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Speaking of Work - The Millennium Generation has begun to Arrive
Old 11-12-2007, 03:07 AM   #1
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Speaking of Work - The Millennium Generation has begun to Arrive

There is much discussion about Generation Y beginning to work. Still less than 30 years old, they comprise about 70 million of the population, about the same number as boomers.

Interesting comment from one that was interviewed on 60 minutes. Something like: "I saw my parents spend so much time at work and sacrifice... work is not a priority for me, me is a priority for me and my second priority is my friends... plus more naive vomit".

Here is an article : USATODAY.com - Generation Y: They've arrived at work with a new attitude


The interesting part is that the little snot nose didn't say that the reason mom and pop spent so much time and sacrifice is to run the little sh!t around to soccer, piano, etc and get trophies for just showing up.

Now that they are beginning to work, they are exhibiting the same selfishness. Apparently businesses are a little concerned because they think if they use traditional management techniques with them (Just give assignments.. get it done) or don't give them a trophy for showing up, they will up and quit. They are ready to quit quickly because many of them go back home and live off of mom and dad (for free) in their mid 20's... no need to deal with life's realities.

I will say one thing... once they age a bit and the credit monster gets it hooks in them, they are at the mercy of a job. It will be as it always is... perform or perish... international competition is hungry.

I am sure it is a cold wakeup call.


One final note: Apparently some of the neurotic parents actually call up HR departments and complain that little Johnny did not get a fair performance review. :
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:52 AM   #2
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I have heard that many of the mega corp firms that recruit on campus now include info packets for parents (dubbed "helocopter parents"). While I have not seen any of these behavior, we only hire individuals with graduate degrees, these parents show up for interviews and ask the questions, and stay in touch with the company calling in with every whine and complaint the child has. I can't believe this is true of more than a handful of parents, but even so...

If I was hiring or supervising and a parent did this, maybe one warning to both and then the kid would be canned.
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Old 11-12-2007, 07:33 AM   #3
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I have been seeing a few of these articles recently. Sounds like BS manufactured news to me. I remember the same sort of complaints about us lazy, spoiled boomers in the sixties and seventies. Then we turned into the biggest generation of workaholics in the history of the world. I have to admit, there were a lot of boomer helicopter parents around in the private schools we used - you wonder if these people suffered brain damage in their youth. But showing up for an interview with your parent? I don't believe it. No one would hire someone wacky enough to do that. Either the reporter was too credible or it was a one off situation - probably a parent/child pair on a day trip from a mental health facility.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:17 AM   #4
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I have been seeing a few of these articles recently. Sounds like BS manufactured news to me. I remember the same sort of complaints about us lazy, spoiled boomers in the sixties and seventies. Then we turned into the biggest generation of workaholics in the history of the world.
Remember when we boomers were supposed to be a generation of "juvenile delinquents"? I think the term was coined for our generation, or nearly so. Then we were spoiled college kids, and/or the "effete snobs" described by Agnew, who had nothing to do but criticize the establishment, or "crazy Vietnam vets" instead of being regarded as war heros like other vets. Just like most generations, we had a hard time bagging those great jobs that older generations seemed to be keeping for themselves.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:41 AM   #5
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I think the work ethic can be taught easiler when people are actually producing something of substance and take pride in it - e.g. farming; artisans. A parent can show what they produce and pass along the pride in work. For many work is just about surviving.

The again the pure economics of it can force a work ethic on people or they will have a hard life.
Gen 1 - Adult hard life - works hard & saves money when can
Gen 2 - Adult Life easier than Gen 1 - learned work ethic from Gen 1, is successful & saves money
Gen 3 - Adult about the same or a bit lower than Gen 2 - saw Gen 2 working hard and not enjoying life - doesn't learn work ethic; doesn't save
Gen 4 - Harder life than Gen 3 - not provided with guidance from Gen 3 on how to work, save and balance work and life.
Gen 5 - life similar to Gen 1 - cycle starts over.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:47 AM   #6
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I have to say the expectations of the Gen Y (also known as Gen Whiney) in our office are so out of line with what their efforts merit. They expect top dollar and god forbid if they are not promoted within the first year of being onboard they then threaten to leave.

I think the biggest problem is they have never been thru a recession, they don't realise that it is possible to be laid off.

There was a really interesting article in the last Fortune magazine re the problems UPS have encountered in training Gen Y. They call them the untrainables, articles detail how they have had to change their training programs to accommodate Gen Y. It's definitely worth a ready.
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:58 AM   #7
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here is a link to a WSJ article, citing a number of companies that have dealt with this phonomena

CareerJournal | Helicopter Parents Now Hover at the Office
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:56 AM   #8
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Maybe 22 is the new 16.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:38 PM   #9
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Yikes....why would you let your parents live your life for you? I could not wait to get out of my parents home.....and out from their control! It's a big red flag when a grown man of 34 tells you that he lives at home with mom and dad!
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:05 PM   #10
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"work is not a priority for me, me is a priority for me and my second priority is my friends"

Yep - pretty much. Except replace "friends" with "family". And maybe make "family" a higher priority than "me".

If I was getting crazy overtime pay, comp time, or huge bonuses, I'd whore myself out to the company. Pay me an average salary with joke bonuses where compensation isn't closely correlated to performance or output, and you get somebody who clocks in a solid 40 hours (in most cases) and leaves the office at the office. Incentivise me to increase my output and if it is in my best interests to do so, I will.

So what if I'm 29? Do folks who are 59 feel compelled to work for free? I don't call up a plumber, house painter or electrician and ask him to work for free.

(It's been a long day at work...)
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:13 PM   #11
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Wow, I dont get it either...a generation of folks hitting the workforce that wont buy into the BS that everyone else had to work into their 30s to figure out...More power to them....maybe this group will actually result in bringing some balance into the work place...
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:24 PM   #12
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How do the kind of things that were on 60 Minutes last night correlate with the incessant reports complaining about the careerism and ambitions and stressed-out state of current HS and college students?

They don't. There's a mandate that every 5-10 years that reports about the "new generation" and all their faults be built up into a national crisis. Oh well, when Dec 2012 rolls around it won't matter anyway, right?
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:35 PM   #13
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Before I left my big law firm two weeks ago, I noticed the very same thing. The young associates seem far less devoted to the job than most were when I started many moons ago. They are far more willing to say "my plate is full" and decline assignments. When I was starting, an associate who declined assignments had a dim future with the firm, so we loaded ourselves down and worked around the clock. But, you know, I think they are the ones doing it correctly. Life should be about much more than work, and there is no special place in heaven for those who work insane hours. I has taken me many years to learn what they seem to know from the start.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:57 PM   #14
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I"m 32 so I don't know what generation I would be in, but I worked hard through school and in my first few years of my career. I quickly came to the realization that working 60 hour weeks when I was only getting paid for 40 was not what I wanted to do. I don't think this is a generational thing, it's a common sense thing. My career has progressed just fine - mind you I have been canned twice, probably due to my "short" work weeks, but in each case I had another job within 4 weeks at a 15% raise. If you are educated and in a career that has some demand, then there is no reason to be a slave for the most part. I am extremely frugal because one can never know when there will be a downturn in their particular industry or profession. There is zero loyalty on the part of corporations, so they should not be surprised with the same loyalty on the employee's part. Things were different when companies offered excellent defined benefit pension plans....nowadays only gov't offers those plans pretty much.
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:14 AM   #15
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Based on some of the comments, I think some are confusing the issue with companies requiring huge amounts of overtime... According to what I saw, this was not the issue. It was not about people rejecting the corporate sweat shop. It is about unrealistic expectations based on a spoiled childhood where the world revolved around their happiness and fulfillment. The real world does not give a hang about their happiness or fulfillment.

It was simply... First Time Job POV: I glorified the organization by taking the job and I went to college, here is my 2.5 GPA, where is my trophy for showing up. Why aren't you letting me off the hook when tough situations come up (like mom and pop did). You mean it may take me 2 or 3 years to get a promotion?


I see things going the opposite direction, corporations are struggling to keep things profitable and growing. If productivity drops, outsourcing will likely be the solution.

What they are going to find is that capitalism rewards smart and hard work most often... A few get lucky and rise up because of personality. But the lion's share of marginal and average performers are destined for a life of lay-offs and sub-par pay compared to their peers.


I also agree with one of the comments about each new generation being criticized unfairly. These are kids who will learn life's lessons the old-fashioned way...
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:42 PM   #16
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This is long but a very good read. I thought it may or may not fit in here.


"Growing Up Dumber Than Anvils"



by Fred Reed

I figure a column ought to be like an appendectomy. You only need to do it once.

Here it is:

Our kids can't read because we don't care whether they can read.

Yep. That's how simple it is. The problem isn't television or drugs or even invisible pervasive dumb-rays shot by space aliens. There's no mystery about it. We just don't care. We talk a good show. But it's all talk. If we were serious, we'd do something. There are problems we can't solve, like AIDS, and problems we won't solve. Education falls into the second category.

We know how to run good schools. To teach, say, algebra to eighth-graders, get a smart teacher lady who knows algebra, and who likes adolescents, to the extent that is possible to like adolescents. Find a solid workbook with lots of problems. Trap her, the workbooks, and the students in a room. Tell her to teach -- not just sort-of teach but to stretch the minds of the libidinous little monsters, and tell her to give bunches of homework, and that the school will support her if she flunks the nonfeasors, if it means the entire class and all their relatives to remote generations and strange phyla. Then go away.

This works. It always has. We just won't do it.

Thing is, parents have to help, and too many of them don't. They aren't really interested, or they're swamped trying to be single mothers or make the mortgage, or they both have jobs and want the government to raise their children. This isn't good enough. Parents need to explain to their churning hormone wads that learning is not optional. And there have to be consequences.

Fathers in particular should speak as follows to their treasured experiments in homebrew DNA-splicing:

"Son, I don't give a faint, wan, bleary-eyed damn about your dumb-ass self-esteem. I've been forty-eight years on this sorry planet, and nothing has ever struck me as quite so uninteresting as your self-concept. All I care about is algebra. Here's an equation. No algebra equals no Saturday night dates."

If this sounds brutal, good. There's nothing like the expectation of dismemberment to boost performance. Remember, you aren't asking the impossible of the tad. If he isn't smart enough to learn algebra, he shouldn't be in the class. If he's smart enough, then he can blessed well learn it.

Kids will get away with what they can get away with. But if young Willy Bob realizes that you really will keep him in on Saturday night, and some evil-minded football player will get his darling Sally Carol with the lovely blue eyes and golden hair and nine-pound braces, and park with her on deserted back roads, well, old Willy Bob will factor quadratics something fierce. Quadratics will become an endangered species, and hide under rocks.

And I'll tell you something else. The kid will respect you for it and, eventually, respect himself. Kids esteem themselves when they have accomplished something worth esteeming. (That's a piercing insight. I may patent it.)

Granted, if people insist on performance, life won't be real easy for a few years. Teen-agers are intolerable. It's a design feature. Boys act like James Dean in a sulk. If you have a daughter, she will play your heartstrings like a bull fiddle, because girls do that, and then relapse into tyrannosaur mode and shriek. She'll tell you piteously that she'll do better, and her life will be ruined if she can't go to some concert of musical illiterates masquerading as a rock band. The answer is still, "No. I love you, but you are going to do your algebra. We are now through with this discussion."

The aforesaid works. It works better with some kids than with others, and you always lose a few, but it works better than anything else. Thing is, we aren't going to do it. The schools aren't going to improve. The teachers unions, obsessed with protecting their jobs, are absolutely in the saddle. With exceptions, but not enough exceptions, they don't like the whole idea of education, so they jaw-storm about feelings and attitudinal change and empowerment, whatever that is. We don't care enough to buck them.

Still, in moments of fatuous optimism, I reflect that it could be done. If a few hundred parents showed up at school with a rope and a focused look, results might follow. In fact, when I'm dictator, I'm going to put a bounty on the National Education Association. Bag one and bring the varmint in stuffed, and you'll get a keg of Budweiser and three free nights of bowling. It would be like duck hunting, but more satisfying.

Next I'd pass some laws. To teach in grade school, you would have to be in the upper third of the GREs, and sign a statement that you hated self-esteem worse than rabies or pellagra, and that you would teach children to read and write and know stuff and if you didn't you would be boiled into tallow and made into candles and sent to India, where they can't read at night.

Further, to teach in high school you would have to be in the top ten percent, and have a degree from a real university in the subject you taught. Not in education. You can't teach what you don't know. Then I'd raise salaries by five thousand dollars a year, each year, until I got bodacious fine teachers that you could show in the county fair.

You can catch anything with the right bait. It would be about as hard as getting ticks in a cow pasture. I reckon you might need a long afternoon to find twenty kerbillion smart women who wanted to actually contribute something to society, and get home when their kids did. I'd give'm great retirement programs and their summers completely off. Pretty soon they'd get respect from the community because they'd be worth respecting.

And you know something? It would do wonders for the kids' self-esteem. Who feels happier about himself -- a child with a decent education and the confidence that goes with it, or one who barely speaks English, can't puzzle out warnings on a table saw, and figures to spend his life sleeping under bridges?

Never happen. We don't care enough. I reckon countries just plain get the schools they deserve. That's scary. "
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:59 PM   #17
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"work is not a priority for me, me is a priority for me and my second priority is my friends"

Yep - pretty much. Except replace "friends" with "family". And maybe make "family" a higher priority than "me".

If I was getting crazy overtime pay, comp time, or huge bonuses, I'd whore myself out to the company. Pay me an average salary with joke bonuses where compensation isn't closely correlated to performance or output, and you get somebody who clocks in a solid 40 hours (in most cases) and leaves the office at the office. Incentivise me to increase my output and if it is in my best interests to do so, I will.

So what if I'm 29? Do folks who are 59 feel compelled to work for free? I don't call up a plumber, house painter or electrician and ask him to work for free.

(It's been a long day at work...)
You sir, just don't understand the last good generation came before you! We need you to work overtime for free to drive up productivity! We're counting on you to hold up the safety net! Oh wait, I don't think being 4 years older helps me....
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:05 PM   #18
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"work is not a priority for me, me is a priority for me and my second priority is my friends"

Yep - pretty much. Except replace "friends" with "family". And maybe make "family" a higher priority than "me".

If I was getting crazy overtime pay, comp time, or huge bonuses, I'd whore myself out to the company. Pay me an average salary with joke bonuses where compensation isn't closely correlated to performance or output, and you get somebody who clocks in a solid 40 hours (in most cases) and leaves the office at the office. Incentivise me to increase my output and if it is in my best interests to do so, I will.

So what if I'm 29? Do folks who are 59 feel compelled to work for free? I don't call up a plumber, house painter or electrician and ask him to work for free.

(It's been a long day at work...)
I guess you "youngin's" are just smarter than us "work hard and good things happen" mantra mavens that got fed the "kool-aid" came from.........

Bottom line, my dad worked harder than anyone else I know, and he "got ahead"............but I am not so sure it was worth it.........

Funny, I never got any "trophies for participating" in youth sports, but my 8 year old already has FOUR!!!!
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:20 PM   #19
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I guess you "youngin's" are just smarter than us "work hard and good things happen" mantra mavens that got fed the "kool-aid" came from.........
Where I work, I could put in an extra 500 hours throughout the year and get a whopping $1000-2000 bonus at year end. Something like $2-4/hour. I've seen a few coworkers do that for a year or two, then get the paltry bonus, and that was the end of the hard work. If I wanted to work more and make more money, I'd pick up a night shift or two at target or Costco at $10/hr.

The next firm I move to won't care if I've worked 2000 hours per year or 2500 hours per year. I just don't see a reason to enrich the two main owners of the company to the tune of $45,000 or so for my extra 500 hours of work.

It's really hard to get motivated to work extra hard and pad the profit for the owners when you have reports of "another record-breaking profit year" every year, and then get a raise that barely exceeds inflation, and a bonus that wouldn't even pay for a cheapo weekend vacation for me and the wife.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:49 PM   #20
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Where I work, I could put in an extra 500 hours throughout the year and get a whopping $1000-2000 bonus at year end. Something like $2-4/hour. I've seen a few coworkers do that for a year or two, then get the paltry bonus, and that was the end of the hard work. If I wanted to work more and make more money, I'd pick up a night shift or two at target or Costco at $10/hr.

The next firm I move to won't care if I've worked 2000 hours per year or 2500 hours per year. I just don't see a reason to enrich the two main owners of the company to the tune of $45,000 or so for my extra 500 hours of work.

It's really hard to get motivated to work extra hard and pad the profit for the owners when you have reports of "another record-breaking profit year" every year, and then get a raise that barely exceeds inflation, and a bonus that wouldn't even pay for a cheapo weekend vacation for me and the wife.
I had plenty of jobs like that in my past. Today, I am self-employed, and can work as hard or as easy as I want. Plus,I don't have a boss..........
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