By The Men's Editor
Dot.Com This, Kid!
By Gary Sorkin
As a Boomer male I have come in contact with many doctors and more than a few lawyers in my lifetime. We all have a primary care physician, a specialist or three, and most certainly, a dentist, and a foot doctor. Lawyers, well there's always a few that cross our paths. We sell our homes, we get a divorce, we incorporate, and perhaps we've even had the unfortunate opportunity to deal with a criminal attorney along the way. What do most of these professionals have in common? The answer used to be; these are the high wage earners of our society. They drive BMWs, vacation on sunny Islands, have big houses, they have an "air" of arrogance, and generally we DISLIKE them all, with an exception or two.
WHAT'S UP DOC?
Recently I had the undistinguished and always demeaning experience of sitting in one of those sterile little waiting rooms with my shirt off as I waited the mandatory thirty minutes for my doctor to make his appearance. The doorknob turned and my usually quite detached unemotional doctor came in. He checked my chart, looked up, and asked me, "What's wrong?" I looked at him. Something was different. He seemed depressed. His air of superiority seemed to be gone. I told him of my malady. He checked me over, ordered the usual tests, and said to call at the end of the week. I couldn't contain myself. "What's up Doc? You look depressed." He turned and walked away not uttering another word. The nurse came in to do her business, and I asked her. She picked up a copy of Time Magazine that was in the rack and showed me the cover. "It's this, he hasn't been the same since."
THE DOT.COM KIDS
On the cover of Time was the smiling picture of two young boys, both in their early twenties. The headline read, THE NEW MULTI-MILLIONAIRES. I've seen it all before. The story of two college, or even high-school dropouts, twenty-somethings, making hundreds of millions of dollars on some new fangled website gizmo. They are selling this or that to make the Internet a "better" place to live through the magic of binary code. I also saw the picture of two young boys who had lost tens of millions in one day as their stock had taken a plunge. One of the boys looked so sad. It was as if he had misplaced his Mister Potato Head.
How in the world do you punish your son or daughter who has millions of dollars and has misbehaved – do you take away their Lear Jet? Hide the keys to their Porsche? Send them to bed without their gourmet dinner?
On my way out I passed my once proud and arrogant doctor. He had his head in his hands. Where did he go wrong? Medical School, years of residency, a built-up practice, the expensive BMW, and he was being left behind in the economic structure by kids with pimples on their faces. His expression looked as if he was sitting in that waiting room with his shirt off.
Cheer up, doc.
RETIREMENT AT TWENTY-THREE
I just heard of a young man who had gone IPO with his gizmo, and made two hundred and fifty million dollars overnight. He plans on retiring. It made me think. First of all, what the hell do you retire to at the age of twenty-three? Where is the struggle of life? Where do they spend their next sixty years of retirement? Lastly, what about us regular guys?
The Early Bird Special in Miami Beach will never be the same.
I thought of the Tom Hanks character from the movie, "BIG." Hanks plays a twelve year old trapped in the body of a man. He has made big dollars and spends them as a pre-teen would. He fills his expensive loft in New York City with toys: a trampoline, video games, a soccer field, and posters of teenage movie stars. When a grown woman falls in love with him, they jump on his trampoline for fun. It seemed so childish of him. Of course, he was only twelve.
Misguided youth. What the heck do they know?
How about we set up a fund for all those doctors and lawyers who now feel inferior to these new Dot.Com Kids? The ones who are whizzing past them on the financial and informational highway, not to mention their Limos cutting off their BMWs in traffic. We'll call it the "Save The Doctors And Lawyers Ego Fund."
There's nothing worse than going into a depressed divorce lawyer's office.
Dot.Com this, kid!
(Gary is living the life of a struggling Boomer. He recently bought himself a trampoline, but his bad knee prevents him from using it. His doctor is now in a mental hospital.)