It’s funny — I have posted here over time about helping kids try to get a job in publishing, or honing someone’s resume, or the college student I mentor. All people much younger than myself. But recently a bookseller friend — one who’s older than me, and let’s remember I’m 60 — and I were discussing Twitter, and I was extolling its virtues for finding and chatting with other bookloving folks.
“Will you teach me?” my friend asked.
It can be tricky and frustrating to start out on Twitter. Its logic is sort of reverso-Facebook, so it can take a while to understand. Plus, there’s the mystery of explaining the hashtag — trying to tell someone, yes, it means something and you use it like this, and no, it means nothing but your own private jokes at the same time.
But she wanted to learn, and I thought, Good for you. And she’s a sweetheart, so she asked if she could bring her iPad over to my house on our day off and pick up lunch on the way. Of course we had a ball, and lots of laughs, she got past the initial frustration and is now a tweeting newbie.
It was just a couple of hours helping someone learn something new. But here’s what I ended up thing about when it was over — something I think about a lot, unfortunately. I love my country, you know I do, but now I live in a nation that tells me that I’m probably going to have to work until I’m 75 or 80 before I can retire. More and more I see my friends being downsized and pushed out before they’re even 50. So who’s utilizing and taking advantage of the the incredible expertise and the willingness to learn of the 50+ citizens? We need to fill in this piece of the puzzle. And fast.
My friend and I don’t make much money, but we like what we do, and we receive full benefits. We are the lucky ones.
Don’t forget — experience counts.