I’m not precisely sure I had many expectations of the coronavirus pandemic. I guess if I’d given it any thought, I may have imagined it’d make us more self-reliant, more resourceful, more determined to do for ourselves and to take care of others. If I’d been inclined to go out on a limb, I may even have dared to think it make us more mature. I’d have been dead wrong.

I wasn’t sure of that wrongness until I read this article, “RIP ping-pong. The era of wacky office perks is dead“, in Fast Company. I don’t know what bummed me out more — the fact that anyone ever thought juvenile office perks were a good idea or the fact that someone finally asked the folks to whom those wacky office perks were intended to pander whether they cared about them in the first place.

In either case, the verdict is in:

Workers younger than 35 place more value on respect … companies should invest more in training managers to communicate respectfully and nurture employee well-being, rather than kitting out offices with trendy new accessories … solid communication from superiors will be even more important than having a cool office.

I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked!

Worsening the Inevitable

Here’s the thing: If you give people the opportunity to grow up — the parenting, the teaching, the mentoring, the managing, the encouraging, the discipline, the motivation, the incentives — most of them will take it. But that’s not what we’re about anymore. We’re about infantalizing. We’re about perpetuating adolescence. We’re about coddling and protecting. We’re about fostering dependence and entitlement. We’re about shielding people from reality. Accordingly, we’re unwittingly on the path to replacing growing pains with painful crash landings in adulthood.

Goodbye, growing pains. Hello, adult separation anxiety disorder.

It makes me wonder if anyone ever asked Pajama Boy if he really wanted to stay on his parents’ healthcare plan until he was 26 or if he might have preferred getting a real life (recognizing, of course, that getting a real life would run counter to the Progressive Dependence Agenda — PDA). It makes me wonder if anyone ever asked any children if they really wanted to get participation trophies for losing or if they might have preferred to earn them honestly. It makes me wonder if Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) were alive today if he ever would have said, “No pressure, no diamonds,” or if he would have recognized the futility of wasting his breath on helicopter parents, indoctrinating teachers, and pandering bosses. It makes me wonder what the world would be like if we’d woken up to respect, discipline, expectations, and qualifying standards before now.

I don’t know. But at least we appear to have stopped following the bouncing ball.

I hope Big Brother is miserably unhappy about the possibility that we’re waking up.