When I worked in minor league baseball in the late 80's, an old-time pitching coach and I were staying warm in the Salinas Valley chill in the press box during batting practice. The music was loud, but the coffee was hot.
BP was a favorite time of day for me. It was the intermission between my day job of selling (seats, promotions, ads, etc.) and my night job of putting on a show (concessions, glad-handing, helping create a family atmosphere of fun).
This old-school coach, a pitcher whose baseball card I had collected as a kid, had come to a point of his career where he should step down — at least that's what I thought.
"I can't coach today's ballplayer. They don't want to listen. They've become uncoachable," he sulked. I asked what he was doing about it to get through to the players. "Nothing I can do. I can't reach these know-it-all, prima donnas."
Sad. Made me a bit mad, actually. That's what he was getting paid to do! Coach today's ballplayer.
I still hear this in all sorts of professions:
- I find it hard to work with today's college graduate
- I can't teach these students today
- It's impossible to understand what these customers want
- It was better in the old days. I have no patience with these kids.
- Why is it my responsibility to show these kids how the job gets done?
- It's not like my students are my customers!
- Why should I bend over backwards to understand today's generation?
Simple. It's what you get paid to do!