Ever since Paul Hebert departed from Facebook, I have missed his frequent crotchety, get-off-my-lawn type of observations. His posts essentially took care of my need to express myself in that way. I simply “liked” or commented and left satisfied that my opinion was heard.
But, alas, no one else comes to that same quality of commentary, and so I am forced herewith to lay down my grievances. As the elder contributor to PIC (yes, I am even older than Dave Ryan!), I feel it is my duty to let you know the kind of things you may not even realize that are happening in your workplace that perhaps your older employees are just ignoring.
- Use of the term “grandfathering”. As far as I am concerned, the only legitimate use of this as a verb form is to explain what I do with my grandchildren. I’m darn good at it too, and often the term is used in the workplace to describe how we will treat some special group who might not be willing or able to accept change. Can we please consider another word or phrase and leave the honor of grandfather where it belongs?
- Casual Friday. If I really came to work in my casuals, I am pretty sure I would get sent home. Let’s call it Slightly-less-formal Friday.
- Company supplied headphones. This may not affect all older workers, and it even affects some younger workers – but the company supplied headphones should simply NOT have a metal band. My bald head does not appreciate the narrowness of the band and the sharpness of the edges.
- The occasional query about retirement. I am not talking about the managerial no-no of inquiring, I’m talking about the casual assumption by any employee that the date might be soon. Am I looking a little tired? Are you targeting the potential of applying to my role? Or maybe you just want my headphones. I think the next time I get asked that question, my response will be “I’m not sure. Do you know when you plan to resign?”
- Many of my peers are so tired of hearing about the millennials. Likewise, we should all shelve the terms X-ers, boomers, and any other generational reference to employees. I know we market services and perks to our employees, and understanding the generational differences is important, but let stop using terms outside of that context. We are all workers and employees.
Tongue-in cheek? Maybe a little. But a few of these things (see #1 and #4) really do bug me.
Clearly, that is because I am an old coot.