Friday, November 15, 2013

Beware the Kids of America

For some reason the Queen and I decided that the Princess needed some schoolin'.  She just turned three and she pretty much learned everything that I could teach her.  It seemed that we either let her perform her very own frontal lobotomy on the dog, or find some sort of professionals that could stimulate her brain cells.  We chose the latter.  So every Tuesday and Thursday either the Queen or I drive the Princess 30 minutes from our house to her Montessori school, which, as I am told, is totally worth the inconvenience.

When the Queen drives her, she spends the rest of the day at the nearby university working on her PhD.  When I drive her, I spend the rest of the day "working" at whatever restaurant  has free WiFi and will let me sit in the corner nursing an unsweetened ice tea for five and a half hours.  Most of the time I pick the golden arches, but today I decided to try out Chef Lin's Asian Cookery and their $4.99 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet.  And that's where our story begins. (That's right, the last two paragraphs were superfluous.)

Two young women from a fairly selective public college walked into restaurant, paid their buffet fee and sat down at a table.

And they sat there.

And they sat there.

And they sat there.

Finally after like 20 minutes the cashier finally said, "You know you can get food whenever you want."

To which they replied in all earnestly, "You mean we can just walk up and take whatever we want? Can we go up more than once?"

It's statements like these that make me weep for the younger generation.  These women should possess a relative amount of intelligence, at least enough to know how to eat at a buffet restaurant.  Are these the future leaders that we want handling our nuclear launch codes?  Or reforming our educational system?  Or selling us a Sham-Wow?

This incident ranks itself right up there with one of my former college students asking if San Francisco was located in California.  Another almost burned down the student union by putting a metal bowl in the microwave.  The favorite excuse for missing a homework assignment or failing an exam coincides with a "I'm not going to lie, but I just didn't do it."  Like either they were to lazy to think of an excuse or I should give them a pass because of their honesty.

Reputable experts call this generation the most self-absorbed, lazy and entitled ever.  These folks would rather take a selfie in a public bathroom than put in an honest days work.  If it isn't instant, then it's work, and that's right out.  Of course these same experts called Generation X an apathetic group of slackers who would rather listen to a Smashing Pumpkins album in the dark than put on a clean T-shirt.  And didn't similar experts give another generation the nickname "hippies"?  I'm sure that when the Millennials get old and crusty, they'll have a good time writing articles disparaging the new generation of degenerates.

So instead of hanging my head in despair, I'm going to list the top 5 reasons I'm optimistic about our future leaders:
  1. My three-year-old knows more about the iPad than I do (and I have a computer science degree).  With such technology savvy, perhaps we'll the next generation will be smart enough to not click on a link containing a virus that wipes out your bank account.

  2. The vast majority of young voters refuse to pick a political party.  Perhaps the bickering of these old guys will stop when we get some new, feel-good Millennial blood in Washington.  After all, everyone's a winner!

  3. They know how to "keep it real."  While Gen X hid behind Daria-like sarcasm and the Boomers specialized in passive aggressive "Bless their hearts," the new wave of crazy kids just spout whatever is on their minds.  While its sort of like listening to someone with honesty Tourettes, I have to appreciate knowing exactly what they think of me.

  4. The spacial bubble expands exponentially.  When I look at most 20-something's Facebook pages, I'm blown away at the amount of "friends" from different geographic areas and cultures.  They may not know how to leverage this network yet, but once they do, watch out!

  5. Our generation sucked and we turned out fine.


  1. LOVE this! When my brother worked in a book store, he heard a conversation between two young women in line. They were buying books (obviously) for a boyfriend, and apparently he was interested in dinosaurs. One girl asked the other, "So, what is his favorite dinosaur?" And she replied, with all seriousness, "The thesaurus, I think". Sigh.

  2. What is this book store you mention. I once had a Barnes & Nobles Starbucks before, but paper is so passe.

    I'm more impressed that a guy over 7 was interested in dinosaurs. Paleontologists are also interested in dinosaurs. Paleontologists must all have Peter Pan complexes.

    #GreatStory #BookStoresAreStillRelevant #ApologyToAllPaleontologists

  3. Yeah, I suppose there are some things going for this younger generation. Actually, I guess I'm part of it? My wife, who's a couple years older, likes to say I'm part of the millenials, and she's whatever came before that. But I kinda hate large groups of people, so I have a hard time wanting to be part of any generation. Maybe the Lost Generation - that seems like it'd fit my personality.

    1. I'm part of that lost generation. I'm technically part of Gen X, but I don't feel like I associate with it. I don't like Pearl Jam or Smashing Pumpkins, and I was frankly bored with Reality Bites. I guess I'll take a shot at the Lost Generation also.