Generation Gap

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I was asked to work yesterday (my day off) after scheduled employees called in, declaring themselves unavailable. This busy supermarket is well managed and pays a decent wage but copes with the same personnel problems commonly haunting businesses today.

I might be from a generation that can’t understand today’s workers’ attitudes and behaviors. Or maybe it’s just me, self-blindsided by my early life experiences. Throughout my high school years, I knew finding a job was essential. My family didn’t push for post-high school education, which left no alternatives for my next steps.

I managed to find my way by gaining higher education and a career in large corporate environments. After finally retiring, I enjoyed several unworking years, finally responding to a nagging need to find some paying work. So, I re-began, and at the bottom, spending years serving samples in the local Costco Store. Since then, after learning to operate an electronic cash register, I became an employable cashier.

In a busy store, cashiering both is fast and physically challenging work. It requires talking, processing merchandise, searching for product codes, entering data, and handling money. This part-time job alerts me to the importance of dependable front-line workers. And my store can’t find enough of them.

I’m surprised to discover myself enjoying this work, and can’t help wondering how, today, people are deciding not to work. Or how they may be so casual as to not show up for work, or how they simply can quit shortly after being hired. I haven’t suitable answers.

Perhaps I’m from the wrong generation to be questioning attitudes today. A key attitude of mine is to work; it’s ingrained in who I am. Surprises me, too, for until recently this idea never entered my mind.

There’s tons more to consider and learn about this topic. I’d really like to understand better. Right now, there’s no time to elaborate, for today, I must work in that supermarket.

Dear Friends: Could it be that generations are ingrained differently? Diana

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