Twenty-five-year-old bosses are the next big thing. The next big, little thing, that is. From the digital pages of Forbes, who should know something about the matter, we hear that more and more old(er) workers are reporting to young(er) bosses. Grok this:
According to human resource and career consultants, older workers are reporting to younger bosses more and more these days. A 2014 survey by the jobs website CareerBuilder found that 38% of workers reported that they currently work for a younger boss.
And why shouldn’t they? Do young people not have the character traits to be the one you report to? In fact they do, as what we generally refer to as “millennials” are perhaps the most well-behaved generation in history. (Modern history, that is; go back far enough and you’re certain to discover a more austere group of young people.) “You know what exemplary group should be on a cheerful PSA for teenagers?” asked New York magazine’s Maggie Lange last year, drawing on a CDC study. “Regular old teenagers — they’re behaving so exceptionally now that we can hardly recognize them.”
Smoking is down. Drinking is down. Teen births are down. Yes, abortion is down. They’re even getting more exercise. What Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t do for my generation, somebody is doing for this one. And while young people are still having sex, they’re doing it — so to speak — more responsibly, by using protection.
But there’s reason to believe that among the most elite youth, i.e. those most likely to be in a position of actual authority some day, kids really aren’t having sex. Time informs us that 1 in 4 Harvard graduates, while obviously excelling academically, are failing to perform coitus while in school:
A quarter of Harvard College’s graduating seniors didn’t have sex while in college, according to a survey by The Harvard Crimson. Among the grads who didn’t remain celibate during their years in college, 12% of the class had more than 10 sexual partners and 21% first had sex during their freshman year.
The cast of Revenge of the Nerds are increasingly looking like just normal college students, not any bizarre sub-population thereof. And of course the humorless, serious-mindedness of today’s youth is increasingly being displayed off campus, too. Just see the recent Jerry Seinfeld brouhaha — minus the haha — wherein the rule-laying-down traits of young people were given the spotlight.
Chris Rock backed Seinfeld up on this. In fact he made the point first.
Bosses, you might recall from expereince past and present, tend to dislike too much jokin’ ’round too.
From yesterday’s parental advisory warnings to today’s trigger warnings, there’s evidence to believe that a kind of lifestyle conservatism is being combined with political liberalism. Modern youth may not care to don uniforms and carry a badge, but that doesn’t mean they have no interest in laying down the law.