After a very successful comment to one of Mitch Albom's horrible articles, a discussion started that I felt important to share my portion here:
Yeah the Baby Boomers are screwing over my generation, but they are also allowing us to live in their houses while times are tough for our generation....so at least it evens out somewhat. It's just too bad that the media (traditionally the type that skews older) LOVES to destroy the "millennial" generation without understanding the problems or issues. I also work in an office where I am by far the youngest person, and almost all of my co-workers and I get along great (it turned out to be a huge benefit to have significantly older parents) but there are some things I noticed throughout my organization...
To make a ridiculous sweeping generation like Mr. Albom does, many of the 50+ set who make a lot of money are TERRIBLE employees and aren't very smart. It's disheartening explaining how to use Microsoft Word to someone who makes $50,000+ a year and you are making $20,000, it's also disheartening being the only person in the office who can answer a question within seconds yet still being looked down upon because you are young. I have been told and I feel that I'm better at business writing, public speaking, computer assistance of all sorts, customer service and even at things like math and spelling than almost ALL of the 50+ year old employees who believe their skills are still relevant to do today's work.
From ridiculous stereotypes I have made these generalizations about the issues between generations:
Older Generations (50+ is about right):
- Believe they are "due respect" just because they have managed not to die yet.
- HATES that young people have the balls to wear what they want to work, moreso that the young folks will QUIT rather than follow their stupid dress codes and other useless rules
- Most are the kindest, nicest and warm hearted people you have met and working with these sort of folks is amazing. One of the 50+ ladies in the office has taught me more than anyone else in the organization and did it in a humble and sweet way. There is no way a millenial could be this nice consistently.
- Lack of basic understanding about many aspects of life for younger generations, this lack of understanding leads to perceptions that aren't true (is the employee on the phone texting or sending a work e-mail? is he taking notes on his phone in the meeting or playing angry birds?)
- Get extremely mad when things aren't done "their way" because they are not used to having their authority checked.
- Believe that processes and policies should be followed 100% regardless of how it is violated and if the end result is successful.
- Many will not speak with you if you say you are an Atheist, young folks do this too but nowhere near to the degree as the older generations.
Younger Generations (About 32 and under):
- Lack the ability to have a traditional face-to-face conversation in the same manner that the 50+ set so much loves. THIS ISN'T BAD! It's just different.
- Far too nice, our politeness (mine included) is what is hurting us the most. We are smarter than most of the people in charge of us but we are too polite and humble to say that. If we would start being more insistent maybe things would change for the better.
- Too idealistic and we find declaring specific goals to be difficult (Just look at Occupy). This has a lot to do with us being too "nice" as well.
- Accepting of other cultures, sexuality, nationalities and religions. This is good and bad, the bad part being we have been taught to be accepting for so long that we forgot there are some people we CANNOT accept (pedophiles, rapists, murderers, thieves, evil politicians)
- Some of us resent the older generations dismissal of things as "not important" when in reality it's extremely important to a good part of the population.
My final point is this, Old people are overwhelmingly against gay marriage, ending the war on drugs, "free" internet culture, lowering taxes, global warming and a billion other things that will actually progress society. It is this reason that my connotation of old people has always been a negative one, it's not our fault that we are better educated and have access to better tools than you did. Yes your generation helped us get these, and I know this will be an example of how we are "entitled" but it also is an example of how your generation needs to grow the hell up and quick.