There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the business community in recent years about the quality of the work force. I’ve read articles and seen reports detailing the habits of the “millennials,” the generation that is exiting college and entering the workforce. Their lack of preparation has been blamed on all sorts of things, from helicopter parents to participating in sports where everyone gets a trophy for just showing up, but I’ve begin wondering about another possible cause.
There’s a radio spot running now for JA Titan, an online business simulator that is part of Junior Achievement. The tool is designed to give students a feel for the fast-paced, constantly changing world of business. The spot is to recruit volunteers to help run the simulations.
The first part of the spot sets the stage of a fictitious company dealing with some of the hazards of business:
Voice 1: “I called this emergency staff meeting together because we need to kick this company into high gear.”
Voice 2: “I thought our performance index was high?”
Voice 1: “It is, yes, but the competition is still way ahead in the market.”
Voice 2: “Well, what can we do about it?”
Voice 3: “If we sink more money into marketing, these hollow generators will sell like crazy.”
Voice 4: “But we can’t keep up in production! It may be the year 2030 but our technology is not that sophisticated.”
Voice 5: “If we put more money into R&D we could solve our production problems.”
SFX: Echo-y Star Trek communicator sound
Voice on Communicator: “The board wants to know what you’re going to do here. The news reports say we’re slipping… Well?”
Voice of Boss: “Wendy, take another $20,000 this quarter for promotions. T.J., you get nine grand to find a way to make more of these. Warren, tell your line to get ready to triple production. Send out a press release. I’m going to lunch. We’re going to win this.”
“I’m going to lunch?!!?” There are so many things wrong with the first 35 seconds of this that I can’t even begin to dissect it. For the sake of my own sanity, I’m working on convincing myself that the writer intentionally wrote this to be so hackneyed that business people would hear it and be moved to volunteer in order to provide an accurate, realistic view of life in the business world.