An older woman’s perspective on her younger (work) peers

Pisces fish salt and pepper shakersI was talking to one my clients, yesterday.  She’s got a stellium in Pisces and an easy way about her.

She’s been working at a job that suits her, for many years. She’s well paid, but she says her job isn’t rocket science.  Mostly, she just has to be nice.

I like talking to people who can boil something down like this. It’s a lost art!  Everything is seen to be endlessly complex and unsolvable.   Why?

She outlined some of the customs of her industry. The older more experienced women help the younger women who are just starting out. At least that’s how it was when she started.

She tries to return the favors that were done for her, but the younger women don’t seem to understand this graceful tradition. She’s not mad at them or judging them. She’s was just explaining this to me.

She also said that the younger women all seemed to have what she called a “mild” addiction to facebook.  “They just have to sign on to it, constantly.”

She doesn’t understand it. “It’s not real,” she said. “I think it’s a waste of time.”

I wrote this, because in twenty-five years, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who thinks and feels this way.  She’s always so elegant. And funny.

Which is another thing. She told a joke to a young woman and the woman had a cow. It’s like the new way to be, is serious, humorless and head down, looking at your phone.

Can you add to this?

24 thoughts on “An older woman’s perspective on her younger (work) peers”

  1. I do not like Facebook. Have said this for years. I can see her point; so many younger people are wrapped up in their phones anymore they don’t know how to pick up on certain social cues or have a conversation. This is why I force myself (because even I have this bad habit) of leaving my phone in my bag when I am in public, in a doctor’s office, a restaurant, a store and only checking it for the time (I don’t wear watches anymore).

    This is one of the reason why I love old movies. I love the way people practiced social graces, had witty banter that wasn’t full of outright sex talk (but was still sexy in that special way if you know what I mean). Conversation used to be an art. It’s kind of dying/struggling right now.

  2. I work with people who are mostly 10 to now 18 (!) years younger than I am. The job before this was an exact opposite, I was one of the younger ones, most of my co-workers were 20 years older than me. So, I always work with people from a different generation. I subscribe to “addicted to Facebook/Instagram/what ever social media is cool this week” part of this. I’m not necessarily subscribing to gratefulness being dead. My colleagues are actually very considerant in that way. I especially see this with Stellium in Capricorn people, who are now in their early 20’s.

  3. I think in general, many people are more concerned with what is happening online, then with the person right next to them, be it their neighbor, their workmate, their child or their spouse.

    If you think in terms of what percentage of your attention is focused “online”, for most of us, it’s HUGE.

  4. Yes I can. I’ve worked on my simple job for a total of 7 years and people have a problem if you tell them something about the right procedures. It’s like people don’t want to learn anymore or they think they’re experts after a hot 5 minutes. I’m not in a position of power, so to speak, I don’t wish to be promoted but come on learn from those who have been at it longer than most. At my job it’s a mild addiction to speak in native tongue and speak ill of the person who is helping you.

    I’m not going to be at my job forever and to be honest passing on the knowledge that I have so that people can do it to the same standard is just basic practice. I know I’m serious but goddamn these people are just ‘experts’ init. No judgements just observations.

    1. When you communicate to a person that can help you, that they can’t help you, it’s a matter of time before they stop trying.

      Another thing I’ve noticed, is a lot of people who do take, KEEP. They have no concept of giving back, or helping others get a foothold. It seems it can only lead them towards feeling bereft.

      1. That is an excellent point about not helping others. My younger coworker wants to tell me how to do things so she can get a promotion. She keeps reminding me to let her help me do things so she can add it to her mentoring resume. Yet, she refuses to help with things I actually need help with because they don’t fit what she is trying to do or it would be of real help to me. We teach theatre, so she loves to walk in the middle of rehearsal and “fix” the blocking I’m doing, but when I need help with a mundane task like cleaning make-up brushes or folding programs, she’s too busy. And I wouldn’t care except she gripes at me for wanting to work cooperatively with our other fine arts programs. I told her I was coming up to help the orchestra teacher because she is on her own with 150 kids for the program and she told me not to do that because then she might expect help all the time and it really doesn’t benefit our program to help her out. I smile, and nod, and help anyway. It just starts to take a toll after a while.

        1. “I told her I was coming up to help the orchestra teacher because she is on her own with 150 kids for the program and she told me not to do that because then she might expect help all the time and it really doesn’t benefit our program to help her out. ”

          Incredibly sad. 🙁

  5. I decided to limit my FB use last month. I don’t even visit that much , because I’m a very focused worker but I decided I didn’t like (a) the false sense of connection it offers or (B) the comparisons it invites. Even just moving the icon off my devices’ front pages has made it easy!

  6. I absolutely agree with the comments; about facebook, and about people making things difficult. I was shocked and surprised at the way flight training has been made difficult, complicated and painful, for example. My way was to cut the bullshit, make difficult simple, and enjoyable. I got results.

    I really like your posts, Elsa. You have great observational powers about life and people.

    1. If a coffee shop (or any business) treated my husband like that, I’d be on the phone with his caregiver–he’d show up and put a boot in their ass TOUT SUITE.

  7. I used to be the youngest worker wherever I went. One day I looked up and wondered what happened. I’m really impressed with about half the young people I work with. Surprisingly, it was the older people years ago that I didn’t have respect for. They’d gotten stuck and tired and didn’t care anymore.

    1. I tend to agree with GTO. I love what I do and really enjoy working with 90% of my younger (20s) coworkers. They energetic, aware, willing to try things and show effort and care. Even they laugh a bit at the sluggish lazy “me me me” special snowflakes (we are in advertising and design). I am older and yet we get along great, and they’re open to some perspectives I can add from my 20+ extra experience years.

      It’s a lot of workers (maybe 70%) in their mid 30s to 60s who suddenly seem to go into a stagnant, “this is how we always do it, this is what we did 15 years ago” way, blinders on, out the door at ten to 5. Just there burning daylight, acting super entitled.

      I work on projects that take me from coast to to coast and overseas and the pattern seems to be the same. I would say the spoiled “do stuff for me, my career, don’t help others” types mentioned above can happen at any age — it’s more a profile of entitled arrogant people than age.

      1. And PS – I might add that i love learning from the 20s and from their perspective. We get into fantastic conversations all the time and it’s brilliant. I’m not just the one to spout out some pearl every so often – we all jump in. Meanwhile, some other Vps my age are sour, silent, wrapped up in themselves and their personal crap and only showing up to try to grab credit or defend having accomplished nothing with grins and hand-waving. The 20-somethings i work can get it done, spurt out two more ideas and still be on FB or Twitter. The older counterparts can spend a week on their day trading or real estate pr%n sites and sputter excuses using jargon. The 20s look at this and keep a dead face, but laugh later. They’re not fooled. Sometimes I have gone in to assess a client, and quickly credit their 20s staffers sort of dead expressions or “don’t lift a finger” attitudes to something going stinking bad in management — usually turns out to be the case. (Apart from the special snowflake narcissist slugs.)

  8. I don’t see a lot of really young people (young 20’s and under) but I do see a ton of 30-40’s and up. I have to say the 30’s group I see regularly really have it together. They give me HOPE! They are kind and well mannered and care deeply about their families, pets and their jobs. The people that raised these folks did a very good job. They are plugged into the world and they are involved. They VOTE and they care about the environment. And, they don’t seem to have the sense of doom that the over 40’s have… they think they can make a difference. I love to see it. They are enthusiastic too.

    The 40’s – 50! (now these are the ones I have the misfortune of seeing) are self-centered and think they are better than everyone else. I can hardly stand them. They roll in with their better than the rest of the world attitude and I think to myself, if I didn’t have this place (the business) and I saw you in public I wouldn’t speak to a person like you. They drive up in a 50 thousand dollar car and are the least generous people I have ever met in my life. You are not going to get a 50 cent tip out of these people….. and they are just so freaking demanding. They are entitled to something for nothing…and RUDE…. just plane rude.

    The people 50-80 that I see are darlin’s….just cream of the crop. Sweet, kind, thoughtful. They worked hard all their lives and they are giving and polite. Very caring group of people. They don’t give 3 shits about social media or the computer. They are the kind of people that are going to invite you over to sit on the front porch with an iced tea and talk… they will look you in the eye and acknowledge that you worked hard for them and they appreciate it. They reach out to touch my hand, or give me a hug. I just adore them. There are still people out there that want a human connection. I am fortunate to have them in my life even if it is only every other month….they bake and bring it up and share it… they ask if you’ll meet them for lunch… or come by for dinner. If it weren’t for the 30’s and over 50’s I would quit.

    I hope that the stepfords are just peri-menopausal and they will get past their over inflated sense of self worth and realize they are no better or worse than anyone else…(even worse…you should hear them talk about each other…oh gawd!)

    Dealing with the stepfords takes everything I have…. When I am done…. oh lord have mercy should I see them on the street!

  9. One day I sat in McDonalds alone and had a bite to eat. I observed a woman with two very small children eating next to me. She never once engaged with those small beautiful minds. I thought to myself how incredibly sad it was that she gave her attention to her smartphone and not the tiny humanbeings sitting beside her. She was sending them a very powerful and hurtful message, a message that tells them how insignificant they are and that they have nothing to offer of value. I really was disturbed and have since seen this often, everywhere. Children want and need to engage with adults. They grow thtough this , and we as adults grow through it as well. Your time and attention is all a child wants from their parents. It seems that today, many parents find that this is too much to ask of them. I think that the results from this behavior will have some verry negative consequences for these kids. It really is getting bad.

    1. We had the same experience but in a high class restaurant / boutique hotel, 3 gorgeous kids left outside like dogs while their Botoxed mothers sat inside flirting at the dinner table, getting drunk. The smallest boy was bawling, good for him – his dad finally came and took him inside – and the eldest girl just sat playing with the phone, all 3 were rich, miserable and empty. I wouldnt treat my dogs like that. It spoilt our romantic dinner and made us sad!
      There is a minimum standard in society to do with caring about what and who is external to us and that is being shifted, both long term and exponentially. It’s pretty scary.

  10. Yeah, the joking and fun we used to have in the office when I was younger and working in the 1980s and ’90s would probably get you fired these days. People are definitely more concerned with behaving appropriately. Fortunately, my manager (10 years my junior) doesn’t take things overly seriously, so even though people don’t overstep the current bounds of propriety, people in the office where I work now aren’t overly buttoned up.

  11. Well, here’s some varied insights. Interesting. Most of the young people in my life do me proud. They amaze me. I know there are pockets of mean girls and mean boys. Always has been. I still deal with the generation ahead of me trying to put me in ‘my place.’ Actually where they think I should be. 😀 Generational (pluto) alienation (uranus). Or not.

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