I remember when I first started at the bank at 19 years old, I looked up to my mentor and friend Megan for everything. She was a few years older than me and I remember thinking how it would be to be her age. Well, now the roles have reversed and I now have interns who range from 19 to 21 years old. Who would have thought time would fly so quickly that I would become a mentor and have my own interns.
First off, I am a horrible manager. I decided I am very soft and they all love me a little too much, but many times I have to remind them that I am their superior because they see me as their best friend. They want to go to lunch with me, to ask me for advice, etc… They nickname me their mom.
One day, my intern Cody came to me and asked what he should do with a document. I asked him to fax it. He said fax? I said yes, please fax it. He asked me what the fax machine looks like. I told him the machine in the break room, his response was the following: Oh I thought that was just an old broken machine. Ok, I know where it is now what buttons do I push?
I know, you are probably shaking your head or as the kids say “SMH,” but these are my every day experiences with my interns.
From my short stint with these babies as I call them, here is my list of things they will never understand:
- Phone calls are a thing of the past. Kids…They don’t understand how amazing text message is. When we grew up, we didn’t have that and if we missed a call, either we had to play phone tag or leave a message. Now, with a few taps and pressing send, they are constantly connected to their friends, family, etc…without really having to stop what they are doing to take a call. Sometimes it is difficult to get them to pick-up the phone because they don’t think it’s a big deal.
- Writing in cursive, well pretty much hand-writing anything is a dying art. Some schools don’t even teach cursive anymore. Kids even use tablets in the classroom, so getting a hand-written note is a hit or miss. Either it looks like jibberish or it is in their lingo.
- Using pencils. Eventually our kids will never know what a pencil is. I asked one of my interns for a pencil the other day to do some projections, they told me it’s been forever since they’ve seen one like it should be in the Smithsonian.
- Sending a letter. With email and text messages, very few people use the post office regularly. The other day, we had to send some letters out and the interns had to do them again because they didn’t know how to correctly address the letter.
- Dealing with commercials and waiting for a show. Remember growing up and rushing to the TV every Friday night for Boy Meets world? With DVR, On-Demand, Hulu, and Netflix, no one has to wait to see a show. If you miss it, you can catch it the next day or wait until the entire series becomes available and binge watch. I was lectured on how I should be more open to the concept of “Netflix and chill.”
- Learn how to parallel park. Apparently, parallel parking has been removed from some states. I was shocked to find this out.
- Use a Landline. The term waiting by the phone was reality. If you were expecting a call, you sat by the phone so you didn’t miss it. And let’s not get started on how to use a desk phone to call out. The thought of having to press 9 boggles their mind.
- Having no Wi-Fi. Remember the days of dial-up? Not anymore, the biggest problem is going over the data limit.
- Reading a map. It’s all about GPS these days, even going online to look up directions on Google Maps is becoming dated.
- Be disconnected from technology. I struggle with the fact that all my interns are always stuck to their phones. One of my interns has her ear phones in at all times, so half the time, I have to tap her to get her attention. The other day during training, my intern took the phone to respond to a text right in the middle. I had to be the bad guy and say excuse me that’s inappropriate, please give me your attention for 30 minutes.
- Writing out full sentences. Communicating has been tough to say the least. Writing full sentences has been something I’m slowly teaching each of them to do. When they write me emails with things like LBMO, I will correct their grammar. I get a lot of abbreviations in my emails and reply with ???. That’s when they know they are in trouble.
- Remember phone numbers. Other than my parent’s numbers, if I lost my phone, I wouldn’t remember a number other than 911.
- Buying a CD. It’s all about Spotify and Pandora now. There is no need to have a collection of CDs like we had in our teens.
- Floppy Disks. My boss went around asking if someone still had a hard drive that could still read a floppy disk. My interns asked, what is that? Seriously, at that moment, I felt like I was ancient.
- Stopping by a friend’s house without notice. Everyone is so busy, no one can ever just hang out anymore. I listen to my interns talk about their weekend plans and it’s just exhausting. One day, they were talking about a friend who just showed up unannounced and how rude it was because their lives are so busy. I told them, wait until you are a real adult and let me know.
- Reading a paper book. I love paper books, I love turning the pages, how it feels, but now everything is digital. My interns don’t use a back-pack. Their reading materials are so light, the girls use a purse and the guys use a small messenger bag.
- Writing a check.
- Developing film for pictures. Yes, they will never understand and neither will our kids.
- Budgeting. Several times a week, I have to give one of my interns advice on either budgeting their finances or how a credit card works.
- Being professional. I know this should be easy, but it’s really not. I don’t know what it is about this generation, where I feel like they need to be groomed a lot more. I’ve had times where my intern as told me to “shut up” when I was explaining something. I have had to pull the don’t say that again in a professional setting and until you say sorry like you mean it, I will be in my office.
After a day with my interns, I feel like an old lady. The other day, I texted one of them if they understood a concept while I was out sick, she wrote back “I’m hip.” I said, does that mean you understand? She said yes.
Please wish me luck to survive the rest of the year as they add two more interns under my care for a total of five.