Friday, January 22, 2010

Conan Fallout

Mah buddy-ole-pal, Jen X, politely says that baby boomers are the most self-important narcissists and won't leave the workforce until they're wheeled out feet first.

Others view the O'Brien-Leno conflict as more evidence of the marginalization of Generation X, all those children of the '60s and '70s sandwiched between the demographic behemoths that are the baby boomers and Generation Y. (O'Brien is 46, but his audience skews younger; Leno is 59.)

Jennifer James, an O'Brien supporter in Oklahoma City who writes a blog called "are you there God? it's me, generation X," says the situation -- which happens to involve an Xer (O'Brien) losing his gig to a boomer (Leno) who won't let go of it -- reminds her of stories she's heard from people in their 30s and early 40s who can't advance in their careers because their babyboomer bosses refuse to retire.

"It's an irresistible metaphor for Gen X and the baby boomers, and the conflicts that do exist in the workplace," she says.


Bag Blog said...

Fifty-nine is not exactly retirement age.

jen said...

Guess what. your blog is on alltop. you have me to thank for this. well, really, the gen x files. but, i personally submitted you. we're famous. sort of. ha! my brother (b. 1962) posted the funniest damn thing on Craigs List about Baby Boomers. "Dear Baby Boomer: Get in the box." hahaha!

Kath said...

Seems basically like pure discrimination -- job availability based on age. That's really NOT such a good thing.

Wek said...

Obviously 59 isn't the standard retirement age these days for us working stiffs. Leno ain't exactly a workin' stiff since he's a bizzillionare who owns more motorcycles than one would see at Daytona Bike Week. He's not worried about working to the age so he can max out his social security checks. Leno's most recent TV show flopped. Badly. He failed. His reward? Give him a popular show and time slot again.

My problem is baby boomers do not know when to step aside. They continue on completely oblivious that they've become a Vegas act. I see it in my place of employment. Some in upper mgmt have been in their slot for 20+ years, have kids out of college, and are near 60 years old. I know how much they make and how many millions they have in stock because my company is public. I don't see a reason for them to be there any longer? Go enjoy yourself over the last few decades you're still breathing and have faith that a 42 year old is actually smart enough to do your job. Everyone is replaceable, including CEO's, Presidents, Pimps, and Gen X bloggers.

I just see this move by NBC as short-sighted. Personally I don't know anyone 10 years older than me or 10 years younger that watch Leno. So NBC basically pushed out talent so they could cater to a market segment that'll be lost thru attrition.

I'm not saying Leno should retire, either. I'm sure he has several people he knows that can think of something for him to do. It's just all so fucking weird. If I left my job for another and failed at the new job, would I expect to get my old job back at the expense of a 26 year old who has done quality work? With complete sincerity I say "no".

Wek said...

Jen- cool, I'll check it out. Thanks for all your help and support!

Kath said...

The exact issue of Leno/Conan I think is horribly wrong.

They tried something different, it didn't work. Now Leno can go do a Vegas act or something. He should not just be given the Tonight show back -- or, excuse me, the right phrase would be handed to him on a silver platter. That's crazy.

But it's NBC, the worst network on TV. That's just how they roll.

Jennifer K said...

One thing I've noticed, not just with Leno and Conan, but in the general workplace, is that a babyboomer can screw up and fail, and they don't get punished. In fact, they are even rewarded. Yet, a X-ers screws up and fails, or just falters a wee bit, and they get fired or slandered. It truly sucks.