To Z or not to Z

By Steve Woodward

Summer reading, aka, short subjects.

Subject 1

We live in a time — now — during which what is trending is at once hilarious and terrifying.

Go to the back of the alphabet to understand more deeply. Generation Z. That we must acknowledge there is nothing after the letter Z is alarming enough. But get a load of these Zs. Born between 1997 and 2012. There are 68 million of them, and it’s safe to say the sector born between 1997 – 2001, college graduates eligible to enter the workforce, formerly known as “life”, are even more annoying than citizens born in 1996, let alone even the older, wiser among us.

We are learning that corporations, agencies, small businesses, are torn. They need to hire Gen Z but the talent pool is, shall we say, thin. The Zs do not know how to dress, how to show up for work, how to communicate and how to participate in an office environment. The Office, a television series of great renown, seems old school in contrast to the challenges management confronts with these Gen Z snowflakes.

Gen Z views the workplace as an eight-hour-a-day therapy session.

A professor claiming expertise on understanding the Gen Z mindset places the onus on those entities who seek to hire them. In other words, the lunatics will run the asylum.

“Gen Z are digital natives and they’ve always communicated online, so their interpersonal skills, or soft skills, have suffered,” said the University of San Diego’s Tara Salinas. “They took an even bigger hit because of Covid-19, and it has shifted the way that we need to interact with them in the workplace.”

Or? Try an alternative approach: This is the job description. These are your responsibilities. Here is your security badge. Our hours are 8:30 am – 6 pm. Men wear slacks and collared shirts and shoes made of leather uppers. Women wear slacks or modest skirts and business casual tops and closed-toed shoes.

If you need counseling, go to church on Sundays.

Subject 2


Someone wisely re-ordered the tedious social construct “diversity, equity and inclusion” as “diversity, inclusion and equity” to create an informative acronym, DIE.

Seems this was prescient.

Corporate America is memorializing the demise of DIE. The James Dean of the “woke” era. Young and invincible. Until it was not.

Reported the Wall Street Journal in July 21, 2023, editions:

“Diversity, equity and inclusion—or DEI—jobs were put in the crosshairs after many companies started re-examining their executive ranks during the tech sector’s shakeout (in Fall 2022). Some chief diversity officers (CDOs) say their work is facing additional scrutiny since the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions and companies brace for potential legal challenges. DEI work has also become a political target.

“The number of CDO searches is down 75% in the past year, says Jason Hanold, chief executive of Hanold Associates Executive Search, which works with Fortune 100 companies to recruit HR and DEI executives, among other roles.

“Demand is the lowest he has seen in his 30 years of recruiting. At the same time, he says, more executives are feeling skittish about taking on diversity roles.

“’They’re telling us, the only way I want to go into another role with DEI is if it includes something else’, he says of the requests for broader titles that offer more responsibilities and resources. He estimates that 60% of diversity roles he is currently filling combine the title with another position, such as chief human resources officer, up from about 10% five years ago.

DIE also is drawing skeptics in the world of academe. A retired accounting professor from with the California Community Colleges system notes that emphasis on equity and inclusion, in particular, is derailing higher education.

In a letter published by The Wall Street Journal, Mark Fronke of Long Beach, CA, recalls being encouraged by administrators to “lower my grading standards” to “promote equity” so as not to discourage students unequipped to tackle “the rigors of the course.”

While some inevitably will retire to escape DIE, its death knell will not sound until college faculty begin rejecting its absurdity in significant numbers, or when students and their parents stop underwriting it by rejecting inflated tuitions.

Subject 3

Why is SB90, a bill to liberate school children and their parents from government tyranny, languishing in the North Carolina Senate?

It’s principal sponsors are well intended, and the central focus of the bill is timely, but it was not embraced universally by Republican lawmakers in Raleigh because it’s also loaded with elements bordering on overreach.

Nonetheless, a reform group in Moore County, Moore Families First, has joined a campaign launched by Pavement Education Project to reinvigorate lawmakers before the bill potentially dies in a House committee, where it has been stalled since June 13, 2023. It passed the Senate 49-0 on March 28. in July reported that the Senate version was entirely overhauled by the House, though its principal objective remains to address how searches of students in school are to be conducted. (By a same-sex administrator witnessed by an adult).

If SB90 withers on the vine all will not be lost in the cause to oppose a war on parents by the Left’s gender groomers and pornography providers (administrators and teachers) because a sweeping Parents’ Bill of Rights (SB49) passed in July, whereupon it was vetoed by Gov. Cooper (as predicted) on July 5. An override vote by the GOP-majority Senate is expected in August.

Of course, Cooper and fellow Democrats are seething because the bill makes it illegal to include gender identity and sexual orientation in official curriculum in grades K-4. Let that percolate for a moment.

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