Communicating across the Generational Divide

Both my offspring are job-seekers and so I have been spending a lot of time helping with applications. Would-be employers now request emails with attachments, and letters of rejection or invitations to interview are sent electronically, if at all.

For my children, and probably anyone under 25, email is nearly as archaic as snail mail–and just as junk-filled.

Urging my kids to check their email once a day and standing over their shoulders while they did so yesterday, I saw in-boxes filled with hundreds of unread entreaties to grow bigger, date better, or make a lot of money. The spate of spam makes it very hard to pick out a message really worth opening. They have stopped bothering.

Friends have their phone numbers and read their texts or talk to them via OoVoo. Will employers catch up with these tools before the spammers and junk-mailers worm their way in there too? If they do, will anybody from HR sit through a full two-minutes of Lil Wayne on a voicemail before being invited to “Holla and I’ll get you back?”

Unless there is a communications coup that allows me to conduct all their correspondence with the aid of a Parker pen and some Basildon Bond I fear those children will be on my payroll forever…

After another (yet another) dismal experience with Comcast, I have decided to give up my house phone. It works so poorly and infrequently that I rarely answer it anyhow, but I do need it for my weekly phone calls to the Ould Sod. The Ould Sod, although a man of a certain age, is on Skype and so I decided this would be the way of our future. I keep my computer at the kitchen table and so did a cursory check of the countertops before starting my video call. I was keen to avoid a transatlantic telling off and know my father has low tolerance for smeary knives, sticky spots or, God forbid, the suspicion of a glass of wine beside the breakfast dishes. Everything seemed to be in order and so I called up Belfast. ” What have you done to your hair?” said my father ” Or have you just not brushed it yet?” It was at least 2pm Itchy Ankle time. 

Perhaps I’ll give Comcast another try. They’re rude, they’re dismissive and they’re unsatisfactory–but at least they’re not family and they’re not all up in your face.  


About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Blarney Family, Culture with the Crone, Customer service, itchy ankle, Life's vexations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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