How The Baby Boomers Lost The Election

“Young Americans vote in the largest numbers in at least twenty years in congressional elections.

Young voters favored Democrats by a 22-point margin.

Okay guys, it’s time to forget about Muslims, Unabombers, and Miami Morons (the ones who thought the FBI stooges were al-Qaeda come to help them blow up America for Jesus). This election has revealed the real terrorist threat.

George W. Bush, the poster-boy of non-consultative management, parental positioning, and father-knows-best, tangled with a new demographic this election.

Every manager who ever said, “”I’ll do it my way; I am the boss, and the heck with you,”” must be feeling for the guy.

Bush is not alone. He’s only one of millions of Baby Boomers who are discovering that “”my way or the highway”” only works if the person who is going to hit the highway is the Boomer him/herself.

Bush needs to read more Scott Adams to know that, deep in the cubicles of the corporate jungles, a new army has trained themselves to deal with authoritarianism.

An army who recognized him as the enemy and taught him a lesson.

So if you’re a Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964) or a Traditionalist (even older), it might be a good time to sniff the coffee and review how the new guys on the block operate, because GenX (born 1980 +) and GenY (even younger) are taking no prisoners.

Let’s assume you’re a Boomer. Innocent that you are, you go to work to work. You go home to socialize. You think you’re technologically sophisticated (yeah right!). You grew up in a world where you waited your turn for authority. You “”paid your dues”” by shutting-up-and-putting-up with stuff, until you got into a position of responsibility. Now it’s your turn and (like Bush and Frank Sinatra) you think you’re going to do it your way.

Let’s not worry too much here about GenY (described by Marcus Buckingham as the generation who got prizes for coming 8th in a race). It’s GenX who are going to murder you this week.

They’re probably better educated than you are, and they can show you the real meaning of “”technologically savvy””, so they think that they can do your job now. They need your salary to pay their college debt, so they have little interest in doing schlep jobs when they have the skills, energy, technological currency, and innovative ability to do the interesting stuff, now.

’Oh, nooooooo,’ you sneer. ‘I need you there? with your techie skills. You are so not going anywhere. I’m the boss and I pay the piper and I call the tune. A promotion? Get real, kid. It took me 15 years to get to this position.’

That evening, over a glass of fine wine, you describe the pissed-off look on the GenXer’s face to your significant other. You’re in charge now, and your personal White House feels pretty damned good.

It’s a pity that you forgot how the new terrorists socialize in their work-life continuum. (They will even move jobs to be with their friends.) You can’t quite get your head around they way they have networks of GenX friends throughout the company. They don’t live in silos, like you do, and they bang out vast numbers of emails and texts to their whole network, hourly, while also keeping constant contact through their blurred work-social boundaries.

Hmmm? and you could have taken into consideration that the whole freaking IT department is GenX, too, before you pissed one of them off.

GenXers use software to keep their to-do lists. They have a number of tasks on these lists. Why has your request been done last? There is a perfectly logical reason for other tasks being done first. Your job just happens to be last today. Watch the GenXers’ “What is WRONG with you?” faces as they shove a handheld Blackberry-like device in your face, to show you the list.

Isn’t it strange how you are last on every list? In so many unconnected departments? Yesterday and tomorrow, too?

Please don’t request anything verbally, as it will be forgotten by all GenXers. When you ask again, the GenXer is puzzled. Did you ask Natasha or perhaps Darren? Please print the email and the GenXer will find the culprit and bring him/her to justice immediately! No email? NO EMAIL? *Gasp* You must have asked Kimberli or Shawn, but no, it clearly wasn’t me.

If you ask for something by email, the GenXer will, of course, (eventually) give you what you asked for. Exactly what you asked for. And s/he will have filed the email to document what you asked for. And the reply, and the confirmation that the reply was received, and opened. People on a GenXer’s good side get what they want, but you will get what you asked for, and exactly, and only that.

Yes George, Dick, Karl and Condi. That authoritarian attitude doesn’t work with this bunch. They don’t accept that ‘we’re in charge and you’ll do it our way’ bullshit any more.

They don’t take it at work, and they don’t accept it when people their age (and younger) are dying for your whims and mistakes in the middle of a civil war you ignited.

So Harry, Nancy, and Howard? listen up. Because the training camps are not in Afghanistan or Iraq or Pakistan any longer. They’re downtown.

And you gave birth to the new terrorists: they work for you, they voted you into office, and they can kick you out.

Just ask Rummy.

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