Monday Musings 9 May: What if you’re part of the rad, cool and forgotten generation?

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Yesterday was a time to celebrate all the moms of this world – the moms with newborns, toddlers, tweens and teens; the women who are longing to be moms; the moms who have lost their babies; and the wonderful mentors and mother figures in our lives. 

Mothers are the people in our lives who selfishly put our needs ahead of their own: the people who love us unconditionally and will make sacrifices to ensure we have the knowledge, skills and abilities to grow into competent human beings. Mothers want their kids to mess up, make mistakes, laugh, enjoy life, learn – even if they get hurt in the process.  

As Barbara Kingsolver said, “Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”  

But when the pandemic hit; mothers just wanted one thing: to give their children back all the experiences they missed… 

There are all kinds of mothers and pseudo-scientists seem to have a field day labelling – and judging – each and every mom out there. The names they come up with range from funny to offensive to outright bizarre: you can be a helicopter mom (a reconnaissance helicopter, low altitude helicopter or guerrilla warfare helicopter – we kid you not!).  You can be a tiger mom, a lawnmower mom, an elephant mom, a dolphin mom or a free-range mom. I still wonder how psychologists keep a straight face when they’re trying to explain their different theories.  

What is the most bizarre in all these ‘mom’ theories is that it is most often the Gen X mom who has come under scrutiny and is being labelled: the generation that has otherwise remained unexplored and unresearched. They’re the latchkey generation – raised by working parents who left their kids to fend for themselves after school. Gen X-ers are used to being ignored or forgotten

As a proud Gen X, I personally think we’re the most interesting generation of all. And I happen to think our parents were rad – there’s a Gen X word for you! We came up with the best inventions, but we don’t brag about it – we just got on with it. As filmmaker Bree Newsome tweeted: “The erasure of Gen X is pretty wild because they’re the generation that created hip-hop”. Another joked: “Boomers taking all the money. Millennials taking all the credit. #GenXLife.” 

So, I’ve decided to share some Gen X wisdom with you – if you happen to work with a Gen X mom (or dad or otherwise) in your office – courtesy of Michael Girdley: 

1. Motivate Gen X with two phrases, “Do it your way” and “Don’t sweat the rules” 

 Many Gen X grew up in divorced single-parent homes. So, they were forced to be self-reliant and unsupervised early on. They want independence to get it done their way. 

2. Send your Gen X colleagues well-written emails.

Gen X grew up with email — but before SMS or apps. Their teachers stressed correct writing, too. Poor grammar drives Gen X nuts. 

3. Acknowledge Gen X’s emails quickly.  

 They will love you. Gen X wants to know who is responsible at all times. They grew up when institutions weren’t to be trusted. 

4. Focus with Gen X on mission and results. 

Not seniority, effort, or hours worked. You’ll often hear Gen X say, “If someone gets the job done in half the time, that’s fine.” 

5. Allow Gen X a balanced life. 

Gen X grew up with workaholic Boomer parents. Seeing that, Gen X thinks work is part of life but not why they live. 

6. Bond with Gen X as individuals.  

Not as part of a tribe (Millennials) or institution (Boomers). Institutions from Gov’t to marriage showed they couldn’t be trusted during Gen X’s youth. 

7. Be direct with Gen X. 

Give them data. Gen X says, “Tell me how it is!” and cuts out the fluff. For generations like Millennials, this is hard. Millennials want the “shit sandwich” for feedback. 

8. Just acknowledge Gen X exists. 

Gen X feels forgotten. They’re only 20% of the population. They’re also the people in your organisation with their heads down, getting stuff done. But take them for granted and they can bolt. 

9. Expect Gen X to be pessimistic. 

Boomers/Millennials grew up in ages of abundance. Gen X is the first generation to NOT do as well financially as their parents or kids did. 

10. Expect Gen X to want work-life separation. 

Expect them to be friendly but not “friends” at work. Unlike recent generations who bring their personal life to work. 

Here’s hoping all the moms had a wonderful Mother’s Day – and that every generation has a great week ahead!

Mindful Musings:

Monday Musings 9 May: What if you're part of the rad, cool and forgotten generation? 1

Marketing Musings:

When the fuel price gets you down 

Insurance company King Price has released a new TV commercial that has left South Africans in stitches once more. The company hops on the outrageous fuel price for the creation of its ad. It shows once more that being in tune with the pain points of your customers, addressing that pain point and giving them a chuckle about it will remain a winning formula!  

Has the fuel price got you down? Don’t worry, Mzansi, when your car gets heavy on the juice, you can count on premiums from the king to turn your frown upside down… We’ll automatically decrease your comprehensive car premium every month as your car loses value AND we’ll make you laugh while we’re at it. #UnapologeticallySouthAfrican #KingPrice #WowKingPrice #FuelPrice #CarInsurance #DecreasingPremiums 

What the world was musing over this past week

Monday Musings 9 May: What if you're part of the rad, cool and forgotten generation? 2

Air New Zealand evokes the Tiaki Promise 

Air New Zealand has released its latest safety video as it prepares to transport visitors to New Zealand as borders reopen post-pandemic. 

Monday Musings 9 May: What if you're part of the rad, cool and forgotten generation? 3

And the top safari guide is…

Solomon Ndlovu was selected as South Africa’s Top Safari Guide. Solomon has been a guide at the award-winning Singita Private Nature Reserve for twelve years.  

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If you thought Gen X was bad, check out these vintage ads  

There’s a whole lot of advertisements out there, but none are better than the vintage ones. And we mean that in a most sarcastic way. These highly entertaining, yet profoundly uncomfortable ads depict an era of times past.  

Monday Musings 9 May: What if you're part of the rad, cool and forgotten generation? 5

Guess which celebrity carries his bed, toilet seat & paintings on trips? 

From medicines and adequate clothes to shoes and travel accessories, we all have a list of things to pack when we go on holiday. But, did you ever think of carrying your toilet seat, bed and paintings while planning a trip? Well, this celebrity does.