My generation has often been labelled as the most privileged generation in history. We’re spoilt, impatient, and feel entitled to the world, apparently.
I’ve actually been told before that I don’t seem Gen Y at all. Something about work ethic, maturity, and other such heart-warming compliments.
Really, I’m just doing my job.
I will admit that there are things that bug me about some of my peers and those just coming through now into the workforce. Just little behaviours I observe, like the classic whinge about how a monkey could do this job (I CAN’T BELIEVE I WENT TO UNIVERSITY FOR THIS!), or a tendency to throw out the most basic questions (queries that could easily be answered independently with a tiny bit of work on their part *cough Google cough*).
But I’m far from a paragon of perfection myself. I’ve been wondering, lately, whether I truly appreciate my lot - because it’s a bloody good one, let’s face it. I have a sweet job, one I can walk to (and work from home if need be) with amazing people. Price, location and size have collided nicely in our current house, though it’s uninsulated and drafty (and not immune to mould). For the past six-odd years, I’ve had a devoted guy by my side, who wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
Yet wouldn’t you know it, I find plenty of things to grumble about (why can’t he decide what he wants to do work-wise? Why did I say yes to doing this awesome feature, even though it means spending hours of my own time working on it?) And that really hit home during the series finale of Desperate Housewives, when Tom points out to Lynette that she’s always chasing one more thing over the horizon that she thinks is the final key to happiness – only it never is (and yes, I promise this will be the last time I reference Lynette in a post. Also, while I was totally rooting for them, was anyone else not thrilled about the way the writers finally reunited those two?).
But you know what they say about the yoof.
“The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them.”
“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers”
You’ve probably heard both those quotes before, and know that they’re attributed to Socrates and some dude known Peter the Hermit. For centuries, adults have complained about the younger generation. It’s nothing new.
I’d be curious to hear from anyone who’s a little further down the track – those in their 30s or beyond, maybe? Did you encounter similar attitudes when you started out in the workforce?