Generation X vs. Generation Z
8 Thoughts Running Through My Gen X Brain While Gen Z Leads This Meeting
Does anyone even try anymore?
I really don’t want to be THAT person.
You know, the ninety-year-old curmudgeon that complains about how superlative their generation is and how clueless every other generation was before or since? But a recent Zoom meeting, the end of Crockpot season, and the deteriorating geopolitical climate, has me feeling cranky and not so tolerant of my Gen Z colleagues.
I am Generation X, a proud member of the group born between 1965 and 1980. We brought you portable computing, parachute pants, Run-DMC, and toxic work environments.
Unfortunately, most of the people in charge of my life personally and professionally are from Generation Z, those born between 1997 and 2012. This group can be charming, insightful, clueless, illogically confident, dizzyingly aggressive, and hypersensitive, all at the same time.
It seems that every meeting in 2022 has been unenergetically helmed by Gen Z. I try to smile, nod and pretend I’m listening. But during this particular Zoom meeting, I cannot for the life of me concentrate on the overstuffed agenda, illegible slides in 3-point font, or the “big idea” that will catapult our company forward. Instead, I am wholly engrossed in trying to figure out why my Gen Z colleague thinks this is the proper way to run a meeting.
What I’m thinking about instead of listening to you
- What is the minimum level of effort one can exert and still get credit for running a meeting? Have an agenda? Don’t read or follow it. Mention other people, but don’t bother to learn their names or how to pronounce them. This oversight appears to be cured by repeating, “I don’t know how to pronounce her name,” over and over. You didn’t just meet her once in the grocery store. Why don’t you ask her, or one of her co-workers, or Google it? Is this O.K. now, to just punt on even trying to pronounce someone’s name correctly? Note: My name has a silent “j” in it, so I may not be 100% objective about this.
- I hate to criticize someone’s voice, but this nasal whisper is difficult to understand. This is not a voiceover on Pornhub. We are trying…