In worthwhile things ​​​​​​​

In Newsletter Editorial5 MinutesBy Dave McCoidMay 26, 2023

Many of the issues causing strain and tension in the road transport industry are endemic in the broader economy; shortage of staff, lack of training and experience, and a less prioritised attitude and approach to work. The latter is by all accounts a superior culture to the one instilled in previous generations. I have attended more than one industry conference where those who have given much in terms of commercial and community contribution were chastened for attempting to instil values like work ethic, accountability, timeliness and generational respect into the upcoming flock. The message was that we must adjust the mechanics of privilege into a system more suited to how they want to live and work. I guess it’s fair, considering people born in or after 1995 now make up the bulk of the workforce. It’s their gig now, and all I can assume is they have a plan to shore up the ever-increasing gap between the ‘to-do’ and ‘completed’ lists observable across fundamental tasks in the economic engines of so many nations.

One of the laments the older generations also often discuss is the loss of community and fellowship within the act of work. Oh, the paradox in the cries for an environmental renaissance and the immediate cessation of our toying with natural mechanisms in the biosphere while all the time dismembering our natural societal mechanisms, the results of which are equally apparent for many.

I’ve said on several occasions we may rue the day we ever chose to remove the young from the workplace en masse, ignorant to the breadth of learning and development taking place when they interacted with those who worked a particular craft in its societal setting. Ironically, the skillsets encompassed in any craft are narrow by comparison to what was taking place around it. Then there’s the loss of reciprocation being the positive self-worth present in the act of teaching and conveying information.

Having an increasing number of young folk look on work almost through a victim’s eyes is a narrow, wobbly and short plank for any civilisation. It’s a sad situation that many employers I talk to are adamant exists – do as little as possible for as short a time as possible for as much as possible. The respect levelled at such things as sick days is almost farcical. But again, it’s not the fault of the employee. According to those attempting to drag the previous generations into the enlightenment, it’s the inflexible, draconian work environment they create. Expecting even an ounce of flesh is considered truly medieval by today’s counsel.

As much as I’ll receive lashings from the sophisticated for implying that we live in a time when no dignity or status is seen in once noble occupations, I give you the most hideous of undignified acts – the side hustle. A toxic by-product of the digital online world, the definition implies an additional income of dubious worth. Of course, ‘additional’ provides an ethical escape route on several fronts. The problem is that many of the practitioners claim to have quit their day jobs, earning fanciful amounts of lazy, hollow money.

Nature will always rebalance an imbalance. In her own way and in her own time, she will take care of an apathetic society ever more indebted and physically, intellectually, and inspirationally morbid. Today’s truancy, today’s ‘hustle’, are tomorrow’s ill health, poverty and squalor.

The silver lining in it all for now is the youth who see the opportunities. As I say to my kids, they live in times of great and boundless possibility. We were all raised by post-war baby boomers, and a far greater percentage of our generation was hungry for the success they worked towards. I say to mine, now, “Half of your generation can’t get out of bed, so if you’ve got a to-do list and the energy to pursue it, the fortunes are there for the taking.”

All the best

Dave McCoid
Editorial Director