ERRANDS TELEPHONE RESEARCH IN BOOKS
Growing up, my parents drug me on errands to the bank, insurance agency, dry cleaners, clothing, hardware, building supply, auto parts stores, and post office. My speech with friends was impeded when family members were on the phone because we couldn’t contact each other. It took time to learn information at the library, home encyclopedias or alternate resources. Social media, the Internet and smartphones have taken over. Everything is instant. A job may be the first time someone doesn’t post every move on social media, and spends multiple hours away from cell phones. Girls ages 14-17 text 100 times a day. People Snapchat and post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They text friends in the same room, and use cell phones at school. When high schoolers and college students get their first job they need to leave phones down. Some sign contracts promising not to post work-related items on social media. Some feel lost. This causes issues. A part-time job may be hard enough. After graduation, people get their first full-time gig and need to be away from phones for 8 plus hours per day. It’s almost unbearable if someone has never done this.
Working with job seekers for the last 10 years, I’ve created programs and trainings for millennials that include basics in customer service and communications. Some think young people are rude, but they haven’t had an opportunity to do what I call “learn slowly, have a drug problem or speech impediment” like older people–they’ve had “instant learning” online; not researched in books. They’ve never been “drug” to the bank, insurance agencies, stores, and more by their parents, as they’ve done all this online. They haven’t had a “speech impediment” where it took time to speak to friends if others were on their phone or they weren’t home, because texting is instant and can be done anywhere.
I’ve devised cell phone usage plans for job seekers to make life easier when they cannot have them. I recommend people used to being on their phone constantly put it away in public, only view social media and email 1-2 times daily, post only extremely interesting topics, call if a conversation will take more than 5 text messages, never text someone nearby, spell out 100% of words, make a minimum 2 phone calls daily, physically run errands, mail at least one bill monthly with a check, get in the habit of calling instead of only emailing, remove the phone from your person on a regular basis and during dinner or driving, and if a potential employer gives the option of emailing or calling in regards to a job, always call.
For parents: I am definitely am enmeshed in the cyber world, but expose my son to real life, so he’ll learn vital communications, customer service and patience. My phone stays in my purse in public, in the house while we are outside, and in a different room when we play puzzles and games. I drag him on errands, we read books daily, turn off the TV if we aren’t watching a show, spend lots of time outdoors and look up info in encyclopedias. This will help in life. Let’s picture our kids as adults with jobs; equip them with needed customer service and real world experience necessary to succeed in life.
Thank you for reading.
Beth Husom, GCDF