A Message to the “Kids” in Business: We’re Sticking Around for Awhile
By Admin

January 13, 2010

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About 5 years ago a plethora of articles appeared and books were written about the coming “Talent Crisis”. Baby Boomers were finally going to retire from those coveted jobs at the top and make room for the younger generations who were waiting on their couches and in their coffee shops to move up to even HIGHER salaries, fewer (if that is possible) hours and bigger (again, if that is possible) perks. And…American businesses were going to feel a real lack of top talent.

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Now….our retirement funds have been decimated by the greedy and we have to continue working. Our health is great (we finally got the message) so we not only have to stick around, but we are able to work better and smarter. And unfortunately for you, we still have the top jobs where we make policies and decide the fates of other workers. Unfair? Completely. Just as unfair as the young folk being able to make a computer work without instructions that we still have to read.

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So, our values and the way we work will be sticking around awhile longer (horror to the Newest Generation!). Therefore we want to announce the following “Revised “Rules and Guidelines for working in 2009-2015”, while we get our retirement feet back. Then, if we all haven’t completely ruined the world, you can have it and see what you can do. By then you’ll be well over 35 (40?) and perhaps have learned a few things:

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As Larry would say “It’s called WORK…for a reason”. Its what we do to live and earn. It isn’t what you do between text messages and exclaiming “Oh My God” at someone’s new Facebook entry. Work makes the wheels of commerce go around. Work is what you get paid to do. So….Work.

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In the “Old days” (Ancient History:The 1980’s), we looked GOOD coming to work, by business standards. We didn’t look like we just rolled out of bed (because we didn’t) and we didn’t look like we just came from a dance club (because we didn’t). We wore tee shirts UNDER shirts. We dressed out of respect for the activity of and being grateful for the chance to work. We dressed to impress and to feel disciplined (yes, the words “Work” and “Discipline” do in fact go together). MOST people didn’t try to use the workplace to look like a rock star or for a display of piercings. They came to impress bosses, customers and peers. They actually (here is a shocker) tried to LOOK LIKE THEY LIKED WORKING! (Totally new concept to many young folk today!). So the new/old rule is: Look, dress and act like you respect the fact that someone is providing you a job where you can make money. What you do with the money is up to you.

Move out of your parent’s house. The excuse of “Mom wants me to be there” is just that, an excuse. A difference between you and the ruling generation is NEED. Living at home in your late 20’s or 30’s is NOT an experience, it is a lack of responsibility. Move out, pay bills, pay rent, be an adult. We NEED YOU to have your OWN place that WE can move into when we drool too much to be socially acceptable.

Lose the attitude. No explanation needed.

Text Messaging may be cool, but don’t do it while working, driving, talking business to someone else, or talking to someone older than you. Emoticons and text-speak don’t take the place of smiles, frowns or pupil size. Abbreviations cause a drop in your ability to actually write real English. It is also a major factor in your generation’s inability to speak in complete sentences. We had Morse Code, but we didn’t speak in dots and dashes. So, if you don’t stop text messaging, we’ll break your thumbs. Talk to someone. (Without saying “Oh My God!”)

Twitter, Facebook, My Space and all the other “social networks” are just that: social. They have no real purpose except to waste time. If you are so unconfident of who you are, move out of your parent’s basement. In your spare time do something productive: READ. Learn math, learn concepts, learn something productive. The fact that you know your Best Friend Forever Sally is walking over to the Starpukes Coffee Shop at 5th and 30th to get a cold Latte’ and then she’ll go back to her apartment, isn’t startling or newsworthy. Discovering that Rome and today’s society look very similar and then deciding to do something about…that’s productive.

“Multi-Tasking” is a tired cliché’. It basically says that you can’t do any one thing well. We would rather that you learn how to get results in your job than to talk on two mobile phones, watch TV, Text on another phone, Google on your laptop and pet your dog all at the same time. Save all that multi-tasking energy for getting up before noon and getting to work half awake. No more “multi-tasking” unless it is productive.

Solve A Problem. You Tube videos don’t do that. Texting doesn’t either. Get involved. Do some hard work. Be a hands-on Volunteer for more than an hour per month at something difficult, but don’t expect an Academy Award for just showing up. Your Mom and Dad aren’t the award-presenters.

Get angry about something, then do something about it. Be a positive force of change in society. Just talking in a group of half-shaven, laptop-toting “Friends” at an over-priced coffee emporium won’t change society. We took over administration buildings, read Chairman Mao and Ken Kesey, fought in Nam, and generally did a lot of stuff. It didn’t get us anywhere, but it was sure active. We learned how to survive. We actually did change the world, but because you guys don’t read anything that isn’t on a 2” X 2” LCD screen, you wouldn’t know about it.

Help us leave a legacy of EARNING. The lack of that key word is what has changed the U.S. Economy and will eventually make the U.S. a third-world country. Read quotes from Vince Lombardi and Zig Zigler. No, you don’t deserve a BMW, ocean-side condo and 4 weeks of vacation for showing up to work. And neither does the CEO, by the way. Intentions don’t cut it, results do. Be like the people who make the gears of industry move. Earn your pay, make us feel inadequate that we no longer can, and make us proud of your accomplishments. Then help us change OUR diapers along with our grandkids.

Yes, what happens in another room, city, state, country or culture DOES in fact affect you. Even the person you work with affects your life, so don’t act like you are an island. If the Taliban overruns a bunch of countries in the Middle East it will affect your life. More than the outcome of your video game. Really. We’re not kidding. Now, go look up “Taliban” in the Wikipedia. Okay, right after level 4 in Grand Theft Auto. We’ll wait.

Finally….grow up. Accept accountability. We Did. After the love-fests were over, we cut our hair, worked hard, created things, had families we could afford and eventually provided you with college tuition and a car. We worked every day, over the weekends and many evenings. We learned how to be individuals, not just groups of “friends”, and we learned that if we wanted things we had to earn a living, not just live at home. We didn’t live in video games or fantasy football leagues. We participated in the game, got bloody noses and didn’t sue our parents because they would have yelled at us. The biggest mistake we made as parents was to tell you that “the score of your game didn’t really matter, It was the experience”. Now that we’re sticking around in the work-world we can tell you this: The score DOES count, and we expect YOU to be part of the future, not just a spectator.

Robert de Schrijver