I am getting the giggles over the solemn articles now appearing in magazines devoted to the legal profession, detailing the DEMANDS of the group of kids called *Millenniels* who are teenagers for Lords sake. These brats DEMAND not only short hours and flexible schedules, but MEANINGFUL WORK when it is my experience that a large percentage of them cannot even alphabetize well enough to file.
In this business you do not get MEANINGFUL WORK until you have been on the job long enough to at least learn the terminology, and in a business where life is Deadline, you certainly get none if your main interest is how fast you can get away from your desk. Last week we had a mediation and everything had to come together so that when the green flag flew, the driver could put the hammer down and go. Or if you like, when the surgeon said *scalpel* he did not receive a misspelled e-mail whining that the writer did not have time to find the scalpel due to the nurse having a headache the night before...and signed *sent from my Blackberry.*
Teaching the Millenials, as they call themselves apparently, that the low man on the totem pole gets the scut work because that is the way he or she learns the nuts and bolts of the job is the hardest part of the job. I have actually had to explain to young reporters that the reason they got credentials to a race is to provide me, their boss, with what I want at the time I specify. (I had a photographer leave me flatfooted at a broadcast from Le Mans where he was told to appear at Noon and he showed up nearly an hour later, whining that *the session was not over.*) Some of them do learn this. I had a great young photographer, a young woman, who stepped in a hole and twisted her foot badly at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, and who apologized for shooting all her photos from the same vantage point -- but she sent me exactly what I needed and did not complain even a little bit about having to hobble out to the vantage point and stand all day in the sun on a twisted foot to do it. And I have had employees tossed out on their backsides for ignoring the regulation about never asking for goodies or autographs from people they are there to interview, and then wondering why I never hire them again.
First you prove you can do the job by learning everything you can at the level you are hired, and proving your knowledge and willingness to move up and be trusted with more complex work. Then you get up to the point where MEANINGFUL WORK might come your way. But in a sense all work is meaningful if you make it your mission to perform it in the best possible way.
"I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just [and] His justice cannot sleep forever." Thomas Jefferson (1774)