One of the many special aspects of my job is the location of my seating area. My desk separates another department filled with older graying women from the young bucks in my department, whom are mostly in their early 20s. (The other 30 year old quit recently, making me the oldest person in my job). The geography of my seat means that I hear a variety of conversations from the older women on my left -- there's the flurry about hot flashes, new grandchildren and widowdom. And on my right side, there's talk about concerts, bridal showers and Britney Spears.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both groups -- the Baby Boomers and the Gen Y'ers. The lead Boomer, D, has her good qualities, but she's generally the most annoying woman on the face of this earth. If ever I'm talking to one of the Gen Y'ers about something that doesn't concern her, she'll but in with one of her tales of how things were when she was growing up in 19whatever. Everyone else will ignore her -- but because of where I sit and because I respect my elders -- I nod and give her my pity laugh. (My pity laugh is what I use as a repsonse to a story that's not as funny as the storyteller believes it is). But I'm not so polite that I'm unable to get a laugh or two at D's expense. One day, she turned to another Boomer and said, "LOL, Sandy! That's what all the kids are saying these days. LOL!" I couldn't resist turning to a Gen Yer and cracking up. D and I occasionaly do the same with the Gen Yers. "Did you hear that, D?" I once said to her. "Sally said her boyfriend is old. He's 26." And we both rolled our eyes.
The biggest problem with my position in the office is the gas. For all of you who have been exposed to the elderly, you know that there is nothing like those silent deadly farts that they release without abandon. Sometimes I'll be sitting at my desk and I'll be hit with an awful stench that smells like rotten eggs mixed with cow dung. It's so bad that my eyes water and my eyebrows practically jump off of my face. I'm the first one to smell it and often I'm the only one to smell it. The farts are so bad that I have to leave the room, just to get some air. And once I return, all the Boomers are diligently typing away on their computers, as if they've done nothing wrong. The jerks. If only there was something I could slip in their coffee to make that stench lest rank. Hmmmm. I'll have to work on that.