What’s age got to do with it?

March 20, 2012 at 7:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

As an equalist I have always given equal opportunity to everyone regardless of age,gender,background.  Over the past six months my thinking has shifted.   Age often combines wisdom, knowledge, survival skills, compassion, tolerance, and a “bigger picture” perspective.  Yes, I admit that not everyone ages with grace and wisdom.  The world is full of trolls and trolls they will be.  However, if there is one thing I have learned in my job is that you can accomplish way more successfully if you have some knowledge behind you.

Yesterday I was faced with a disappointing situation on a personal level.  A young man that was doing some repair work for me and was a friend of my daughters and an immigrant trying to obtain Canadian Status was in a tough spot.  He was working on my home after putting in a full day at work.  As i too often work late into the evening i was tired of giving him a ride home.  He could certainly skytrain home but he would be somewhat pathetic and my maternal instincts would kick it and off I would drive to Coquitlam.  Well one day it became too much.  So in the interests of my sanity I let him borrow my daughters car to go back and forth from his house to my home and if need be to Home Depot.  Sounds fair and generous right?

Well Sunday afternoon he reluctantly advises me that he was in a car accident in the parking lot of a nightclub.  Groan……   The damage was enough that ICBC of course would be involved and seeing that it is a BMW well I am sure it won’t be inexpensive.  So a friend that works for the organization comes over and explains to him what he has to do and t he information he needs to obtain to make his call to the 24 hr. line that evening.  Does he do it – does he call them?  NO.  Does he tell me he did not call them. NO.

Then Monday, truly most often the worst day of the week, the entire story comes out – how he let other people drive the car, he drove the car all over Surrey (you know a few miles from Vancouver) and on and on the abuse of trust went.  When I told him how disappointed I was in his behavior and when i told the friend how disappointed I was in his behavior he actually yelled at me. Both of them spoke to me with disrespect and arrogance.  Yes eventually they expressed regret – but it was not the first response.   As trusted friends of my daughter I explained how they had abused and disrespected her by taking her car around town for spins.  Both young men more or less told me that they knew better than I – the one 19 yr. old said” I have had several accidents and i know how ICBC works.”  I understand, he said, that you have been an investigator for 20 years but I can tell you that ICBC will put this at 100% fault to the other guy.  The original borrower did not even tell me that he had passed the car around and he justified his behavior by saying it wasn’t a big deal.  Another Groan…………..

I told both of them they had to fill the gas tank, clean that car, deal with the repairs and step up and be men!  The borrower groaned that when he took the car it was not a full tank.  I said excuse me?  Did your parents never teach to return a borrowed item in better condition than when you received it – ie. borrowed t-shirt – wash it before you return it; do not turn in the pages of a pristine book, borrowed car – fill the tank!!!  How are you missing these basic life skills!

Wait – I hear the wolf pack howling in protest!  I know youth belies energy, creative and innovative ideas, the beginning rather than the end.  I would suggest that these great qualities can be enhanced with a lack of ego and arrogrance.  The two young men involved in this situation are impeded now and possibly in the future by their sense of self-importance – exhibited through their sense of entitlement.  This is a tragedy that has been nurtured and encouraged by many parents of my generation-  constant praise regardless of behavior, lack of consequences, lack of responsibility and accountability!   I, thankfully, was not one of these wolf parents.  Much to her chagrin my daughter always had consequences.  When I asked her if she would borrow someones car and then behave like this she immediately responsed with a vigorous NO!

So, young men, you are not in the right.  You need to fill that gas tank, wash that car, clean it out and apologize – to me – the parent!  To my daughter the car owner. Until you do this you will be at the bottom of the barrel – in the muck with the rest of the trolls.  Trolls are not welcome at my house!

4 Comments »

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  1. If you back up a long, long, long way to get as broad a view of the world as you can, probably the biggest deficit we have right now is ‘trust’. In fact, we’re pretty much in the hole over ‘respect’ too. I’m probable more than a tad older than you, but I remember as a youngster hearing and seeing a lot about trust and respect for certain institutions and professions. Ask someone now which of them they trust and respect, and they’ll probably have a very hard time coming up with an answer. Total shame that your generosity was so abused.

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    • well said and exactly the point i was trying to make. respect is lacking – i don’t know how that came to be but it is not a good thing in our society!

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  2. That should be ‘probably’ — editing/proof-reading skills not too sharp at this time of the morning.

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    • Thanks I have to edit before I post but ?i hear what you are saying! Please read the article when it is completed! Thank you.

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