Stale, male and pale.

Posted 11 December 2019 by David Spratt

Behind the times in 2019. How to kill friendships and infuriate younger colleagues.

Each Christmas for the last three years I have taken the opportunity to mock colleagues, businesses, politicians and friends in the guise of a bit of festive fun. For me 2019 was a year of progressive transition to a new generation of leaders at work. This warrants a look in the mirror and into the mind of an old guy inadvertently keeping the glass ceiling firmly on top of our young talent.  

“I just told you my great idea. Why are you being so difficult about it?”  

Young people can be frustrating at times. Just because it’s the first idea that came into my head doesn’t make it wrong. Years of experience count for a lot when it comes to the important calls.   

A conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and Engineering with First Class Honours doesn’t mean anything in the real world.  It’s all theory, no practice. Degrees are for nerds. 

I can’t delegate. Last time I did that you did it all wrong. It’s quicker to just do it myself. 

Do it yourself and do it right that’s what I say. Young people are in such a rush, they are always making mistakes. You can see from the huge smiles on their faces just how relieved they are when I jump in with a few helpful suggestions. Mentoring is so satisfying. If only people would listen more. 

 My Tesla was keyed in the supermarket car park. What did I do to deserve that? 

I don’t know what you are complaining about. We did it tough too. Interest rates were 25% when I was your age. I know a million-dollar mortgage sounds daunting, but you must start somewhere. Soon you will own a bunch of rentals just like me. It’s just a question of putting in the hard yards.  

Oh yes. Just a reminder that the wife and I are away in Queenstown next week for a bit of bungy jumping and jetboating. It will be such a relief after the hustle and bustle of the Rugby in Japan. That final was amazing. Nothing compares to being there live.  You really should try it.  

 “I know I said Tuesday, but other priorities came up. How about a week Friday?”  

Everyone is in such a hurry these days. How can it be a bad thing to take an afternoon power nap? Grab me a coffee will you? 

It’s PC gone mad I tell you 

Spare me your mamby pamby, trendy lefty, climate warrior, sustainable vegetarian clap trap. Global warming is a myth. Haven’t you read the latest report from the oil and coal industry’s expert panel on climate denial?        

That’s enough of me talking about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me? 

Maybe that story of how I was involved in building New Zealand’s first private “fibre optic network” (imagine my fingers in the quote position) is getting a little tired? What about the one about when I once closed a deal for a million dollars by saying nothing to the client and just listening? Perhaps I should do more of that? 

It should be the fate of baby boomers to spend eternity in hell repeating work war stories and tales of the good old days. You can almost taste the resentment as we point out millennials inadequacies. They will surely realise how wrong they are after a few more years as understudies. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year readers. Stay safe and rest well. Try a power nap. They are really refreshing! 

 

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