As some of you know, I have recently put together a new presentation – Us Vs. Them – Putting the Other Generations in Their Place. If you’d like to see a bit of it, you can find a video here or on the Presentations page at www.jeffhavens.com
But I know some of you prefer reading to watching things. After all, a word is worth a thousand pictures. Most generational speakers talk about the subtle nuances of our four generations and how each one needs to be coaxed, nurtured, encouraged, and otherwise tended like a delicate flower so that they can bloom and reach their full potential. I, on the other hand, take a more direct approach – namely, by saying what everyone really thinks.
I think the following will summarize nicely how we all look at generational issues in the workplace. Read them both – but depending on how old you are, I’m pretty sure I can predict which one of the next two paragraphs you’ll agree with!
Important Point #1: Young People Are Idiots! The evidence for this is staggering. They barely know how to dress themselves, they show up to interviews with beards long enough to hide a family of lemurs in, they ask when they’ll get promoted before they’ve been hired, they occasionally forget that Facebook is a public forum and post comments and photos that no thinking individual would want their co-workers to read – and, as if that weren’t enough, most of them don’t even remember their own phone number. They have to actually look at their phone to figure it out. That they survived childhood is a testament both to their parents’ dedication and the fact that the world is a far safer place than we sometimes remember. Bottom line: employing these people is about as effective as employing (insert inanimate object or squishy sea invertebrate here). The only saving grace about these people is that they’re not alone – keep reading!
Important Point #2: Old People Are Idiots! I shouldn’t even need to be saying this – I mean after all, if they knew anything then they would have made enough money to retire by now. They live like it’s still 1954, and recent scientific studies have confirmed that some of them actually see in black-and-white. They complain about everything new, which happens to be everything. You can’t really blame them for complaining as much as they do, since it took them 38 years to learn your company’s first computer system and then you had to go and screw it all up by changing them to make them more efficient. And as if that weren’t enough, they wear their pants way too high. And every year they get higher, like the tide rising.
And that pretty much covers it! The presentation goes into more detail, of course, and ultimately it will help you understand why people operate differently than you do. But now you should at least be able to make fun of everyone dumb enough to not be born at approximately the same time that you were. If you’re interested in solving problems, check out the full presentation. But why solve them when exacerbating them is so much fun?