What to say about my younger boss’s manners. He is not a gentleman.
On our way to a sales call, my 32-year old boss barreled through the door ahead of me without waiting and holding the door open like a proper gentleman. I wondered to myself if he does this with his beautiful wife and sweet mother? Why is he treating me like one of “the guys?”
Working for this millennial guy makes me feel old for the first time. I find it irritating that he is a VP of Sales and lacks basic manners. He’s never given me the impression he is worried about his skill set, so I keep my mouth closed and don’t complain. However, we did have a showdown over his habit of wearing wrinkled clothing; I finally had it out with him when I was completely embarrassed by his attire after going to one of the top Columbus law firms. At least now he does make an effort to wear crisp shirts and actually looks handsome and pretty “GQ” — a bit of a surprise.
What are your thoughts?
–Anonymous, Columbus, Ohio
About the death of the gentleman.
In a gentle manner, over the course of time, remind your millennial boss that potential clients size up a person in a nanosecond. What they evaluate, according to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, is the person’s level of trustworthiness: Can they trust this person? Can they respect this person?
Personal appearance and attire, as superficial as this sounds, are nearly as important as personal behavior. Facetiously ask, “Didn’t anyone ever teach you basic good manners?”
Point out that the first thing people notice is whether you are male or female, your race, coloring, build and level of attractiveness.
You say he’s attractive now, but remind him as he approaches forty, to get by he’ll need to hone his soft skills and work on his manners.
It seems like he doesn’t know any better, which is why you shouldn’t take his lack of manners personally — although not holding the door open for you was extremely rude.
If you were a man he wouldn’t hold the door open for you.
Why don’t you have some fun with him. Next time you sense the same situation approaching, skip ahead, hold open the door and let him pass through. You need not say a word.
Keep in mind the fact that a third of the population are Millennials (born between 1980-2000), that they are the largest generational set in America, and that many of them live by the FOMO mantra — Fear Of Missing Out.
If you want to be a helpful employee, subtly refine the manners of your “me first” Millennial boss with a lot of humor. He may even thank you one day.
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