Cause of the American Civil War? More Millennial Ignorance…at Work

civilwar4

It was another classic example of Millennial work ignorance, but one that still haunts me, and makes me wonder what all this technology is for if not educate us or at least enlighten us in some way.

Not too long ago while at work, I overheard our former social media manager Lark and the Indian tech geek Arushi talking about the cause of the American Civil War. They were unsure if the war was fought over slavery, an ugly and shameful economic system built on the stolen labor and the denial of basic human freedoms too many of us take for granted today.

civilwar-slavery2

This was around the time of Charlottesville tragedy and people in our country were finally calling for the removal of public statues of traitor and slaver Robert E. Lee.  You can look up Lee’s history if you doubt where I stand on this. This an excellent article that destroys the myths of Lee and reveals his true history and views on slavery and racial matters.

Johnathan, a graphic artist, who grew up in the south, wondered why people wanted to take down the Lee statues. Another clueless Millennial.

slave-civilwar

They have access to more information than any generation in history via the internet and remain ignorant of history and key facts about our country and the world.

slaveryimagegif

It is no wonder that all I ever hear Lark, Arushi, and the other Millennial fools around our office talk about is trivial bullshit. They rarely if ever talk about books, ideas, great music, films or TV. Their lives revolve around their phones and social media.

Pathetic and shallow.

Just as annoying is Lark and Arushi constantly talking about online videos.

“Did you see that video?” is a constant refrain from Arushi.

It is typically some trivial pet video or some other shallow clip.

Yet when it comes to an important subject like the American Civil War they remain clueless and yet the answers remain in the palm of their hand.

How did I get stranded in this ignorant Millennial work nightmare?

 

The Social Media Criminal

socialmediacriminal4

I thought Lark was the worst social media manager I ever worked with, but his replacement, Danny Medina, was so much worse in ways our agency could have never imagined.

This two-faced freak proved to be a very savvy social media criminal.

It proved a costly hire for my boss — quite literally.

Danny was a short Latino man in early thirties with dark hair he styled in a strange pompadour. He wore denim jackets and pretended to be cool always smiling giving a thumbs up to everyone and he would call people “brother.”

It seemed so phony to me like he was trying too hard.

He also pretended to be a church-going, religious person and even said he sang in a traveling choir. I think that was a strategy to endear him to my boss who is deeply religious.

Something about Danny, his odd, overfriendly behavior as if he was sizing us up, gave me the creeps from the start.

However, he even had me fooled initially, as he pretended to be a capable social media manager although he had little or no experience. Yet could pull off just enough to keep our boss fooled with lame posts.

Soon after, he wasn’t communicating with me and he also had no knowledge or idea how to leverage my PR and media results in our client’s social media pages just as with his predecessor Lark.

socialmediacriminal3

Some of our clients began bitterly complaining about Danny’s work, but he would quickly blame the clients. Now, this is a difficult thing for me to say, but in this case, our clients were right about Danny’s lame work.

Another odd thing I noticed, is that each work day Danny wandered far from our office wearing earbuds and talking on his phone sometimes for hours at a time. I would see him walking when I went to a nearby Starbucks for coffee. Yet he never stayed late to make up for his lost time. He always left around 5 p.m. like the other Millennials around our office.

We are both NBA fanatics and Danny tried to befriend me that way, too. He even invited me to a Lakers game which I refused. Even then something told me that no way was I hanging out with this freak.

My boss began to complain about Danny checking out on his job. Danny told him he was heartbroken about his girlfriend that had recently left him and went back to Chicago where he was also from. His mind not being on his social media job was apparently was all a ruse, too.

In another sickening development, Danny had befriended Code Boy and used to call him brother and they would give each fist bumps and high fives in the office.

Even worse, Code Boy and Lydia used to invite Danny to their fake team lunches. That gave me pause. Think about it. They hated me so much they would rather invite a creepy criminal to their fake lunches than me. It truly showed me the lack of character and true shallowness of Code Boy and Lydia, my unfortunate so-called co-workers.

Talk about a diseased culture.

Pretty crazy.

socialmediacriminal2

Danny’s gig was finally up about seven months into his employment.

My boss started to discover social media advertising charges for Facebook and Instagram ads that he hadn’t authorized.

Actually, Danny had started his own NBA fan/news business on Instagram and Facebook using our boss’s credit card business to fund his new operation.

My boss also discovered Danny would use our office and address and even pictures of our office to convince people to sign up for his service and company,

All in all, he eventually stole about $2,000 from our company.

social-media-crime6

When my boss got suspicious, Danny had already gone home for the night.

Danny didn’t show up the next day at work as he must have realized he had been found out as my boss wanted to meet with him about the mysterious charges.

Danny disappeared and we never saw him again. We figured he had done this at many businesses across the country and we were only his latest victim.

 

socialmediacriminal5

Shortly after he left, we also began receiving mysterious emails from someone pretending to be our boss asking members of our agency to buy gift cards from Best Buy and send them to him. We have no proof it is Danny, but I wouldn’t put it past him.

Even this past week we got an inquiry from a minor league baseball team back east that said we had contracted with them to provide advertising services.

Only one problem. Our agency had no knowledge of it. Danny had created a fake email while at our agency to fraudulently use our company to contract services with this minor league team.

Not too long ago, someone also stole money out of our bosses’ business bank account. We are not sure if it is Danny but you never know.

One night after the whole thing went down, I had a strange conversation with Code Boy, who said it was too bad about Danny. He seemed sadder to me that he lost a fake friend than pissed about a lying criminal who had stolen a lot of money from his father.

Goes to show that you can never tell about people. I’ve had my reservations about social media managers in general, but I never figured anything like this.

Embezzlement?

socialmediacriminal1

The sad part is we never found Danny to file charges against him. The authorities are still looking for him as well.

Danny is still out there somewhere trying to steal money from other unsuspecting victims.

Unfortunately, after Danny’s departure, my boss continued his familiar pattern of hiring inexperienced people for our agency’s social media services.

Sophia, a former Latina waitress in her late twenties, who recently graduated from college with little social media experience, was hired as our social media manager. She was actually supposed to be an intern in my PR department but we didn’t have any openings at the time. Unfortunately, Sophia has also proved to be somewhat clueless and uncommunicative and even goes on team lunches with Code Boy and Lydia.

She was somewhat friendly before the lunches, but now she despises me, too. I am not sure why as I have never been mean or harsh toward her at all. Sophia is also wary if I try to speak to her like she is afraid I will hit on her or something even though I have always been very professional and courteous toward her. Must be Lydia’s backstabbing poison again and maybe the lingering BS from the Brazilian Incident.

Sophia is smarter than Lark, although that is not saying much, and she isn’t trying to embezzle funds like Danny.

So I guess you could call that progress.

Social Media Hack

 

Social-Media-Hacks

Sadly,  I have worked with my share of social media hacks in my public relations career. Most of them have no idea the role of public relations and how it can be leveraged in social media to benefit clients. More on that in future posts.

However, one of the worst social media managers I have worked with in my career was a strange Millennial freak I will call Lark.

In his mid-twenties, scrawny with short hair, Lark was a strange, awkward and unfriendly freak.  Lark used to wear track clothes, shorts, and tennis shoes to our office and would run (yes, run!!) past my office numerous times a day to visit my boss few offices down like a punk kid.  It was beyond annoying.

One day during summer, he even wore flip-flops to our office. Sorry, call me old-fashioned but flip-flops don’t belong in a work environment. This is work not fucking vacation. Unfortunately, his attention to his work reflected this attitude.

Lark was hostile toward me from my first day at our agency. Not sure why. Him and Code Boy went to lunch on my first day and didn’t even invite me along. Not exactly welcoming. Kind of like onboarding in hell. It gave me a glimpse right away into the dysfunctional situation I had walked into.

maxresdefault-badteamwork

The worst thing about Lark was that he was dumb. He had little or no creativity or intellectual curiosity about his job or anything else. Not exactly a good trait for someone who is supposed to have his pulse on the media and pop culture for promoting our agency’s clients.

Frankly, he was a social media manager only one year out of college who was in over his head.  He had some strange notions as well about social media.

Lark was so afraid of posting too many social media items for our clients, he rarely posted at all so our clients’ social presence actually got worse after they hired us.

Lark actually had the gall to say to me once that he took public relations classes in school and knew a lot about PR, but honestly, he was fucking clueless about what I did for our clients.

It was so frustrating to secure numerous high-profile media placements for our clients and for my work not be represented in our clients’ social media pages. Lark never had any communication with me to find out what I working on and honestly, he didn’t care. Lark and I hated each other and there was no hiding it. It wasn’t just our age difference. He had shown no respect for me even though I was experienced and knew what I was doing. I had no respect for his incompetence and inexperience and my success made him look bad.

But the bottom line: our client’s social media suffered from this fool.

work idiots

When we went to the new business presentation to a Chinese company in Silicon Valley (which I mentioned in my previous blog), which was for social media and not PR, Lark didn’t present to the client. He hardly said anything at all until forced to by our boss.

The boss’ other son Brian, also a Millennial, a former gym trainer who sadly handles our new business outreach with no experience!!!, had to give the presentation, which was questionable as well. But at least he did it.

Is it any wonder we didn’t get the business.

This is when I realized just how much our agency was in trouble with Lark handling our social media.

I once asked my boss why he didn’t replace Lark as he was clearly incompetent. My boss said he didn’t want to bring on a more experienced social media manager because they would demand more money. So instead, he cheaped out, and our agency’s performance suffered because of it.

Strangely, the only time Lark was sociable at all was with his Millennial colleagues.

Lark’s shallow partner in Millennial crime was naturally Lydia. But he also hung out a lot with a strange Millennial freak from India that joined our team to do research and help out with social media. Arushi was very short and wide, long black hair and an odd looking round face. She was very timid and shy, quiet and also only came out of her shell around other Millennials, namely Lark and Lydia.  Yet Arushi always had this notion that people were trying to hit on her if anyone got too friendly, too. I saw how she got weird once when Code Boy was friendly toward her.

Arushi hardly said anything to me and was actually hostile because of poisoning from Lydia and Lark. She even rudely bumped against me during a new business meeting with a client. I was so outraged by her rudeness I barely could stay long for the meeting.

Yet Arushi was a fraud, too, of sorts. My boss and  Brian praised her research skills, yet I once had her do a competitive analysis for one of our PR clients. It was inadequate, to say the least. The interns I eventually hired to help me in my PR department made her work look terrible. However, she took the cake for me, when before she left our firm, she actually walked into my boss’ office and demanded a $70K salary to stay working there as her internship was coming to a close. She was barely out of school and knew nothing about marketing or social media and was asking for this??? Millennial stupidity and arrogance will never cease to amaze me.

So, after several months there, I finally had it with Lark, and his inept ways and let my boss know of my displeasure with his lame social media performance, and his having no communication with me. It all came to head as my boss and Lark got into a series of arguments about his lame performance and willful ignorance.

workwellmore

This didn’t improve anything between me and Lark, but it did lead to his departure from our firm a couple of months later much to my relief.

However, be careful what you wish for.

Lark’s replacement was actually worse.

More on that in my next blog.

 

The Brazilian Incident

welcome-to-brazil-icon-set-travel-and-tourism-concept-brazil-background_10083-246

I will call this “The Brazilian Incident.”

It sparked one of the worst and troubling periods of my public relations career and nearly led to me finally, once and for all, leaving this heartbreaking profession for good.

The Brazilian Incident all started rather innocently.

Our agency, as had written in my previous posts, brought in a lot of interns from the local colleges and for a while, this included a lot of foreign exchange students.

Two Brazilian interns in their early twenties — Emmanuella and Tristessa — joined our team for several months.

Like Millennials in general, they had no courtesy or manners and were strangely standoffish and smug but didn’t know anything.  I had known a number of Brazilian women in work and in my personal life through the years. Unfortunately, Emmanuella and Tristessa possessed none of the warmth, kindness, and passion of the Brazilian women I had known and worked with.

Emmanuella had a strange low voice and laughed at dumb shit on the internet.  If you tried to say hello to Tristessa, she would give you a strange suspicious look like you were trying to pick her up or something. She even gave me a weird look after my boss introduced us after her first interview.  Later, I found out she as a public relations major, but she never once tried to learn anything from me, someone with a lot of experience in the business. Not surprising, though.

Frankly, neither one of them were as cool or as hot as they thought they were. But their attractiveness or coolness is hardly important, as it is their attitudes that proved more than troubling.

The problem all started during a long work car trip to Silicon Valley for a new business presentation to a large Chinese tech company. Rather than fly some of the team up there and do the rest via Skype or phone, my boss cheaped out and rented a van to take the whole team up to the meeting.  It was a long and grueling drive for nothing. We never did get the client, but that is another story.

On the tedious and tiring drive back from Silicon Valley, Emmanuella, who was sitting next to me in the middle seat of the van with Tristessa, fell asleep on my arm for a short while. I thought about waking her up, but I didn’ t want to disturb her. This proved a costly mistake that I would regret over the next few months.

When Emmanuella woke up, she was startled, said excuse me, and abruptly moved away from me. She didn’t initially act strangely — like I was trying to molest her or something — until later. I swear I never touched her, or had any intentions of touching her, but that didn’t matter in her eyes. She slept on my arm. What the fuck?

In fact, I had a similar experience while on a plane a few years ago. A woman — who was closer to my age — fell asleep against my arm for a brief while as she sat next to me during the flight. When she woke up, she was very apologetic and nothing ugly ever came from it. She didn’t think I was trying to molest her or something. Crazy.

planesleep

So, after we stopped at a gas station to fuel up and go to Starbucks, Emanuella moved to the very back of the van and avoided me like I had the plague.  When we finally arrived back to the office that night to go home, Emanuella ignored me as did her friend Tristessa.

The next day at the office, Emanuella avoided me like I was some kind of old sexual predator. Her friend Tristessa did the same.

Then it got even worse. For weeks after the van incident, I was shunned from their so-called team lunches they had with other creepy Millennials and others around our office — namely Lydia, Code Boy, and their creepy social media manager friend (who I will write about in an upcoming post). They would invite everyone right in front of me like I was invisible.  They also did this when they invited the entire office — except for me — to an after-work party for Halloween.

hostile work

Still, I wondered if I was imagining all of this…

Sadly, I wasn’t. However, I didn’t realize how bad things really were until Emmanuella and Tristessa rudely warned one of their friends against me – right in front of me!!!

One of their friends, an attractive, tall woman with long black hair, visited our office and greeted me in a friendly manner. I actually saw Tristessa and Emmanuella immediately get up from their desks and pull their friend away and take her out of the office like I was some kind of a sexual predator to be avoided.

The horrible looks of hatred and fear on the faces of Emmanuella and Tristessa when they warned their friend about me haunted me for weeks.  I was beyond insulted and hurt. I was furious. I debated about telling my boss about it, which I didn’t.

Now, I have been treated horribly at PR firms through the years, but never quite as rudely as that. I had to leave the office for a while I was so shaken up.

Who were these fucking creepy interns to feel they could treat me like this? In a work environment, no less.

I never spoke to them again after that.

brazilianwomanpic3

When the Brazilian freaks finally left our agency after their internship was over I was so elated.

Lydia’s final message to Emmanuella and Tristessa on their last day was to “stay beautiful.”  Of course, they (and Lydia for that matter) were anything but beautiful, as I believe beauty is truly skin deep, but not in their case with their ugly, unfriendly, and immature attitudes.

In the end, I, unfortunately, discovered through this crazy Brazilian Incident…that the rudeness and cluelessness of Millennials truly cross borders, and sadly, is an age and generational thing.