People over 60 endlessly complain to me about the younger generations: they're entitled, they know nothing about history or the past, and they're lost in their smartphones, often while driving or walking in the middle of roads. Of course, it's easy to generalize about the generations, and none of you reading this wants to be lumped in with anyone. But I hear complaints about your cadre almost weekly, and please tell me if these stories fit in with your experience.
One client of mine, in Chicago, told me, “I have a great assistant. She's street-smart; she gets it, and she could have a terrific future. But many days, she comes in upbeat, incredibly happy. But after lunch, she has her head down, sour and unhappy. Where does this change come from? Well,” he went on, “it turns out she's texting, all day. A boyfriend breaks a date, a girlfriend criticizes her, her sister has a problem. My assistant is great. But she's got no commitment, no sense of career path. You know what I'm talking about?”
I do. Because I hear stories like this all the time.
I wandered into an antique store outside of Boston this weekend and made an offer on a small French writing desk from the late 1800s. “How's business?” I asked the owner. I ask people in shops and restaurants and bars this question wherever I travel. It's how I like to do research, from the ground up.
“Pretty good,” he said. “A huge uptick from a few years ago. So much so, that I'm telling you right now, I won't ...