Across Generations - why do interns laugh at 420 milestones?

Listening in on unfiltered conversations of other generations can be enlightening.  It may also be frustrating or confusing. Just roll with it. You will be able to relate to them better if you understand what is important to them and they know listened.

A previous employer had a Slack channel for all the interns and new-hires. I subscribed to it because I knew it would provide a relatively unfiltered view of the company. It was one of the most active of the hundreds of channels. It had the usual do these folks know this is a work topic you would expect.  The channel wranglers had to deal with it occasionally. Usually, it was not a big deal.

I noticed that there were certain memes or inside jokes I didn't get.  The channel had a ton of activity as they tried to get more people to join the channel, all focused on getting 420 members in the channel.  I didn't understand it until I searched the internet.  They were playing on the date 4/20.  It wouldn't have occurred to me to work that into a conversation like it occurred to them.   Not everyone participated because there were subgroups in the channel.  No one complained and many were chuckling.  

Listen Up!

Dynamic workplaces have a diversity of ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, and age.  This is especially true if they recruit broadly or sit in urban centers or cultural melting pots. The same employer had a "working across generations" class that I wish I had taken.  I would have liked to understand some of the attitude or thought pattern differences between my generation and those just entering the workforce.

How do you try and bridge across generations?


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