If you get enough landmen together for enough time, the conversation will eventually turn to criticism of whatever group isn’t represented. Whether it’s all the new landmen who who don’t dress the party, wear headphones and don’t know ‘nuthin — or the old luddite landmen who never do anything but tell stories about better times.Of course I have an opinion on the matter, just like everyone else, and if you haven’t had the ‘good fortune’ to be a part of one of these conversations then you don’t get out enough. We could make a mile long list of transgressions that these different groups have done unto one another, but that’s not really the point of this article. I’d like to suggest that young ‘new’ landmen, old ‘new’ landmen, old experienced landmen and everyone in between are behaving as those groups have through time immemorial.
A typical belief is that the newer generation has less morals, principles, and general work ethic that the previous generation. Not only is this ‘typically’ true of the current state of cross-generation relations, but it has been true in the past as well. If you’ll examine history you’ll see examples (even hundreds of years ago) of the old guard expounding on the failings of the new guard. I’d wager a guess that you’ll find that, generally, people get more mature as they get older — and that the growth of maturity last far beyond the age it is typically attributed to. As an example, I always make a point to ask successful people what age they were when they felt they had truly achieved some measure of success. In many instances I receive a variation on “I didn’t have any real money/success until after the age of 50.” That speaks to me, it indicates that you have to spend many years trying, failing, and occasionally having varying amounts of success until it ‘sticks’. It also means that most of us don’t start Facebook at the age of 22, or even make great decisions right out of college. Reaching maturity (and success) take time, determination and failure.
On the flip side of the coin is the argument that the ‘old fogeys’ are working slowly with their carbon copies and manual typewriters. While I’ve given my fair share of Excel lessons to landmen, it’s not uncommon to see ‘old’ landmen who are just as comfortable with technology as I am. It should also be pointed out that there are some landmen that are valuable enough that it is in a companies best interest to pay a junior landman to handle all of the typing, emailing and online record pulling for them. Somewhat akin to the landman I met in West Texas who has a steady string of college students who pull books for him in the courthouse for $10/hr.
On looking at all of this, I can only assume that all of the divergent landman groups are one in the same — just at a different point in life and their career. Most of us will make each other proud at some point, it just make take a few years. Some of us might have to wait longer than others.
Do you have any stories of the “young and the restless” coming together to make a project work? Tell us all about it in the comments below!