You probably would not have noticed that young kid who sits behind you at work. Or you must have, you pedophile! With his heaps of files and neatly stacked pencils, he must have seemed like a gullible young fellow who thought he might just be able to sneak in here for a couple of days and get your company logo on his newly drafted CV wherein sentences drown in a sea of white space. You did not mind this at all. Nor the fact that he walks in an hour late, with sleep still in his eyes, clutching a Starbucks coffee his mom had bought him while she dropped him at the company gate before having a word with the guards asking them to keep him safe. No, you certainly did not mind this at all or the fact that he, with his innocent eyes, chatted up the ladies at your office during those long breaks, disabling you for having that fling you had with a certain someone. No. You were, unbeknownst to yourself, glad to have him around.
Then, something changed.
He started bringing you coffee, started fetching you prints as soon as the copier spit them out. This was fine, at first. But the fact that you now lost the chance to skip work for a few good minutes to do these demeaning, yet sociable tasks meant that you are now under the ever-leering eyes of your boss even longer. You start to harbor a dislike for this tiny human being now. Then, when you were about to appreciate his efforts as an act of kindness and relieve him of his ‘duties’, you learn that he is also bringing coffee to your boss and those several ladies who now have become to adore him. A betrayal of the highest degree, you say and turn around to find that what was once your assignment has been delegated to him. Him!? you ask your boss, standing at her cabin door like whimpering dog. Culture is accelerated, she says, and technology is advancing with each blink of the eye. She wants to know what the boy can offer, and what the company can offer him.
Not only was he more adept at what YOU did, but has also managed to gather the whole office rallying behind his course – which of course, is to change the future with sustainable, creative pursuits. It’s a new direction for your company, you learn. It is surprising to know what an overdose of enthusiasm, cheerful attitude, and tiny hands can do. He has evolved to become a legitimate threat to your long term career, dislodging you from that comfortable seat you have carved for yourself after long years of arse shifting.
The other day, I had the most unpleasant and unnerving of incidents after I took a ten year old lightly. Not only was I embarrassed, and rather inhumanely, I was also ridiculed on the internet by the rest of his ‘network’. I rummaged through the internet to glean some insight into this drastic shift in what is regarded as a competent demographic, and there are several, but none proving to be the true cause. Is it the availability of internships at various top end companies, the easy access to internet, affluent household, the realization that there are immense possibilities out there and that your report card alone won’t matter, or the lack of quality cartoons? I cannot tell. What I do know for certain is that the future will be run by these tiny hands and unless we kill them all before they turn ten, they are indeed a legitimate threat.