Saturday, December 08, 2007

Gen-Y: What an annoying bunch of whiners

They demand things on their terms. They resist teamwork if it involves discomfort. They insist that they aren't wrong, continuing to argue well past the time to realize that they need to shut their mouths. If they aren't spoon-fed, they won't take action on anything.

Generation Y drives me crazy.

In the past week, I've encountered three separate episodes of egregiously bad Gen-Y behavior, and I've pretty much had it. I refuse to continue to coddle these children that have been coddled their whole lives and continue to act like spoiled brats well into young adulthood.

The first episode involved a work-related he-said, she-said scenario between two people that are in support roles in a company affiliated with mine. One Gen-Yer insisted that she was prompt and absolutely correct, while the other Gen-Y wonk was hung up on a deadline that had supposedly passed without the "correct" action. Well, I had information that showed that our female participant had indeed done the right thing in timely fashion -- her male counterpart was wrong. It was no big deal, I didn't even comment actively -- I just forwarded a previous e-mail from our customer with the note "FYI" to both of them. I checked the item off my list, thinking that the paperwork should go through, no problems. Except that Mr. Gen Y was all pouty and refused to cooperate. When he forced me to call someone else there to get things moving, he then blamed me for being difficult to work with!

Score: Stubborn refusal to admit fault, petualant lack of cooperation, finger-pointing.

The second was clearer cut -- a college student in a class that my wife is teaching actually reported my wife (a teaching assistant while she's earning a graduate degree) to the course professor because she wouldn't accept an assignment a week after the due date. Because of the nature of the assignment, it was to be submitted in print form (most of their assignments are submitted online). On the due date, the student claimed that the assignment was "on my thumb drive" yet had some trouble printing it out. Wanting to be reasonable, my wife gave the student the remainder of the day (about 4 hours) to submit the work, even referring him to the department technical support staff to help with the printing issue. Of course, a week later, the student had yet to turn the assignment in, so that was that. However, the student reported my wife, saying that he had "disrespected" him by disallowing the tardy assignment, saying that he was "too busy" that day to print out the requirement.

Score: Unwilling to work for achievement, expectation of special treatment, refusal to accept responsibility for his own actions.

Finally, another one that really kills me -- the know-it-all. I'll accept that in my youth, I was something like this, but I generally knew where my knowledge was and wasn't. That is, I didn't argue about things with people that obviously knew more than I did. Well, in this case, a kid born in the 1980's wieghed in with a strong opinion of the political landscape in that same decade -- when he was a toddler. And he chose to debate two men that were in their twenties and thirties during that same span. Spouting ascerbic rhetoric, he instantly claimed that he didn't approve of this person and that group, etc. Meanwhile, I was incredulous. I simply couldn't believe the arrogance and brazen condescension. Obviously, we didnt know a thing about the 1980's; he was going to tell us. Unbelievable.

Score: Arrogance, moral superiority, using opinion as fact, refusing to listen to others.

Spare the rod and spoil the child. That's pretty wise. I really wish that boomers had heeded that advice.


Blogger Jeff said...

...Ok, I was going to come here to send an email explaining why I'm allowed to have an opinion on Ronald Reagan, but it looks like I don't have to.

I feel it makes more sense to say it here rather than Trollhattan because Swade would get mad.

Look, man, Ronald Reagan is history, just like Robert Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln. You're right, I was a toddler when he was president. I think I turned one the day Bush I was elected. But Ronald Reagan was the President, which means that pretty much everything he said, did, and stood for during his presidency is written down somewhere. That's how history works, things happen, they get recorded, and we have to interpret them after the fact. I've read a lot about Ronald Reagan. You probably have too, and, on top of that, you were there. I know that reading does not give you the same insight that a first-hand view does, but I don't have that luxury. Based on his stances on issues ranging from race relations to economics, I've concluded that I really hate his politics. I don't think you're stupid for liking him. I never said anything like that. Here's what I said about Reagan:

"Lots of bad things happened: ...Reagan..."
"I really really don't like what Reagan stood for, but I'm very biased."

That was it. Now, I know you're mad about more than my comments on Reagan, but it would take forever to go over conservative talk radio, the Moral Majority and the like, and the rise of Newt, so I'll just stick with Reagan, because the arguments are the same.

I don't know all the facts, but I'm sure I know enough to know that I can't stand Reagan's stances on many issues. I really don't see how that's arrogance and moral superiority. You didn't defend Reagan (or anything else) at all, yet I refused to listen to you? You said you doubt that I knew what the Gipper stood for. He opposed abortion, and I don't agree with that. He was for supply-side economics, and that was a horrendous idea (it devastated families like mine who were just barely hanging on. THAT I have a first-hand view of). He opposed the Voting Rights Act of '65 because it was "humiliating to the South," that's just backwards (I know you're from the South, I have nothing against the South. I just don't understand how anyone could have opposed that act. And yes, I know every Dixiecrat from here to...Dixie opposed it, and I'm sure as hell not proud of that). His stances on drugs were entirely misinformed. At one point after his presidency, he supported mandatory prayer in school. I'm all for students praying by themselves, but mandatory prayer has no place in a democracy. He was for widespread government deregulation, which I'm always leery about. Lastly, he wanted to make Social Security voluntary. Now, this is totally my opinion and not in any way a fact, but Social Security is possibly the greatest program enacted by any government in the history of the world and I hate the idea of messing with it at all.

I picked these from things I've read over the years. If I'm wrong on any of his stances, please correct me.

Point is, I may not know what it was like to live under Reagan, but I know what he stood for, and I don't like it.

I'm glad he sped up the ending of the Cold War with those extra missiles in Europe. I'm glad he pressured Russia to tear down the Berlin Wall. I even agree with him on some issues, like NAFTA and that forced abortions are sickening. Also, his speech about the Challenger nearly brings me to tears whenever I hear it or read part of it anywhere.

I don't think he was evil, and I don't think you're stupid. I'd bet my car that you know more about Ronald Reagan's presidency than I ever will. But I do think that I definitely have the right to decide that I don't agree with his politics, and that his politics have shaped the political landscape for decades to come.

Let me put this in car terms, just because of where this came from: Just because I wasn't around when they were building Gen 1 Camaros doesn't mean I'm not allowed to decide that they're awesome, just like I didn't have to be around for the Malaise Era to know that it was a dark time for automobiles.

I wasn't trying to tell you what to think, or that your opinions are (or were) wrong, I was stating my own opinion, and I seriously welcome you to challenge it. If you can prove me wrong about Reagan, I'll be amazed, but I'll stand corrected.

I really don't want you to think that I'm some arrogant little snot. Sure, we don't agree on politics at all, but besides that, I really do respect your opinions on things and I really enjoy reading them. I'm sorry I came off as a jerk, I was stating opinion.

You should email me at can of beans 87 a t g mail dot com (without the spaces) if you want to talk about this more.

11:47 AM  
Blogger EggsnGrits said...


See my comments to you by e-mail for more detail, but I (and others) were a bit taken aback by your assertions even after we made it plain that we knew a "little" something on the subject, having lived it and all.

You and I do see most of this stuff differently. I abhor abortion and think that it should be illegal. Killing a child is really stretching the bounds of morality in my book.

I'll confess to your being at the wrong place at the wrong time, too. You can see that I had several irritations in the same vein in short succession.

Done. Let's move on.

1:09 PM  

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