The Cell Phone and The Icebox

Watching the movie "Bottle Shock" the other evening --a semi-factual story about the French wine competition in 1976 where Napa wines surprisingly won-- I was amused by a scene where two of the characters, whose truck ran out of gas, had to hitch a ride to find a phone. They had no cell phones.

We live in an era of increasing technological change. Our homes, our jobs, and our lives are filled with gadgets: Computers. Laptops. Blackberrys. Cell phones.

The other day, I was reminiscing about my childhood. I grew up in a multi-generational home in the late 1950's to 1960's. My grandparents, George T. and Florence Seamon, lived upstairs, while my parents and my five siblings and I had the downstairs.

I had a close relationship with my grandparents and enjoyed going up to visit them in their place. They used to call their refrigerator "the icebox." I didn't really get it; I just thought it was an example of the quaint way of speaking that they had, since they were from an older era. They also called our front porch a "stoop."

One day, my dad explained to me that, in the past, they used to get an ice delivery, much the same as a milk delivery or mail delivery. An iceman would come by truck with a big block of ice that would go into the icebox where it kept the perishables, like butter, milk and meat, from going bad.

A "hot topic" in business these days is the multi-generational workplace. Most organizations now have Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers sharing the same workspace. There is concern that these co-workers from different generations will be uneasy with one another; will have misunderstandings; and won't be able to get along.

I wonder if there is a way to harmonize this diverse assembly? How was it possible to have harmony when several generations were living under a common roof?

Perhaps there is an approach inspired by the multi-generational household. One characterized by:

- Boundaries
- Respect
- Honor
- Love

More to come on this in future entries...

Posted by Terrence Seamon, September 14, 2008


A very excellent book that I am reading "Extreme Future" talks about multi-generational workplaces becoming more common. There are two factors for this:
1) Birth rates are actually declining and there is now becoming more impetus in business to keep the "old farts" around.

2) Longevity in on the rise and some of the "Baby Boomers" have begun to take on second careers. Sort of a difference between doing a career you "have to" and now doing something you like.

and I'm sure I'm missing some factors.
Mario Gastaldi said…
This kind of diversity, involving different generations, is a richness of multifaceted perspectives and views.
Like diversity in general,

It is a great opportunity for those who look at it as such (as an opportunity)
No use in looking at it as a problem to be solved.
Terrence Seamon said…
Peter and Mario,
Thank you both for commenting.

Pete, Thanks for the book tip. From one "old fart" to another, I guess.

Mario, I agree about the gift of diversity.


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