Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Unformed youth

    My employer has hired a new colleague. He's in his early twenties, very enthusiastic, very good at what he does and in the way of young blokes everywhere, unintentionally rather entertaining in his utterances.
    In particular he's something of a follower of the more achingly-cool parts of contemporary popular music. He's fond of tossing genres into his conversation, many of which have a "post-" prefix. Post is evidently further ahead of the crowd. "Post-rock", "post-hardcore", "post-indie". My boss and I joined in with a conversation earnestly discussing post-country and post-folk. Our young friend twigged that we might be less-than-serious when we arrived at the Postman Pat theme.
    My office is a rather blokey environment. Jokes about drinking, womanising and the exploits therein contained abound. I can handle it, I do bloke rather well, but sometimes my limits are reached. This morning he came out with a classic: that it was a perfectly acceptable piece of private enterprise for any girl to embark on a career as a webcam stripper. What could I do but wholeheartedly agree and add that the converse was also true, a lad such as himself would not be objectified or exploited in any way as a webcam stripper by his newfound popularity with his online gay customers. Surprisingly he didn't share this point of view.
    Back when I was his age I was firmly in the closet. Spending a while with my new colleague is in a way a chance to peer down memory lane, I know I must have been just as immature as all early-twenties blokes are back then. I just hope I wasn't quite that unformed. I don't think so.
    My new employer's office is a much more civilised affair. I must be very careful to tone down the bloke act, it has become such a habit at work.

8 comments:

  1. Could be that it will be your task to steer the young man to more acceptable office protocol. And do a gentle educating about acceptance and when to shut up.

    Sarah

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  2. Hmm, I feel the need to play devils advocate here...

    *If* said girl in question was doing this private enterprise in full knowledge of what she was doing, fully consenting to doing it, and not being coerced in any way, shape or form then why should anyone else object?

    Would I be happy if it was someone I knew? Probably not. Should she do what I tell her to? No. Would I do it? Definately not, but then there are lots of things that I wouldn't do, that others would (and vice versa).

    Or have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick her?

    Stace

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  3. @Sarah, I think we've already embarked on that task, he's getting the message.

    @Stace: A valid argument, if that is the case for a given performer. However the punter who watches said stream might not differentiate between the girl on the screen and the girl in the street who certainly wouldn't appreciate the attention.

    I don't think in this case it was anything more than an outburst of young-bloke flight-of-fancy, so my jokey bringing him back to earth bloke-style worked pretty well.

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  4. When it comes to music, I've found that the prefix "post" is usually a euphemism for "crap". :-)

    Funny that in this day and age, young males are still just as sexist and homophobic, as they were when I was his age. As the saying goes, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Melissa XX

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  5. Nothing changes, does it :)

    Still, he's a nice enough bloke and he's at the age when he's still learning, so making him think towards the right direction should achieve something.

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  6. the punter who watches said stream might not differentiate between the girl on the screen and the girl in the street who certainly wouldn't appreciate the attention.

    Hmm, hadn't thought about that side of things. I just (stupidly) assumed that people can tell the difference...

    Good point, well made :)

    Stace

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  7. Living in California, being politically correct is the norm in the corporate world. Say the wrong thing and one can easily be thrown out on one's respective ass. The guy talk is really a thing of the past unless sitting in a corner of a dark bar and, frankly, while I can fake it, I hate it when I have to get into that mode.

    Calie xxx

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  8. I am *so* looking forward to my new office. It really is a different world. Not that I have been unhappy in my current office, they're somewhat in the rough diamond mould, it's just I'd prefer to be more me.

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