May 2007 Column Winner
Dear old people, please cut us young whippersnappers
By Brianna Bailey, The Norman Transcript
Spring is in the air and the job market is being flooded with new college graduates.
Oklahoman reporter and former Norman Transcript staffer Jane Glenn Cannon offered a column choked full of sagely advice for recent grads earlier this week.
"This is a special warning to University of Oklahoma graduates: Now that you're no longer in school, don't be surprised if your new boss doesn't consider an OU football game victory on Saturday a reason to miss work on Monday; or, don't look to be greeted with a smile when you ask off for St. Paddy's Day so you can go to O'Connell's and drink green beer," Cannon writes.
She goes on to state somewhat condescendingly "College traditions aside, you're about to begin the rest of your lives. I'm sure you've been given plenty of advice already, but maybe you were listening to your iPod at the time."
Well, I've got some advice for those aged veterans of life who have to deal with that new, hotshot young whippersnapper at the office, still wet behind her eternally iPod-bedecked ears.
Dear old people,
We know very well we're about to begin the rest our lives. You're probably too old to remember, but it's both a terrifying and exhilarating feeling. Please cut us some slack.
While many of us young whippersnappers, in our yet-to-be-squashed zest for life, enjoy such frivolities as football games and drinking green beer, most of us don't expect extra time off or special privileges to engage in these hedonistic activities. Most of us worked very hard to earn that shiny new degree and accumulated a sizable chunk of student loan debt in the process. We may have even taken off our iPods in class every once and a while and learned a couple of things.
We expect to work hard, and, more importantly, we want to. We know we're going to have to pay our dues if we want to earn your respect.
Please stop reminding us every five minutes that you've been doing such-and-such while we were still in diapers. Stop asking us repeatedly what year we born or graduated from high school. We quickly grow tired of the eye rolls and chuckling groans you give us when we reply.
"Oh, that makes me feel sooooo oooold," you tell us.
We know, we get it. We're young, you're old.
We're all grown up now and, if you treat us like adults, we may even reward you by acting as such.
We know you have years of experience and probably know more than us about most things. Lack of experience will inevitably cause us young'uns to make a few mistakes. But we want to learn from you. Pass your wisdom on to us -- we're hungry for it.
You might even be able to learn a thing or two from us. We can teach you how to use that new fangled iPod to download things like show tunes or Frank Sinatra, or whatever that racket is you old people are listening to these days.
When you need to look up a business or find a person, we can find a Web site, MySpace page, satellite images of a home or business address, an instant messenger screen name and a cell phone number before you can say the words "Yellow Pages." We know how things like vlogs and RSS feeds work and we can show you how to use these new and wonderful things.
If you're nice to us, we may even invite you the next time we go out for green beer.
Above all, please humor us in our naive yet charming belief that we can somehow change the world around us. We've got fresh ideas, energy, passion and creativity oozing out of our iPod-stuffed ears. We're going to need your wisdom and expertise to make it happen, so please listen.
Posted on Tue, May 15, 2007