Gonch is turning into an old cynical fart

posted by Jeff | Thursday, July 31, 2008, 12:12 PM | comments: 27

See here. ;)

Seriously though, I'm bothered by the way people diss an entire generation. People did it with mine, and yet we're trying damn hard to undo the damage of previous generations. Now the next one is being written off as a bunch of crybaby coddles shits, and I think that's totally unfair.

Let's be frank about it, our country is behind and non-competitive in the global marketplace because of protectionist precedent set by several previous generations, and reinforced with asinine programs like No Child Left Behind. So if you want to throw some responsibility around, let's first send it to the old men in elected offices and board rooms. They made this.

But only do that if you really believe this bullshit that the average 20-somethings are slacker crybabies, or at least, any more than any previous generation. When I think of the 20-something archetype just out of school, I tend to think of people in our own little blogging circle like Tyler or Kara. And now that kids I coached ten years ago are out into the world, they're the same way, making it in the world and contributing to society. I see the same "kids" out in the workplace.

Seriously, where are these entitlement no work ethic people? The only place I see them are in their 40's and 50's who bitch and moan that they don't want to learn anything new and would rather sit around on unemployment than embrace new technology. I see plenty of that. To me that says that even if these kids do exist, they aren't any different than countless generations before them.

I guess it all depends on how you want to view the world. I'm not going to get all Whitney Houston on you and tell you that the children are our future, but the most rewarding experiences I've had in my life come from mentoring and guiding young people to be better people. Putting down their generation based on a media fueled archetype is not productive or helpful. I'm regularly amazed, and perhaps even embarrassed of my own level of achievement, when I see what people younger than me are capable of.

Comments

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 6:26 AM #

I'm not sitting back and doing anything. I'm questioning where bullshit generalizations come from. The burden of proof is not mine to bear. I want to see data that says, "Percentage x of people born between these years feel entitled to..." Yeah... I'm countering subjectivity with subjectivity. Isn't that the problem? There is no comparative data from one generation to the next because I suspect that workplace behavioral studies hadn't even been thought of prior to the last two decades. All the more reason that I believe this generation isn't any different from ours or any other. Hell, I suspect they'll stomp all over Gen-X people and succeed where we didn't. That doesn't happen on entitlement.

And if no one is writing anyone off here, then why are we even having this "debate?" Generalizations are write-offs.

And I'm not even sure why we keep coming back to this kid on CB. What he says is spot on. The middle management in particular at that place is fucked up and has no clue how to manage people. And that's not surprising, as the disregard for HR comes right from the top. That kid doesn't personify a generation, he personifies people who work at Cedar Point... of all ages.

Again... generalizations suck, and I'm sticking to that.

Gonch, August 1, 2008, 7:38 AM #

Sorry to keep doing the 'quote and reply' format, but that's how I roll. :)

"How do you know? You interview people and assess their skills. Isn't that how it's always worked?"

Yup. And it's always been "start at the bottom and earn your way up" too. You don't get out of college and run the office. Even if you read all the books about how to run the office, you're probably not qualified until you've worked in the office - from the bottom to the top so that you have real-world understanding of all apsects of running the office.

"We started Google, and it took several years. They started Facebook before they even graduated."

See, back to the tech thing. I still say those are exceptional circumstances and that they don't apply to most people in the real world. Everyone can't create Facebook or Google. It just can't happen. For every Mark Zuckerberg there's a million kids who exist within the system.

"And I'm not even sure why we keep coming back to this kid on CB. What he says is spot on. The middle management in particular at that place is fucked up and has no clue how to manage people. And that's not surprising, as the disregard for HR comes right from the top. That kid doesn't personify a generation, he personifies people who work at Cedar Point... of all ages."

And here's why I enjoy knowing you. You pick up on exactly the opposite things that I do. Admittedly, he is kind of saying that. But he's also saying:

- So, July 12th marked the end of my two summer long Cedar Point career. I was filled with so much excitement when I was hired as a Raptor Ride Host a year and a half ago, and after an amazing first summer, being promoted into leadership, I discovered the true problems plaguing the park.

(It was great when I got what I wanted then it became a problem with management when I didn't)

- No offense to any of you with kids, but to go from running Millennium Force to running the Mustangs, was quite degrading on a personal level.

(I got put in a position I didn't like)

- Disaster Transport was the only decent spot open, so I was happy to take it. The first we weeks went fine..then claustrophobia kicked in. People hate riding it, the building creeped the hell out of me, and it is the most repetitive ride to work.

(I thought DT would be fun, but it turned out to be standard ride-op work)

- Management plays games as far as promoting people. It's not what you know, or how good you are, its your availability. God forbid you want to get an education, odds are you can't be a Team Leader on a good ride.

(I thought I deserved the TL position even if I couldn't work when the position required)

- The poor crew, which has already beaten themselves down by working 70+ hours a week, has to be a the park at 4 am to get the ride ready for you guys. I know we signed the contract, but its ridiculous. I know people who worked open to close coastermania.

(I know I agreed to it, but work is hard. Lots of work is even harder. Pity me.)

- Their going to pay me $7.15 an hour without overtime. Then they are going to take $31 out of my paycheck, each week to live in a dump with 3 other people (thank god they were my friends), then to make matters worse I basically had to eat every meal out.

(Even though this is what anyone in my position makes at CP, I deserve better)

- Everyones under SO much pressure to be perfect.

(You mean I have to meet standards and do things as expected?)

- Literally every ride has to be open exactly at 10:00 (or at Disaster 11) A minute late and you'd be written up if it wasn't a mechanical problem.

(see previous comment)

- I learned alot. But once I mastered everything, which for me took about 3 days lol, its like"Okay, you've screwed me over, now its my turn to return the favor."

(I'm so good, why don't I have an office job already. I'm clearly being treated unfairly - I'll show them!)

- When asked "Is there anything I can do better?" all my manager said was "no." Well isn't that just great. You can't find any faults in my work, you offer me no 'pat on the back' and you promote conditional rehires from last season to big coasters because they don't go to school in the fall.

(I did good and didn't get a cookie or a trophy or a pat on the back or a party in my name? And I still don't understand why I didn't get hired for a job I couldn't be there to do.)

- I am not going to work a job I'm not happy at, just because the customers "deserve a great experience at Kiddy Kingdom!"

(It's all about me.)

- Without employees, parks have nothing. What would happen if all the Ride Hosts got pissed off one day and decided not to go to work? Your poor little day at the park would be ruined.

(I'm special. You couldn't make it without me.)

Seriously. It's every stereotype in the book. It's a virtual "how to" guide. Sounds a lot like the whiny-ass kids that I quoted back in my December entry.

If you want to work at CP, you start at the bottom and you work your way up. It doesn't happen overnight. It's a long term (lifetime? see: Kinzel) commitment and those at the bottom are quite replaceable. That's how it works. That's the system. That's how the game is played. Those are the rules. Regardless of how smart it is or how well it works, it's how it is.

It is what it is. :)

This kid doesn't think those rules apply to him and expected special treatment. I get a serious 'sense of entitlement' from his words. It reads exactly like someone who thinks they deserve more than they do.

You're a 19 year old ride-op, kid. Get over yourself. You want something better? Go find it.

Good luck. That high school diploma and 19 years on Earth should score you some sweet six figure job any second now.

It's friggin' ridiculous.

Gonch, August 1, 2008, 2:59 AM #

"But whether it's carpentry or programming, if you feel like your experience qualifies you or you develop at a certain rate, you shouldn't participate in the arbitrary "you need a junior position for x years because you have to pay your dues." That's nonsense."

I disagree. How am I to know what you can or can't do? If you are as talented as you say then it shouldn't be long before you rise to your potential.

It gets even more pronounced when you're talking about kids with little to no real life and/or work experience. Some kid thinks he'd be great at some higher position, then great. Come in at the bottom and if you're as good as you say, then you'll move up as the opportunities arise.

If that kid's not as good as he thinks or his employer don't bend over backwards and change lives to move him on some magical fast track, he'll undoubtedly blame everyone around him for holding him back and not seeing his potential or what an asset he is.

And it is criticizing a little bit. But it's pointing out something that I think is an issue. Not my job to fix it. Not really my job to point it out. It'd be my job but no one around here realizes how special I am. ;)

Jeff, July 31, 2008, 8:15 PM #

Where is the data, Carrie? And furthermore, does the data correlate previous generations by decade? If it doesn't, it has no value.

Sure, Linda, I don't doubt the calls you get from parents, but how is that a reflection of entitlement from the kids? Those same kids that I've worked with and praise have parents like that, but if you were to ask the kids, I'd guess that most would prefer that their parents just stay out of it. I know aging professors who say the kids haven't changed in decades, only the technology. Being an asshole is hardly something any specific generation has cornered the market on.

And I was being ironic with regards to 40 and 50-somethings. If you can apply the generalizations to one group, they fit equally well with others.

I don't find that post on CB to be all that surprising, let alone fuel for generalizations, because like I said, I've heard the same comments from people 30 years older from that kid working in the same place.

Let's get something else cleared up. Believing you're entitled to get the work that you want because you feel you're qualified is not the same as being a whiny bitch about life. Be realistic, but don't settle into the due paying bullshit either.

So why do I care so much? Because spending a lot of time trying to apply all of these bullshit generalizations is about as constructive as people sitting around talking about each other behind their backs. A better use of time is working with people, especially the younger range, to help them figure out how to operate in the world.

And get back to me when any of us can honestly say we didn't know everything when we were 22. Ha!

Carrie, July 31, 2008, 8:37 PM #

Come on, Jeff. You know there are studies out there that examine and cross reference all of the generations. Hell, there are even entire research centers dedicated to the practice. Feel free to search the library. I recommend beginning with the works of Howe and Strauss.

"A better use of time is working with people, especially the younger range, to help them figure out how to operate in the world."

That's precisely the point of the studies. You can't possibly begin to work with young people until you take the time to understand where they are coming from.

Neuski, July 31, 2008, 8:40 PM #

I think you are all right and debating the debate is boring. Let's debate something better like abortion.

Jeffrey, August 1, 2008, 11:21 PM #

I have my own opinions about the validity/invalidity of the whole Generation Y argument, but I'm not going to go into that as it seems you guys have done a pretty meticulous job already. I do think, however, that while some of these generalizations may be "accurate," they are more symptoms than causes.

Anyway, being a Gen-Y-er myself, I do have this to say: I used to work in the lab at a large pharmaceutical company. I went to school for ChemE at a good school and took a decent semi-entry-level job in a research lab, working side by side with other researchers, some of whom had been there for 30+ years. I had a blast, got along well with everyone and (does this sound vain?) was pretty well-liked. I was young and lively, so I brought some much-needed fun back to the R&D department. I never once complained about my job to my coworkers.

A Gen-X woman from a lab down the hall who was hired in the same cycle as me came to my desk one day and went on a little diatribe similar to the ones being had here--about how demanding my generation was, and that she took seminars about how to work with us (we were so hard to work with!), etc, etc. It just seemed so totally out of the blue, and I might have been offended if I cared about what she thought.

Anyway, this story isn't building to some dramatic conclusion about how I stormed out of the lab and quit my job because I wasn't being promoted quickly enough. I actually really enjoyed what I was doing, and I would have been content to stay at the level I was for a long time, assuming I was treated respectfully and fairly (I have since quit and started a new job with another company for entirely unrelated reasons). I did a good job, and didn't make any demands. I didn't know this lady, and she never saw me at work in the lab. How on earth could she feel comfortable saying what she said to me (I don't think she even realized it was a mildly offensive opinion--she just considered it a factual topic to which she and I could both relate from opposite sides of the "divide")? I didn't realize people were being "trained" to tolerate/work with my generation until that moment, and it was disappointing to have that label applied to me by a total stranger.

My point, I guess, is people should really stop looking at individuals through the lens of subjective generalization. I don't think my generation is substantially different from any generation that came before it. The only difference is the era in which we live, and we're all experiencing that together.

, July 31, 2008, 6:03 PM #

I think you are confusing "no work ethic" with the "attitude of entitlement" which are, for the most part, two separate things.

Gonch is right that parents have coddled their kids and have shaped who they are. I get 2-3 calls a week from parents who want their son/daughter's passwords to check their son/daughter's email for important information. Why aren't the KIDS calling or checking their OWN email??

It's fine and dandy to assist, but many of these parents are handling even basic responsibilities and when things go wrong, mom and/or dad are right there to fix things for them. They aren't helping their kids learn responsibility and the whole "no kid left behind" thing ADDS to that.

Even the grad students (20 and 30 somethings) blame everyone but themselves when things blow up in their faces. I can't tell you how many rude, screaming students I've dealt with who think it's unfair an instructor is penalizing them for not reading their email, or blame me for not getting their work done on time because they waited until the day before an assignment is due to realize they need to use the password information they ignored. Or how many times I hear "it's MY tuition that is paying for YOUR job!"

Working with younger people at a University, I'm dealing with a much larger percentage than you are. So yeah, I see a larger percentage who have the entitlement attitude.
(Although I'm surprised you haven't noticed the the attitudes of many of the youngsters on CBuzz and Pointbuzz!!)

You are right that each upcoming generation makes changes for the better. And Oldsters have been complaining about the youngsters since time began. As life gets easier for each generation, each generation expects more from life.

You say you don't like the generalizations, yet you do it too with your remark about 40 and 50 somethings.

I know one 50 something who has tried hard to keep up with technology, is able to pick up new technology and programming tools easily and quickly. But the problem is NO ONE will give him the opportunity to show what he is capable of because he has no on the job experience, was making too much money at his previous tech gig and is too old. How do you get the experience if no one will hire you to begin with...even at a beginning salary rate? Especially when it's easier to hire some fresh-faced graduate.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 4:30 AM #

1) They state unattributed "themes" and not data regarding the generalizations. Not surprising, as HR consultants are not scientists.

2) I don't see anything in that article supporting the generalizations, only the cyclical nature of generational archetypes.

3) A consultant and author, a double agenda, and no data. (Though I love how she introduces Millennials as "sought after," which is a far cry from what Gonch has described.)

4) OK... a list of books. How do they support generalizations?

Maybe my bigger issue is that it sucks that human beings are so anxious to categorize and write each other off on the basis of race, gender, religions, and now, apparently, age. Are we really doomed to keep making the same mistakes over and over?

Jeff, August 2, 2008, 1:56 AM #

Well said.

See, that's why I refuse to generalize. The "kid" is wise beyond his years.

Carrie, August 1, 2008, 4:52 AM #

Nice. Sit back and do nothing to support your argument but offer subjective opinion and then pick apart what I have offered in the way of third party publications at your request.

I am suggesting you read one or two of those books if you want to see the data. To ask me to lay out 20 years worth of census bureau statistics, media trends, surveys, and behavioral study for you is asking a bit much.

The data is all around you. As the Gen-Yers will tell you, the technology puts it at your fingertips. Just pick some of them up and read them.

And to clarify, no one has written anyone off in this discussion based on age. This all started because of the testimony of a person who fits the bill of these generalizations.

He used his connections via technology to let anyone who would read it know that he was wronged in his employment because while he thought he was best suited for a leadership position on the thrill coasters at CP, his employer thought he would be best placed at the kids rides.

And not once did he speak to skill set as it pertained to the ride he was assigned to operate. He spoke to the fact that his interest lies with the thrill rides and therefore that is where his employer should have placed him... you know, to keep him interested so he could work the number of hours he signed on to work when he was hired.

Neuski, August 1, 2008, 5:19 PM #

He didn't just walk away from the job. He bitched about it publicly. I also wouldn't be very happy if I worked at Kiddie Kingdom but I wouldn't append a trip report to a Six Flags park with my experience at Cedar Point.

He was looking for attention and sympathy.

Carrie, July 31, 2008, 5:18 PM #

No doubt I will regret engaging in this, but here goes anyway. The first issue is that you tend to always see the observations about the characteristics of this generation as "dissing." It's not necessarily dissing to recognize the patterns of behavior that this generation generally (read: not in all cases) exhibits.

You tend to get really emotionally tied to this topic and I don't know why that is. Despite the research and data that surrounds you on this topic that demonstrates the validity of the observations, you tend to ignore that and claim it is just generation bashing.

I am a "Gen-Xer." And while that doesn't mean squat about the person who I am or how I choose to define myself, there is plenty published about the characteristics of Gen-X that rang/rings true.

None of it is a straight-jacket. It's as defining as an astrological sign. But it does speak to the general patterns that exist in the behavioral flow from generation to generation. It's fascinating. And the way that the upbringing and characteristics of the Gen-Y group will shape their kids and so on and so on is really cool when you stop to think about it.

Gonch, July 31, 2008, 9:21 PM #

"Believing you're entitled to get the work that you want because you feel you're qualified is not the same as being a whiny bitch about life."

Except when you're not as qualified or as much of a catch as you think you are and then complain.

"Be realistic, but don't settle into the due paying bullshit either."

You have to start somewhere. Somewhere for most people is the bottom. I can't name too many professions where you start at the top...or even the middle.

I think you also have a slightly skewered look at things from inside the tech bubble. I'm not sure it works the same. Isn't technology work like yours pretty much "We need someone who does 'X' - can this person do it?" It's not like you start at a basic position and learn your way up to a better one and then another beyond that. There's less of a chain of command or any real hierarchy to work up through. Or am I totally wrong there? It's just the impression I get the more the subject comes up.

I have to keep going back to the thing that started it all - that post on CBuzz. This kid felt he was above the work he was given and then felt like it made no sense that he didn't get a better spot because he wasn't available for the time they needed someone. This kid really thought he should get the job even though he couldn't be there to do it!? He wanted to move up the chain now. Not next year. Not with any additional experience. Not with any time dedicated to learning the company. He walked away because he didn't get everything the way he wanted when he wanted.

That's what I'm talking about. I get the impression that he expected everyone to treat him like some great find and put him in a suit before the season ended.

Real life doesn't work that way. I think a lot of these kids coming out of high school and college are in for a rude awakening when the realize it doesn't work like mommy and daddy always made it work.

That's my advice. There's nothing to work with. It'll take 10 seconds to teach these kids how to operate in the world. Someone just needs to sit them down and tell them, "You're not special. You're pathetically average. You won't have everything handed to you. You don't deserve any more than anyone else like you. You have to earn your way and prove you deserve it, not just demand it."

Hell, I think I should be named, "Undeniable Ruler and Leader of Thought for the Free World."

It doesn't sound much more ridiculous than what some of these kids think they deserve coming into the workforce out of school.

Jeff, July 31, 2008, 9:57 PM #

Where are the studies? Why should I look for them? If there is quantifiable data, and you're basing your opinion on it, show it to me.

Tech is no different from anything else. You don't graduate college with any useful programming knowledge, and in fact half of the programmers out there don't even have CS degrees (they tend to have English degrees, the reason for which is not something I understand, but we had our theories at my last job). But whether it's carpentry or programming, if you feel like your experience qualifies you or you develop at a certain rate, you shouldn't participate in the arbitrary "you need a junior position for x years because you have to pay your dues." That's nonsense.

I don't think the kid on CB thought he was above anything. They're notorious for dangling leadership positions in front of seasonals then turning around tying all kinds of stipulations to it. Are you really going to generalize an entire generalization on this one kid and not even consider the context in which he made his statements?

I've interviewed a fair number of people in various jobs, and aside from the MBA's from other countries (why people get MBA's and then want unrelated work is beyond me), they've all been realistic about what they're capable of and what their place in an organization is. And, like me, at least half were looking for opportunities to grow and develop quickly. Is ambition now a sense of negative entitlement?

I get the "you're not special" angle. That's a reality everyone faces in the workplace, especially right out of college. Again, how is that different from any previous generation?

I still think it's a bullshit generalization, and it's not any better than generalizing that Jews are cheap or black people are poor.

And if you really want to get to it, and start criticizing the kids, let's slide back to the boomers who created the expectations that these kids, according to everyone else, seem to have. Shit, even I was taught that college equals money and a successful career, and that was the late 80's.

The thing I notice as I get older is the tendency of people my age getting to be more like my parents, complaining about those damn kids, and not doing anything about it. If that's a vicious cycle that we're doomed to carry out, then we are completely fucked.

Carrie, July 31, 2008, 10:47 PM #

Social and behavioral science is rarely quantifiable and you know it, that's why you are playing that angle. You should look for the information, because that is how one gets educated. I've already gotten my education; why should I try to summarize it for you here just because you don't believe me? I've pointed you to at least one source.

It would be great if you could take the time to do some research on this topic that you get so passionate about.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 6:58 PM #

OK, so since we can't write off the entire generation, now we want to lay into this kid.

That's fine. Is what he's doing appropriate? Probably not. Will he learn from the experience? Probably. Like you said, he's just a kid and has lessons to learn. Didn't we all when we were 19? You sure as hell can't predict what his next situation or reaction is going to be anymore than you can say he expects six figures.

Again, I just fail to see how this is different from anyone else in any other generation beyond the fact that he has the Internets now to express what he's feeling.

CPLady, July 31, 2008, 6:04 PM #

^ that was me. Damned authentication times out suck.

Gonch, August 1, 2008, 5:40 PM #

"So you call Zuckerburg an exception but CB rideop kid is designated the norm for the generation? According to whom?"

Me. ;)

"He does want something better and he is going to find it."

And the second he doesn't move up the ladder quick enough or has to do something he feels is below him, he'll be saying the same things about that employer too.

Again, it's not the same issue as your "what I want out of work" thing. Closely related, but not the same. If he thought about the "what I want out of work" process then he wouldn't have been at CP in the first place.

This is about not understanding that you're not as exceptional as you think you are and that you have to play within the rules. Doesn't matter if it's a suck-ass place to work like CP or the single greatest employer in the world. There's going to be a way they do things, a way they run their business, different things they find value or usefulness in and you're going to be bound by those rules as well.

I don't see this as a story about poor work environment. I see it as a story about a kid who thought he deserved things no one has ever received in his position.

Carrie, August 1, 2008, 2:05 PM #

I'm bowing out because I pale at Gonch's ability to debate and make excellent points.

But for the record, I love you both. :)

Gonch, August 1, 2008, 7:35 PM #

No, not at all. I say this kid is representative of how a majority (or the general trend) of his generation thinks. That's what I said in the first place in the blog entry you linked to way up at the top of this page.

I don't honestly believe any of the previous generations (in general) expected so much handed to them for so little in return.

My take is really as simple as that and it's based entirely on the idea that I believe you can make broad generalizations about segments of people and have them be more true than not.

Whatever.

I really tried to find some articles arguing the other side and pickin's were sparse. But I did find this really great article acknowledging the difference with Gen Y and ending with suggestions to/for adapting to them and changing the workplace.

Kind of a middle ground that we might all be able to agree with to some degree.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 4:09 AM #

How do you know? You interview people and assess their skills. Isn't that how it's always worked?

The more I thought about this after my last post, the more I realized that everything that has been said here was said about our generation. Then in the early 90's, you stopped hearing about it... right when we began to integrate into the workforce.

What's striking is the speed at which we accomplished stuff compared to the Y's. We started Google, and it took several years. They started Facebook before they even graduated. And as we've grown up and had families (arguably the most important accomplishments), the Y's are starting to do it now too. They're more like us than I think we're willing to admit.

Gonch, July 31, 2008, 7:33 PM #

See? The ladies get it. :)

I'm a little miffed that Carrie said basically everything I hoped to reply with:

  • not necessarily dissing, but, come on - you have to shake your head in disbelief at that post on CoasterBuzz
  • Gen-X'er - stereotype didn't fit all of us, but more often rang true than not
  • generational differences and evolution fascinating

And Linda's real world examples mirror stories I read, real-life situations my wife brings home and what I hear my little brother and his circle of friends talk about.

And she's absolutely correct about the speration of 'no work ethic' and 'sense of entitlement' - these kids will work and do damn fine work, but they want the world in return. They don't want to 'earn' it.

I'm big on the old school idea of 'paying your dues' - you start at the bottom and the shit rains down. You earn your way to the top. (which is kind of interesting because this sort of ties into the idea of what work is and sacrifice and that whole topic too - see Jeff's post 1 and post 2 on the subject)

These kids (in general) haven't had to earn much - especially compared to every previous generation. They don't understand not being praised and treated like the best, the hero, the most important.

I'm not saying anything I haven't already. I buy into the generational characteristics. I think we can be defined as a whole.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 8:26 PM #

OK, so I'll buy into the "they're different, not worse" theory. I can accept that. What I still refuse to accept is that they expect things to be handed to them. I don't believe that's the same thing as them wanting whatever is a good fit for them. That they don't want to work for the success I think is the worst part of the generalization. I think they will work for it... but if the success doesn't come, they're out. I'm certainly no different. And hey, that attitude worked for me in radio until I decided it wasn't for me.

I bet you anything that this story is going to go away in a few years, just as it did with our generation. Why? Because if there are indeed a set of rules out there that dictate how you function in the employment marketplace, they have no choice but to conform to them.

But what do I know... I don't even own a suit.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 2:14 AM #

You can quantify everything in science and identify trends. You said there were studies, I want to know where. You're copping out.

As soon as one generation starts generalizing about the shortcomings of another, it becomes what it's criticizing. That's what's going on here.

Jeff, August 1, 2008, 3:27 PM #

I can roll like that too. ;)

"You don't get out of college and run the office."

OK, but who is suggesting that's the way the Gen-Y kids roll? Again, all I've seen is anecdotal evidence from HR consultants that make that generalizations. We had all kinds of "kids" around that age at my last job... that was not an expectation among any of them.

So you call Zuckerburg an exception but CB rideop kid is designated the norm for the generation? According to whom?

I don't see how you can take that kid's account under consideration in a vacuum. If the same kinds of things are going on with people who are twice his age and at the VP level, how can you not lend some credence what he's saying? Over promise and under deliver to your people is the m.o. in that company. Morale there doesn't suck because of some generational issue, it sucks because its management doesn't get how to operate with people. They create a culture of fear.

Furthermore, I think you're projecting the grumpy old man thing on to him. He does want something better and he is going to find it. He also didn't say that he was expecting a six-figure salary. Where do you get that? It seems to me that the only thing he wants is to be treated fairly and with respect. I don't think that's too much to ask for any job. My experience is that if you treat them that way, you get the performance you want out of them.

And no, I'm not talking about some form of coddling or an absence of responsibility.

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