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How Gen Y Should Talk To Old People At Work

samzenpus posted 1 year,28 days | from the back-in-my-day-MTV-played-videos dept.

Businesses 459

jfruh writes "A lot of ink has been spilled explaining to Boomers and Gen Xers how they can best manage, motivate, and retain talented members of the Millenial generation on the job. But it's a two-way street, and those born in the '80s and later could also use a lesson on how to best communicate with older co-workers, who after all will determine their promotion and pay raises for the foreseeable future. Advice includes: make actual phone calls, mirror the level of formality your co-workers use in e-mails, and for Pete's sake don't ask them things like 'R U going?' in a non-texting medium."

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459 comments

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Hey grandpa! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740405)

Howz it shakin?

Re:Hey grandpa! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740485)

Long, loose, and ready for use. Now suck it, boy.

Re:Hey grandpa! (1)

Ben Dibell (2852113) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740799)

Don't you mean short and to the left?

Re:Hey grandpa! (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740791)

Hipsters! [imageshack.us]

as loudly (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740411)

as possible.

Re:as loudly (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740457)

As a millennial, I offer this advice: don't fucking have anime as your desktop wallpaper, don't have an interest in Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh. If you're older than 12 and still playing with that shit, your coworkers will think you're a wimpy bitch as best and a creepy pedophile at worst. Seriously, guys, we're grown men here.

-- Ethanol-fueled

RE: AS LOUDLY (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740661)

AS POSSIBLE.

FIXED THAT FOR YOU.

NONE OF YOUR WHIPPERSNAPPER ACRONYMS! GET OFF MY LAWN AND FETCH ME A VANILLA ENSURE PRONTO YOU PIPSQUEAK PUNK!

yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling yelling

Re:as loudly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740675)

But I don't want to work in an environment where at least the original 3 generations of pokemon are not allowed to be enjoyed...

Re:as loudly (1, Insightful)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740699)

The hell do folks' personal gaming interest have to do with their professional life?

Re:as loudly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740817)

Look, in case you puerile dorks haven't yet figured this out - In the corporate world, the world in which I work(so I know a few things), perception is very important, especially because chances are your boss is an older geezer than you are who was raised properly with manners.

When you get hired, you embrace the corporate culture. I know that sounds a lot for you social-retards to handle, as you're the ones playing music loudly on your phone in public and performing other obnoxious habits. Chances are, you think the real world is like the movie The Social Network and your parents didn't instill any discipline in you and let you do whatever the fuck you wanted to do in public. You were the kid whose parents let him run around the restaurant and randomly kick other diners in the shins, and then your yuppie-asshole dad explained it all away by telling angry partrons some dumb shit like, "he's just exploring."

If somebody has Anime on their desktop or plays Pokemon without shame, it means that chances are they are one of those compulsively nose-wiping snots I described above. I am a millenial, albeit an older one, but I understand those things because I was properly raised. When I was a kid, anybody who was playing with action figures in the fifth grade was laughed at, because by then cool kids like me were listening to Kriss-Kross and going to dances with girls. Get with it, kids.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:as loudly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740701)

Grown men can't have an interest in anything fun?

A fun game is a fun game, regardless of how many cute fake animals are crammed into it. And if a grown man can't like the occasional animated show or movie either, well, then I guess I'm hopeless. You know, since having interests in video games or anime, or comic books, or whatever else has a direct relation to how well I can program/troubleshoot/sell/lead/hire/etc., right?

Get over yourself.

Re:as loudly (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740763)

Grown men who play with children's toys are creepy. An occasional animated show is fine; making it the center of your life is weird.

Not concerned (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740417)

I was born in late 1979, I'm not part of generation Y so I don't need to follow such advice. I'm happy not having born a few months later.

Re:Not concerned (1)

Etcetera (14711) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740467)

I was born in late 1979, I'm not part of generation Y so I don't need to follow such advice. I'm happy not having born a few months later.

I was born in mid-1979 and feel the same tug. Watching the c/o 1996 enter college and then watching the next 4++++ years of incoming freshmen, I saw the cultural shift first-hand. We truly were the last before the big change hit.

We may only be borderline Gen-X, but we're certainly not Gen-Y...

Re:Not concerned (1)

DoctorChestburster79 (3017229) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740771)

Summer of '78 here, and my younger sister is Spring of '80. We both also wonder how things got to where they did. For her, she was very good at a position she had been in for the better part of a year, and had even gotten accolades at the company holiday party because of her skills and work ethic.

Of course, the following Monday, her superior fired her because she felt my sister was a threat. Difference is my sister didn't whine about it, she just picked up and kept moving.

For me, I've had a habit of getting into situations where I do show some level of ability, but the problem is all of the political crap I have to go through being a major turn-off. That's gotten me in trouble on a few occasions.

Re:Not concerned (2)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740797)

I think it was probably always like that, it's just that people didn't gripe about it.

Personally, I was born during the last bit of the Carter administration in 1980, and it irritates me to be retroactively moved to a generation that has little in common with me. I may be marginally Gen-X, but none of my friends had cell phones in high school, a few of them had beepers. And most of the kids I went to class with didn't have the internet at home.

Not that I have anything against Gen-Y or the millenials, but realistically, I was born when all 5 Beatles were still alive and there was some question that I might require a smallpox vaccination.

Re:Not concerned (5, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740707)

I was born in 1959 and this article is shit.

Use the phone

Fuck no. Use email for work - we want a trace for fucks sake.

Return email etiquette: When you receive an email from a Baby Boomer, reply using a similar format. If they begin with “Hi Joe” in every email, then you return every email with “Hello Eric”. If they end every email with a letter-like ending such as “Best wishes”, “Best”, “Thanks”, or another equivalent, return your emails with the same courtesy.

Oh fuck, I bet this guy top-posts.

Discuss technology at an appropriate level: As you read this, note that it’s coming from a life-long techie, former CIO and current CTO of a company I started. It’s easy for Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers that grew up using technology to technically overpower those who did not grow up on technology. We are digital immigrants and you are digital natives. There is a difference.

WTF? People older than me invented all this shit! I don't have to be worried abot some kid blinding me with anything other than bullshit.

Work hard: Baby Boomers have an extremely strong work ethic.

Is this guy delusional? Work to live, don't live to work.

Re:Not concerned (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740813)

It's always rich when they use "extremely strong work ethic" to explain away the advantages that came to living in the post war years. As if we wouldn't work hard too if we had at least some reasonable prospect of retiring or getting a holiday bonus. We'd be incredibly rich working hard, if we were competing against the 3rd world and a bunch of bombed out 1st and 2nd world nations as well.

Or the fact that they could work a summer job and pay for their college education, assuming they chose to get one in the first place. As recently as the '80s, the government was paying 90% of the cost of attending a public school. Not to mention that they shipped most of the jobs that didn't require a college degree overseas or had so many applicants that a B.A. became a standard screening filter for even the most menial jobs.

How other gens should talk to gen Y at work. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740419)

Maybe that would also be a solution

Re:How other gens should talk to gen Y at work. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740471)

Well, I don't know what generation I belong to, but when I hear "boomer" I think a type of submarine, when I hear "X" I think ecstasy, and when I hear "Y" I think Y-chromosome. But what's with all the labels? How about just "in a professional environment, act professional"?

Also... (0)

RedBear (207369) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740431)

Also... Get the hell off their lawns, you young whippersnappers!

Work Hard? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740439)

Baby Boomers have an extremely strong work ethic. As an example, when we graduated college, our rite of passage into the accounting, law, consulting, engineering, and other similar professions was to work eighty hours a week for the first three or four years to prove our worth, learn the ropes, and gain the experience needed to move up professionally.

Ahahahahahahahahahahaahaha *snort* Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Ahhhh. Phfew! Awe man! I shit in my pants!

Anyway - No you didn't.

Re:Work Hard? (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740539)

This is absolutely ludicrous. This happens in *every* generation. Every generation says to their children: "we were better mannered, we didn't have premarital sex, we didn't have teenage sex, people didn't do drugs, we worked harder...". Apparently, they also had shorter memories (and in those case when they actually did work longer and harder (19th century), they had to because the productivity was lousy).

Also, I've noticed that "work ethic" is a shibboleth of religious wackos. Any other, normal, non-sociopathic person simply values high output per unit of effort without feeling the need to make such a fuss about it. It's simple economy.

Re:Work Hard? (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740745)

Every generation says to their children: "we were better mannered, we didn't have premarital sex, we didn't have teenage sex,

My parents were married at 18. I was born 7 months after the marriage.

bloody irresponsable I call it.

Re:Work Hard? (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740809)

Also, I've noticed that "work ethic" is a shibboleth of religious wackos.

Indeed, and the religion that "work ethic" comes from is the worship of money.

How Gen Y Should Talk To Old People At Work (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740447)

Slowly and loudly.

If they have an ear horn, speak directly into it.

So basically... (4, Insightful)

verbatim_verbose (411803) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740453)

Don't communicate like an idiot. What a good idea!

Re:So basically... (-1)

circletimessquare (444983) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740499)

language never stands still, it constantly evolves, there is no standard

what is idiot to you is normal to someone else, and what is intelligent to you is musty and stale "don't wear white after labor day" anachronism to another

the world changes. deal with it

just take solace in the fact that those writing "LOL WTF ;-P" to you in emails will be equally crusty and shocked at the younguns someday

Re:So basically... (2, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740533)

how is it that common standards make so much sense for html, programming languages, engineering but not for human communication?

HTML and other standards do change but usually to add clarity or features.

I can see the value of changes to language which increase clarity or make it more concise (for example sharing a common vocabulary of "patterns" can increase your teams design and programming effectiveness. )

But arbitrary slang which the other person is unlikely to understand or which doesn't have a clear and common meaning- not so much.

Re:So basically... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740603)

how is it that common standards make so much sense for html, programming languages, engineering but not for human communication?

Because life is dirty and language is organic.

Oh, and, those HTML standards you're talking up so much?

Everyone ignores them.

I ignore them. Web developers - even while claiming to love them - ignore them. Microsoft ignores them. Mozilla ignores them. Apple ignores them. Google ignores them.

Re:So basically... (1)

khasim (1285) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740803)

how is it that common standards make so much sense for html, programming languages, engineering but not for human communication?

I know this one!

It's because everyone has been talking for as long as they can remember and they confuse that with communication.

After that it becomes a question of what they want to communicate versus what communication you expect to receive. Ever met a manager who talks during the entire meeting even though nothing he is saying applies to the subject of the meeting?

Re:So basically... (1)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740829)

The difference is that the browser will enforce the standards or not. Whereas the only enforcement mechanisms on language are completely arbitrary, if I tell you that I'm typing this on a wazulator, as long as you understand what a wazulator is, then it's a perfectly acceptable term to use. Other considerations are more about social control than about communication.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740537)

what is idiot to you is normal to someone else

I agree. This "someone else"? I consider them to be an idiot.

Re:So basically... (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740561)

They don't just say "LOL WTF ;-P" in emails. They say it out loud.

No, seriously, instead of laughing out loud (hence the abbreviation LOL) they will say "ell oh ell". As in, they speak the letters. They'll also say "smiley face" or "winky face" instead of smiling or winking. I wish I was joking but I am not.

Re:So basically... (1)

Gorobei (127755) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740759)

They don't just say "LOL WTF ;-P" in emails. They say it out loud.

No, seriously, instead of laughing out loud (hence the abbreviation LOL) they will say "ell oh ell". As in, they speak the letters. They'll also say "smiley face" or "winky face" instead of smiling or winking. I wish I was joking but I am not.

Oh noes! To think my boomer generation said "mumbles" instead of actually mumbling.

And my born-in-1935 engineer father said stuff like "there were N people already in line."

Re:So basically... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740639)

Bull. Shit. The standard is "are you able to effectively communicate". That is a language-neutral standard.

Re:So basically... (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740717)

"language never stands still, it constantly evolves, there is no standard"

Stop whining.

True, language never stands still. It constantly evolves. But if you think there is no standard, you're exactly the kind of idiot TFA was referring to.

Re:So basically... (4, Insightful)

donaggie03 (769758) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740767)

You are arguing against a point that no one has made. The Slashdot community understands that language evolves. The issue here is about unprofessional communication in a professional environment. Sure the younger generations have always had their slang and but it wasn't until this generation that they expected to be able to use it while speaking or writing to their boss or clients! You, surely, cannot expect the professional world to embrace the lowest common denominator of hipster drivel. If you are truly a professional, then other people's opinions of you matter. The way you express your self matters. Your appearance matters. It is not on the young upstart to have the mindset of, "This is how I write, and language changes, so deal with it." Unless, of course, they are one of those young upstarts that managed to create their own successful tech giant. Despite what the news would have you believe, those lucky individuals are few and far between.

Re:So basically... (1)

firex726 (1188453) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740511)

Exactly...
Who uses "U/R" in professional communication, that's not working in marketing?

Re:So basically... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740565)

Who uses "U/R" in professional communication, that's not working in marketing?

The next guy to be fired.

Re: So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740775)

Old CEO and founder of Zynga. Constantly. And he'd reply all. What a moron...

Re:So basically... (1)

basscomm (122302) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740747)

More than you would think, and that's frightening.

Re:So basically... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740785)

It's quite common in the exotic sex worker trade.

Breaking the Ice (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740461)

Complement the onion on their belt. Once you have their trust, take them out Old Yeller style.

Re: Breaking the Ice (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740553)

Nice, obscure Simpsons reference.

Re: Breaking the Ice (1)

segin (883667) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740749)

And, thanks to AMC, I first thought it was a reference to last night's episode of Breaking Bad.

How about (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740463)

You treat them as you want to be treated, and don't worry about if they are younger or older.. They are your coworkers, that is all that matters.

Silly me (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740465)

I thought using proper English and a little courtesy and respect in writing was required of *all* generations when dealing with business, especially customers and "the boss." Equally silly, I always thought it was only *courteous* to use the phone or even (*shudder*) walk over to someone's office to talk to them!

But I guess the "kids" think it's funny to use text-slang instead, further exposing their ignorance and lack of respect for others.

You must be at that awkward age... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740593)

Let me guess 30-50? When you get beyond 50 like me, email becomes a god-send. I can never remember what people tell me on the phone or in person, I can never remember what I read in the email either but at least I can re-read them as necessary. Text chats are useful too but emails are the best.

Re:Silly me (5, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740629)

But I guess the "kids" think it's funny to use text-slang instead, further exposing their ignorance and lack of respect for others.

I realize you're being rather tongue-in-cheek - but I wanted to say...

I work at a university, routinely interact with student workers, and have to say - these sorts of "stories" are garbage. Kids vary in terms of their work ethic, as has always been the case. There's nothing particularly different about recent generations compared to earlier ones. Even the kids who need to improve their work ethic mostly know the right way to communicate with their bosses and co-workers. They get a bit loose when talking to coworkers who fall in their own age group - but that was true even way back when *I* was the new kid.

And, incidentally, back when I was a new worker - trimming the wicks on the gas lamps - there were magazine articles saying basically the same sorts of things to people my age.

The real lesson here (if there is one) is that the folks who are attempting to make a living giving career advice to young people haven't changed significantly in many decades.

Re:Silly me (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740671)

Forcing people to talk to you on the phone for something that could be handled over email is not only NOT courteous, it's downright rude. Don't force people to conform to your schedule.

Re:Silly me (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740679)

y u b h8ing? communication works as long as evry1 no wut were sayin, rite?

(And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find some form of soap that I can use to rinse my brain, since I'm left feeling sullied after having written that. Note: 29 year-old here, and I fully appreciate that the point of communicating is not merely to convey a simple idea, which can in some cases be accomplished through the use of slang, but to also convey a tone. For that, you need to express yourself with more nuance and care than text slang allows.)

Re:Silly me (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740697)

If you believe "kids" use text-slang because of ignorance and lack of respect for others, then you are the one who is ignorant here. In their limited interactions with others, it is simply the standard way of communicating. They have to adjust to communicating more formally. It doesn't demonstrate a lack of respect. It is a normal adjustment to the business world and interacting with people who didn't learn the same non-standard style of communication that they did.

Re:Silly me (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740703)

Usually I'm on your side, but why do you interpret this as "disrespect" when this is how they communicate with each other? The entire purpose of these articles is to educate people that these issues are result of cultural differences rather than lack of respect.

I grew up in the American Midwest, and every professional job I ever had I was expected to dress in business slacks and button down shirt and belt, and black or brown shoes. I moved to the American Southwest, and was amazed to discover that business continued to function when everyone wore casual clothing! I suspect that business will continue to function if the younger generation writes a little different.

Actual disrespect and laziness, that of course is a different thing. And sometimes the edges are blurred. I am a genXer and I have found that email terseness is often considered by the older generation to be rude, while I consider email flourish to be disrespectful of others' time. Nevertheless, I respect that there is a cultural difference and thus I adjusted my emails to contain a formal opening "Hello, Jim" and closing "Regards, [name]" and just that simple change caused all misunderstandings to cease. Give and take, give and take. And that's why I'm glad there are articles like these.

Can we be less priggish? (1)

chienandalou (2637845) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740733)

Courtesy and respect are good, and asking yourself how a message will look to its recipient is good.

But business etiquette changes! The kind of writing *recommended* in the article would have seemed impertinent 40 years ago. I'm remembering the secretary's manual from which I learned typing in the early 1970s, which prescribed rigid rules of address and epistolary etiquette.

And texting ... I have the same gut reaction to "R U going" that you do. But I have to step back and realize that it's because I've got a stick up my butt. "R U going" is quite clear.

(a) Language always changes. (b) People's language use is basically formed in their early 20s. Ergo (c) part of the experience of growing old is that you will be increasingly surrounded by unfamiliar words and ways of speaking and writing. Being a curmudgeon is too easy.

OMG (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740487)

If anyone working for me used "text speak" in an email to a client I would fire their ass immediately. No warning. Poof. Get the fuck out of here right now.

Re:OMG (4, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740569)

... I would fire their ass immediately.

...with an email stating the following:

OMG! WTF R U Doing! y wud u evar!!!! tha client wuz gonna b $$$ n now its ALL FXD! bcuz of that!

U R FIRED!!1

Re:OMG (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740605)

Too bad the opposite isn't true, I wish I could find a profession where the now-rare skills of good spelling and grammar are valued...and no it isn't journalism.

So, in a few words: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740489)

Don't act like a generic retard on the Internet?

(it is bad that I have seen people run businesses with spelling that terrible, not even kidding)

Try not to start emails with (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740501)

Yo. Cialiscat,

Backwards (5, Insightful)

RetiredMidn (441788) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740513)

As a Boomer (age 59), I'm finding it more important to embrace the future than ask the young 'uns to adopt the past. I think the last time I used a land line phone at work was over three years ago, and that was an exception; it's all Skype and Hangouts now, and I like it better.

I do miss some of the perqs of the past: private offices, beer at lunch...

That said, now get off my lawn!

Re:Backwards (5, Insightful)

chienandalou (2637845) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740609)

+1. I remember when business was mostly done on the phone, and it was a really inefficient medium. So inefficient that you needed specialist employees whose job was placing calls... Every now and then I end up in contact with an industry that is still mostly phone-based (e.g. movers) and I'm reminded what that was like.

Phone is good when you have something sensitive or open-ended and/or you really need to sound someone out, hear their tone of voice, pauses and so forth. Interestingly, I've noticed that I and most folks set those calls up with an e-mail or text - we don't just cold-call. That feels rude now.

I've also noticed that not all of my fellow senior colleagues have adapted to e-mail well. Messages should be short and clear and not waste the recipient's time.

Beer at lunch, that was good.

Re:Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740619)

Embrace the future is not a good idea when it's downhill. Should I stop playing hi paced old school videogames [sauerbraten.org] (where incidentally gen Y is not what every other gen was, that is one step above older people) and get the cinematic pap and playing it in those closed ecosystem consoles that are prevalent today? Should I prefer digital satellite on led panels when hi def analogue sat on crt was more pleasing overall?

Gen Y should treat with respect those that outperform them, I guess?

Re:Backwards (2)

Volguus Zildrohar (1618657) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740729)

It's so cute that you think a 3D FPS is "old school"!

Re:Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740685)

Nothing wrong with additional methods of communication, but using SMS speak when typing on a real or virtual keyboard, using pathetic 9 year level grammar, and "sick" or "boss" as adjectives is not acceptable outside their own personal sphere of friends/morons. Bring that shit into the work place where all business communications are logged and may be used in a court of law, equals ignoring the stupid dweeb trying to be kewl and ultimately, firing them us grossly unprofessional. Fuck, how I love living in FL, a fire at will state, maaaaan.

Same as always (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740517)

Keep a level tone, don't use slang they won't understand and nod and smile when they say something racist or conservative.

Not "old people" .... (1)

PPH (736903) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740523)

...1337 g33z0rz.

Re:Not "old people" .... (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740611)

AKA Greybeards.

How about some respect for ancient knowlege (1)

cygtoad (619016) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740529)

How about having some respect for the knowledge which may be gathered by your elderly counterparts? Not everything can be learned from college or between the pages of a technical manual. I think sometimes new grads tend to feel like they know it all because they typically are working from fresher learning of technical info. Your more senior counterparts are not dinosaurs. They have learned to navigate office politics and interface well with their business partners. Whether you are aware of it or not you can learn a great deal from senior staff. To think otherwise it to cripple your own path.

Re:How about some respect for ancient knowlege (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740613)

*Snort* *laugh*
Sorry, I find that very funny considering I work with someone who by all rights and accounts who is in their fifty's should not be there.
He doesn't meet the minimum requirements to have the job, he is a high school drop out, proud of it. Talks in south Carolina drawl, cat calls all the female employees, and has this 'fantasy' that everyone in the place is 'related'.

Re:How about some respect for ancient knowlege (1)

cygtoad (619016) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740689)

Sounds like a winner. Are you suggesting that this individual is a representative sample of boomers? BTW, I am an X'er, not a boomer.

Re:How about some respect for ancient knowlege (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740825)

No just poking holes in you're 'always respect' comment.
Age does not equal wisdom or knowledge.
And it is no secret about office politics, the corporate office system as it is now is geared to psycopathic behavior. And unless you are born into the boss's or owner's family. Or are a family friend. It is the only way to get ahead.

Re:How about some respect for ancient knowlege (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740735)

and I guarantee you that in 5 years, you will look back and say to yourself "damn - that guy was right about all that stuff he was trying to tell me"

Re:How about some respect for ancient knowlege (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740677)

How about having some respect for the knowledge which may be gathered by your elderly counterparts?

Youth have always been indestructible and all-knowing, in their own minds at least. All generations when young. I was in the Air Force before I started college in 1976, so I was ten years older than most of the students by my Junior year.

One class, I don't remember the subject of the class but I do remember an insolent eighteen year old punk saying the instructor, who held a Master's degree and was about 40, was ignorant.

"Kid," the instructor said, "I've forgotten more than you've ever learned."

Don't categorize (1)

Andrew Lindh (137790) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740531)

First, don't call them "old people". Second, don't call "them" anything as a group. Third, use correct written English. No made up words, strange spelling, or text speak.

Re:Don't categorize (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740583)

First, don't call them "old people". Second, don't call "them" anything as a group.

Third, don't call us. We prefer responding to email at our leisure.

Re:Don't categorize (1)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740659)

"text speak" is made up, it's not a word, but a made up phrase. Sometimes, for new things, you need new words.

Re:Don't categorize (2)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740781)

First, don't call them "old people". Second, don't call "them" anything as a group.

Nah, we geezers aren't politically correct, most of us think that PC crap is bullshit. I'm old, you don't have to dance around the fact. Now, if you're talking about someone in their 40s, they're not old. You're mischaracterizing them. You're old when you get a discounted bus pass.

It pisses me off when they want ID for beer. I say "do I get a senior discount?" They say "no" and I inform them I'll show ID if a cop pulls me over or for a discount; there's no way I look younger than 21 and I refuse to give stupidly offensive people my money.

Third, use correct written English. No made up words, strange spelling, or text speak.

Indeed, they make one look incompetently uneducated.

Whatever happened to merit? (0)

OhPlz (168413) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740549)

If the bullet points the author laid out are actually useful to anyone for moving up in a company, then that company is not worth working for. Sure, I used to use the phone a lot more than I do now. That doesn't mean I want to continue relying it, especially when the information could more easily be sent by email or chat, or the most horrible of acts, talking face-to-face.

The last point was the only thing I saw approaching sanity. Even so, no one should put in hours just to put in hours. If you're actually accomplishing something, great! Yet I've met plenty of people that claim to work all hours of the night and put in time on the weekends with little to show for it. If I see that, the first thing I'm going to think is not, hey.. there's a "straight shooter with upper management potential". I'm going to wonder why they can't get work done during normal hours like everyone else.

Salutations, spelling, grammar? Really? I have a crazy idea. Keep up with technology. Use your skills, be creative, and most of all.. get the work done. That's a measure of success. That will drive your performance reviews. No boss is grading emails. These tips sound perfect for someone whose goal in life is to be a butt-kissing brown-noser. Oh, but they're tips to get a promotion. Perhaps they make sense after all.

Re:Whatever happened to merit? (3, Insightful)

Truekaiser (724672) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740635)

There is a problem, or maybe it was the 'point' of the work hard mindset.
That if you work hard at where you're at, you can be seen as 'you best fit here' so the bosses will pass you over for promotion because they figure your replacement will be worse.

But to be honest, everyone should agree and realize it's not your merits that get you jobs and promotions. It has always been and always will be WHO you manage to befriend, and WHO'S family you were born into.

Re:Whatever happened to merit? (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740643)

If the bullet points the author laid out are actually useful to anyone for moving up in a company, then that company is not worth working for. Sure, I used to use the phone a lot more than I do now. That doesn't mean I want to continue relying it, especially when the information could more easily be sent by email or chat, or the most horrible of acts, talking face-to-face.

      Acting like a dick never works, and insisting that people with 5x your experience do things "your way" is about as dicky as you get.

        Brett

As a member of Generation Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740557)

Is this a joke?

I don't see any difference in formality between mails by younger and older people at work. I most certainly haven't seen (and don't expect to see) "R U going?" or similar rubbish in mails.

All of the points sound logical (use proper spelling, email etiquette, being polite...) and obvious to this member of Generation Y.

Oh, except for the last point: Work hard: Baby Boomers have an extremely strong work ethic. As an example, when we graduated college, our rite of passage into the accounting, law, consulting, engineering, and other similar professions was to work eighty hours a week for the first three or four years to prove our worth, learn the ropes, and gain the experience needed to move up professionally. Baby Boomers like people with strong work ethics because it reminds you of us and everyone likes a “mini-me”, or should I say a “mini-them”.

Seriously? Working eighty hours a week is the way to go, and shows strong work ethics? I'd say it would mostly result in being exhausted and delivering bad quality.

Baby Boomers are a burden now. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740559)

...to work eighty hours a week for the first three or four years to prove our worth,..

As a Gen X'er, I saw my Dad bust his ass.

Then get laid off when management made cuts to make their numbers. R&D was ALWAYS one of the first cuts. My father told me "Do NOT become an engineer! Become one of the bean counters."

What did I learn? Busting your ass does NOT prove anything. It will NOT be rewarded. Living to work is stupid: you work to live.

That's why all the Baby Boomers are now a BURDEN on our medical system: all that work and no play made them obese, diabetic, and with heart attacks. They ran themselves into the ground with work.

Even though they worked that hard, they are taking more out of the system than they EVER put in.

And now we have a bunch of self entitled ...

Re:Baby Boomers are a burden now. (1)

couchslug (175151) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740617)

"That's why all the Baby Boomers are now a BURDEN on our medical system: all that work and no play made them obese, diabetic, and with heart attacks."

That would be due to their non-exercising lifestyles and spectacularly shitty diet. Exercise and diet weren't cool when Boomers were growing up, and it shows. They played plenty, but it wasn't particularly healthy.

Re:Baby Boomers are a burden now. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740663)

My grandfather busted his ass and died at fifty five of a heart attack. My father busted his ass and died at fifty five of a heart attack. I'm taking it easy. If I still die at fifty five of a heart attack, at least I won't have wasted thirty years trying to impress some crusty old MBA halfwit with 80 hour weeks.

Re:Baby Boomers are a burden now. (4, Insightful)

Truekaiser (724672) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740783)

If i had not already posted a bunch. I would mod this up as MUCH as i can.
I think most of the gen x and y people. Myself included looking at our parents. The so called 'baby boomers and greatest generation(HA)'. Saw how the 50+ work hour weeks wrecked them, heard how they lamented how they did not have the time they wanted for themselves. Or how they could not spend the time they wanted to their family.
And thought. No, I, won't do that to myself.

like crafty brilliant hobgoblins of goodness (1)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740585)

....or maybe more like great uncles. These are people who have managed to stay valuable for many years and have decades of wisdom and experience behind them. They are not stupid, and can see things as they are about to happen before they actually do happen and the patterns of business repeat themselves. Don't just pay attention to what they say. Pay attention to what they DO because to just be dismissive of their ramblings will likely yield to be, well, foolish.

Copying Email Formats - No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740597)

No thanks. I don't put a greeting on my email unless I want to emphasize that it was sent to multiple people ("Hello everyone,"). Greetings may make the email feel friendlier (stop assuming things are negative), but they take up all the single-line message preview space. When browsing through my list of emails, I'd rather see the first line of content than a bunch of hi's. I shouldn't need to say "Hello Jim" because Jim already knows I'm sending the email to him as I put him in the to field. When was the last time you received an email that wasn't supposed to be routed to your inbox? Never? That's what I thought.

Signatures as a waste of space as well. I'll include one if I need to provide the receivers with more contact information, such as my address or phone, but other than that there's no point. First, they already know who sent the email and my email address because that info is in the email's from line. Second in a business setting, we're using Outlook which already includes my work phone, office number, manager info, etc... when you hover over my email address. There's no need to include that information at the bottom of every email. Putting it there adds more space everyone has to scroll through, especially when you get a large email chain going.

Please stop including redundant info in your emails. It wastes everyone's time including yours. The sooner we drop the above formalities the better.

Easy with the stereotypes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740623)

I was born mid 80's. And I would agree that my generation has a terrible time at communicating...however. I would say that those born in the early 90's have it waaay worse. Those damn kids have no idea what it's like to interact with people outside of their pc's or phones. What's even more scary is the age at which we are giving these devices to children. While I see the benefits there is a fine line to be walked...and sadly there isn't a balance currently. Late 20's and 30 year olds will always be able to interact verbally, but the second an elder speaks to a kid now a days count the number of times you hear the world like come out of their mouth.

Pretty easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740641)

Just talk to them like they're human beings instead of treating them differently? I don't know why this article even needs to exist.

Part of the problem is respect (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740645)

I'm 30 and just at the very edge of the gen x-millennial divide. One thing that has been a major problem for me and most of the gen exers and millennials I know that are somewhat intelligent with regard to the boomers is respecting them as a generation. Sure, there are individuals worthy of respect but in my experience they are, as much as any generation can be, the epitome of what is wrong with and killing America. This is true of them, taken as a whole, regardless of whether or not they are liberal, moderate, conservative, etc.

The fact is that when the generations before the boomers handed over the reigns of power starting in 1992, we saw a precipitous decline in the quality of governance in corporate America, governments and everywhere else you looked. Boomers can squawk "correlation is not causation" until they are all entitled to Medicare paid out of my generation's meager earnings, but you cannot deny the *ahem* "correlation" there. Since the WWII and Silent generations have waned in their influence, our society has gone off a fucking cliff.

And you know what the worst part is? I have "conservative" boomer acquaintances who merely find a conservative angle for their entitled attitude. They'll say "I earned my Social Security, you young fucker" and I say back to them that it's mathematically impossible for most of my generation to even have a shot at that, we're still paying and you motherfucker want to tell me how you are entitled to cut of my paycheck because you didn't vote for anyone who was willing to restore the Social Security trust fund LBJ liquidated to fund Vietnam? Piss off! If they got started in 1992, it would probably be fixed by now.

And then they get to tell us how evil we are...

Texting abbreviations in emails... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740673)

Forget about Gen Y geeks trying to get along with their older counterparts in the IT department. I see this kind of inappropriate informality from TEACHERS in school related communications.

Learn from your elders, don't disrespect them (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740705)

Your elders have already "been there and done that". More often than not, when you ignore their advice, you will discover in the end that they were right.

do ppl srsly talk like that? "r u going?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740709)

i'd fire them with no hesitation.

Let's all adjust (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740713)

Let's all adjust to a bunch of people that haven't progressed with the time...

Different attitude toward technology (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740753)

The older generation grew up along with technology, younger people grew up with complex technology already developed. The older generation can remember whn you could count the transistors in a computer and I think has a stronger tendency to think of complex technology as a system of simpler components. I think that younger people have a more "functional" view, less interest in understanding the detailed underpinnings.

Put positively, the younger generation as an approach to technology that is more like abstract mathematics - once you know how something behaves you no longer need to understand why it behaves that way. Rather than getting bogged down in trying to figure out how data is sent between phones, they are happy to write an app that takes advantage of that data. This sort of view allows you to write code that takes advantage of the vast array of existing complex systems that are already available.

Put negatively technology is more "magic" to the younger generation - cell phones just work, they are less likely to wonder how the hell someone can "find" your phone to call you when you are in a country that you have never visited before. This can lead to trusting "magic" technology but not understanding its limits. This sort of view can result in writing horrifically inefficient code that is layered on top of other code that you don't understand at all.

fUK old people (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740765)

Seriously why should my hippity hop new power generation be held back by a bunch of geezers. Old people need to die already.

-Remember if you are > 12 yo, U R 2 old.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740769)

I would prefer they did not speak at all, to be honest. Wise words that Gen. Y kids should take a lesson from: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Dress appropriately. (1)

Picass0 (147474) | 1 year,28 days | (#44740787)

Just just communication skills - far too many younger people have never been told how to dress for work or for a job interview. Everyone working in an office should own at least one decent suit. Learn when to wear a tie. Cover your tats is you have them. These things are noticed by people who are in charge.

in a non-texting medium?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44740795)

don't ask them things like 'R U going?' in a non-texting medium.

How about in no medium! None whatsoever!! This shit needs to stop!!!

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