Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The TwentySomething Boys

August 31, 2004

Ever an armchair anthopologist, my senses are never closed off from observations regarding generations, demographics, and the like. Though barely more than an artificial hobby, it does afford me the opportunity, at times, to step back after a long day of grief and self-abuse to analyze the mounds of information I might've gathered. Gathering, in this sense, is a bit of a misnomer; let's assume it's a combination of eavesdropping, staring, and sarcastic conversation. I wish I could extinguish this habit, as the joy lasts about as long as picnic potato salad.
It's a natural tendency to organize things. As such, we love to organize ourselves - into races, colors, creeds (how many people actually know a person's "creed"...). People like to form groups in their heads, most often groups that exclude themselves. "Those rich folk". "Those lousy Europeans". It's even more irritating to group everyone by status. Wealthy people are despised for the assumption that they're arrogant and elitist; poor people are outcasts for their perceived lack of values and education.

As an uninspired daily worker bee, I'm forced to share an 11 floor hive with a predictable collection of peculiar drones, all of whom work in a huge company that commands the top 3 floors. The company, which is one of the successful dot com enterprises, has far too many people stuffed into that office space, apparently swelters in high turnover, and embraces the typical corporate flatness that we'd all hoped to forget. There are many more irksome aspects to this McCorporation (don't take that literally); the males that work there. I'd love to know where they keep the jagged, overused cookie cutter that cranks out these office boys, because I'm starting to realize that despite our supposed independent society, everybody from this class of yuppie-in-training is the same damn person. Since I have to share an elevator with these buffoons at least 5 times a day, I've learned all I need to know about this yuppie trainee clone. Here are the common traits of the male yuppie-in-training:

- Between the age of 24 and 28.
- Very short spiked hair, or medium-short dark hair with the tiresome sideburns
- Wearing a light blue dress shirt
- Attempt to dredge up painful small talk when slithering up to the bevy of office cuties
- Must walk with their hands in their pockets
- Have an annoying up and down bobbing effect as they slowly walk
- Use credit cards to pay for the $5 lunch
- Have a "smoke" every 30 minutes, unless they're tired from lack of sleep, then it's every 15 minutes
- Always a "real zombie" in the morning
- Always slept less than 5 hours last night, due to one or more of the following:
1. Had a few beers
2. Friend's birthday (incl. reason #1)
3. Saw a cool movie on cable
4. Played too much Playstation/XBox
5. Significant other (incl. reason #1)
6. Saw some band/artist/play/ex-girlfriend
7. Daily trip to Starbucks was too late
8. Segway breakdown
9. Had to wash blue dress shirts
10. Thai restaurant was too busy
11. Train that runs adjacent to the loft was too noisy
12. Treadmill-addicted neighbor that runs adjacent to the loft was too noisy
13. Had the runs
14. "I had this stuff called Ouzo? Djya ever have this stuff man? Wow."
15. Couldn't remove Ouzo stain from blue dress shirt
16. Vomiting friend
17. Vomiting on friend
18. Spent an hour trying to find parking (Cubs night games only)

I can't fault these metropolitan fellows from aspiring for corporate relevance, as they are gainfully employed, not rude (i.e. they're American born), and contributing some type of product to our economy. Unfortunately, their post-collegiate lifestyle doesn't have much variety, as if college taught them how to spend their evenings and survive on lack of sleep. Since it's still a learning phase for how to absorb the real world and daily grind, their vague grasp of independence belies their tendencies to blend in with their contemporaries. One might conclude that I have some anti-establishment slant; this may be true in a sense, but it's the painfully predictable mannerisms, shallow conversation, and unified appearance that keeps me mildly frightened and consistently irritated.