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Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Generation Gap

Having children in their 20's is a lesson in control.  Sometimes, especially since they should be old enough to know better, you just want to shake them.  It's even harder to check than when they're small and do something phenomenally stupid, because they should know better by now.  I have one child only who will talk politics with me and the frustrating thing about it?  He thinks he's a liberal, despite everything that comes out of his mouth sounds like he has attended Young Republicans meetings since he was 8 years old.  Just try pointing that out to him, though. Then you get the mind like a steel trap reaction of a Liberal, rusted firmly shut.

I have always been an Objectivist and therefore most people assume I am a Conservative. I am conservative, but not A Conservative, there is a great gulf fixed between Conservatives and Objectivists and most of it has to do with the free market, but I digress...  I have always understood that there is no free lunch, that I could not eat my cake and have it, too, and that no one was ever helped by welfare.  I was the only kid watching All in the Family and loving Archie Bunker's rants.  I hated the son-in-law, Mike.  Stupid hippy.

Listening to my kids talk about their idea of the perfect world makes me laugh.  No, I am not mature enough not to do it in their faces.  But I have to shake my head and walk away because they are not yet ready to see their wrongness.  They are in their 20's and therefore bulletproof and incapable of having even the hint a wrong idea.  I say this with the love only a mother can have for her wrong-headed offspring.

In a perfect world you would graduate from college debt free and straight into a CEO position or the top position of whatever profession you think is cool at the moment. This is my biggest argument for the draft.  It grabbed them at around age 18 and held them for a few years and taught them just enough to undo most of the damage their teachers had done and gave them a taste of the real world so that when they got out, went to college and got jobs, they had a better idea of starting at the ground floor and working your way up.  No one leaves any service but the Air Force with an entitlement attitude.  Boot Camp really whips that out of you first thing, but only if your mommy doesn't go with you.

My children are the beginning of the Participation Generation.  I clearly remember when they were first in Little League.  Their dad coached their t-ball team.  He had the smallest, slowest kids because he was late signing them up and got buffaloed into coaching an expansion team.  They came in nearly last in their league.  On closing day, one of the league officials came to grab the team mom (not me, I worked 16 hours a day back then, working my way up the ladder) to grab the trophies.  All of us who were first year league parents wondered out loud what trophies.  Our team had really stunk up the field that year.  We were told they got trophies for participating, that way every kid got a trophy. One parent commented that it cheapened getting a trophy for being a winner, and it was at that point that I absolutely understood Liberals, utterly and completely, down to the last death wish.

If everyone is special, then no one is.

So each unique, special snowflake out there is "special".  They are special and wonderful and the world loves them so much that they will always be awesome little attention whores that need to be slapped like the 4 year old screaming in the check out stand at the grocery store because mommy said no to the candy bar he thinks he needs for just showing up.

Having been gainfully employed for the past 36 years when I got my first baby-sitting job and paper route in the same week at age 11, I have never, ever assumed I would get paid for not working.  I always assumed I had to show up on time, work the hours my boss said and ask for any days I needed off and not expect to be paid for not working.  I did not get a job that had sick days until I was in my mid-30s, and sure enough, I was working a gubmint job.  I have observed, especially the past 5 years or so, an attitude amongt young employees of thinking they should start out as the boss, when they don't have the slightest idea what a job is, much less what work entails.  They cry and whine about their hours, their pay and anything they believe is outside their "scope".  I had to work crap shifts, doing menial, stupidly boring work for years before I was allowed anywhere near a real project of my own. At that point I took the ball and ran with it, trying to show my employers that they had not misplaced their trust in me by promoting me.  I accepted every challenge, whined a little when I got the stuff no one else would do or wanted to do, but I was smart.  I always managed to automate things I hated doing so I could concentrate on the things I loved and was good at.  That part of my work ethic has never changed.  The "we've always done it this way" people make me want to commit heinous murders involving baseball bats and flechettes.

They don't seem to understand that you better understand your job and your company if you learn the basics first. I don't get that and I never will.  When you learn a martial art, you do not begin learning black belt stuff your first day.  You learn the basic punches and kicks, and it will  take you years to work up to black belt stuff, but everything you learn from your first day, builds up those skills so that they are so ingrained and instinctual that you no longer have to be instructed to do them, you automatically do them.  It's why true artisans start out as apprentices and learn everything about their art from the very bottom rung and spend years getting to the top.  Mastery is a work of years, sometimes decades, but it shows in everything they do.  Most kids today want to be like Neo in The Matrix and learn kung fu via computer injection into the brain, not readying their minds or bodies for the physical strength it takes to master that art.

So, thus we sit, watching these idiots whine about not being able to get a job, when there are jobs they could easily walk into but the jobs aren't good enough for them.

Screw that, I've got popcorn and a coke, I can sit and watch their antics all day.

1 comment:

daveahand said...

I agree 100%. Kids today are full of entitlement expectation because they were never allowed to lose, or even taught to appreciate effort since just showing up was rewarded.