Monday, January 07, 2013

Baby Boomer Bosses Part 1


The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Searching through social media for information on prospective employees is a massive EEOC lawsuit waiting to happen. Here's a real world example: On a recent job, my supervisor, my manager and two of the team members all belonged to a somewhat fundamentalist church. My religious background tends to give those sorts of people hives and I don't maintain that low a profile online. If they had investigated that before deciding to not hire (they did actually hire me), then the very appearance of religious discrimination could have been very solid grounds for a huge lawsuit. The reality of whether or not it influenced them is immaterial, only the appearance counts to a smart lawyer and a jury.

I don't get to do management, instead I usually wind up working for youngsters who are recent business school graduates and have no domain knowledge of what their employees actually do. They also spend almost all of their time doing slide decks to impress other management types instead of dealing with improving the productivity of their employees. In addition, they were only taught Theory X in school and think employees need to be punished to make the work harder.

Yeah, I'm pissed off by the fact that I will never get the chance to work my way up the chain into management, I think I could do a good job. The business school guild members have made that infeasible.

So, I mostly agree with you, but I don't think the biggest problem is the boomer managers, it's the ones who are younger, greedier, have even less skill at dealing with people and don't have any clue of how to do the work their employees are doing.

Disclaimer: I'm from the last part of the baby boom, born in 1957.

Anonymous said...

You opened with an invitation to business bosses watch your new series designed to help them understand the new demographic entering the work force.

Then ..... you proceed to lecture, insult and generally berate those very people.

It sounded like you personally are resentful of those folks who have the great gigs. You sounded a bit petulant regarding your defense of privacy in the jejune playground of the face and tweet world.

You even sounded bitter that you missed the baby boom generation and now are left with the seeds and stems of a once great economy and rich job opportunities.

Otherwise, I agree with most of what you said.

A famous comic from back in the 60s once said "You can't beat people up and have them say, I love you",

Anonymous said...

FYI .... that comic was Murray Roman. He also did an album called Blind Mans Movie....

Anonymous said...

You do make some beginner errors when you smoke your cigars.

Anonymous said...

Its all about monopolies: Economic and political laws. Libertarian right don't accept it.

Will Brown said...

Only a very few years younger than Oz above and I think what you need to examine in the next video in the series is the prevalence of control and fear in management types today.

People in management are afraid of being held responsible for any real or perceived failings in their portion of the workplace and seek to exert the maximum of control over their subordinate employees so as to avoid being held accountable for others opinion of "their" employees actions/beliefs/statements/whatever. Now add in the time-honored removal of potential threats to one's position (due to displays of superior competence) and you have the modern workplace.

I'll take my chances on you whippersnappers coming through with the folding stuff for my benefit and still plan to "retire" in 18 months or so (barring insolvency, insurrection or a job I actually like doing for a change appearing first) (yeah, I don't think so either).

Costa Rico may be calling my name.

Phil Galt said...

Morning Cappy

The lecture on Baby-boomer bosses really hit home. I could have told you they gave new meaning to the word ‘incompetent’, and learning this was a major step in choking down the red pill. However, I still have to deal with them.

I’m a gen-Xer myself, who has once again found himself in charge of several people. It sounds sexier than it really is. I’ll be negotiating today with a baby-boomer, at a large company which has managed to stay afloat by quietly firing off all the technical competence. This company is now composed of sales people, managers, executives, and ‘cosmetic’ engineers. This is where things get really ugly...

One lesson that I have learned from your blog, is that a man’s worth is NOT defined by what he can bring to the table. What is far more important is a man’s willingness to walk away from the table.

In the above situation, the boomer boss needs us to make his project work. Simply put without our effort, said project will not make it to the market. However, Boomer-boss comes from a non-technical background, and has no understanding of what we offer. It’s like trying to explain the concept of color, light, or lanterns to something that has evolved on a planet with no sun. That leaves me in the un-enviable position of ether accepting a crummy situation or burning a bridge.

The good news, is that I’m pretty sure we can at least get some training out of this ass-clown.

Captain Capitalism said...


If baby boomer bosses listen, the lecturing and ripping them a new one is PRECISELY what they need and is more valuable than any "consulting" they'll receive from Accenture or Bain.


Anonymous said...

Dude, I've got to sit down and pick your brain next time I'm in Minny. I could not agree more on the baby boomer thing.

Anonymous said...

Next time I get through Minny the beer's on me. I pick up what you're putting down.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your reply and i do agree that they need a huge slap. Sadly they have the gigs and will not leave them until they have driven their employers into the ground or die. Or more likely, decide to cash out and take the huge pension that we shall have to cover through our higher cost of products and services.

I will read you Enjoy the decline book because I believe we are in decline in the Western world and I am curious about your take on it.

When do you think the shooting might start and what will start it?

Anonymous said...

The issue here is boorish behavior and it is not limited to the Baby Boomer generation.

What about those of us who are the last of the Boomers (born in 1961 - 64) who have the new GEN X Managers (the "climbers," who are more than willing to ride us to their own personal victories)?

They don't give a tinker's damn about the personal lives of their employees. It's all about the performance. Being competent is no longer a virtue, nor is making sound business decisions, thinking outside of the box or innovation. It's all about how they, as Managers, are viewed. They DEMAND "over-achievers." You know those that would sacrifice their relationships with their wives and children for a decent year end review. They treat you like excrement that they have stepped in the whole year long, give you a piss-poor review. And then during the "Holiday Season," to assuage their conscience, give you a Christmas card with an expensive ($150) gift or $100 in restaurant gift cards and a note telling you how "they REALLY value you" and how "they are going to push you to your potential," to justify their actions of the past year.

Boorish behavior is learned from an older asshole teaching a young skull, full of mush. You know being a jerk and an asshole cuts both ways. It's not just a generational thing....