Adios Boomers

Vox Day is happy to see the Boomers exit but others aren’t. I read an article the other day about how Boomers are retiring and they’re taking their competence and work ethic with them. They’re being replaced by spoiled brats who have been given participation trophies and told just how smart they are. How’s that working out?

I worked for IBM for 31.5 years. Most of the people I worked with were Boomers and by and large were hard workers.

In 1985, I became an instructor. It was a position that was exempt from overtime. If it took me 50 hours in a week to do the job I got paid the same. The rest of my career, I was in that position. I worked a lot of 60 hour weeks. I was not the only one. Are Millennials willing to do this? From what I hear, they’re not.

For part of my career, I worked two fulltime jobs. I was officially a programmer, but at the same time, I carried the course load of a fulltime instructor. Most of the people I worked with in education were also hard workers. They worked more than 40 hours a week. It was not uncommon for them to go into work on the weekends to get machine time.

My friend Phil, who was in software development in Poughkeepsie, often went into work on the weekend to get machine time. We did not get paid extra to do this.

Boomer work ethic. Boomer competence.

My last six years I was finally able to quit teaching and become a fulltime systems programmer. I still put in a few 60 hour weeks.

Shortly before I retired, our network guy called it quits. The guy who was supposed to take his place was incompetent and since I had learned a lot of network stuff, I became the network guy. By this time, I had become really well organized and was cycling down, especially, since my CDSM©, who hated me, had lowered my appraisal rating.

Remember, we got paid the same whether we worked 50 hours or 30 hours, so I started working 30 hours. I was still able to get most of my work done. I just didn’t do extra stuff like I used to.

Funny thing happened after I retired. The dude they hired to replace me, who was a contractor paid by the hour, couldn’t do in 40 hours what I did in 30. In fact, they had to drop one of my projects, software currency, which was the main reason I was hired away from the hardware side, because no one had time to do it. A year later, my CDSM© wanted to hire me back as a contractor. Nope. A year after that he tried again. Nope.

I never tire of telling this story as my sister can attest.

The point is I was a very competent Boomer. I worked hard to learn my trade as an MVS (now z/OS) and a VM (now z/VM) systems programmer with VTAM, SNA/SNI, and TCP/IP thrown in. Most of this was self taught.

I am one of millions of Boomers. Yeah, the political Boomer politicians suck and have fucked this country royally, but us worker bee Boomers have kept the country going. Now we’re retiring and things are falling apart. The Boomer work ethic and competence are going away. On top of that we have Diversity (All Hail Diversity!), Inclusion, and Equity (DIE) and things are going downhill fast.

We’re doomed!

19 comments on “Adios Boomers

  1. Derek de Solla Price studied the varied productive output of people, initially papers published by grad students. He developed Price’s Law, in which half of the productive work is done by the square root of the number of employees. This is much more of a disparity than 80/20.

    With 100 people, 10 do half of the work, but with 10,000 people, 100 do half of the work. This is why companies that mistreat their best people go into a death spiral when those best people leave.

    Denny knows that he is in that top group, and so was I. After 20 years of fixing elevator drive problems, mainly software, both by going to job sites, and by sending out software, I became known as “The Legend”, and found this out two weeks before I retired in Jan. 2020. One of the unique problems with boomer elevator people retiring is that they knew DC, and the young people don’t. All new equipment is now VVVF AC, so proper care of the legacy DC equipment suffers.

  2. Lots of people take pride in sacrificing their bodies, their marriages, there family life to prove they are devoted employees….working 50, 60 or more hours a week…for a flat salary. Those people were and are stupid. They are making OTHER people rich. I have repeatedly turned down salaried positions….for the simple reason that MY TIME is valuable. If you want it you WILL pay for it. And the more of my time you want the more it will cost you….Overtime, Doubletime, Bonus pay. If I’m making you more money you WILL pay me more. Or find someone gullible and stupid enough to throw away their time. The most precious commodity in the universe.

  3. I learned from my father who worked his ass off and ended with nothing. Never had time for family, too busy working.

    We should not have to work more than 40 hours, shit families should be able to get by one one income, but nope. We wonder why we are going to hell in a hand basket, think about how poor family life is now for people compared to when one income provided for families.

    Is pushing to work 60 plus hours really good for our mental health? I worked salary for a few years, bull shit, don’t plan to do it again.

  4. I was an MVS (z/OS) SYSPROG for 15 years. After I retired, they hired (2) younger people to take my place. And this was after I wrote many ISPF dialogs to automate the process so there was less thinking required. They called me several years later and offered me a position as a RACF tech; naturally, I said “no thanks”.

  5. Boomer engineer here. Seldom knew what a 40 hour work week was. Didn’t make any difference when layoffs came. Started my own business…lots of 100 hour weeks for a while, then I cut back to 60. Biggest bonus was no longer having to deal with others’ bullshit. Never regretted getting out on my own.
    Most of my kids, nieces and nephews are responsible people. They will have to deal with the consequences of liberal insanity, of which some voted for.

  6. Denny, could the fact that us bloomers heard all about the “Great Depression” and were to work hard to avoid that happening again? My first year after med school, I worked on 36hrs, off 12 for a year. Those 36 hrs you didn’t leave the hospital. No one works like that anymore. My next 6 years averaged 70-80 hrs a week. I see kids now who think 40hrs a week is too much!

  7. No, not doomed, but we (boomers) may all pass away before the next cycle of competence gets going.

    People that begin to have difficulty finding shelter and food quickly change habits and goals. The question becomes whether the economy remains sound enough to provide such employment and looking at what the current FUBAR cabal in DC is doing, that becomes a very important question. Economies require energy of all forms and several are being suppressed. This is not good.

  8. There are too many folks riding in the wagon rather than making it go. This can only last so long. Ebb and flow, eventually things will have to go back to the way they were. It might be another generation or two, we’ll see if this requires a civil war or maybe cooler heads will prevail and see the error of their ways. But I doubt it. . .

  9. Me and my wife were born in the late 50s. We both worked hard since that was what we learned from our families. We met in college in the late 70s at UCLA. I became an Electrical Engineer and my wife was in Finance. We moved to the Silicon Valley, where she was from and had two sons, but left for the East Coast in 96 due to my business moving me.

    We had difficulties with the school systems in the Northern Virginia as they were bad, and we could not get the teachers, admin, or school boards to listen. So we ended up tutoring our sons on top of their public schools. This taught both better in all areas. Each son graduated in early 2000 and they both decided on different Trade School, which cost less then half a year of college. They make 6 figures, have houses, cars, and good bank accounts. Both are in their 30s, but only one has married and has a family.

  10. Been there done that, 40 plus years working with assembly on z80, 6502, 68000 and all over the map with Intell. Fortran, c ,c++ and the list goes on. At one company I worked for a manager put out a memo that we would be putting in 60 a week during our next development cycle. Of course the response was “We getting the weekends off”. Pulling all nighters was just what we did. Always push to get that next fix out to the users.

  11. To me (born 65) it’s all a crock.

    Yes, there are uncounted examples of competent, hard-working ‘boomers’, but just as many (and more) lazy, entitled, parasitic, mercenary, incompetents too … just like every other (arbitrary, spurious, made-up) ‘generation’.

    I’m former military. All the old-time, hard-core, experienced and competent NCO’s and Officers ‘are’ boomers, but … so are all the hangers-on, the PC/woke, outright dangerously incompetents (yet so bedecked in medals they look like a Thai doorman outside a brothel, or Russian/Nork generals, yet amazingly never faced a shot in anger).

    It’s intentional, just another part of the “divide and conquer” plan. Much like the (relatively new) arbitrary division in schooling based purely on ‘age’, creating distinctions and divisions that didn’t, and shouldn’t, exist before. Part of the manufactured ire is the ‘collective’ view (leftists do love collectivism in everything. You aren’t an individual, you’re all identical, interchangeable widgets) that a mass of infinitely variable people are identical because they happen to have been born in an arbitrary time-frame (!?!).

    Me? I keep going back to Heraclitus’ 100. That’s reality, be it war, industry or business (just be thankful you were one of the nine, or maybe even a one) and it’s consistent across not just imaginary generations, but millennia.

    Go back to your industries and companies and look again. There’ll still be some guy, doing most of the work, unnoticed and unappreciated (and in a couple of decades they’ll leave or retire and … moan about how the younger generation are all lazy incompetent idiots, who’ll miss them when they’re gone, conveniently forgetting the younger guy who is now doing exactly what they did … doing the job).

    • This ^

      I was born in 54, so I’m a middle-of-the-generation boomer and I totally agree with Jervin.

      Denny, I’m not meaning to disparage your work life, but I too used to do all that burning 0f the midnight oil – 60 hour workweeks and all. And what did it gain me? Oh, a paycheck. Okay, that’s good for what it is, but Dan is also right. If someone sacrifices everything – marriage, family life, health – for a *job* – especially a “salaried” job – then they are indeed stupid.

      I finally figured this out about halfway through my career and decided that I would no longer allow that to happen to me. I worked hard and I did put in a lot of overtime. But it was *paid* overtime and when it was time to go home – I went home. I turned down many a job that was “salary exempt”. I said no to all of them because I looked at the job requirements and decided that indentured servitude was not for me. I did okay and retired three years ago with a decent pension.

      Now, if you got a lot of personal satisfaction out of what you did for a living, then that has value – it’s worth something to you. But to sacrifice all for the corporate machine? (…especially IBM for crying out loud!) Well, enough said about that.

      I have been saying it for years, but it bears repeating once again: “Generations don’t do anything, individuals do.” And this bashing of the younger generations has been going on for millennia. And if the corporation doesn’t have enough smarts in management to train your replacement, then they deserve what’s coming to them.

      And by the way… Vox is an ass. My .45 trumps his pillows every time.

      • One of the reasons I put in those long hours was I was paid very well for them at least part of the time when I had a good manager who recognized my work ethic and paid me accordingly. Another reason was after I was disabled I didn’t want anyone to think that the only reason I had my job was because I was disabled so I worked harder than my peers.

  12. Funny. I came to the same conclusion when realizing how totally effed up so many companies are today. Horseshit customer support, overly complicated and unworkable web sites, everybody wants your cell phone number to sell to scammers. I figured out it’s the dip shits that run these companies whose mommy and daddy pampered them and did everything for them and never allowed them to suffer consequences for making mistakes. Now these soy boys and girls are running companies and are totally unqualified to run anything.

  13. Vox Day? Who cares. Few people in the history of the world have thought of themselves to be as important as VD does of himself. Silver spooned narcissist.

  14. Yeah, not quite there yet, thanks to the Biden economy. Between the inflation eating away at my disposable income and the crappy stock market, I’m gonna have to push back retirement a few more years.

    That’s right, you friggin’ millennials. You’re stuck with me for a few more years. Now GET TO WORK, YOU LAZY BUMS!

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