Cerabino: Finally, ‘old white guys’ get a seat at the victims’ table


Finally, now even “old white guys” can feel like victims.

I know. I know. We’re usually the perps.

But this week, the Florida-based parent company that operates Seasons 52 restaurants has agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle a complaint by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 254 job applicants who alleged that the chain used a centralized hiring process to weed out older job applicants.

“The EEOC asserts, for instance, that (Seasons 52) hiring officials have told unsuccessful applicants in the protected age group that ‘you are too experienced’; ‘we are looking for people with less experience’; ‘we are not looking for old white guys’; ‘we are looking for ‘fresh’ employees’; and that Seasons 52 wanted a ‘youthful’ image,” the lawsuit alleges.

The company, Darden Restaurants — which is run by a bald 57-year-old white guy CEO who doesn’t appear to have a fresh youthful image — settled the complaint without admitting blame.

But we old white guys have to take victories wherever we can get one.

Yes, despite that boyish photo that accompanies my column, I am an old white guy. And I’ll admit, as a group, we old white guys have screwed up a lot of things in America.

We are disproportionately to blame for everything from avoidable condominium disputes to President Donald Trump to the majority of creepy flirtations directed at younger diner waitresses, whom we sometimes refer to as “honey babe,” “doll face” or “sugar britches.”

And it’s frequently brought up that we are the problem in a patriarchal society that pays women less for equal work, systematically discriminates against minorities and hands too many of us old white guys the levers of power in government and the corporate boardroom.

Fortunately for me, there can never be too many old-white-guy newspaper columnists. That’s just the way it is.

We’re a national treasure when it comes to punditry. After all, would you want to read a columnist who is too young to even know the comedic potential of a “Harold Stassen” reference? Of course not.

But I could see why the restaurant chain might want to have younger servers. Old white guys tend to have lots of dietary restrictions put on them by their old white women. And that could adversely affect a customer’s dining experience.

“So you want to know what’s good for dessert?” I might respond while clearing away the plates from the main course. “Nothing that’s good for you, that’s for sure.”

Then I might furtively look around to make sure the manager isn’t within earshot.

“Sugar and white flour are killers. Trust me,” I’d continue. “If you need something sweet, go home and eat a mandarin orange, then mix yourself some psyllium husks in a big glass of water and gulp it down. You’ll thank me in the morning.”

Not good for business. Especially once I start sharing my latest blood-work results with the table.

“Got to keep an eye on those triglycerides,” I might say. “Cappuccino, anyone?”

To me, the most disturbing part of the EEOC lawsuit was that an “old” employee was defined as somebody who is 40 and older.

Seriously? Mick Jagger has two children older than 40 years old.

If 40 years old is “old,” then Jared Kushner will be an old white guy in less than three years from now, and Donnie Wahlberg, one of the founding members of the boy band New Kids on the Block has been an old white guy for nine years already.

That’s more like a New Kidney on the Block.

But like I said, we shouldn’t complain. We old white guys can’t afford to squander this rare opportunity for victim-hood.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Veterans commemorate Victory in Japan Day at annual event in Boynton
Veterans commemorate Victory in Japan Day at annual event in Boynton

On Aug. 14, 1945, President Harry Truman announced to the world that Japan had surrendered and, after nearly four years of fighting, World War II was over. And, 73 years later, American patriots continue to commemorate Victory in Japan Day. Such was the case Tuesday in Boynton Beach, where a group of veterans, active-duty military and family members...
Cerabino: Florida candidate blunders into major issue with diploma
Cerabino: Florida candidate blunders into major issue with diploma

Melissa Howard decided to end her campaign for the Florida House on Tuesday due to her amazing knack for incompetent dishonesty. It’s too bad. While dishonesty is widely viewed as an unattractive trait for someone seeking elected office, incompetent dishonesty could actually be an asset. If you’re too careless to be a credible liar, you&rsquo...
JUST IN: 2 men arrested in murder of 7-year-old Florida girl are 17, 19
JUST IN: 2 men arrested in murder of 7-year-old Florida girl are 17, 19

A 17-year-old man is behind bars charged as an adult with murder after two people were arrested in connection with Saturday night’s shooting death of a 7-year-old girl in Jacksonville, Sheriff Mike Williams announced today. A third suspect is being sought. Standing next to a photo of the victim, Heidy Rivas Villanueva, Williams announced that...
Frontier adds more nonstop routes between PBIA and these five cities
Frontier adds more nonstop routes between PBIA and these five cities

Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday it is adding nonstop routes between Palm Beach International Airport and five cities just in time for holiday travel season. Travel + Leisure magazine names PBIA as one of top U.S. airports The additional routes will start Nov. 15, according to a statement released Tuesday: • Cleveland Hopkins International...
Palm Tran gets OK to roll out changes, but still no holiday service
Palm Tran gets OK to roll out changes, but still no holiday service

Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday approved Palm Tran’s first major service change in more than 20 years — an overhaul that promises a more direct, convenient and faster bus system. Members of the public and commissioners speaking before the vote praised the upgrades but said there is still a lot to be improved upon: The need...
More Stories