Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Walking Uphill Both Ways…in the SNOW!

on June 2, 2011

For my first official post in my thirties, I will be playing the part of a crotchety old lady. Today I want to talk about young whipper-snappers, and how they don’t have any work ethic. To preview the end of this post, I think I’ll probably conclude that the non-existence of a work ethic, for the most part, has little to nothing to do with age, but rather seems to be an endemic part of our society. Sounds like fun, no? Let’s get to the diatribe!

My company recently hired two new people for entry level positions. After my boss left early on Friday, they decided they were entitled to leave as well, despite one just finishing her first week of work. I was dumbfounded. Never in a million years would I, as a newbie, have assumed I could take off early just because it was a holiday weekend. Had my supervisor come up to me and said, “We’re really dead right now. You can go ahead and take off,” certainly I would have gone. But for them to assume, despite being on the lowest rung of the ladder, that they were free to go shocked me. I mentioned this episode to a few friends and they had similar stories about those recently out of college assuming far too much and not seeming to appreciate the fact that they are employed to do a job and that they aren’t really entitled to much of anything.

I’ve also been shocked by how poorly prepared some of these people are for work. They seem to think that because they’ve graduated from college that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Many have seemed to think that they are above such mundane tasks as answering phones and opening the mail. Sure, that wasn’t my dream job either, but we all have to start somewhere and work our way up. Most don’t get the amazing job straight out of school. I also cringe when I hear how they address clients, talking to them like they would their friends, rather than recognizing that most of our clients are at least the same age as their parents, if not their grandparents. Maybe it’s just how I was raised, but in a client-service provider relationship, I would never address someone obviously older than myself by their first name, until I was asked to do so.

Yup. These young whipper-snappers are lazy and rude. Nothing like my generation….of a few years prior. I understand I’m making sweeping generalizations here. I know there are plenty of recent grads who understand the value of working hard and climbing up the corporate ladder. And I’m sure there were plenty of examples of people from my graduating class behaving the same way but it just seems to be getting worse. Or maybe I’m getting older. Or maybe it has nothing to do with age. Maybe as a society we’re just becoming ruder, some more quickly than others. Or maybe we’re all become more selfish, with everyone developing a sense of entitlement without having earned it. Maybe with all the avenues for instant gratification we have available to us, we just can’t muster up the effort to work hard anymore. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s a worrying trend and I don’t know what can be done to reverse it. Heck I don’t even know if most people would agree that there’s even a problem, let alone have any suggestions on how to fix it. What are you gonna do?

So endeth the crotchety old lady’s diatribe. I’ll try to post something more uplifting next week.

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3 responses to “Walking Uphill Both Ways…in the SNOW!

  1. Samantha says:

    It’s not just young adults that act this way. My middle schoolers are just as rude and disrespectful. It’s frustrating, but I always figure that I should lead by example. And hey, you’ve been there 6 years and you had that job, you can tell them not to be so rude!

  2. Jeannine says:

    So true – I think trying to make everything PC for this generation went a bit too far and I can only hope those of us in our generation who are parents start swinging the pendulum back the other way a bit. A 20-something in a store the other day almost passed out when she nearly knocked Cameron over and he responded, at 2 1/2, “EXCUSE ME!” She looked at me and said, “That’s so cute!” To which I replied, “No, it’s basic manners that even he knows at 2!” Don’t get me started on the person that wore cutoff jeans and flip flops to work last week…

  3. Michelle - Christine's Sister says:

    I get it about the not leaving unless you at least asked.

    However, in my industry we call everyone by their first name. Except, oddly, school personnel we work with. Today at a pre-construction meeting we had Dave, Steve, Dean, me, etc. and Mrs. Wright (the principal) and Mrs. Deoone in facilities. Just saying.

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