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Monday, 17 November 2014

Schadenfreude

I have to thank Josephus for giving me the smile of the weekend, and I'll share it with you.

As is his wont, Josephus was ruminating on many other matters while performing an essential, but generally menial task. Contemplating a "Use by Date" on, of all things, a packet of frozen prawns, it occurred to him that the prawns 'expired' at around the same time that the current crop of 'millennial' young people will start to enter the workforce, albeit that these will be those who, having been forced to stay in school while having little or no desire to do so, will be exiting those fun factories with only a small amount of the knowledge they could have had, and almost no usable skills.

What employment prospects await them? Not much.

That led him to consider the next election, five years beyond this one. At that point the next tranche of 'millenial' young folk, this time with degrees and diplomas, will be leaving places of Higher Education and seeking work, and now the fun starts. They will enter a world of commerce and industry (and perhaps politics and the Public Services) in which they will find themselves perennially 'too young/inexperienced' for promotion. A world in which all the senior posts are held by the current crop of 'pre-millenial' types - the generation that turned my, and Josephus, age group from being 'too young/inexperienced' to 'dinosaur' and shoved us out to grass. And herein is the rub, because, having told my generation that we are the problem/undeserving recipients destroying the pensions system, they have changed the rules - and now cannot, themselves, retire as they forced us to do.

Because these now ageing 'dinosaurs' cannot retire at 60, not even at 65, but will plan to go on for another twenty years, thereby making real progress for most of the talented young guns very slow.
So the 'young guns' will plot, scheme, and undermine. Remember, that we are talking about the 'connected' generation. In collective ways, they will devise the means to overthrow the 'dinosaurs', just as they did to my and Josephus' generation. And this is where the current crop of power mongers, 'leaders' and 'thinkers' will come unstuck. They've destroyed the means for following a 'career path' in almost all services and industries, indeed they have done the same in commerce. They have 'poisoned the waters' against those with age and experience on their side, and now they will have an angry, frustrated, and above all creatively able generation snapping at their heels.

They will be discarded as we were, but with a big difference. Unlike people like myself and Josephus,  they will not be able to take any pension of any sort. They have made a trap for themselves, and soon it will slam shut behind them. They will be in their late fifties or early sixties with occupational pensions worth a fraction of their predecessors, because the erosion of those benefits in kind was one of their principle weapons, and their old age pensions are still many years in the future.

Will they be employable?  Their lifelong career will have been cut short by a revolution, so probably not. Except as 'Tescbury's' shelf stackers on the zero hours contracts they thought was such a great idea for everyone else working night shift. As another friend says - Karma is a b-1-tch!

Josephus was kinder. He wrote -
I do believe that the Germans have a word for what in English can only be rendered as "Nya-nya-na-nya-nya."
He's right, the German's do have a word for it, and it has found its way into the English Dictionary as well. The word is "Schadenfreude" - to take delight in a self-inflicted misfortune.

Sadly, those most likely to be worst affected by this bout of 'Schadenfreude' are likely to be the group caught between those who pushed Josephus and my generation aside, and the 'millenials' who will shove them out of the window. Karma is indeed a ....

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