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How would Generation Y Cope with Work without the Internet?

How would Generation Y Cope with Work without the Internet?

ANNOUNCEMENT: I will not have the Internet for a few days!!!

What a dramatic status to put up.

I can still remember the whirr and click of the Internet dialing up when I was a kid. A 2 – 3 minute wait was great–what a fast connection!

It’s hard for me to remember the time before dial-up internet. Now it’s impossible for me to be off of it for more than an hour straight. What would happen to me working from out of the office if I didn’t have it? What old work methods would I have to learn?

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The generation below me has grown up with the Internet since birth. Could any of them understand what life was like before that? I just barely experienced it. The computer/Internet came to our house when I was eight years old. We used it to print horribly ugly school projects. Ugly, because we over-experimented with all the color combinations and page border options in MS Word. Before that, I vaguely remember my sister’s red typewriter, which was maddening to use. One typo, and the page was ruined! And just this year, the last typewriter ink tapes were produced, bringing forth the end of an era of technology that had dominated since the first printing press.

The Age of Impatience

What I’d personally find difficult if the Internet were to disappear tomorrow would be how much the world would appear to slow down. I would have to buy a newspaper or turn on the TV to see what was happening. I’d have to make more phone calls. I’d have to start remembering people’s numbers, not email addresses. My house would be full of paper–menus for ordering in, business cards, a diary filled with dates and notes, bills, letters…

Waiting would be normal. Nowadays, waiting is almost unacceptable.

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Without the Internet, what would Generation Y have to learn to use?

1. The postal service

Many postal services are being cut in my area despite the increase in online shopping. This means that receiving a letter from the local town council can take anywhere from three to ten days. A package can sometimes take two weeks. And it’s expensive! The joy of free emailing would turn into the frustration of paying many dollars for a registered envelope containing precious documents (after waiting for a substantial amount of time, usually).

  • Pro tip: In a hurry? Express post! That would still take 24 hours. Just FYI.

2. Telephone meetings

Telephone conferencing would still be possible without the Internet, of course, but there would be no more free VOIP conference calls! A real, live telephone bill will appear at the end of each month. The upside is that the cost of the call may make your meetings more efficient. Global virtual teamwork is not as pleasant without the video connection and may not be as good for team building. In fact, this is why the culture of 9-5 in-office originated. Things were a lot easier in person before the existence of the web.

  • Pro-tip: Your organizational skills will certainly be put to the test. Thinking ahead would be essential.

3. Searching and researching: libraries, books, archives (real ones!), filing cabinets, dictionaries, encyclopedias

Research? Try doing it without a search engine! This is where you start to appreciate the time and effort people put into their indexes and the wording of their titles when you are looking for the right information, and the diligence of whoever is in charge of the filing order. Search engines really have us spoiled. We even complain if we have to go past the first page of results!

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  • Pro-tip: Prepare very well what you are looking for in advance, in order not to waste hours of time reading irrelevant material

4. Reacting to content and giving your opinion

It would be close to crazy to have a fake identity or hidden identity in a letter correspondence. It could be done with an anonymous postbox, for sure, but casual commenting and the like would really not be feasible any more. Don’t get me wrong, people did (and do) write letters expressing their disagreement, approval or opinion with commentators, scientists, broadcasters, presenters and so on. However, quick-fire anonymous responding to others in the debate did not exist. Your knee-jerk reaction stayed firmly with you and only got discussed with those in your immediate vicinity.

  • Pro-tip: Use this slower form of communication to really build a good argument for your point. If your going to write a letter about it, don’t let it just be “A well-written piece. Nice job.”

5. People skills

Following on from the last point, it’s pretty hard to be anonymous in your communications (except by blocking your phone number, of course, or removing yourself from the telephone directory). But as well as that, nobody can search your life history, old party pictures, previous tweets and job status without going to a lot of trouble. You have a lot more control over what people know about you. Mirroring that, you also have a lot less available info on the people and organizations you are dealing with.

  • Pro-tip: Keep an open mind when getting to know new people. Don’t be bothered that you can’t spy on their LinkedIn profile or YouTube channel–it’s the same for them. Secrets are valuable and easier to hide. And if you’re worried about embarrassing photos, don’t dance on the table.

6. Cash

Yes, many more transactions would have to be dealt with in cold hard cash and many more trips to the bank would be required. Online payments would not exist–welcome back to reading out your credit card number over the phone! I personally find that when I use PIN to pay for groceries or buy online, I don’t feel as if I’m spending as much as when I hand over a $50 bill. I behave better financially when I use “real” money.

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  • Pro-tip: Use the opportunity to budget what cash you need for the week. You don’t want to wait in line at the bank every day. This system could result in much better money management by cutting spontaneous spending.

Could Gen Y handle it?

Sure! Humans are amazingly adaptable.

But they’d sure miss YouTube and Spotify!

More by this author

Andrea Francis

Andrea loves being productive and getting things done. She shares practical tips to help people achieve what they want in life.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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