Christmastime in the Emerald City











{August 31, 2007}   Another Fucking Gen-Y Problem

So I read an article in Fortune Magazine a while back. It was a commentary on Gen-Y, and how we are starting to graduate from University, College, etc., and enter the workforce. The title of the feature, on the cover no less, was “Manage Us? Puh-leeease!

Apparently, we are quite the force to be reckoned with.

For one thing, we have been raised with the notion of being special. Because our parents were probably the first generation to plop their kids down in front of the television en masse, television took it upon itself to develop shows such as Barney (perhaps a later addition, but one which has been around for much longer than even I thought), Sesame Street and the like to remind us that even though our parents were never around, they loved us very much, and we were significant. The MTV nation has taken over since then. Our thoughts and feelings are relevent, even at the idiot age of four. Especially at the idiot age of four.

So, coming of age, we naturally still assume that everybody is interested in our thoughts and opinions, and are out to show everyone just how special we are. This can be good at times – we are apparently a generation of overachievers, what with twenty-somethings owning their own businesses or attaining major achievements and advances within the first few years of joining a major corporation.

Meanwhile, the rest of the population is wondering why we instantly seek validation from our bosses and generally become chummy with them. They also wonder what the hell we’re doing with our piercings and tattoos, graphic tees under blazers and designer coffees. Being gen-Y, I’m rather okay with my unobtrusive lip ring and generally hidden body mods. And I’m always chummy with my bosses. This is how I get to run things the way I want.

However, I can understand that when an eager newbie sits down in a second interview chair and asks what she can do to contribute to the success of the company, the response is going to be a haughty snort. You’re a peon – just do your job, and do it well. You’ll get your fifty gallon fish tank later, assuming you can hack it.

What I cannot understand, but what is somehow being  understood and even catered to by these massive corporations attracting the gen-Y worker bee, is the umbilical cord still attached to both mommy and daddy.

Really, I thought it was just me who noticed this. I thought I was the freak for having been ready to move out since 16. But no….no, apparently it’s a bit of an epidemic.

I first noticed this in University. I had to trek my ass across the city to attend an orientation session. In order to do this, I had to get up at about 6:30 in the morning, take the subway from one end of the line to the other, meet up with a friend who was taking the same program, and then navigate what was apparently a holiday bus schedule at a desolate intersection neither of us had seen before. We ended up walking many miles, several of which in the wrong direction.

We were young, we were confused, we hadn’t a fucking clue what we were doing. But we got there. So imagine my flat stare of disgust at seeing a plethora of bright eyed newbies sitting in the auditorium with mummy, daddy, grandma and siblings in tow.

What the fuck. Seriously? You are going into university. And you still need someone to hold your hand? Okay, okay, so maybe your parents are paying for your school and they want to see where it is you are going to be spending the majority of your time and quite possibly losing your virginity. But sitting there right along with you? Lining up for the library card? Your 18 year old is not capable of waiting in a line up and asking someone behind a desk what to do if they are confused? You can’t leave your offspring long enough to go get a goddamned cup of coffee?!?!

Oh but it continued, well into the school year. I had three other girls in my residence, one of whom was from Napanee, or as I call it, AssFuck Nowhere. Mommy was up every other fucking weekend with the groceries and the trips to the WalMart. Yet another one, (they were all from small towns, I’m not sure if this was at all related) shipped her laundry off to her parents. And it was all paid for, fucking catered to, and disgusting. If I didn’t share a bathroom with one of them, I’d have been certain that an ass-wiping machine had been bought and paid for as well.

I hated university, and I hated the fucking children surrounding me there. And from what I could see, if you were just there to learn, you were fucked for employment afterwards. If you changed your mind about what you wanted to do for the rest of your life (because I hold this option very dearly, not believing in being miserable for the rest of my life in a job I hate simply because it’s the only option) you would have wasted four years of your life. So I left university and got a real job. I guess part of me isn’t so gen-Y after all.

I did put myself through a quick schooling session to start my own business, which is a fun little side venture. But the majority of my money is made through my 9-5, while my university peers are just entering their last year, perhaps pondering a victory lap as well. It’s a good job, with a good future should I decided to make a career out of it, excellent benefits and opportunities, and endless incoming reading material, hence my discovery of the article in question.

Back to said article, and job searches, it is now apparently the latest and smartest business move to allow newly hired young employees to bring their parents in to a meet and greet day to show off their fabulous new working environment. Yes indeed. Gen-Y kids are so tied to their parents that they actually jump at the opportunity to show their parents where they work in order to say ‘Look! Look! I done good!’

I’m sorry if I’m of the opinion that by the time you are old enough to pay your rent, you should be happy enough with what you are doing for a living to do well enough without the validation of the people who wouldn’t let you get your trendy tattoo when you were 17. But then, that’s another issue: living at home. There are far, FAR too many young adults who are still living at home. Some of them see this as a necessity: if I want to afford my car, I need to live at home with my parents. Others see it as a bonus: a free ride. They love the idea of staying at home. What a great way to save money! I’m so glad you’re willing to sacrifice your independence and general pride.

No, no, no. After a year of seething at everyone around me, moving back home was not going to work. I stopped myself from stabbing people in the fucking eye, seventeen times a day! You are not going to tell me when dinner is ready and what time to be home. Out I go. I’m a little old fashioned this way. When you have a job and are making money, get the fuck out the door and start paying for your own fucking hydro. Do you know how much power the hair dryer sucks up as you coif your trendy ‘do?

And yet, as we’ve seen, parents have their fists firmly in the pigtails of that endeavour as well: the job search. Parent day at the office? Give me a fucking break. My parents have never even seen where I work. It’s bad enough they know where I live. I spent 20 years with them – I’d like now to have an aspect of my life that doesn’t involve them, thank you very much.

On a side note, here’s an interesting conundrum: if you live at home, and your boyfriend/girlfriend also lives at home, where do you do your dating business? Do you really want to have to arrange your fucking around your parents schedule? Mmmmmmmmm. Sexy. Unless of course, you’re happy with the backseats of cars and park benches, which further proves my point that only 14 year olds should be living at home.

But I digress. The reason this whole thing came up in my mind in the first place was an incident at work – as usual. And I wouldn’t call it an incident except, as is often the case, I had to dig my fingernails into my desk to keep from hitting something.

A dumpy looking woman came up to my reception desk and asked if this was indeed ‘the lawyers office.’ This happens a lot, because there are a ton of different, hidden offices behind my reception. “Which lawyer are you seeing?” I asked her. She explained that she wasn’t seeing anybody, she just wanted to drop off some resumes for her daughter.

I could have screamed. Really, I could have screamed. Compared to this, I can forgive everything else. Okay, so your kids are in school and you miss washing their clothes. You’ve invested twenty something years into their lives, you want to see what they’re doing with it. Did you ever stop to think that maybe if you hadn’t plopped them in front of the telly at the tender age of two you might not have missed the opportunity to be involved? That maybe it’s a bit late now and it’s time to cut the goddamned umbilical cord already?

The woman eventually got the hint that this is a business centre and I’m just going to throw away anything you hand me that nobody has specifically requested. She left. Which is good. Because I wanted to yell at her. Even if somebody had specifically told me that they were hiring and wanted me to collect resumes, I would have torn this one up in the woman’s face and tossed it back at her, whether or not it’s any of my business. I can’t, in good faith, allow anyone I work with to hire someone who doesn’t have the integrity to hand out their own fucking resumes.

How much of an apron string strangling monster of a parent do you have to be to hand out your kid’s fucking resume for her? Seriously!!! Why? Do you really think, honestly, that anyone will hire her because you gave such a fanfuckingtastic first impression?!?! If you walk into my office and hand me your kids resume, I’m going to have to assume that you also wrote it for her, and that she isn’t going to be able to do a goddamned task on her own. I’m also going to have to assume that you told her what to be when she grew up, but since you’ve been holding her fucking hand for so long, she hasn’t even done that yet!!!!

This is the last straw, and it’s getting fucking ridiculous. Gen-Y, listen up. Your mommies and daddies are going to start dying in the next couple of decades. Sorry, but it’s true. It’s an aging population. What kind of fucking sense does it make to rely on them for your goddamned toilet paper purchases? Move the fuck out of your parents house, get in debt, get a job, and work your ass out of it like someone with some fucking balls. Otherwise your parents are going to be picking your job, your mortgage, the colour of your fucking kitchen, and advising you on your retirement plan so they can still have their hand on the strap of your backpack long after they’re dead.

Parents: stop it.

Companies: stop encouraging it.

Gen-Yers: grow the fuck up.

Because, in reality, nobody is going to be impressed with the fact that you made top quarterly sales in wherever, or that you’re the hippest guy at your too-cool office chumming with your boss over lattes, or that you own a media-software-marketing-bullshit whatever business if at the end of the day you drive your shiny new car to your parents’ bungalow where they still cut your mashed turkey and peas and tell you how fucking special you are.

If someone has to tell you you’re special, you’ve already failed.

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nahole says:

A-fucking-men Greenie. I’ve seen fucking twenteens wandering around places I’ve worked recently like they’re fucking brighter, stronger and fucking faster than anyone else. Grow the fuck up indeed. If I had been you, I would have thanked the woman, taken the resume and then fucking emailed the girl to tell her what a douche she was for having her mommy drop it off for her. What an asshole.



greenmetropolis says:

Thanks for the advice nahole! That’s a fucking sweet ass idea, and I’m totally doing that in the future. Because I’m sure it’ll happen again. People are stupid. People are douches. People are assholes.



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