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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 10:47 AM   #61
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

I was chatting with the clerk at sams club the other day, between her coo-coo'ing at Gabe. I mentioned I was wiped out from getting up early with him. She said "I'm wiped out too! I'm working at a law firm while i'm going to school to get my law degree...I work here extra shifts to pay for it...and I have my own business making and selling hats and wraps". I figured her for maybe mid to late 20's.

I said "god bless you...I feel like i'm on vacation now! Its good to see someone who is motivated enough to do a lot with their lives instead of complaining that someone isnt doing it for them".

Either that or there's a lot of speed involved...
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 11:23 AM   #62
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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I happen to agree with the author on this one.* When it comes to life, you can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want.* The average 20-something can't afford to buy in Manhattan, nor is any respectable employer going to pay $35k+ a year for an American Literature major.
I think a lot of people understand the economics and pursue professional degrees (engineers, pharmacists, etc.), but simply get weeded out since they dont want to do the work. I knew a couple of them that did this and ended up making 9 bucks an hour and living with their parents. Many dont want to work when they have it so good with their upper middle class family.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 12:05 PM   #63
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

I only know well a couple of people in their twenties. One is a relative that graduated from college with a mechanical engineering degree about three or four years ago. He got a job in NYC and didn't like it. He and a college buddy started their own business, 4th State Metals (4th state being plasma). They are living hand to mouth and having the time of their lives.

Here is their web site: http://4thstatemetals.com/index2.html

Check on the link to "In Progress" and watch them work on a project where they are hanging a number of police cars from an art gallery ceiling. Way cool.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 12:16 PM   #64
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

None of my engineering school buddies have dropped out of the rat race to make $9/hr washing dishes somewhere. All my e-school buddies are making good money, doing a sometimes interesting, sometimes boring job, and getting by financially. Of course they all came from middle class backgrounds (as far as I can tell).

I did run in to a few other engineers while I was in law school. They were looking for a "change". Some wanted to be patent lawyers, others didn't like engineering and wanted to do something else challenging and high-paying.

Most of the drop-out engineer types at my alma mater get weeded out before graduating, instead of after graduating and working for a while. The 4-year graduation rate at my e-school was 13%. After 6 years, 25%. So around 75% of the entering class of engineering students do not graduate within 6 years. Pretty good job security for me.

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 12:40 PM   #65
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Originally Posted by maddythebeagle
I think a lot of people understand the economics and pursue professional degrees (engineers, pharmacists, etc.), but simply get weeded out since they dont want to do the work. I knew a couple of them that did this and ended up making 9 bucks an hour and living with their parents. Many dont want to work when they have it so good with their upper middle class family.
Even those who pursue professional degrees don't understand the economics of their chosen professions. I can't tell you how many people I know who went to law school, only to find themselves without jobs when they graduated with $100k+ in student loans. With that said, many of them pulled themselves up by their proverbial bootstraps and did what was necessary to gain the professional experience required to move up the ladder of professional success (e.g., temp attorney to associate or solo practice).

As for having it so good with an upper middle class family, that seems to be a growing trend among 20-somethings. They leave home for college having lived an upper middle class lifestyle, attend college for four years on economic outpatient care (EOC), find themselves on their own after graduating with a useless degree, and then move back home because they won't start an economic level below that which they enjoyed living with their parents. Many Boomer parents won't impose "tough love" on their kids, making the severing of the economic umbilical cord extremely difficult, if not impossible.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 01:43 PM   #66
 
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

justin, do have any idea of the number of engineers being graduated in China, India, Korea, Japan etc, and they all want your job.?

My Son in China has an English Language School, that is mainly who he teaches, engineers.

He works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, the demand is so strong.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 01:49 PM   #67
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Before this thread dies completely, I found this statement from the article particularly interesting:

I happen to agree with the author on this one.* When it comes to life, you can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want.* The average 20-something can't afford to buy in Manhattan, nor is any respectable employer going to pay $35k+ a year for an American Literature major.
Agree with this for the most part. *

My experience with the 30 somethings here at w*rk, is that many of them seem to have a feeling of entitlement without having to pay dues. *I hear a lot of whining all day about how they should get this or that but I don't see them living in the trenches to get the experience to really understand the system or the processes that allow promotions to happen etc. *They feel that since they have been in a job for X *months they are overdue for a promotion. *They also bad mouth management and tend to be confrontational without seeing that this is putting them in a very negative light with the same management that will have a major say in if or when they get promoted. *I guess I am from the old school and can't see how they expect to get ahead with their head up their own @ss.

Maybe the group of young professionals here are unique but my wife reports the same thing where she works so given a larger population to draw samples from, it is starting too look more like a trend to me.

These comments are in now way to say that my generation is better than any other one. *I just thought the observation sort of fit the general flavor of this thread.

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #68
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

I believe my generation has horrible feelings of entitlement that will keep them from ever reaching the goals they are capable of.

None of us "deserve" a damn thing in life other than the ability to accomplish goals.

I know I'm a miserable failure when you consider the resources I had at my fingertips(school paid for by the family) and that keeps me humble. I have seen plenty of people who are dirt poor work harder and end up in the same place as me for now, but they have worked so much harder and it will pay off for them eventually. People just need to take a look at themselves and realize that the rabbit ended up losing the race, beware of the turtles.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 02:49 PM   #69
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Originally Posted by Howard
justin, do have any idea of the number of engineers being graduated in China, India, Korea, Japan etc, and they all want your job.?

My Son in China has an English Language School, that is mainly who he teaches, engineers.

He works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, the demand is so strong.
Our Graduate program in civil engineering at my alma mater is more than fifty percent Chinese/Indian or students of other foreign nationalities. The following is a gross generalization, but the communication skills of the Chinese and Korean students are extremely low. If their jobs required talking in English, I doubt they would be hired. Of course, they are brilliant with regards to the technical aspects of engineering. Indian students - much better communication skills.

I happen to be in a niche that requires me to be "on the ground" often enough that flying in from India or China would not make financial sense. We have close relationships with clients that wouldn't know how to select an Indian or Chinese engineering firm to get their jobs done. Plus, they like people that communicate effectively in English. These clients are usually looking at our consulting fees as a very small fraction of a percent of their total costs of development. They need to react quickly, get their projects moving, and make money. They say jump and we say "how high" (for a fee of course! we're all whores, it's just a matter of negotiating the price).

If a small rural town engineer received a call from some Indian engineer in Bangalore with a thick accent trying to explain to him why Walmart doesn't need to spend $3 million for roadway improvements, the town engineer won't be able to understand him and the Indian engineer won't be sensitive to the political or economic relevance of Walmart in the town. Like it or not, the good ole boy network is still thriving in many parts of America.

That being said, I'd love to hire a couple of super intelligent well-spoken traffic or roadway engineers - Chinese, Indian or not. As long as they are trainable, work hard, and I can make a ton of money off of them, have them PM me! We're having a hard time finding enough engineers as it is now. I'd love to see some of that "wage deflation" due to international competition.

I'm not too worried about my job being off-shored. If it is, then I can always get a promotion and manage those off-shore employees.

As to your son in China with the English Language School, please tell him to learn his students better English.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-16-2006, 09:09 PM   #70
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

As a civil engineer and partner at the consulting firm where I work, I have to say that Justin hit the nail on the head regarding communication skills. The number one reason that we do not offer an engineer a position at our company is due to a lack of oral or written communication skills. Most civil engineers can crunch the numbers but you have to be able to relate to clients as well!

The real reason I decided to post was to vent about my frustrations with the twenty something generation. When I graduated from college in 1991, only three people out of 30 that I knew personally had civil engineering jobs lined up. The economy was weak and I considered myself fortunate to find a civil engineering job with a starting salary of $20,000. I usually worked almost 50 hours per week and was not paid a nickel for overtime. Since I was employed by a small company our benefits package was very limited. I will spare everyone the rest of the ....."and I had to walk to and from work through three feet of snow...uphill....both ways" sob story.

Fast forward 15 years. The starting salary for engineers is now about $40,000, we pay straight time overtime, and offer a much more generous benefits package including performance based bonuses. We just distributed bonus checks and salary adjustment letters over the past several weeks. The only major complaints I heard were from....you guessed it...the twenty somethings. The biggest complainer was an engineer with five years experience who made $63,000 last year. He thought that since he passed the professional engineer exam last year that he should be making about $80,000 to $100,000! Of course many of these same twenty somethings do not wish to be responsible for a project's budget, attending meetings, placing their seal on the plans, etc., etc., etc. It just seems to me that this generation wants it all, they want it now, but want to accept no responsibility. What I can't figure out is what makes this particular age group think they are entitled to anything they want when they want it? Is it the way they grew up...with the internet, cell phones, etc. ....where you do not have to wait for anything?

By the way, even though I averaged working only 43 hours per week in 2005 (probably the lowest amount in my 15 years), none of our twenty somethings worked more hours than me!

OK....now I feel better.

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 07:42 AM   #71
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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As a civil engineer and partner at the consulting firm where I work, I have to say that Justin hit the nail on the head regarding communication skills.* The number one reason that we do not offer an engineer a position at our company is due to a lack of oral or written communication skills.* Most civil engineers can crunch the numbers but you have to be able to relate to clients as well!
In addition to (or perhaps assumed as part of) communication skills is the abiliy to "read" people through their behavior and language.* Foreign engineers will never be able to do this, unless communications are ultimately relegated to e-mail and other impersonal electronic means.* Most companies these days still prefer face-to-face communication before spending millions of dollars, thereby requiring someone who "gets" them

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The only major complaints I heard were from....you guessed it...the twenty somethings.* The biggest complainer was an engineer with five years experience who made $63,000 last year.* He thought that since he passed the professional engineer exam last year that he should be making about $80,000 to $100,000!
I've seen this in the legal profession (chime in here Martha), where starting salaries at the top law firms are now $135,000-$145,000 for 25 year olds fresh out of the top law schools.* They are, for the most part, exceedingly book smart, can probably recite Supreme Court precedent and statutory law off the top of their heads, and know their way around Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw electronic research databases like the rest of us know the way from the bedroom to the bathroom.* However, book smart does not translate into immediate or even short-term revenues/profits.* The learning curve to succeed in the unforgiving environment of a large law firm is often pretty steep, and the majority of newly-minted law firm associates leave their firms within 2-3 years.* Sometimes they jump to other large firms (for more money, more responsibility, less "screamers", etc...) but that doesn't detract from the fact that they still have to continue learning how the game is played, which requires: (i) time (5-7 years at a minimum), (ii) patience, (iii) respect for those above you (feigned respect is okay) and (iv) a willingness to put personal priorities (a desire for more money, fame, credit, etc...) while learning.

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Of course many of these same twenty somethings do not wish to be responsible for a project's budget, attending meetings, placing their seal on the plans, etc., etc., etc.
Agreed.* Many lawyers who are 2-3 years out don't understand how litigation and deal budgets work. They only understand their contribution to the case/deal (i.e. billable hours), and don't care whether the firm is ultimately able to collect on those hours.* Legal bills are routinely cut by 10%, if not up to 25%, to keep a client happy and obtain more work for the firm in the future.* Those same 20-somethings don't recognize that partners must also put in 10+ hours a week into managing a firm, and put their reputations/professional liability on the line every time they sign a brief or a client opinion letter.

Quote:
It just seems to me that this generation wants it all, they want it now, but want to accept no responsibility.* What I can't figure out is what makes this particular age group think they are entitled to anything they want when they want it?* Is it the way they grew up...with* the internet, cell phones, etc. ....where you do not have to wait for anything?
Good observation and question.* I think the young people of every generation wants it all and wants it right now.* Perhaps there is now a degree of wanting immediate gratification, since many Generation Y folks grew up seeing their parents go through tough times (e.g. being downsized, etc...) and believe that they need to get as much as they can, as fast as they can, since there might not be anything for them later on.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 07:51 AM   #72
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

Chrisdut,

I see the same thing re: twenty-somethings at my civil engineering firm (and some 30-somethings too!). I know, I'm a twenty-something too, but I realize that it will take me at least a few more years to get technically proficient and able to manage effectively. Then I'll expect a reasonable wage increase in proportion to my increase in productivity.

Last year our company instituted an ESOP plan and the company contributed 25% of our base salaries into the plan for us. Of course the raises were minimal (below inflation) and the bonuses were "only" three digits. Everyone focused on the lack of nice raises and not getting big bonuses. I kept telling them about the five figure "bonus" they received via the ESOP contribution. Go figure. One employee thinks that in a few years he should be making double what he is currently making. I told him that could happen if he puts in 60 hours a week here (or at a different firm).

Of course we all want to make more, but we have to put in the time and actually get better to make more (at least in this field in a small company).

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 08:12 AM   #73
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

Jay, I have no issue with how you described how it works at large firms.

Just want to speak up about the many lawyers who choose something else -- and not because they were forced into it or had no other option. I'm a fifth generation lawyer and have tons of relatives who are lawyers (and engineers and school teachers and nurses). Every single one of the lawyers in my extended family CHOSE to work in a small law practice and/or in public service, sometimes elected office. We all rejected working for a big firm (the lowest low in our personal hierarchies). One of my brothers is the smartest, sharpest, hardest working man I know. He turned down the big firm partnership offers and the Fed govt (Washington). So did the three lawyers who became his partners in the new place. I don't have his ambition. I'd rather retire early. Being self-employed the past few years (minimal overhead) helped a lot.

Just my two cents.

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 08:21 AM   #74
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

I am also curious why so many are posting that people should not expect a lot. Nobody is going to advocate for you and has it really worked out for the older generation (working a lot of hours for no overtime and being downsized)? Maybe the Gen Ys have it right. *Every generation thinks that the younger generation should "suffer" just like they did. Maybe Gen Y will bring back the balance to the workplace.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 09:09 AM   #75
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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I am also curious why so many are posting that people should not expect a lot. Nobody is going to advocate for you and has it really worked out for the older generation (working a lot of hours for no overtime and being downsized)? Maybe the Gen Ys have it right. *Every generation thinks that the younger generation should "suffer" just like they did. Maybe Gen Y will bring back the balance to the workplace.
Perhaps we're just getting back to the idea of "Generation Me".

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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-17-2006, 09:56 AM   #76
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Maybe Gen Y will bring back the balance to the workplace.
I hope so! But I kind of doubt we Americans can ever say we really had the balance before. Check out the vacation time other countries have. I heard it's the law in some places.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-18-2006, 08:51 AM   #77
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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I am also curious why so many are posting that people should not expect a lot. Nobody is going to advocate for you and has it really worked out for the older generation (working a lot of hours for no overtime and being downsized)? Maybe the Gen Ys have it right. *Every generation thinks that the younger generation should "suffer" just like they did. Maybe Gen Y will bring back the balance to the workplace.
Good point. As a related question, how does one determine the difference between simple whining for undeserved rewards, and legitimate complaints about being exploited? The former would appear to stem from immaturity and a lack of understanding of an employer's business, while the latter flows from a resentment of unadulterated greed on the part of an employer.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-18-2006, 10:01 AM   #78
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Good point. As a related question, how does one determine the difference between simple whining for undeserved rewards, and legitimate complaints about being exploited? The former would appear to stem from immaturity and a lack of understanding of an employer's business, while the latter flows from a resentment of unadulterated greed on the part of an employer.
Easy. I am the one being exploited and everyone else is whining.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-18-2006, 12:11 PM   #79
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

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Good point.* As a related question, how does one determine the difference between simple whining for undeserved rewards, and legitimate complaints about being exploited?* The former would appear to stem from immaturity and a lack of understanding of an employer's business, while the latter flows from a resentment of unadulterated greed on the part of an employer.
In my personal observations of the generation being discussed here; is that it is a combination of reasons. The people I see here day in and day out are more likely to @itch about how unfair the company is because management does not give them everything they want and think they deserve. Some work a few hours over time and think they deserve a huge bonus. Others do the minimum everyday and expect to get a 10% raise every year and a promotion every other year. They whine about and to management daily yet they have not walked in the shoes of management.

Greed is a big part of it. They want it NOW and don't feel they have to wait to get it. The feel entitled to getting it NOW because of "all they have gone through". I don't begrudge anyone getting what they have earned but I do take exception to people who don't pay their dues first.
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation
Old 01-18-2006, 12:16 PM   #80
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Re: The It-Sucks-To-Be-Me Generation

I think being in sales has taught me a fun lesson in life.....If the company doesn't grow, your paycheck doesn't either.* It is easy to see this in sales because the numbers aren't all obscured into fixed overhead, etc.....it is basically just the cost of our salaries/benefits/etc. weighed to the amount of new business we bring in.* You learn really fast that a bad year for the company means shut your mouth and draw the least amount of attention to yourself.
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