Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nearing The End Of The Old School Workplace

Yo, word up.

My little girls don't think their Dad is very cool.


Do I want to be seen as 'cool' in my little girls' eyes?

No. I want to be Dad the authority figure. The guy that Mom refers to when the kids are bad and she states "wait until your father comes home!"

But Dad can't be the authority figure.

Father holds the authority.

Dad is the guy who plays kick ball and throws them for flips in the pool.

But I am starting recognize that I have to be able to wear these two faces – with complete sincerity – at a moments notice.

So I am trying to bridge this new version the generation gap.

When we are playing on the Wii and they actually beat me – I have to be able to say to them "Oh no you did-n".

When do something really good, I have to respond with "BAM!".

Or sometimes "SNAP!".

So do I like talking that way? No. But it is becoming a necessity to reach inside what are becoming young girls minds – and speak their language.

I can't "dig their scene" – that was my generation, as groovy as it was. I have even caught myself holding my fingers in a V shape across my chest with my thumb up – saying "peace out" on the way out the door on my way to work.

But Father still has to speak plain clear concise instructions with no hip-hop inflections at all.

"I said put down the crayons and go to your room now young lady!"

I can't look at them and say "don't you be dis-n me!". It just doesn't work.

My older daughter Alannah – in her complete wisdom at the ripe age of eight – thinks she is pretty cool. I can hear and see the 'new west coast valley-girl' attitude already happening. She will stand there when she is mad – looking straight at me pursing her lips and her eyes in an angry glare as she struts her head from side to side like a bad Jennifer Lopez impression as she 'snaps me a Z'. In Canada – it would be a Zed –which doesn't carry the same weight at all.

I'm raising a couple of little J-Lo's. And I can't stop it – so I might as well go with the flow.

"Did you just snap a zed at me young lady?" I reply as Father. "Oh no you did-n! You can talk to the hand little girl!" I say as I accidentally slip into Dad. "You get in your room and clean that mess up!" says Father. "And don't be hate-n!".

As you can probably tell, I haven't yet perfected this skill of transition.

Now I realize this doesn't sound very masculine. But when you're the man in a house full of women – you have to acclimate. And you have to remember to lift the seat.

But I can't let Dad show up at work. I have to be Professional-Guy at the office, which is not as fun. Sometimes at the office I have too much fun. Ask anyone I work with.

But someday in the near future this might change.

Right now in my department, we are looking for a new programmer. It is a junior position. Ideally this new hire would be a young person for this role that can grow and mature with us.

But the younger people that my colleague is interviewing are of this same generation and influence as my daughters.

He'll probably be named Zeke or Mango. His pants will hang across the crack of his butt with his designer fruit of the looms exposed.

But I can imagine in ten years, as I am in my late fifties, sitting in a room full of early-twenty-somethings and holding a meeting that goes something like this:

"Yo word". I will start.

"Word", they will all reply.

"We have to make some changes to the holographic image translation service. So we are bustin' up into possies to optimize our productivity". I say pointing to the hologram chart projected over the round table floating in the air. I reach in and point at one of the team charts which makes it expand into focus.

"Mango, you'll be rolling with Ashton and Charity".

"Dude", would say Mango.

"Don't be hate-n", I will reply as I look at him over the rim of my bifocals. "Yo word to yer mother. You're a team of skilled individuals, and you will be professionals".

Charity would stand up and snap a Z at Mango.

Ashton would interrupt and say "Chill y'all".

"But that ain't how I roll", will reply Mango.

"Snap" will say Ashton.

I won't be able to discipline this new generation, as the laws of that day will require us to be much more tolerant of employee behavior. And we will require their new skill sets to achieve this holographic translator that I can't even imagine a use for now.

So I'll be stuck.

At that point, I will have lost this group – and I will have to reconsider my resource allocation in my project plan. Because the peeps in this one possy will simply not work together.

Good greif.

But at my retirement party – another ten years down the road – should I ever be lucky enough to retire – I would hope that Mango would get up and say a few nice words about me.

"Dude", he would start.

"Mr Brill is good peeps. We rode some rad narleys over the last ten years here and the man was always pretty phatt and good homie. Even though he always rolled it old school – you knew he was down with ya".

And my lovely wife Darlene will turn to me and say "ahhh … isn't that sweet".

I can see it coming.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to do this, I've never commented on a blog and never hope to again, but your a fucking idiot. I am 20 years old and the fact that A) you have acquiesced, and even worse, have come to terms and are now embracing the idiocy of the lower echelon of my generation B) that you don't slap your daughter for behaving like a valley girl. You a detriment to our society, please discipline as many ignorant little assholes as you can because it is the reasonable amongst my generation which will ultimately suffer. The illiterate degenerates you describe will one day be my peers, neighbors, co-workers and worse, politicians and policemen. If you, and others in your age bracket, do nothing to foster a more intelligent and respectful youth then it is I and people like me who will suffer.

Thanks again asshole for leaving the parenting to your childrens' peers who must live and cooperate with them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving the parenting to the peers of your children who must cooperate and live amongst these degenerates. As a twenty your old I take offense that you apply general stereotypes to the youth of today by observing those in the lower echelon of literacy and intelligence. Parent your children, don't acquiesce to their valley girl vernacular, fore it is us, the reasonable and intelligent who must coexist amongst them. Do not make us do your parenting for you.

Fred Brill said...

Anonymous, (both comments one and two – obviously you are the same anonymous person)

Clearly you are more frustrated by the behavior of your current generation than I am of a future generation yet to reach the workforce. My piece was clearly a tongue-in-cheek imagination of the future.

I have published both versions of your comments - even though the first clearly violates every rule to keep it clean for a family site.

Why? Because you proved my point for me so clearly. And for that I am very appreciative.

Make note though that when you do get in the workplace - once you send the vulgar email - you can't take it back - and you will be fired.

I have no intention of dictating to my daughters not to be "valley girls" - they are only seven and eight. This is just a "now" phase. Should my daughters move into a more degenerative state – like using vulgar language and name calling - that is when I will step up my intervention as a parent.

But I have no plans to slap them. Unless they start using language like yours.

But if you write a comment like the first one - and claim to be above what you term as the lower echelon of your generation - then you might be fooling yourself. You’re not fooling us.

As for referring to my daughters as ignorant little a**h***s - and to do anonymously - that is where you should look at your parents and wonder why they let you down so badly. You should be ashamed of yourself.

What would your mother say?

You will come to learn - when you experience parenting – if you should ever be so brave - that peer influence is not one that you "slap out of your children" - but instead must be taught to judge which influences are harmful and which are not. You can't lock them away from friends and media - and playing with them is the best time to get these messages across.

Everyone has a right to their opinion. And I do appreciate yours very much, as offensive as it was.

But don’t be hat’n.

Maggie said...


I have two little sisters one is three and one is four and I believe you hit the nail on the head. You remind me of my parents struggling with my ever changing generation (I am now almost 23). It will only get worst as time goes by and they get older, but trust me if you continue doing what your doing you will have an amazing bond with your children, because I have that with my parents, and for that I am thankful.Thank you for that funny reflection on the reality of today.

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