Monday, September 14, 2009

The Great Divide

How did this happen?

I woke up one day, and I was middle-aged. I am on the other side of the hill, and going down fast. My ass landed at the bottom of the hill over a decade ago and my boobs are joining them as we speak.

When you hang around with people who are your own age or older, you don’t really realise so acutely that middle age is upon you. Your friends all come from the same era or earlier, so they have lived through their own era, and likely yours as well. They know how, in your heart and in your mind, that disco still lives. They understand the cultural significance of shoulder pads. They get it when you say, “The 90’s sucked, man”.

In your day, musicians in music videos were fully clothed and did not simulate sex for 2.5 minutes in the name of their art. They sang their song and made awkward dance movements, end of story. Occasionally, creative songsters tried for more artistic interpretations of their masterpieces, and this usually involved psychedelic colours and strobe lighting.

I’m astonished to say that, in my day, there were no computers in school, no cell phones, no ipods or touch pods or pods of any kind. No laptops, notebooks, no PDA’s. No printers, no fax machines. You get what I’m saying? No technology, baby. We communicated by written or spoken word. Someone talked, we listened. We considered our response and replied in kind.

So where am I going with this? I’m going to the workplace. Throughout my long and illustrious career, I have generally worked with people who were similar in age to myself. As I got older, so did my clients. As I aged, I moved away from working with youth to working with older people. Somewhere along the way, a rather large rift opened up in the universe. A great divide was created and I didn’t even know it was there. I’m talking about working with younger people.

OH MY GOD!!!!!

What’s happened out there? Was there some sort of biological chemical warfare that only affected young people and no one told me about it? Did I miss the news that day? Did it infect them through their cell phones? Whatever it was, it seemed to affect their attention span. They can’t keep focused any longer than a gnat can. They’re BORED . They need constant stimulation and can only follow the “no cell phone in training” rule for 10 minutes. Training lasts 6 weeks. You could see them twitching, it was actually quite funny. They’ve actually given up hiding their cell phones under the table and text openly now.

But the worst is the ignorance. In my day (here we go again), we were taught to respect people in authority, like instructors for example. It’s not rocket science. If the instructor asks you to do something, you do it. If they are talking, you are not.


Apparently not. This must be an old person’s philosophy. I need to “get with it” quickly. Is it now rude to be respectful? Is it respectful to be rude? Have the tables really turned that much?

What caused this chasm deep in the earth’s crust, I wonder? With the youngsters on one side and me on the other. Does it really matter? I’m not sure that I care. Face it, I’m too old to give a damn.

At this point, I just need to survive it.

Perhaps along the way, the youngsters and I will find a way to build a bridge across that great divide and live together in harmony.

If not, I hear I can always work from home.