Sunday, January 16, 2011

Talkin' 'bout my generation.

Dr. Martin Luther King Day always reminds me of coming-of-age in the sixties. We were mad as hell and we DIDN‘T take it anymore. We stood up for civil rights, we stood up against, or for, the Vietnam War. There was no such thing as neutral territory in the sixties, we changed everything. The generation of the sixties decided that free-love, sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll were something that we were entitled to. We were tired of the same old rock-and-roll, so we threw in a little Blues, and the Blues men threw in a little Country and Western, and the whole world around us mixed-it-up, more than just a little.

"The Who" did a song about the kids of the sixties called "Talkin' 'bout my Generation".


People try to put us d-down (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Just because we g-g-get around (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin' 'bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (Talkin' 'bout my generation) 



The song pretty much said it all about the sixties. It was a time of great change. The world today is different because of “my generation”. We have new civil rights laws. Laws where all people are supposed to be treated equally. We roasted Jim Crow on the barbeque. We stopped the Viet Nam War. We changed the music to the way that we liked to move. Some of us tried and liked drugs. Most of us didn’t try drugs, but there was enough children of the sixties on drugs that it seemed that, surely, everybody was on drugs. L.S.D. seemed to be the drug of choice back then, Marijuana is the big choice today.

This January is the One Hundredth Anniversary of “The Rotarian” the magazine of the Rotary Club. It was started to be a information source for the already large and popular Rotary Club. They really out-did themselves for the Hundredth year issue.


In “The Rotarian“, there is a article by P.J. O’Rourke, he talks a little about the sixties. He said: “I’m not going the pass the wisdom of one generation down to the next. I’m a member Of the 1960s generation. We didn’t have any wisdom.”


He went on to say:
“We were the moron generation. We were the generation who believed we could stop the war in Viet Nam by growing our hair long and dressing like circus clowns.”


“We believed that drugs would change everything - Which they did, for John Belushi.”


“We believed in free love. And love was free, but we ended up paying a very high price for the sex.”


“My generation spoiled everything for you. It has always been the special prerogative of youth to act weird and shock the grown-ups. But my generation exhausted the earth’s resources of weird. Weird clothes - we wore them. Weird beards - we grew them. Weird words and phrases - we used them. So, when it came your turn to look and act weird, you had to tattoo your faces and pierce your tongues.”


O’Rourke went on to offer the local youth some “Free Advice”. He said:

 “Don’t be an idealist. Don’t chain yourself to a redwood tree. Go be a corporate lawyer and make $500,000 a year. No matter how much you try to cheat the I.R.S, you will end up paying $100,000 in taxes. That’s $100,000 worth of schools and sewers, firefighters and police. You’ll be doing good for society.”

“Idealists are also bullies. The idealist is saying, ‘I care more about the redwood trees than I do you. I care so much, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, it broke-up my marriage. And because I care more than you do, I’m a better person than you are, and I have the right to boss you around.’”


“Go get some bolt cutters and unleash that tree from the idealist.”


O’Rourke says: “Who does more to save the redwoods anyway - the person who’s chained themselves to a tree or the person who founds the Green Travel redwoods Tree-Hug Tour Company and makes a million by turning redwoods into a resource that people will pay hundreds of dollars just to go look at?”


Most people today either love or hate the sixties. It seems that everyone calls themselves a product of the sixties. If they were alive in the sixties, even if they only had one toe sticking out of the womb in the sixties, they claim to be “a product of the sixties”. It was a period of great change, and everybody wants to be part of change. Change is good... right?


I see, and feel, rumblings of change today like we had going into the sixties. People are starting to demonstrate, people are certainly fed up. Our politicians are mostly corrupt, our corporations are sending all of our jobs, that they can, to other countries. People are starting to wonder why the U.S. has to be the world police. Why not let other counties defend themselves if they can, and if they can’t, Oh well.


The young people of today are going to pay the debt of the corruption that we see going on in the world now. Maybe the children of the Two-Thousand-Teens will take us into a new world, where they are mad as hell, and they won’t take it anymore. I hope that I’m around to see it. The one thing that I’m certain of, I won’t be giving them any advice, the children of the sixties didn’t take any advice, and I’m sure that the children of today won’t take our advice. It’s time for them to revolt against what we have done for them, Or should I say to them.



I'm reminded of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times"

26 comments:

Stephen said...

As a highly prejudiced observer I just want to say that our generation will go down in history as the most massively radical generation humankind has so far ever produced. We initiated ecological values that will have to be addressed by all communities in order for human beings to survive as a species. We established the right of individual freedom to think and choose for ourselves more so than any generation before us. Of course we made mistakes, we were pioneers exploring new territory with no prior maps. We did the best we could and some day historians will praise us for it even if our children go the other way back into American dum-dum greed and conformity. Our generation's Sign, the Peace Sign, is now universally known and in it's incorporation in the Sword of Peace religious icon it graces Nazareth today and someday will be honored in Jerusalem where God as Peace, Shalom, was first worshiped in the world.

riomaggiore said...

i was very aware of being a part of the sixties as i was at Berkeley at the beginning of the free speech movement and involved in most political activities right up thru People's Park.
we made LSD (when it was legal), saw the start of music that forever changed my world, earned a plethora of of degrees, etc..
then i went into the straight world of owning my own business, which employed 25 people, decided to go to law school in my late forties, became a mr. mom to my boys who are now off into the world, practice law, developed low income housing in the bay area, etc., etc., etc..
now i reside in laytonville at the place that ben branscomb built (i think) an i have been pondering just what it is that was accomplished for my generation by what it is i may have done.
i do know that i have instilled in many the idealism that makes me me. my boys are survivors and know how to get along in the world. they share to a degree the sense of hope is always maintain. i believe i have done the same in the many professions i have completed.
now i am becoming a farmer, writer, friend in a community i love. i expect nothing from anyone an am willing to share most anything i have with those that may need it.
idealism? yes! if i find the alternative reprehensible and will not cave into the critical spirit that invades our society today. my hope is in the present and next generation to do things even better. no map or recipe or equation at hand that guarantees success or failure. rather my hope is in the creative abilities of my grandsons and children who will bring about a better and creative way to carry on the freedoms and tasks ahead. i'm sure they will accomplish even more than we ever dreamed about. let their spirits soar...
ciao!

Rose said...

I love the 60s and 70s. I hate what has come about since. The guy you quote is right.

Andrew Bird said...

I have always referred to myself as a product of the Sixties because they occurred during my formative years. I was born in 1957; grew up and went to public schools in North-Central California during the Sixties. I was 11 in 1968. I had an older sister who came of age during the most virulent years who helped me understand what was going on. My father, who went AWOL from the US Army and fled to Canada early in WWII so he could fight the Nazis (and he did), espoused violent hatred at the young men who fled to Canada to avoid Vietnam. (He also hated all the Kennedys.) As my sister grew older and dabbled in the counterculture, my father wrote her off. "She's gone psychedelic." Yes - I was shaped by the events of that decade.

spyrock said...

in 1965, i actually got a rotary scholoarship for $100 for being the best musician in the band my senior year. it paid for my books to go to a very traditional university that was four blocks from haight street. this was my reward for having the 7th highest gpa in a class of 300. i was raised by a very traditional family. my 5g grandfather was a pow in the american revolution. coming from such a small town with very little to do, i was totally in awe being 17 and on my own in a big city. i used to ride the bus by the hastings school of law down to the beach below the cliff house every day to go surfing. the same hastings who owned eden valley and bankrolled the genocide of the eel river indians. so much for lawyers. it makes me laugh to hear these tales about the 60's written by people who weren't even born or who were still living in the 50's, 40's or great depression until disco hit and those bell bottoms and polyester outfits made them twice about the 60's being so bad. the truth is, i had the time of my life and i knew it at the time. and i have great memories like seeing the grateful dead 35 times, the doors 4 times, janis joplin over 20 times, jimi hendrix the first time he played the fillmore and on an on never paying more than $3.00 and most of the time free. and that was just at night after all day surfing at the beach. i have never been healthier in my life than i was in those days. i looked like a god.
in spite of all the fun i had, i still graduated in 4 years. so i would like to thank the rotary for giving me that $100, otherwise i never would have experienced the time of my life. are you enperienced? thanks to rotary, i am.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spy
Our local Rotary club still gives away $100 per month for the student of the month. No strings attached. They get to spend it however they want. The teachers get to pick the student and the category.

We also give about $5,000 per year in scholarships.

I'm happy to hear stories like yours, where a little dab of money was a boost in a positive direction. It just goes to show that a little bit of encouragement can make a difference.

spyrock said...

i really understand your locals and the newcomers or your loggers and the growers mentality. for me it was the locals and the air force. they shut the base down in the 90's but there are still a lot of air force retired here. of course, i'm a local and my family, like yous, helped build the town.
over the years, people have come together for the sake of the community. i hope this happens in your community for everyones sake.
it's important that groups like the rotary exist and that they can offer scholarships to help the young people in the community have a chance for a college education.
my parents were big supporters of the air force museum and many of the air force people became part of the local community. i'm not sure if legalization would have the same effect as a base shutdown but whatever happens perhpas some of the people you think need to start supporting the community will do that, especially if they think they are part of it too. of course, that might take a little forgiveness and love. in light of the fact that tomorrow is martin luther king day who along with john and robert kennedy were killed back in the 60's. not to forget my classmates and brothers who never made it home from nam and those of us who still carry the scars of that war. that was the dark side of the sixties that i remember.

Stephen said...

Andrew Bird's father sounds a bit like mine. I was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, went through all the steps for two years trying to establish my C.O. appeal which was denied every step because in those days you had to belong to a recognized pacifist church like Quakers or J.W's for pacifist recognition which I couldn't provide being at the time mostly an atheist. We were prepared to leave for Canada when I lost the 9th Circuit Court decision but then I got one of the last father deferments given out when my daughter was born. That war messed up practically every man I've met who served there. My father who hated that I wouldn't serve my country when called actually went over to Vietnam on a construction crew just to show me what I should have been doing. He was there for 6 months or so. In grand irony, my daughter became one of those brave women who volunteered on women's construction crews working for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Now she's a born-again fundamentalist Christian. Go figure..

skippy said...

I enjoyed my time in the 60's; it was fairly carefree and protected looking back.

Seeing high school seniors and my friend's older brothers drafted gave me great pause, Ernie. I was hesitant of going to South East Asia as a soldier shouldering a gun and the given responsibilites. Especially still being at the tender and naive age of 15... and a virgin. For some stupid reason-- and as silly as that sounds-- that bothered me. Dying as a virgin.

You were either on one side or the other concerning the war; there was no in-between. I had to keep my hair cut short, stay away from those that didn't, and not listen to that 'damn' coming-of-age rock music. I listened anyway when I could. 'Charles Manson' was what happened to you if you strayed from the flock.

The folks never picked up long-haired hitchhikers (or anyone for that matter)... but if they were in uniform, we always did. It was a duty of sorts.
I questioned the war once and remember Mom giving me a slap across the face. She was a nurse and had taken care of returning soldiers.

Many of those high school seniors returning from the war had changed; most more mature and worldly, some horribly damaged. It was an ugly time.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Skippy
I was going to join the Air Force, until a high school counselor that I chose to ignore pissed me off and rubbed the fact into me that once I was in the military I would have to take stupid people ordering me to do life and death things whether I liked it or not. He gloated just a little too much! I decided not to join. Then the guy I was going to buddy up with in boot camp got killed after one week in Nam.

I didn't want to go to Viet Nam, but I was willing if I was drafted. At first I had a student deferment. They kept reducing the “deferment” down the line, so then I got married just as they were taking all single males, then I had a child, so that was a deferment. Then they went to the lottery system, BINGO, my number came up. I went down to Oakland for the pre-draft physical. They told me if I had recently been under doctors care, or I had lost weight recently. To bring my medical records.

It was actually kind of funny how well they treated me. They were treating everybody else that was trying to get out of the draft like crap. I finally figured out that the medical records that I brought with me were in a blue folder… the same as the guys that were trying to join the Navy. When they did the medical questioneer, one of the questions was about had I lost weight. I had, I used to work in the woods and was pretty muscular. After working in refrigeration. I lost weight as my muscles went away and I had just hurt my back, so the combination of inactivity caused me to lose 15 lbs.

So, when I said that I had a back problem, they x-rayed me. I can still remember the military doctor looking at the x-rays. He said: “ouch, I’ll bet that hurt! Too bad son, you would have been a great sailor, your test scores are great, but we can’t take anybody with a back as bad as yours”. So I spent the rest of my life packing refrigerators and air-conditioners. The doctor was right… Ouch. But the choice was pain or die, and I just enjoy life too much!

Anonymous said...

The quotes are a crock. Everything related to business and politics post 1960 are the results of the baby boomers who, in his words, didn't fight for change but followed the status quo and became the $500k/year lawyers and such. THEY fucked it up for everybody, and continue to do so. THEY were all about corporate gain, nationalism, MONEY, and continue to be.

Also, knowing a little about the guy, he reveals a big hint of what shaped HIS attitude with the bit about your wife leaving you. BITTER!

Dave Stancliff said...

I was born in 1950 and graduated from high school in 1968.

Spent a lot of time in SF - communal living, drugs, free sex, ect. Great music back then.

That's about all I remember!

suzy blah blah said...

I don't care for the greatful dead, or the smell of patchouli, or tie-dye, or even lsd all that much. But what Suzy really admires about the original hippys was that they dropped out, they didn't go to school to get brainwashed and they didn't go to work to become slaves to the system. They weren't clubbed into submission and forced to fight and kill for some rich fat company's benefit. I learned from them that there is light outside of that darkness, somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness. I don't go to school or work at straight jobs or believe in it, and I plan on never working again in that rat's maze called society. "Fuck work!" There's a whole life to be lived, and before you know it its over. You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life. That's what I learned and relate to about the old hippys from the 60s. Do your own thing. Your life is yours to live! If they wouldn't have all sold out maybe there woulda been an actual revolution or something. But that's not the way it is.

Dave Kirby said...

In '66' as I gazed out the window of the airliner that brought me back from a year on the ground in Viet Nam I was struck by the beauty of the golden hills of the bay area. Three years latter I would return to San Francisco on a chartered bus to participate in one of the largest anti war marches in west coast history. The Moratorium March of Oct 15, 1969. Don't think I could do justice to those days without boring the hell out of folks but I do remember that a whole lot of leftists who called themselves "Yippies" changed a vowel and became "Yuppies". I think that the "60s" were a result of the tight assed nuclear terror of the"50s". The grownups had screwed up the world and we thought we could change it. Whether we did depends on who's talking.

Ekovox said...

The 1960's for me was Wizzers, Stringray bikes, steelies, cootie catchers and creepie crawlers. It was The Tijuana Brass and The Jackson 5. It was Dean Jones in The Shaggy D.A. and Kurt Russell in The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes. The 1960's opened my eyes to all of the wonderful icons of the generation. Sorry, I didn't see the 1960's through the eyes of Berkeley and San Francisco's Haight district. That is not until my school mate brought in a Furry Freak Brothers comic to the 5th grade classroom, stolen from his older brother who was attending college at Davis. Of course, the the "Sixties" didn't really reach the Klamath-Trinity area until the 1970's. Being several years behind the trends of the nation, isn't all that bad.

The "Seventies", now there was a generation. Hendrix, my rumpus, we had K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

spyrock said...

just a few facts to go with the hipshistry. i know it was a long time ago. there were very few hippies living in the haight in 1966. the greatful dead lived near the corner of clayton and haight right around the corner from the psychedelic shop and the house of richard which were the only two hip stores on the street in 1966. on new years day 1967, there was a hells angel birthday party where the airplane, dead and big brother played but they had a lot of trouble with the equipment. about 50 motorcycles showed up in formation with them passing the bottle of jack with janis. i guess the musicians got permission from the angels to play in the panhandle because after that it became a weekly occurance. two weeks later at the polo fields they had the first human be in, the gathering of the tribes. most of the people who showed up to those early events looked pretty straight to me and most of them were from out of town and few lived in the haight yet. as 1967 progressed, more and more people began to move into the area. but all the san francisco kids that i knew that went to school or college didn't have much to do with what was happening. it wasn't until monterey pop that lou adler and the mommas and the poppa's woke everyone up to what was happening in the bay area at that time. i was actually filling in for the person who collected the $2.00 admission at the avalon when michelle and john phillips walked up the stairs to check it out in the fall of 1966. according to wikipedia The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was a three-day concert event held June 16 to June 18, 1967 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. Monterey was the first widely promoted (by lou adler of the mommas and papas) and heavily attended rock festival, attracting an estimated 55,000 total attendees with up to 90,000 people present at the event's peak at midnight on Sunday.[1] then you had the summer of love which was more of a tourist event for the city of san francisco and there were tour buses that went through the haight all day long showing the japanese tourists the wierd looking americans. so it was all about making money off tourism and making money off the music. i'm sure i was one of the first people ever asked for spare change in san francisco on haight street. i do know where the hippie ladies fashions came from. some of them copied my friend carol who was a beatnik who went to the beach everyday and bodysurfed. carol was the one who didn't work and did her own thing. she had about 5 girls who went bodysurfing with us and they all started dressing like her. pretty soon almost all the girls in the haight began to dress like that. and people did drop out and try to do their own thing but all of those communal living arrangements didn't last because the people that did work and paid the rent got tired of supporting everyone else. it was that simple.
it wasn't until the 70s when gaskin bragged about living off a 50 lb bag of brown rice and dropping out of the system that the rest of the original batch of hippies left the haight for tennesee. i was there the day they left.
just a bunch of ordianry folks for the most part. i used to see john phillips all the time. the way he looked and the low profile he kept was a clever disquise for the marketing genius he was in real life.

charlie two crows said...

In the fall of 69 my lottery number was THREE! Old men start them! Young men die in them. And the rest of us pay for them!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure glad I missed all that commotion going on in the cities like SF back in the 60's. I never was one to like crowds and I always wondered if it was some kind of defect of mine that pretty much disliked the "see and be seen" bunch of folks. For the most part, I will go out of my way to not see people that others brag about seeing.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Spy, thanks for the history. My buddy, Dan Healy was the Dead's sound man. He was raised in Weott and Redway. His dad owned a Juke Box company that leased them to the bars and restaurants in the So-hum area. Healy's first sound system was a whole bunch of Juke box speakers wired together.

Charlie. Three? Talk about ouch!

Oregon
I was a lot like you, I avoided crowds, but as I got older I started liking to hang around the outside of the crowds and watch them. It's amazing what a human being will do to themselves to have fun... And provide entertainment for me...

olmanriver said...

California and its counterculture were mythological to us midwest "hippies".
Flat feet and a high draft number kept me from having to attempt a CO deferment. I did play a little game of sending the draft board my draft card in ashes, and they would send me another, and I would burn it and return it...three times.
No old man named Uncle Sam was going to tell me what to do.
I was involved in anti-war politics for years before I tried any drugs... having seen John, MLK, Robert, and the Kent State students get shot down in one decade turned my political heart black. The government was, and still is, the enemy of the people.
I only hung and burned Tricky Dick twice... in effigy of course.
My first two years at college were at a liberal arts school in Michigan that was a training ground for scientists for Dow Chemical. When they fired the most liberal professors on campus, a group of over 150 of us left the school. I was ready to drop out, having broken my back and become so depressed about Amerika and its military madness.
What Steven Gaskin did in leading a group off to a rural commune was very inspiring to many of us. We read Mother Earth News and the Whole Earth Catalog, and checked out a lot of $40 an acre land in S. Ohio, N. Carolina, Michigan, etc. My parents bribed me to stay in school by letting me go to a couple of make up your own curriculum colleges. I studied what I wanted to and did twice the work of the other students.
What I mostly learned in this era was, as Suzy articulated, how to stay out of the system and live in the cracks of society.

I certainly enjoy the comments here from those who were on the front lines, overseas (I empathize) or in the Haight (fascinating).

spyrock said...

i spent a really normal kind of animal house freshman year. going to the beach every day and lots of mixers at night dancing to the stones, beatles, and righteous brothers. i checked out the filmore in the spring of 65 when another musician i knew from school got off the bus. they had a bowl of sugar cubes with a sign above it that said, "take one" on a table near the entrance. there was nobody playing and very few people so i went on down to long shoremans hall where creedence clearwater was playing. fights were breaking out, everyone had a small bottle of whiskey in their jacket, it was typical norcal. over the summer, several albums came out including one by my fellow drummer from high school, greg elmore who played for quicksilver messinger service. greg and i had been playing music together since 61 with lee michaels who was down in los angeles trying to make it the pop way. so the first thing i did when i got back to school was to go see greg play at the avalon with the dead and janis on the bill as well. so i was always a quicksilver fan i talked all my friends into going with me. we were the babies at the avalon, most of the people were in their late 20s. just so oregon don't feel alone, i wasn't catholic and i went to public school so i was an outcast at the university i was going to. there were only about 5 of us in the whole school who checked these things out. i used to stand by the speakers to watch the drummers. that was before everyone started using marshall amps. i knew some people who worked for alembic who made speakers for the dead and a lot of other people. most of these bands including the dead weren't very good musicians when things started out. which the southern california musicians always pointed out. that's why they chose monterey, neutral ground, for the first big concert. they were all gargage bands that got lucky. and they were just as nobody as i was in those days. i went to haight street to get the posters that they gave out for free. i thought they would be worth something one day. they are but an old girlfriend wound up with all my big ones. i still have quite a few postcards as i was on their mailing list and i would always grab a few on my way home. but back when i did it, it wasn't the in thing and when it became that, i stopped going. i actually got kicked out of the filmore by bill graham for dancing by myself. he wanted everyone to sit still on the floor all hunched together. later dude.

charlie two crows said...

For me the 60's were all about the music. The music has gotten me through the last 40 plus years. I still listen to the Greg Kien show in san jose. And an oldies station in redding on the web. I live in the desert 2hrs north of vegas. So I can play it as loud as I want. If I
had to pick one song that describes my life in the 60's It would
be. Time of the Season by the Zombies. I've heard a band played it in laytonville at an earth day in 09. Locals could verify the name of the band. And suzy the hippie girls loved to hear me sing that song. It worked everytime.

Anonymous said...

For me, the 60's was about one pretty girl, hunting, trapping, working on somebodies else's ranch and family. From the stories I heard from my family and friends and the way I grew up I figured it would always be the same. All I had to do is make my own nitch.
That was the first time I was really wrong, so spent the rest of my life chasing my tail. Just won't chase it at home. It's somebodies else's home now.
A friend of mine name Ken Stevens told me one time that "There is a whole new world out there". He was so right. Now I live where there is big elk and two different kinds of deer, maybe three. I will get back to you if there are Sitka Blacktail here too.

Oregon

spyrock said...

life is really strange. i was raised about as conservative as you can get. for the first 17 years of my life, i did what i was told and never got in any trouble.
the reward for all that hard work was to be in a place where none of that mattered. new rules. there aways seems to be a new horizon for me to venture toward, no matter what has gone before. not just both sides now, but over, under and upside down.

Anonymous said...

I think I know what Spyrock is saying about new rules. I grew up with a dad that thought work is what made this world go around. I remember when Ernie helped me with chores my dad had for me and when we started laughing he would say "if you're laughing you're not working hard enough." My dad instilled in me that work is golden and told me when I was working for somebody to never complain about not feeling good. When you came to the end of a job, the last day you should work as hard as the first day on the job. His idea was if you give your best on the first day and every day to the last day you will be the first to be asked to go back to work when needed.
My dad ended up in Watsonsonville, CA. after I was grown up and one of his employees told me to "NEVER DO MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO." That one sentence has never struck as more wrong than I can convey here. I will never forget it either. It is because of this I understand what Spyrock is saying in my mind. Folks from different backgrounds view life wrong. I am trying to be a little humorous here. I will say again, that the folks that don't see it my way are wrong. I ain't talking about you Spy so please don't take offense, I am just agreeing with you.

Oregon

spyrock said...

if my 94 year old grandma didn't have the flu she would have been outside raking the leaves and the car that drove through her living room would have missed her. i still remember her husband giving me a whupping with a razor strap because i was his blood and because i couldn't figure out how to start the lawn mower at 7 years of age. my dad was a lot like oregons dad except maybe that my dad liked to talk and he would stand there and talk to the custormer while i was digging the ditch for him. maybe that was customer relations, but my dad never paid me because he never sent out bills. people just owed him. but if he didn't know how to fix something, he usually knew someone who would fix it for us for free because they owed him. but my dad would probably talk just as much as he worked. so when i went to work for the union i ran into what you are talking about. people would want to fight you over talking someone else's job in your spare time. so i just learned to work for myself and i did try to respect other people's job. but i've always worked for myself. it doesn't matter what i'm doing. i had an old boss whose favorite words were "new rules" when someone higher up than him changed things. i'm dealing with that right now as my boss for the last 15 years has just retired and his replacement is half his age and completely ignored his advice and this young guy knows everything already. so he's making all these changes at work. whatever the old boss did, he is doing a different way. almost all the employees are upset and whatever job security they thought they had is up in the air. it's only easier for me because i'm a short timer and i'm outta there soon anyway. i already know how to increase production, i've always known, but they aren't paying me to do that and this new boss wouldn't listen to me anyway. he would just say, "oh, that's how you did it in the olden days."
is he wrong? i would actually use a stronger word than that. the bottom line is that things will be easier for me while this guy is trying to reinvent the wheel. i might even delay my retirement from there if it gets too easy.