Much has been written lately about the aspirations of young people who may be about to leave school or college and enter the British workplace; with some controversy arising out of a government minister’s .. “get a job at Costa” .. message, and comments about young people not being prepared to .. “start at the bottom” !
Now I won’t start ranting about politicians who haven’t a clue about the real world, or kids who expect to start their dream job on a ‘Reality’ TV show as soon as they leave school, but I am reminded of the American education expert Charles Sykes’ book .. “Dumbing Down our Kids” .. It was first published in 1996, but many of his observations and rules are still (if not more) relevant today. Some of which are …
RULE 1 .. “Life is not fair – get used to it.
RULE 2 .. The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
RULE 3 .. You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone (this was written in 1996), until you earn both.
RULE 4 .. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.
RULE 5 .. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it Opportunity.
RULE 6 .. If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
RULE 7 .. Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
RULE 8 .. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
RULE 9 .. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
RULE 10 .. Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
RULE 11 .. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.”
I have taken the liberty of adding …
RULE 12 .. Smoking dope and not wearing knickers will not make you a ‘super model’.
RULE 13 .. You need more than covering yourself in tattoos and being able to spit and swear to play for Manchester United.
RULE 14 .. Being a celebrity is not an occupation. You will not find it listed at ‘Jobcentre Plus’.
RULE 15 .. ‘Text speak’ is not English and should not be used on job application forms; and at interviews the answer to questions should not end with … “Yer no wot I mean ?” or “Innit ?”…. and …
Put your bloody smartphone away when the interviewer …
… is talking to you !