Monday, August 3, 2009

X looking at Y

Monday, August 3, 2009

At the risk of being a curmudgeonly old school shrew, I can’t help but notice--and write about--how different my younger colleagues’ approach toward work is. It’s in the way they dress, the way they write and the way they talk.

They way they dress. I believe in being perfectly well-dressed all the time, not to attract attention or show off but to achieve, in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words, “a feeling of inward tranquility.” Though working in place where the dress code is a bit laid-back, I still cringe whenever I see our younger associates dressed in their idea of corporate attire: mid-calf leggings paired with flip-flops, bustiers in garish colors, metallic four-inch stilettos they can get away with only if they're in a club dancing the night away. When choosing what clothes to wear, they seem to forget that they’re going to the workplace and not the mall.

The way they write. I wonder why they can’t even be bothered with the formalities of business writing: You don’t address a person by his or her nickname unless he or she allows you to do so; unlike chatting and sending SMS or instant messages where you don’t have to trouble yourself with salutations, opening and closing lines, grammar and style, spelling and punctuation, in business letters and formal email, you just need to. They have not realized that scorning business writing protocol does not make them cool.

They way they talk. The art of talking in a polite, coherent and convincing manner without showing your ignorance or sounding shrill is something our younger colleagues have not learned. They have this annoying mannerism of interrupting a person talking and, worse yet, butting into conversations they’re not supposed to take part in. Yes, we know they’re bursting with brilliant and creative ideas, but can’t they reign in their impatience until the person finishes? Graduating from college only a few years back, could they have forgotten Wittgenstein’s words: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof must be silent.” All their whining gets into my nerves, too. Like pampered babies crying for milk, they act as if everything is to be handed to them. Before they complain, why can’t they help themselves first? Or better yet, shut up and suck it all up.

The age difference is not that wide, less than a decade or so, but why does it feel as if we are generations apart? Yet again, who am I to criticize? I must be exactly like them when I was their age.


witsandnuts said...

And there are these old ones who are still immature in these areas until now. =) I'm so turned off by people who match open shoes with trousers.

jacqueline said...


thanks for writing it down... :) series of "personality development in a corporate world" seminars must be conducted for them. start with the business writing please, ASAP! :)

Anonymous said...

that is me you are talking about.

i need to take anger management and sensitivity training. :)

Angeli said...


maybe it's a matter of personal style. :)

the business writing training will be conducted this week (hopefully). buti pa yung multimedia artist natin, talagang isinapuso ang nakaraang training. i'm so proud of him. :)

..i've never seen you angry. you must be scary when you are, huh? :) life is too short to be spent in anger, anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

You would make a great social anthropologist Angeli. You are correct to wear clothes as you do. It is after all the neat appearance that stimulates the focused and ordered mind.

If they took more notice of your approach I guarantee there would be a lot less of that whining carry-on too.

Angeli said...

Hi Unstranger. Thank you. My social science education must have really made an impact on the way i look at the world.

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