"The Generation of No People Skills" — Studio Owner Blasts Gen Z for Not Having Basic Phone Skills

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Dec. 4 2023, Published 7:43 p.m. ET

Gen Z Can’t Answer Office Phones, Man Claims in Viral Clip
Source: TikTok | @luke.is.alive_

Gen Z is often maligned as being unable to handle any real-world pressure due to being the latest coming-of-age generation entering the workforce. I.e. decades of progressive emotional "softening" by prioritizing individualized "feelings" and the widespread validation of the mental gymnastics implemented, speech, to justify weak actions that effectively lower the bar of accomplishment for our species rather than push humans to do more.

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Like many generations before them, i.e. Millennials, Gen Z has often become the butt of many jokes, but there is often debate among people as to whether or not the specific behaviors being lampooned are ones that all young people of every generation, more or less, engaged in at one time.

Or are these behaviors the result of a generation choosing to adopt certain philosophies and attitudes towards life that are ultimately unsavory, self-destructive, and evidenced in general failures to operate in situations that would otherwise be deemed as unremarkable and not particularly demanding?

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That's the crux of the debate that arose in the comments section of Executive Producer, Studio Head, and TikToker named Luke Colson (@luke.is.alive_) where he accused Gen Z of not knowing how to properly answer phones professionally while in an office environment. He made this assertion in a viral clip that's accrued over 260,000 views on the popular social media application.

Source: TikTok | @luke.is.alive_
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Luke says in the video: "Did you know that Gen Z is the first generation who don't know how to answer the telephone correctly in an office environment? No idea. So I work for a creative studio, let's call it Blank Studios, shall we? And we have this lovely PA, who we shall call Steve. Steve is a graduate, he's about 21. He's American. And he's wonderful, love him."

Luke says that despite Steve's lovely demeanor, he has no concept of how to properly answer a telephone: "What he doesn't understand is the notion of the office phone ringing. We've explained to him if he hears the office phone ringing, Steve, we say, he says yeah, I say that's your job pick up the office phone, say, Hello Blank Studios, this is Steve, how can I help?"

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Just like many Gen-Z'ers who are purportedly afraid of phone calls, Steve, according to Luke, is also similarly phone-phobic, "So firstly scared of the phone. The phone rings takes him a while to realize the phone's ringing, it's not in his DNA. A landline phone. We often shout hotline just to remind him that the phone's ringing, it's been ringing for some time, get up, f----- pick up the phone. Steve, hops up picks up the phone."

gen z doesnt know how to answer phone
Source: TikTok | @luke.is.alive_
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Luke then says that getting Steve to actually the phone is a problem, "Hello...oh no Steve that's not what we discussed is it because if you just say Hello they think they've got through to their cousin Nigel accidentally you have to explain to them that they've got through to the right place. I say Steve, Steve, he looks at me and he goes oh Hello Blank Studios."

Luke's frustration mounts throughout the video as he continues to delineate Steve's inability to properly answer a phone call in an office setting: "Didn't introduce himself but that's better than Hello, isn't it? So then I hear him going uh huh, mm-hmm, uh huh, sure absolutely can do. Brilliant, okay. Thank you bye. Puts the phone down. He comes back to his desk and I'm looking at him waiting for some information."

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In this particular instance, the person who called inquired about what the studio does. "Nothing he just got his head down I say Steve. He says yeah, I say who was that? He says oh was a guy looking for some information about what we do. So I say to him do you mean like a business inquiry? Was it a business inquiry? He said oh I suppose it was yeah, a business inquiry. I said well how did you leave it?"

gen z doesnt know how to answer phone
Source: TikTok | @luke.is.alive_
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The TikToker said that it didn't seem to occur to Steve that he could've simply gotten someone at the moment to speak with the potential client on the phone right then and there "He said I said I'd uh I'd get someone to call him back. I said well we're all here you could have come to get us and we could have taken the call he's like all right, okay. I could have, all right. I said well that's okay, I'll call him back, did you get his number?"

Luke, waiting for Steve's response, gets only a defeated sigh intoning he'd forgotten to get a number: "I said a Steve name a Steve. He's like no I guess we need a name, hunh. We do Steve, we do, for the lost business. That we'll never know if it was good or not, Steve. I like him, I like him, needs training."

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Commenters who saw Luke's post seemed split down the middle as to whether or not this is actually a generational issue or just a problem with all recent college graduates.

gen z doesnt know how to answer phone
Source: TikTok | @luke.is.alive_
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Many folks just chalked this up to people being new hires in new scenarios, like working in a professional office environment. Some, however, think that it is indeed a generational issue and because kids grew up not knowing or needing to answer phone calls, they have become adults who are completely inept at properly communicating with folks over the phone, especially a landline.

What do you think? Have you seen a degradation in phone communication over the years? Or do you think that Luke ended up hiring someone who just has a mental block whenever it comes to anything phone call-related?

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