“The current generation will be the death of us all!” – said of every generation by the previous generation.
I keep reading article after article bitching about millennials. That is, the generation born after mine (Gen X). I’ve concluded, after much consideration, that every article I’ve read is wrong. It’s not millennials that are the problem. It’s just people.
Employers have had the same problems with employees since the dawn of time. Some people are hard workers – others are not. Having been in management for quite some time, I’ve watched employees of all ages work their asses off and take pride in their jobs, while others (of all ages) sit around on their asses and do the absolute minimum to keep from being fired. I’ve seen hard working employees turn into slackers and slackers tighten up their belts and get more serious about their work.
I’ve watched young people start drama in the workplace and I’ve watched older people do it, too. Some people are just histrionic and can’t function in the workplace (or life) without a great deal of drama. Office politics have not changed. There’s still the bitch in administration who’s always trying to get other women fired. There’s still that one asshole who takes credit for other people’s work. There’s always that jerk of a manager who treats his employees like shit. People haven’t changed.
All of this regardless if they ever won trophies just for showing up, and regardless whether their parents beat them or told them they were special.
And let’s take a minute and talk about entitlement. I know people of every age who believe food, water, shelter, and healthcare are basic human rights. I also know people of every age who believe these things should only be available to those who contribute. I know elders who expect respect just because of their age, and who disagree that respect must be earned. I know a few younger folks with this same mindset.
All of this entitlement crap is just that — crap. Because everyone feels entitled to something whether it be an explanation, respect, special treatment due to their religion, a good education, or a living wage. Just because what you feel entitled to is different from what someone else thinks they’re entitled to doesn’t make them any more or less entitlement minded. Different people have different priorities. And when you’re not walking in someone else’s shoes, it’s not always easy to see where they’re coming from unless you come from the same (or a similar) place. Sure, maybe affordable medical care and a good education aren’t important to you if you were born to an affluent family. Because these are never things you’ve had to want for. But if you were born to a poor or working class family and worked hard to get into college and are in debt up to your eyeballs, and are then told you have a chronic illness you’ll need lifelong care for (and no way to pay for it) — these things matter. It’s not about entitlement – it’s about having our basic needs met in order for all of us to be contributing members of society.
So let’s stop defining people by the generation they were born in. I know a lot of hard working, creative, and competent millennials who only want what most of us want. Happiness, financial security, and to be surrounded by people who care about them. Those are all human things (not generational things), aren’t they?
My biggest two complaints about this generation are the man-bun and all the excess facial hair (because I think both look ridiculous), but then really – who am I to judge? I come from the generation of big hair, spandex, and leg-warmers. Every generation has its crazy fashion statements. Let them have it. I look forward to seeing what kind of crazy crap their kids come up with to drive all us old people batty. I predict a tattoo ban since many of their parents are covered head to toe with tats (which started with my generation, btw, we can’t blame the tattoo and piercing craze on millennials).
So what say you? Am I right?
Now you kids get off my lawn!!!