Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Walking Uphill Both Ways…in the SNOW!

For my first official post in my thirties, I will be playing the part of a crotchety old lady. Today I want to talk about young whipper-snappers, and how they don’t have any work ethic. To preview the end of this post, I think I’ll probably conclude that the non-existence of a work ethic, for the most part, has little to nothing to do with age, but rather seems to be an endemic part of our society. Sounds like fun, no? Let’s get to the diatribe!

My company recently hired two new people for entry level positions. After my boss left early on Friday, they decided they were entitled to leave as well, despite one just finishing her first week of work. I was dumbfounded. Never in a million years would I, as a newbie, have assumed I could take off early just because it was a holiday weekend. Had my supervisor come up to me and said, “We’re really dead right now. You can go ahead and take off,” certainly I would have gone. But for them to assume, despite being on the lowest rung of the ladder, that they were free to go shocked me. I mentioned this episode to a few friends and they had similar stories about those recently out of college assuming far too much and not seeming to appreciate the fact that they are employed to do a job and that they aren’t really entitled to much of anything.

I’ve also been shocked by how poorly prepared some of these people are for work. They seem to think that because they’ve graduated from college that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many have seemed to think that they are above such mundane tasks as answering phones and opening the mail. Sure, that wasn’t my dream job either, but we all have to start somewhere and work our way up. Most don’t get the amazing job straight out of school. I also cringe when I hear how they address clients, talking to them like they would their friends, rather than recognizing that most of our clients are at least the same age as their parents, if not their grandparents. Maybe it’s just how I was raised, but in a client-service provider relationship, I would never address someone obviously older than myself by their first name, until I was asked to do so.

Yup. These young whipper-snappers are lazy and rude. Nothing like my generation….of a few years prior. I understand I’m making sweeping generalizations here. I know there are plenty of recent grads who understand the value of working hard and climbing up the corporate ladder. And I’m sure there were plenty of examples of people from my graduating class behaving the same way but it just seems to be getting worse. Or maybe I’m getting older. Or maybe it has nothing to do with age. Maybe as a society we’re just becoming ruder, some more quickly than others. Or maybe we’re all become more selfish, with everyone developing a sense of entitlement without having earned it. Maybe with all the avenues for instant gratification we have available to us, we just can’t muster up the effort to work hard anymore. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s a worrying trend and I don’t know what can be done to reverse it. Heck I don’t even know if most people would agree that there’s even a problem, let alone have any suggestions on how to fix it. What are you gonna do?

So endeth the crotchety old lady’s diatribe. I’ll try to post something more uplifting next week.

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May: A month with no weekends

A quick thanks to Sam for taking the Wednesday post off my hands.  I was sick (so her germ-based post was especially apropos) and I had completely forgotten that it was Wednesday–I took a long weekend so Tuesday was my Monday.  But, she jumped in like a champ when my concentration wasn’t strong enough to tackle three or four measly paragraphs. 

So it’s May.  The month has come and (nearly) gone so quickly.  It hasn’t helped that I’ve been indoors for the last seven days because of the rain; I’m a couch zombie this month.  But, when the weekends come, that’s my time to relax, rejuvenate and retravel to New Hampshire. 

This month, my weekends have been full.  Usually I go up north once a month or so.  I visit my family or go to the lake house, always taking advantage of the opportunity to do laundry for free.  But this month, it’s been EVERY WEEKEND. 

Weekend the first: May 7 and 8
May 8 was Mother’s Day, so that’s a no-brainer.  Of course, I went to see my mom and spend time with her. It’s also my sister’s birthday.  We had lots of fun, exchanging gifts and brunching and hanging out. 

Weekend the second: May 14 to 16
My cousin has two charming babies.  An almost two-year-old and a five month old.  These are very happy, pleasant children. The kind of children that make me scared to have kids because I’m afraid my own kids will be hellweasels, and it will be hard to make people like my kids as much as I like these kids.  I took a day off from work on Monday to spend some extra time with the kids (and to hopefully get some things done for myself like grocery shopping and cleaning my apartment, but those things were not to be).  It was, in reality, an excellent time. 

Weekend the third:  May 21 and 22
This coming weekend, I’m in a bit of a pickle, because technically, I could stay home, but pragmatically I need to go back to NH.  My cousin is graduating from college this weekend.  I’m not going, but there was talk that my parents would go.  My sister, thinking that I would be in Colombia told her roommate that she could “probably stay” at my apartment with her father and her brother because I’d be out-of-town.  Then, Colombia didn’t happen.  But, because my parent’s were going to the graduation, I figured I would come up and dog-sit for the weekend, so my apartment would be free.  I agreed to vacate my house.  To be clear: I don’t have a problem with people staying in my place.  I know and trust my sister’s roommate, and it’s a pleasure to be able to do this for them.  On Tuesday my mom called and said, “looks like you can stay home because we’re not going to the graduation after all!”  So I said, “but there will be people staying here, so I have to come up.”  Again. forever.

Weekend the Fourth: Memorial Day Weekend
It has yet to be confirmed, but I think this will be a lake weekend.  I want to start planting my garden up there, my dad wants to get a jump on some house improvements and I think they’re bringing the boat out of storage.  The long weekend is a good one for trips up to the lake, and there might even be a bbq.  I’m totally in for this.  Unfortunately, that will make five weekends in a row that I’m not home (I forgot to mention the last weekend in April, which was also a lake house weekend). 

No, the drive isn’t onerous.  Yes, I love being around my family.  But I have to start being where I live more.  I need to make my apartment nice and cozy.  I need to buy groceries.  I need to vacuum and scrub the tub.  I need to re-organize my kitchen cabinets.  These things won’t happen on week nights.  They just won’t.  I need a weekend, at my house, on my own. 

Oh, I’ll also be going up to drop the dog off the first weekend in June.

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Pet Peeves

I’ve had a few annoying weeks and am feeling the need to vent and I always feel better after venting about my pet peeves. I hope to do so with a bit of humor so as not to make you cranky as well, but if you find yourself getting irate, close this window and think about puppies. Come back tomorrow and try again. And now, without further ado, my top five (yes, I can easily come up with five) pet peeves:

  1. People who try to walk and text at the same time. This really is no different than texting and driving, but since I walk more than I drive on the average day, I find this more infuriating. I have no patience when I’m trying to get somewhere in a hurry (which is usually all the time) and the person in front of me is moving at a snail’s pace because s/he is texting at the same time. Surely, after the video of the woman who fell into the mall fountain while texting went viral a couple of weeks ago, we should all be able to agree that texting and walking does not make for a good combination. Stand to the side, send your text and then resume walking.
  2. People who like to walk 3-4 abreast on a sidewalk or any walkway really. As alluded to above, I tend to walk fast and few things steam me up more when people are blocking my way and preventing me from passing them. This is especially irksome during NYC’s prime tourist season. Speaking of….
  3. Tourists who do not attempt to acclimate. I’ve been a tourist plenty of times and I’m sure I’ve made some gaffs in my time, but when I notice them I try to correct them so I’m not being inconsiderate to the locals. For example, when I went to London, I started walking down the staircase to the tube on the right-hand side of the staircase, like I would in the US. I quickly realized that just as the Brits drive on the left, they default to walking on the left. After apologizing to the crowd coming up I quickly scooched over to the other side. Easy peasy. I understand tourists aren’t going to know how everything works, and that’s ok. But at least be aware of what is going on around you and try to blend.
  4. The example above reminds me of another one of my pet peeves. People who walk on the wrong side of the walkway. Years ago, I was crewing a concert at the local performance venue. The crew chief was trying to get back to his console to run the show but was having a hard time with all the people milling around. What he said into the headset has stuck with me for years: “This is America, people. We drive on the right, we walk on the right.” Here, here, my good man!
  5. People who wear ball caps inside. I know, this one seems a bit random, but in 8th grade my band teacher always told students to take their hats off when they came inside. Rather than just defer to the school dress code, he explained that wearing a hat inside was poor manners. In addition to the many musical lessons this teacher taught me (like finally understanding 6/8 time!) this is one lesson that always stayed with me.

If I were to think about this for a few minutes longer, I’m sure I could come up with more of my pet peeves, but I feel sufficiently vented now. Just the same, maybe I’ll go watch recaps of Puppy Bowl.

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