I bid ‘adios amiga’ to Yani after we watched the newest James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace. She needed to visit one of her friends that got a stroke but I still wanted to have my public time. So, after I bought some of my mom’s requests I headed to J.CO Donuts & Coffee.
It’s around 3PM and the place was still packed with young people, mostly.
I was queuing in line and thinking about what I want… Another black coffee? Freezed or iced? Finally, I opted for iced cappuccino. Then, I looked for a place to sit then put all my shopping bags on the table in front of an empty soft chair. I picked up my order when they called my name.
This is the ritual I always love to do by myself: enjoying and grasping the vibes of my surrounding. I may bring a book and read it while I drink the beverage of my choice but the most interesting part of the ritual is actually observing the people around me, they way they talk, their body language, the way they communicate, things they talk or discuss, the clothes and all the accessories they wear… and my mind will wander wildly around so many things. I don’t think I can even capture the things that were swirling in my mind whenever I am in this floating state.
I looked over to the left. A young boy sat there with his laptop. I guessed he’s not more than 20 years of age. On my right was a group of young people, 3 guys and 2 girls, with all their laptops and were working and discussing something. Probably they’re on the third to fifth semester of university. I scanned the room around – lots of young people, young couples, or families with children under 10 years of age.
I started to read my book. I didn’t even reach the fifth page yet when a lady entered my 20/20 sight. Then, I heard the young boy on my left complained, high pitch and loud enough to make me taking my eyes off the book. I guessed the lady was his mother. She sat there, just looked at her son patiently when this teenage son blurted out some not-so-nice words. I pitied her – kalo gue jadi emaknya, udah gue piting nih anak. I pitied this teenage boy – inget-inget, lo bisa sekolah, makan cukup, baju cukup, punya laptop, ngafé-ngafé, karena nyokap dan bokap lo kan?
His mom then said she would order some drinks and asked whether he wanted to have more drinks, to which he said that he had no time (with that peevish look on his face). Taelah… gak punya waktu ya bo, kayak elo sibuknya udah kayak bisnismen yang kudu ngurusin sepuluh perusahaan.
Couple minutes later, the lady returned with some drinks. She gave a glass to her son. He didn’t even look at his mother and say ‘thank you’ but made that ‘I’m-busy-don’t-bother-me’ signal. The lady said that she’d go to look for things and left him alone. Oh, my goodness! Ini anak kudu dididik nih. But, I restrained myself from giving him lecture on Lesson 101 to behave well to your parents. His peevish look really turned me off. I better return to my book.
The level of enthusiasm in the group of young people on my right had increased at least a notch – I guessed they’re discussing pricing elasticity. It’s so nice to absorb their spirit. I bet they’re smart in school. I was not second-guessing their aptitude but doubt whether they possess the other half of competency to charter the real world.
I heard so many stories from my clients about the young people especially those that have just entered the working place or those on fast-track to be managers:
- They have very high GPA, their transcript said so, but they can’t do a thing right. They couldn’t even answer the simple questions in the interview. What did they learn in school? Did they buy their diploma?
- They think they’re the maestro of everything and they have thin ears – a dangerous combination in a real world. Ditegur dikit, ngambek, trus kerja ogah-ogahan atau resign.
- They are smart enough to be on our fast-track career path. They’re professionally savvy but to prepare them to be good manager/leader we need to put them in a program to compensate for their immaturity.
Suddenly I felt a nudge on my left arm… a little girl stood there asking whether she could take the ottoman chair in front of me. Sure, dear. She said ‘thank you’ and moved the chair across to the other side of my table. I heard her mother asked her, “Did you say thank you to that lady?” She looked at me, at her mother, then smiled and said ‘yes, I did’.
Imagine if these generations enter the working place in some five to fifteen years from now… They will surely make a different dynamic in the working place but are we prepared when the time comes?