Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Cold, Gray Dawn of the Morning After

So last week I went to my company's annual regional meeting. I used to take pride in my youthful vigor while I mingled with the ancient ones who were my colleagues. And then...well, I think you can guess where this is going.

It all began with my semi-annual haircut. Because I am cheap, I let my hair grow out until I look more like Chewbacca than a dignified husband, father and grandfather. Then, when I can't stand it anymore, I go to the most inexpensive barber in town and ask him to cut my hair as short as possible.

I came out of the shower the next morning and noticed that the light was playing off my wet head in an unusual way. Had my barber given me highlights when I wasn't looking? Hmm. On closer inspection, the highlights were nothing more than blonde hairs--very blonde hairs. In fact, some people might describe them as gray. Where the hell had they come from? They couldn't be mine.

So I went off to my annual meeting with somebody else's gray hairs and watched in horror as the year's new employees paraded across the stage. When did we start hiring 12-year-olds? And how is it that I know more of the recent retirees than I do the new employees? Apparently, the economic meltdown hurt us more than we realized. That must be the answer. The only other possibility is entirely unacceptable.

The mystery deepened when I realized that the company culture is changing, too. A number of the crew went out to a sports bar to watch game 7 of the NBA Finals. Did they not understand that the proper thing to do is to avoid the noise and the crowds and watch the game in the hotel room with a beer? And then to turn in early?

I don't know what is happening in this world. Perhaps Global Warming is to blame. Perhaps a secret terrorist attack has caused these unfathomable changes. Who knows. All I know is that I don't like it.