This seems like a somewhat obvious conclusion to me for older people who have trouble learning technical skills, technological literacy, and being able to operate various different medias in today’s world. I also want to put it out there that I think the people who can Photoshop and/or fix my computer are virtually Gods in crises (I’m still professing the name of Jesus tho). We all have a lot to learn.
But, if older people typically take on interns to help them with office tasks like stuffing envelopes and getting coffee, wouldn’t it be better to get your own coffee and have us train you on various different things that have to do with skills that we might have that you may not have? That could be anything, but in this case, I’m talking about the ability to maneuver various kinds of technologies. If we are already unpaid interns for the most part (which is a bad joke if you think about it and seriously demeaning), why wouldn’t you let us help you in the ways you most need? In this case, that means helping you learn how to do some of this stuff for yourselves so that you can keep your jobs as we learn to do it exponentially better. Older people: ya’ll give beautiful advice, but if it comes down to whether or not you can artfully use Facebook and learn how to store things on the Cloud, we’ve got you beat as a demographic. Tell us the things that would actually help us succeed, and in exchange, we will teach you how to do a Boolean search or think of a strategy to have people steal less of your office supplies. What I learned at my first job ever (as a student hourly) was that if you put a little strip of duck tape around a pen and make it look decidedly uglier (like a tag on a present, but about 1/2 an inch folded over), people are less likely to steal your pens, because they look like an eyesore. Things like that, which we have absorbed and could use to give you a fresh perspective on everything you are doing wrong and then help work with you to fix all of it and learn from you in the process. Help us do that.