am old

Something Concupiscible said...

My grandmother is the same way, but I like it because I don't like to talk a lot but she wants me to visit her all the time.

Alphabeta said...

You'll be old one day!
I wonder what the hipcat groovy kids will think of *you*?! ; P

squatlo said...

I've always been a favorite "target" for older people's conversations. If I could make as much progress with beautiful young women as I've always been able to make with their elderly gramma's, I'd be legendary by now.
If it was part of my job I'd probably hate it, but in normal everyday settings I enjoy the old timers. Like Pryor's "Mudbone" character used to say, "You don't get to be old being no fool!"

Yesterday's Echo Scrapbooks said...

Hey baby................. You know that 45 seconds of fluff explanation? YOU. DO. THAT. ALL. THE. TIME.

D4 said...

I was gonna comment something a long the lines of karma. Looking up at "Yesterday's Echo Scrapbooks" I lol'd SO LOUD. It's the universes payback!

elexerdelex said...

You should not do the ringtone thingy with your female co-worker...

Shes just trying to be nice... with a lack of females around her you have to stand the endless flow of words, and you may actually get a friend :)

Asty said...

I HATE old people at work.

kitkat said...

hahahaha!!! c'mon old people are cute! i love the lady that asked u "so what are you thinking?" lool #dead
anything for a little conversation :p

Christophe said...

Old people driving is the worst.

Also, considering that lady is as old as those in the retirement home, somehow I don't think her dream of being museum curator is gonna happen.

Hey, I could be wrong!

but I'm not.

THUNDERCAT832 said...

lmfao BLACK old people take the cake! All they do is get high, curse, and talk mad shit!

Laughing Vault said...

im scared of old people :/

Aaron M. Gipson said...

One of life's most scary conundrums: die young or live to be an old person...really wishing we had a third option...

Leila said...

Haha your girlfriend got you with her comment. In your defense, I'm sure you're only loquacious around people you're intimate or very close with. I'm the same. I don't talk, and barely make a sound when I'm in a room full of people who I'm not close with, but put me next to someone I've known for a year and I'll chat their ear off.

Alice X said...

We have a roller blading granddad where i live, i must say he's a bit of a legend!

LilPixi said...

Oh, that was funny. I know all too well about how much they loooove to talk. I wonder if I'll be like that as well.
Preferably telling stories about all the hallucinogens I did & watermelons I blew up with rockets.

Thundercat, sign me up for being around some old black people instead then. Hahaha

G said...

I wonder what old people will be like in 50 years...mmmm...cool as hell!!!

Tasos said...

I hate it when a strange old lady asks you something, you answer and starts talking about random shit you couldn't care less. happened to me millions of times

Lost.in.Idaho said...

@G: Well, the current crop of old people will be dead in 50 years... but I know that's not what you mean.

I want to see the tattoo'd, pierced fogies myself. Looking forward to our generation being the "Golden" generation.

@Alice X: See? Now that's a COOL old dude! He's still sharp and living his live. I doubt he ever tells people ad nauseum about bunion issues, his pesky grandsons, etc.

@Laughing Vault: Don't be scurred...

@TC: Dude! Can I be black when I get older!? Screw being the pervy old dude, I wanna get high and yell at people!!

Now, as a disclaimer, I'm not bagging on aged people in general. I respect my elders, and older family members, I will talk to for hours without contemplating suicide. But when strangers come up to you and start sharing unrelated, intimate details that you have no business discussing... THAT is when I start to twitch.

Tony Van Helsing said...

When I get old I'm going to talk as much bollocks to as many people as I can. Death's around the corner so I may as well enjoy myself.

On My Soapbox said...

Are you SURE that chatty Cathy you had to shadow works in ID? 'cause I swear she sounds *exactly* like my bf's coworker. By the time he comes home, he is ready to pull all of his hair out.

Mike said...

no matter how dumb something sounds when an old person says it theres always something behind it. well at least from the old ones that i know lol

Justin said...

I don't know, I think I like old people more than young people, and she seemed alright.

Bassislv said...

and you know what we all will be like that someday : (

ISRAEL CARRASCO said...

This post reminds me of world war 2 did I tel you that...

The Reckmonster said...

Don't get me started on old-ass co-workers. The only thing worse than her running her fucking old ass pie hole 24/7 is the fact that she is trying to get UP IN EVERYONE ELSE'S BIDNESS even more! Nosey bitch. Drives me bonkers.

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