I'll be off line for until Friday, and will respond to comments then.
The Toronto Globe and Mail published an article by Wallace Immen for those of us 50: "How Not to Look Like an Old Fogey on the Job" on December 18, 2009.
Preying on the fear and insecurity of the times, the piece counsels old dogs how to hang onto our relevance amid two generation's worth of heel-nippy pups at the office.
In a nutshell, so as not to tax your waning memory: Keep current in technology, don't try to use current slang (which will not be hip by the time it issues from your snaggletoothed maw), lose the '70s hairstyle, don't slouch. Unless you want to be led to an ice floe, avoid use of any finger but your thumb on your BlackBerry.
But what galled most was the advice to not wear a wristwatch. An accompanying sidebar, "The Dos and Don'ts of Trying to Act Younger" warned, "Wristwatches have become passé anachronisms for a generation that looks to their phone to tell them the time."
Dadgummit, what in tarnation? Just when I finally got the hang of them Roman numerals. A few days later, the New York Times featured a huge ad for a $150 J. Crew Timex military watch. Guess that's for the young buck to wear when his phone (do NOT call it a "cell phone") is recharging.
Canadian image consultant Catherine Bell was one of the experts consulted. She said, "Both women and men should realize that looser versions of what they see in fashion magazines will camouflage bodies that may no longer be in perfect tone."
Anyone know a good tent-maker? For those of you not in my part of the world, Bell's home, Kingston Ontario, is a good gray university town whose other main industry is several large prisons. The local population hardly represent the beau monde.
Although some men and women muster Olympian discipline to stay bow-taut at 50+, do you think that the typical mature body needs to be camouflaged?
I am an older worker, and my age shows; at times I am irrevocably out of it. For a year, I thought it was "Charles" Barkley and called the duo "he". I thought Salvia was an island. I leave voice mail rather than texting, and insist that meetings begin on time.
You are also not to say "in my time", or flaunt your experience. So I'll keep mum about dating Iggy in our teens. But I'm confident that someone still does wanna be my dog.
Do you worry about fitting in with younger colleagues? Do you consciously try to act or look younger at work?