Hey Nineteen (From the Archives…)

by John on May 2, 2010

Today I was asked for advice from one of our interns in HR. I usually don’t like to give one-on-one advice to interns because it bothers me to some degree. To be fair to the interns, it’s truly not their fault, it’s mine.

I get to the meeting and my first question was simple, “Well, what do you want to do?” The response that I received was one that actually made me stop dead in my tracks. “What do you think I should do?”
“What I think is irrelevant because it’s not my career”, is what I immediately shot back and it seemed to stun the poor intern.

Cue Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan. Now I’m a big Steely Dan fan and have been for a very long time. I also think that Becker and Fagen touched a nerve when they wrote their hit song “Hey Nineteen”. How in the hell is this relevant? I beg you to hear me out.

The protagonist of the song came of age in the late 60’s and was a fraternity boy. I’m not making this up; it’s the first line of the song. I figured that his age is about the early thirties. This is based on the time of the songs release in 1979 and the age of when he was in college. So for arguments sake, let’s say that he’s thirty five. The girl is easy she’s nineteen. The age differences are striking, she has no clue about the past (based on the Aretha references) and their tragic relationship is based on a weird chemical dependency.

While I don’t think that I have a need for chemical dependency to get through a meeting with an intern, I do realize that this current crop has no clue about the past. I’ve seen them ask questions that baffle my mind and make me think that they truly do not have a grasp of just what in the hell is going on in the world outside the classroom.

Is this the generation that I need to rely on in the future? Where is the independent thought? Where is the drive and desire? Stuff was not handed to me when I got out of school, I had to bleed and profusely for that matter until I earned my initial success.

Screw it, pass the Cuervo and we’ll call it even.

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