AL'S CORNER

AL Hursey

Past President - Transportation Club of St. Louis

ahursey@rockfarm.com      618-795-3672

Transportation Club of St. Louis

                                                   OK - Boomer

Here we go again everyone it is time for another Al’s Corner note for February 2020. Wow, 2020 still sounds weird as we already move into our second month.

The annual Holiday Party on January 29th at the Hideaway had a large turnout and again had its unique flavor and fun to it. Mark it down, it is now always in January. For me I enjoy singing and serenading the ladies in the crowd with my usual favorite songs with the organist. The sound system was weak, but I gave it ago (couldn’t be that I am getting worse).

A teaser here, next month’s timely topic will be on the new way large businesses are grown or developed.

This month’s timely, long-winded topic is “Ok, Boomer!” For those of you that are not familiar with this term, this phrase has been mentioned over 2 billion times in the past 6 months. The phrase typically is condescending or makes fun of Baby Boomers, born from 1946-1964. It is often used in a humorous, or sarcastic way towards out-of-touch, negatively judgmental, or close-minded opinions associated with, older people, who are Baby Boomers, towards Millennials. Personally, I had never heard of it until the past few weeks. I saw it on NBC and Fox News.

So why would I write about this? I had another Boomer say to me, “you going to take a few shots at those millennials” when I mentioned it? My answer was “no, but I will look at both.” I will say this, I was surprised by the things I learned while writing.

To me, the world has been changing faster than at any time before in my lifetime. This change is also bigger than any Millennial, or Boomer thing. I have tried to embrace these changes. One such thing I have tried to stay current in is Transportation related technology that effects my agency, my customers and ultimately my livelihood. Rockfarm (R T & T), who we are with now, is very advanced, near the top in most 4pl categories. In technology I remind myself of a guy I played golf with a few years ago. He said to me “I can’t play golf very well, but I am good at telling others how to play!” He was a terrible golfer and anyone who would take his advice might get worse!!! In technology, “I am not very techy, but I try to understand it, feel like I can sell it, and most importantly, I see the benefits and believe in it.” Like my golfer friend? Not really, but you get the point, I hope.

The Boomer vs. Millennial is difficult without a doubt. But make no mistake, this kind of banter has been going on for 100’s of years for sure. Young people have always felt that older people did not understand or listen to them. It used to be said by younger people (us) “never trust a person older than 30.” Older people have always felt that they were disrespected, and that younger people didn’t appreciate their opinion or life experiences. Many of our parents said back in the day “I can’t wait for you to have your own kids.”

Technology really has changed things, and when it comes to Millennials the early years in their lives has been totally different than any others in history. The biggest things have been the Computer, Cell Phone, or for Millennials the Text, or Video Chat phone. I really feel kind of bad for Millennials as they are not as strong in personal communication as any generation was before, they text, not talk, and they admit it. This alone would make for some major social gaps in everything, all relationships. Video games, Personal Computers, Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram etc. have seen huge growth, quality and use. No generation had ever had these gadgets when they were just kids, most are comfortable with all of it, and they are truly incredible. Big improvements in technology for Business, Car, TV, Information technology, growth of Twitter, Movie Streaming, Home Surveillance, Medical like MRI and CT Scans, early Illness detection, and finally, ON-LINE SHOPPING and Home Delivery. You could literally go on and on. Most of this has happened over that past 20 years.

As I get older, I experience the retired people, many of whom are grouchy, stubborn, who mostly worry only about themselves, their 401 or stocks, and how lazy other people are. With the younger people I am basically trying to remain relevant, but I am not sure how they feel. Make no mistake though I am not just trying to survive in the world today, but flourish and even embrace it.

I laugh at the early to mid-50-year old’s (mostly men) who decide to write blogs and want to share all the knowledge they have gained through the years. They don’t understand (I do) that most people (not just young people) don’t really want to hear about your views, or what they have learned (not many read this, ha ha). People of all ages should listen to other viewpoints or expertise and knowledge, but they just don’t. This too has been going on forever. For me it is another golf analogy “don’t try and figure out how to swing the club correctly on your own, it is way faster to learn from a golf teaching professional!” Yes! I have taken golf lessons. That analogy many young and older people should take, experience and knowledge can speed up your life’s success. But older people should at least sympathize that the younger people did not grow up in the same world as you. The Boomers need to come to the realization that in many ways Millennials know way more than you. At least when using new tech things. I do hear from an older people “let me ask my grandson.” Again, this is something new to the world. Sorry older people, it is different now than when you were a kid.

Yes, young people should worry about the climate so they can enjoy their golden years. Young people should worry about if Social Security will be there when they retire (Boomers have worried about it for years too). And young people should be complaining about student debt, it is stupid high, and a game. My advice would be to investigate the trades as well. For me, I am surprised when I hear many younger people say the word “like” way too much. A word I hear a lot that is mispronounced are “important” pronounced now “impor-ant.” But Overall, I really do “Like” most of the younger people that I know, and they, like every, is just trying to find their way.

Older people should too have empathy that things are very expensive now, and even if you work 2 jobs (like old people say to me all the time) they still may live in near poverty. My stepdaughter works one fulltime job, 2 part time, and still struggles. To me it is easy for older people to say, “those people are lazy,” and “I did this or that back in the day.” It is different now! It is way more costly then back in the day. But as a business owner I will say this, we have had a lot of employees over the years, young and older, and most were lazy, no matter the pay. It is hard to find very good help (we have now thankfully).

Online Shopping---Now young people should have some empathy that older people are losing their ability to go to the store and try on clothes. For me this has been a golden time and something I still enjoy and appreciate. Clothes don’t fit the same when you get older. For the record, online shopping is basically lazy, and in the end, you are going to pay the same or more for less service in the future. Do you really think the online folks will leave that money on the table? When I was young a gas station attendant pumped your gas at the station, then they said, “if you pump it yourself you would save 20 cents.” Do you think we are still saving that 20 cents now? Online shopping is eliminating those terribly wasteful, inconvenient brick and mortar stores (that I love), but it has flaws too. This will be exposed in the very near future, beware (return logistics costs). Less service, same price ultimately. Finally, with all this stuff being delivered, who wants to really drive a delivery truck (another problem)? Want faster service, then more and more warehouses and drivers will be needed. At what cost?

Remember though all of this is coming from a Boomer, ok?

Have a great Month,

AL Hursey, President - Rock Farm - St. Louis

A note from another Boomer (1946)

In 1952 a miracle arrived at our house, a television. It did not take long for this six year old to adapt to what it offered, which was not much. Yet, my time was limited lest this device interfere with my development.

Communication was via a telephone on a 3-party line, and an operator who could listen in to any conversation, Was this the original hacking? Later a major technological advancement arrived, a dial phone on a single party line without operator assistance. Privacy had arrived, sort of.

Later in the 1960s mainframe computers became more generally available to the business and educational community. These hugh, power hungry brains had no directly integrated data support equipment, rather humans had to feed and take away information. It took advanced education to work with these monsters. Then, along comes a small computer brain that could sit on a desk. One still had to feed and take away data, until the hard drive became available. Now data is kept in the cloud, is this what heaven is like?

Now comes the internet in the 1980s. This allows computers to talk with each other, but not humans. Technology marched ahead to allow humans to also communicate via this internet. What an idea! Interpersonal communication was really fast, but not like today.

Communication of information is instantaneous anywhere in the world. Telephones give one the ability to research information instantaneously, talk to multiple people simultaneously while looking up information. Oh, you can now talk to a watch connected to your phone.

Technology marches onward, but it takes some effort to keep up. It is rather easy to be left behind.

Some things remain constant. The written word endures, even amongst this high end technology (texting) and parents still worry about how much time their children spend in front of a screen.

Plato was worried about the future of mankind because the youth were mindless and unruly.  My view is that mankind is not as much in peril these days.   Every time I have to ask my grandchildren how to operate my phone I know the future is bright..

James Labit, Webmaster