Zombies in the office: Take your Pokémon to work day

Senior Correspondent Mike Causey wonders if your office is overrun with characters like Psyducks and Pikachus.

It’s very rare when people have a world-changing, present-at-the-creation moment and realize it at the time. The world and the U.S. as we knew it changed instantly on 9/11. But most of us — especially those in or with friends and loved ones in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania — were too shocked, scared, angry or busy to realize it until later.

By contrast, the silly-but-serious introduction of the new Pokémon Go game this week gives all us a chance to think on and write down where we were, what we were doing, what we were thinking (or not) when the first distracted oaf stepped in front of our car, or wandered the halls at the office faced glued to phone.

After seeing the Monday night local and national TV news reports, I, like probably many others, expected the next day’s commute to be a nightmare. I could picture wrecked cars blocking the roads because of distracted drivers, walkers and cyclists looking for wild Pikachus and Psyducks.

Ironically (or not) the Pokémon Go craze comes at a time when lots of people, including the media, are ruminating on how well (or not) older workers are getting along with millennials and how the 30-something crowd feels about transitioning from college into a very different workplace. What, if anything, is to be made of the clash of cultures at the office?

Wednesday’s Your Turn show here on Federal News Radio was all about the changing face of government. Whatever your age, GS level, title or job, it would be worth listening to. You can do that by clicking here.

FNR reporters Nicole Ogrysko and Meredith Somers — both card-carrying millennials — talked about a survey FNR did on the impact of millennials on government service. Including the good and bad comments from people on both sides of the age gap. Again, interesting whether you agree or not because other people’s opinions are just as real and firmly held as our own. Several readers commented on the show. Here’s one, from a long-time Washington-based fed-watcher who now lives and works in Richmond who lasered-in on the Pokémon Go frenzy:

“Essentially, that’s what Pokémon Go is (more than a treasure) hunt. The game that has taken the social media crowd by storm, but there’s much, much more coming down the pike. In case you just got back from Jupiter (although Nintendo aims to bring it to that planet in the next few weeks), the game has ousted all previous fads in popularity. I became aware of it while walking my usual three-mile loop around my neighborhood. Dozens of kids seemingly lost, walking in circles, all gazing into their cellphones. Intent. Not talking. Just staring at the ground. Zombies all…

“Read where a young woman from Florida just fell off the rim of the Grand Canyon (probably never seen even so much as a hill before). She just as easily could have been trying to capture one of the game’s fanciful monsters that appeared to be floating a few feet beyond the edge where she fell, like Wiley E. Coyote, to her death.”

He predicted lots more to come:

“A D.C. based fed says, ‘In my office most of the young people are truly zombies. Nice enough when you can get them to talk, but they often cluster but instead of talking they are on their iPhones. I can’t imagine what this new Pokémon Go craze will mean to productivity and interpersonal relations. Doesn’t sound good.’

“Comment: I am a Gen Xer. The main difference I have seen with millennials in the workplace disturbs me. Perhaps it’s only contained to my office, but they spend more time complaining about others in the supervisor’s office then they do working. They sit and gossip cubicle-to-cubicle (Perhaps they are so quick in getting their work done, that they have time for idle chat, I don’t know). They come across entitled, try to get out of doing multiple projects and badmouth older employees by calling them slow. If I had to sum up my experience with millennials in the workplace with one word it would be unprofessional.” —Anon at DHS

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

Some commentators suggest that the origin of the term “party pooper” comes from the late 18th century phrase “pooh-pooh”, which is an expression showing disdain.

Source: Wikipedia

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