Being a twenty something, in a land of “older-somethings”, is pretty stinkin’ interesting. I’m the youngest (not newest) agent in my field office and many of my coworkers have done this job longer than I’ve been alive, literally. The coworker I went out to dinner with last night has 27 years under his belt (plus eight as a police officer before that).
Even though I am treated respectfully by my colleagues, I rarely get that same respect out in the field. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve introduced myself as Special Agent (Insert my name here) to someone and had the person say something to me like, “Aren’t you a little young to be working for the government?”
It’s a pretty awkward question.
Being repeatedly asked “How old I am” during my work day is pretty weird. But nothing, I mean nothing, fascinates me as much as people who let my age convince them that they no longer need to act professional.
Basically, I’ve noticed people seem to use a lot more profanity in their vocabulary when I’m interviewing them than they do when my supervisor or an older colleague is.
I don’t know if I should be flattered or offended by people who casually drop the F bomb in mid conversation with me. Maybe my youthful appearance makes them feel comfortable and like they can be themselves (good thing)? Or perhaps, they have zero respect for me and could care less if I find their potty mouth inappropriate (bad thing)?
It’s possible I’m just being hypersensitive to the situation. I gave up profanity many moons ago, as have most of my friends, so I’m not around it all too much. Maybe I’m just caught off guard by the way many people throw the “F word” around like its going out of style?
Let me see if this example helps…
My everyday vocabulary consists of some pretty juvenile words; epic, sick, freakin’, and tight to name a few. I use these words when talking with friends and even some of my coworkers. But I never, ever, ever use these terms when I’m out dealing with people on a professional level. If I did people may not take me seriously.
Just as though you may not take me seriously if I drop the word “radical” in to a conversation, it’s extremely difficult for me to take you seriously when every other word out of your mouth is a four letter one.
I’ll never understand why people thinks its okay to curse in front of complete strangers. Is there anything about your professional life that just makes you scratch your head and go “Why”?
p.s. I should make it clear that I could care less if people swear in their personal life. It doesn’t bother me when some of my friends curse, nor do I think I’m better than them for not cursing. Just like I don’t think I’m better than my wife for not drinking alcohol. I’m simply trying to say I’m surprised by the situations in which people are comfortable cursing (during a federal investigation), and not necessarily by the curse words themselves.