The Day Ageism Hit Me in the Face, But it Was Okay
This story took place in the good old days of 2017. When no one wore face masks, nobody knew what Covid was, and there were no restrictions on mass gatherings, traveling, or mingling with friends at a bar.
Life at the time felt good.
In August of that year, the Texas Gulf Coast took a direct hit from Hurricane Harvey. It single-handily turned Southeast Texas into a disaster zone due to long-term, widespread flooding. Depending on the area, locations received anywhere between 35" to 60" of rain over two days.
Most bayous overran their banks, and the flood control district opened reservoir gates to minimize the potential of failure. Overall it was a mess.
Damage estimates are greater than $125 billion, making it the second-costliest storm in United States history. Its impact is still felt.
Following the storm, I had an opportunity to interview for a position with a major technology firm. The job sounded inviting enough for me to consider. Little did I know that the team I was interviewing with was my age and older. I was 64 at the time.
The day of the interview, I received a call that their building had sustained damage from the storm but had recently passed its occupancy inspection for floors two through ten. The offices were on the fourth floor.
The lady I spoke with told me I needed to take the staircase as the elevators were being inspected that day. She wanted to clarify I could climb the stairs, for which I had no problem.
Upon arriving, I was escorted to a conference room and offered a cup of coffee. Two guys introduced themselves and indicated their manager would be in shortly.
In conversation, we realized all three of us were on active duty with the US Air Force at the same time back in the seventies. My age radar began working at that point, calculating my age with their respective ages.