Has the value of respect amongst the younger generation spiraled rapidly downwards, or is it just me being ultra-sensitive in my old(er) age?
I am saying this after having witnessed a rather young associate, whom, probably through no fault of his own, not only turned up late for a meeting, but also had done the following as he walked into the room:
No hello-s or hi-s
Pulled a chair up-front right under the nose of someone who was clearly presenting at that time
Sat on the chair…no wait! Slammed his butt on the chair hard enough for us to feel that whiff of the motion
Slouched back, and with his back turned towards the audience who were already in the room, drew both his arms behind his neck and then put his feet up.
NO acknowledgement and worse, no apologies for storming in late
He must not have been more than 28 years old, and although he must have been quite familiar with the couple of people already in the room, I was very sure that not only was I a new entity to him, I was also very sure that despite his God-like complex, he couldn’t be any more senior than my subordinates.
I was rendered speechless.
It was hard to believe what I saw, and I thought regardless of the situation or seniority, some common courtesy and decent business conduct should prevail. In fact, if anything, I thought that such behavior was downright disrespectful.
There was no doubt that some show of power was at play, and while I refused to indulge at such childish behaviour of God-like complex, I can’t help but feel saddened by the unprecedented demeanor of the younger generation just because they feel they can.
I am all for individuality and standing up for what you believe in, and would even condone a certain amount of over-confidence one displays. I would portray a dead-pan face but I find it hard to give the respect to such individuals when they can’t quite conduct themselves with respect. The world seems to be breeding the kind of future leaders I don’t ever want to associate with, and in my world such arrogance is completely misplaced.
It is exactly incidents with young punks like these that further establish the fact that having a degree and being a know-it-all ain’t everything. One certainly doesn’t have to be rude or disrespectful to get things done. Why must it be necessary to display such behaviour? Where is the humility? When will they GET that respect is earned and not just given?
This wearies me. Or maybe, I am just getting too old for this industry to “get it”.