If you still need a pacifier and have not been potty-trained, you’re probably too young to work, so just go home and stare at the ceiling or whatever else babies do. Now if you are a freshly released ex-college student in the real world, you might realize the struggle of being the youngest person in the office. I’m not going to tell you why in the intro, though, because you wouldn’t even bother reading beyond the first paragraph – you’ll just have to buck up and read the entire thing, sonny!
1. Everyone Treats You Like You Have Brain Damage
It’s understandable that at a young age you won’t have the same life experiences as other people, but that doesn’t mean you were held back five times in third grade, either. Yet, for some weird strange reason, people feel the impulse to advise you on a myriad of things from the most personal to the most professional. Even though you grew up during the internet era, it is still within your skill set to use a wall-mounted pencil sharpener… Also, I don’t care how many unsuccessful relationships you’ve been in, Tom, I do not need help in the “loving ma women right, if you know what I mean” department. If you were such an expert at “loving ma women right”, then how come you’ve been cheated on three times? Oh, I’m sorry, Tom, I didn’t realize that was such a sensitive topic… Oh, please don’t cry, I never know how to comfort a crying creepy middle-aged man.
2. Everyone Thinks You’re Below Them
Sure, you have an advanced degree from an Ivy League university and received a middle management position off the bat. And sure, your fresh cute face will make everyone perceive you as a rambunctious toddler that occasionally has accidents and makes “poopies in their pants” – and that is infuriating because you haven’t relieved yourself fully-clothed since the bar-hopping incident of 2012 – but they will order you around, and you can expect at least one pattern-balding male coworker to ask you to bring him coffee. Also, if you try to show authority, you’ll be coined as a “spoiled brat”, “entitled”, and a “douche”. Oh, on that note:
3. You’ll Never Be Taken Seriously
You’re like the office puppy: even when you are being serious, your squeaky voice elicits giggles and “you’re so cute” cheek pinches. It’s not your fault you are a 24-year-old man with the voice of Alvin from the Chipmunks; it’s hormonal and your testes didn’t descend until you were 17. The only way I can think of remedying your voice situation is to start drinking whiskey and smoking cigars, but even that can be a double-edged sword because you might end up looking/sounding like Baby Herman from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Also, I heard you were considering growing a peach fuzz mustache to reinforce your maturity… Don’t. As proof that this is a horrible and aesthetics-assaulting idea, look at the above image of Michael Cera.
4. All References Are Lost on You
You know you’re young when you’re younger than the Millenials of your office. How do you know you’re younger than the Millenials of your office? Well, as it is widely known, Millenials are insufferably nostalgic of their 80s and 90s childhoods. That includes everything from clothes to board games, TV shows to music, and even freaking candy… I mean, come on, you have to be holding onto your childhood pretty tight to be reminiscing about the acid green push pops that were discontinued because of the toxicity of the dyes in them. But that isn’t what’s frustrating: it’s the fact that those constant incessant references go so far over your head that you can barely keep up with most conversations in the office. “Man, James is such a f*cking Unicron” and “We’re going to have to Voltron up to get this project done”. (You’re welcome for the clarifying links. Also, I just had to mention that Unicron is voiced by none other than the legendary Orson Welles). Here’s another little test you can do; stop listening when you find the song you recognize:
I apologize about the porny R&B at the beginning of the list, which was just kind of what the 90s did… Also, if you thought you recognized Marky Mark, that’s because he grew up, decided to put on a shirt, and become Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg. Now you get why all of your coworkers sing “Good Vibrations” every time they see him in The Departed as hardened Bostonian cop Dignam.
5. The Creep Effect
Being young is glorious; time hasn’t taken its toll anywhere on your body, everything is exactly where it should be (according to unachievable standards of beauty proliferated by the fat-shaming media), and you are a glowing virile specimen of a human. Male or female, you will inevitably be touched at some point during your (youthful) career. At some point, you will be approached, touched or proposed in the most skin-crawling, unnerving way possible. This can involve multiple scenarios, but the most frequent will be:
- The Touch and Linger: A coworker comes to ask for [insert asinine object/reason], then thanks you with a touch to the upper arm which turns into a subtle grab which turns into a blatant squeeze with a smile as they leave.
- The “Hi” and Linger: You will be crossing paths with many coworkers in the hallways of your workplace. What can I say? People like to move around. The normal people usually will exchange an awkward “hello” and continue listlessly to their destination but the “Hi” and Linger on the other hand will try to stop you with a salacious smile and attempt small talk. DO NOT ENGAGE THE “HI” AND LINGER. The results will be catastrophically awkward as they attempt to see if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend and then, regardless of your response, attempt to invite you for after work drinks.
- The Toucher: This person will find any excuse to touch you. Do not try to be funny, insightful or cute around them. I know that turning off the cute is a high order request, but it’s for your own good.
6. It’s Good to Be Young
No matter what the disadvantages of being the youngest at the office are, it’s pretty damn dope being young. You can party to 3am on a work night and still show up at work, perky as a spring chicken. I don’t know what spring chickens are, let alone how perky they are, but let’s just go with it. You can eat whatever you want without getting fat and you can drink to the brink of alcohol poisoning, and still go to work the next day and have bottomless stores of energy – even if you choose to expend that energy sitting on the couch playing on your PlayStation.
Are you the youngest person in your office? Let us know in the comments section below and I’ll make sure the old folks don’t give you more advice.