The Baby Boomer and The Millennial

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Clip from Full Metal Jacket

It is a typical morning at the fencing shop in Kamloops. The large warehouse is busy with crews collecting parts for their various installation projects. Work trucks pull out of the bays. The forklift whips around the large, asphalt yard carrying bundles of pipe.

The spring-turning-to-summer air is still cool. It blows into the shop, carrying the scent of last night’s rain.

I am in the shipping room leafing through papers. The welder and sales team come in and out, creating a plan of attack for what will inevitably be another crazy day. I organize orders on my clipboard amid the noise of voices, machines, and clinking metal parts.

Above the commotion a voice can be heard barking sharply.

“Hurry up! No, not that one! What the f*&k!! Ugh!”

It is Ken, the most experienced fence installer on the team, yelling at his young helper named Chris.

Ken is 68 years old. He is built like a brick. He grew up on a farm. He raised four boys. He has been installing fences for decades and probably hasn’t missed a day of work. With shaded glasses, tough, tanned skin, and a constant fighting pose, he isn’t someone to mess with regardless of his ‘retirement’ age.

“Put some muscle into it! Damn it, c’mon! We don’t got all day!”

Chris, the helper, is 22 years old. He is thin and wiry, all arms and legs, and flaps around Ken trying to keep up with the orders, failing most times to do things correctly.

He speeds into my shipping room, asking for a tape measure.

“You better hurry,” I say with a smirk, swiftly handing him the tape.

Chris flashes me a quick smile and gives me a stiff salute before running back through the warehouse.

Ken goes through helpers like rolls of toilet paper. His helpers typically last two days here before marching out midday, never to be seen again.

Some older people on the team tell me the millennials ‘need to have a thicker skin’, and ‘they don’t know how to work’, and ‘you can’t expect the old guys to change their ways.’

Later that afternoon, I corner Ken and ask him a simple question: “Can you describe for me what a typical millennial is like?”

He stares at me blankly at first, then slowly shakes his head back and forth, a husky chuckle escaping his now smiling mouth.

“I have no f&*king words.” He turns his broad back to me and exits, still chuckling.

Young Chris is almost finished his first month on this job. He is lasting, despite Ken’s ‘old school’ ways. I ask him how he is managing it…

“I don’t take it personally when he gets bitchy. The grumpiness is only temporary.”

We laugh.

“Have you ever seen Full Metal Jacket?” he asks, his deep set eyes eager and bright.

“A million years ago.”

“The drill sergeant in that movie reminds me of my work partner.”

We laugh again.

****

What do you think? Are millennials too soft? Are baby boomers too harsh?

I personally have heard a lot of criticism toward millennials in all areas of my life, not just at work. They are typically described as lazy, directionless, and entitled.

But what of the baby boomers? In my opinion there isn’t a certain age you can reach where it is suddenly acceptable to stop changing and flexing in our ever-changing social environment.

Please share your thoughts and if you have a good perspective or story to contribute, PM me and we can do a blog together!

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One thought on “The Baby Boomer and The Millennial

  1. As a millennial myself, I don’t necessarily believe we are too soft. I believe it is this age of political correctness that has taught us to be soft. My father, my grandfather on my mother’s side, my friends father, and a few of my coworkers are baby boomers. They are stubborn hard ass’s. Every last one of them. The world changed around them and they don’t know how to handle it. Well, us millennial grew up in the changing world and quite frankly, we didn’t know how to handle it either.

    Who’s to blame for all this political correctness? Well thats an interesting debate in itself. It was the baby boomers who started protesting and rioting. Demanding more rights for themselves and for other ethic groups. Demanding women rights, and rights for people of color. If you ask me, I’d say the baby boomers just about mopped up all the important issues and had the world set in a good position for us millennial’s to take over. Unfortunately the protesting never stopped. People were no longer content with their governments, everything was seen as oppressive and we the millennial’s started demanding more change. Some for understandable good reasons, LGBT became the symbol of change. While it started out fine, it soon developed into this umbrella of SJWs who were offended by everything. And I do mean everything….

    Look, I’m not calling every modern protester an SJW crybaby. There are still some fighting for good causes and they are bringing about changes to help combat things like humans contribution to global warming (Something baby boomers are guilty of causing :P). But I will say it and I will stand by it, we all know what I’m talking about when I say SJW crybaby. They will look for anything to get offended at. The world needs to bend to their will. Things need to change for them and their comfort at the expense of everyone else. Social media has given these people, mostly millennial’s, an outlet to rally and let the world know of their rage.

    Baby boomers are dying out, sorry to say but y’all are getting old. Its our world now. We’re trying to make the best of it, and we’re trying to get it ready for the new generation, Gen Z. I can at least say this with confidence. I shudder at the thought of Gen Z and the changes they’ll make when we are old and grey.

    Like

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