Sometimes I want to scream at a customer, “I'm not one of these 'young people' you talk about!”
For one thing, I'm not “Millennial;” I'm “Gen-X.” (What, are we aging more slowly, too? Always a step behind, lol.)
I wasn't born yesterday. I was busy practicing my cursive while its replacement was being developed. I was using a card catalog, reading microfiche, interviewing people, walking, observing, taking notes, climbing trees... eventually learned to type (on a typewriter) in High School.
All people did not yet have computers, let alone internet. I discovered internet at University, but IRC did nothing to prepare me for the next 20 years.
Any relevant practical knowledge I gained was exposure to up-and-coming technology: digital watches and games, word processors, VCR's. It does not matter how I mastered them—they're all obsolete.
Memorizing sequences, learning procedures, interfacing people with technology; these skills have already lost their value. I tend to have more trouble than my parents—not less—with adopting, understanding and adapting to new intuitive technologies like smart phones.
I am also seriously not at home in a world where most people are so addicted to their phones that they can't hear my concerns over radiation, to their savings that they can't hear my concerns over ethics, to their schedules that they can't hear my concerns over my own health. I think of the diseases and disorders that have exploded in the last 20 years, that they are not be ignored if we are to survive the next 20, and this is not the world your outdated schools prepared me for.
All of that, just racing through my head every time a customer pushes his phone at me, saying, “I don't understand all of this like you do.”
No, you don't. You won't, for some reason. You haven't heard me when I push it back to you, saying, “Hey, if it were a computer, maybe, if it were an older one.”
Anyone else feel so out of place?
It's not just coming of age during a boom of unhealthy products... it's having them thrust upon us, like it's some kind of birthright, like the world of “this” belongs to or only makes sense to “us.”
“Look, sir...” (and maybe that is what I think of you, by now,) “My generation did not invent social engineering, or microwaves, so how about—instead—YOU explain the damned thing to ME.”
“While you're at it, maybe you can explain the ridiculous consensus that growing our economy should be more important than life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. I'm not standing behind this counter trying to sell you bullshit because it makes sense to me. I just need to eat, like everyone else; I can't be responsible for your refusal to take a stand. You're the one who has a foundation to stand upon in the first place; I'm still trying to sort through my government-issued basket full of lies. Come back and see me when you're not so green yourself.”