The Gen Xers in This Article Resemble No Gen Xers I Know Personally

See the article, in which my cohort is made to look like a bunch of conservative, technophobic ninnies. Yes, this article really speaks to my experience as a Gen Xer, I will tell you.

In other news, after a brief respite, it’s apparently in fashion again to piss on the Gen Xers, America’s favorite abandoned generation. Yes, well.

(puts on stompin’ boots)

Bring it on, meat.

74 Comments on “The Gen Xers in This Article Resemble No Gen Xers I Know Personally”

  1. I am so deeply bored by the whole generation x or y or z or boomer or whatever. As if every single person born over a decade or more span is exactly the same with no individual differences not to mention the obvious differences related to class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc etc. It’s more ridiculous than astrology. I have no idea why anyone takes that crap seriously.

  2. “It’s more ridiculous than astrology”

    I agree. Especially since nobody can seem to agree on where the boundaries in these so-called “generations” are. Sometimes the “boom” is supposed to have ended up to five years before I was born, and other times it’s claimed to extend out to about ten years after I was born. With broad boundaries like that, and a big enough selection of anecdodes, you can make any wild claims that you want.

  3. Does this article even make sense? I am a Gen X’er and I work with said Gen X’ers and we are nothing like that article.

  4. I agree with Justine. Which is to say: yawn.

    Though my yawn of superior boredom is tinged by just a wee bit of righteous anger. These kinds of generational glomming stories simultaneously fill me with sould-draining ennui and blinding rage. As if some asshat at BusinessWeek is going to have any damn clue whatsoever about what motivates me. And, Lordy, I didn’t know I was more conservative than my parents or the noob help desk tech at work! I sure don’t feel that conservative, but I sure must be – it said so in the article. Thanks, BusinessWeek asshat!

    Hrm. Maybe I’m more angry than I thought.

  5. Lo! Let’s watch as the social disconnect continues to weaken Gen X against the Boomers while the Y’s flank and come in for the kill!

    *Sighs and turns off Animal planet*

    When I think of all the harm that some miscreants who run globalized corporations inflict upon a civilization, the whole Gen X, Boomer, and Y idiocy is the furthest thing from my mind.

    I wholeheartedly agree with Justine. This is stuff for crystal balls and tarot cards; truly not an accurate statement of how things actually are.

  6. I remember starting college right around the time the media “discovered” Generation X. The Boomer reporters and editors were surprised to discover that we were stupid, and didn’t like the same bands they did (I suspect the two were connected). Not enjoying the stereotyping anymore now than I did then, thank you very much.

    There were a couple of SF stories published in Analog or Asimov’s back in the early 90s about the glorious future as the aging Baby Boomers took control of the machines of power (this was pre-Clinton presidency, obviously); the foil in each story was the uninspired, cynical Gen Xer. I wish I could remember who wrote them, to ensure that I never accidentally buy one of his (I’m pretty sure it was a guy) books. If anyone remembers who it was, let me know.

  7. The only gen-x folks that I have a problem with are the ones who consider supplying the booze and a bowl of condoms for the after-prom “responsible parenting”

  8. I thought the point of separating into generations was for demographic planning.

    i.e. the retirement of the baby boomers, the kids of the baby boomers who are flooding the schools.

    And although I don’t think one can extract personality information from a generation, I do think that shared experiences are important influences. My grandparents and my husband’s grandparents lived through the Great Depression and that has influenced the way many in that generation spend and save.

    My grandparent’s generation had relatively low divorce rates, while divorce became acceptable for my parents generation, so those of us in the baby bust generation were some of the first children to split time between two parents, and have blended families, and were also some of the first latch key kids as both parents entered the work force. Were some of the first recipients of “quality time.”

    Even if we did not experience these things personally, we know those who did, and that knowledge has influenced our life view.

    Does it give us specific traits as a individuals? Of course not. But it does influence us in ways we might not see. It’s why we can see demographic trends in marriage rates, birth rate, divorce rate, etc, as they change by age and generation.

    So the bogosity of that article doesn’t mean that birth cohorts don’t have influence.

  9. This article is so awesome; it reminds me of my High School Newspaper Column, “the Liles Files”.

  10. I think you all missed the point of this article:

    I’m in the middle of my latest writing project—a book on career options and strategies for Gen X’ers.

    Ms. Erickson tossed out 10 highly debatable canards and generalizations about workers in their 30’s and 40’s. This is bait to get material for the book.

    1. TE: “Gen X workers are nervous closeted technophobes who are scared of responsibility.”
    2. comments: “Oh no we’re not, and here’s 15,000 words explaining why we’re not nervous, closeted, technophobic or scared.”
    3. TE’s book: “Gen X workers are confident, open technophiles who are ready to take on responsibility, and here’s 20,000 words explaining why.”

  11. “When I think of all the harm that some miscreants who run globalized corporations inflict upon a civilization, the whole Gen X, Boomer, and Y idiocy is the furthest thing from my mind.”

    I think we’re getting our revenge. I saw one industrial executive practically in tears when he realized his company’s only hope for survival in the energy crunch was to build factories within 500 miles of where his products would sell.

    “But that runs counter to globalization.”

    To which the GenX’r in me donned it’s flannel shirt, queued up its copy of Soundgarden’s Superunknown, and said, “So what?” Then it left me to go look for a mosh pit.

  12. This might be a wee bitty off topic, BUT: My niece just asked for her first pair of Doc Martens. Trust me, fellow so-called Gen-Xers: you haven’t lived until you’ve guided the next generation to the overly stompy footware. Good times! John, be sure to look forward to it with Athena, and I recommend the Mary Janes with the flames on the toes.

  13. Gah. Any time I see the word gen X I want to hurl. I’d hoped that journalists with no good story ideas had moved on to annoying gen Y.

    At least we’re not “slackers” anymore.

  14. Chryss,

    Just last year I bought my best friend her first pair of Docs for her 19th birthday. And I have her watching and enjoying the classic Hughes movies. And while I would normally go on about the tech parts of the article.

    Who does this fucktard think his senior admins are? And who does he think is training the kids in both the tech and the culture surrounding it? The kids who are going to make the future? Yeah, they’re in our tribe. OK, maybe I’ll go on just a bit. :)

    That’s the bit that really bothers me. Everywhere I have interactions with people under 30 it feels like talking to somebody reasonable and cool not so much when you go much over 40. And you can find clueless people under 30 but that’s true for every single age group. And the article very much has a “won’t somebody think of the poor mega corporations!” feeling about it without ever explaining why I should care. It’s almost as if he’s trying to tell us “No, really. You like corporate life and you don’t like the kids and they don’t like you and you don’t want to start startups with each other.” Bullshit. My own startup? About four years out and going to be started with said best friend. (Complex and personal reasons for the delay. Don’t really want to go into them in public.) Cause everybody with a clue under 40 knows that corporate life sucks and we know that a lot of the things we’ve all helped build makes it possible to live outside of that system. And that scares the boomers shitless. I LOVE it.

  15. The whole “gen” thing is irritating, be it X or Y. I saw a 60 minutes thing on “gen y” which, at 26, I’m apparently fairly squarely in the middle of. Apparently all people between the ages of 19 and 28 are consumerist assholes with high credit card debt that just care about the newest gadgets. Yeah. Those would be the group of my peers that I avoid like the plague. Any attempt to generalise traits across an entire age group strikes me as irredeemably stupid.

  16. Oh come on now — we ALL know that societies are completely homogeneous, right down to the way their style their hair, the color of their clothes, whether they put their pants cuffs inside or outside their boots, and what kind of fold/spike/ridge/etc. is on their heads.

    I saw it on Star Trek.

    Dr. Phil

  17. You know, we really should be more worried about the current generation of kids. They scare me. I’ve worked in the schools. I know a lot of them will go on o become productive, well rounded, contributing members of society–it’s the ones who won’t that really scare the bejesus out of me.

  18. I actually agree with some of this-I think people born from 65 to 75 are kinda pessimistic unlike younger people who have never seen a recession, with all the fun that goes with it and the fucking retarded baby boomers who should be rendered into soylent green.

  19. (a) Somebody needs to check that Harvard wannabe’s frop stash for ergot…

    (b) Being a troll, while it may get you ratings, sucks as journalism *and* isn’t that great a way to do research, either, as you only get the extremes….

  20. To continue on the theme of Comment 8: A generation or 2 before the Greatest Generation, people did not get divorced, they died. So people got all the fun of blended families, etc., without the added paperwork, plus we had more actual orphans, rather than latch-key ones. There is no norm and if there were, we are closer to it than the Greats or the Booms.

  21. Of course we Gen Y kids get along well with the Boomers.

    We HAVE to. They’re our PARENTS. Kee-rist.

  22. Oh, and I think Gen Y is a stupid name, too. I once heard us referred to as “The Millennium Generation”. Since I am now officially one generation old (at least for a few more months), and I graduated in the year 2000, I approve of the new name.

  23. @Eddie Clark

    Apparently all people between the ages of 19 and 28 are consumerist assholes with high credit card debt that just care about the newest gadgets.

    Isn’t that every generation for the past 50 years. Even the WWII generation was like that in the ’50s buying all the new suburban homes and kitchen appliances on credit. Their debts were just easier to pay off as a proportion of their income.

  24. The whole Gen X versus Baby Boomers versus Gen Y is retarded. So every “point” regarding that type of conflict goes right out the window.

    But I do agree that corporate career paths narrow as they reach the top, but it’s does that for everyone, not just Gen X. (One president/CEO, 50 SVPs, 200 VPs, 5,000 call center workers. Duh.)

    I, too, would find it annoying if my younger employee’s parents butted in on their workplace, but I’ve yet to experience that at my place of employment, and my employer has over 130,000 employees.

    And finally, it makes a lot of sense that Gen X-ers would be feeling the stress of parenting responsibly while trying to forge a successful career. Most Boomers’ kids are grown, while most Y-ers don’t yet have kids. So this is a uniquely Gen X issue.

  25. I find boomers complaining about the younger generations very amusing. Boomers in my opinion, were one of the most spoiled, decadent and me-first generation of people. They gave us hippies in the 60’s (free love and no responsibility), disco in the 70’s (no responsibility and party all the time) and huge amounts of debt in the 80’s (remember “Greed is good”).

    Gen-X came along and we have to deal with all of the same problems as well as the ones they started. Race relations, civil rights, energy consumption, war as well as more debt and a worse environment. Yet, younger generations are the slackers.

  26. As a Gen-Xer who left a corporate job to seek self-employment, I find generational differences to be a rather unconvincing (and lightweight) argument. I think there are simpler reasons why dissatisfaction with corporate work grows as people approach their late 30s, early 40s:

    (1) corporations are no longer the best place to work, because they no longer offer job security, pensions, and adequate room for advancement.

    (2) smaller companies have really excelled in the last 10-15 years at providing a more challenging work environment, and jumping among different companies has become a more realistic (and accepted) career path

    (3) I’d also guess that people often burn out around 10-15 years into a career. It is just that now it is more acceptible to be vocal/honest about this.

  27. If I were a boss and an employee’s parent called me, I would FIRE that employee as an object warning to every other employee.

  28. Chris @21:

    We’ve never seen a recession? Are you serious? Sure, the first one occurred when I was too young to remember it (16 months in 1981-1982, I was developing in the womb for half of it), but sources tell me there have been SIX in my lifetime in the United States of America. Oh, and I was living in Canada during the seventy cents to the dollar era, as well, and that wasn’t that long ago.

    And, of course, we in America certainly aren’t spiraling around in any sort of recession right now or anything. That’s why I can’t fill my Camry up for less than $60 now, and when I bought her I could do it for a third of that. Also why finding a job is hard. And so on and so forth.

  29. Having read Howe and Strauss’s Generations, I think cohort typing is a little bit better than astrology. Like Random Michelle says, shared experiences like the Depression — or Cold War air-raid drills, or waiting in line for gas — have an impact. And any typing is clearly a generalization that nobody fits in 100%. I don’t totally agree with it (especially when journalists make shit up), but I find it fascinating. I can’t imagine my generation or millenials/Ys tolerating wheatless/meatless days and sugar rationing.

  30. The big disconnect I had with that article was the implicit assumption that everyone wants to not just go into management, but into middle and then senior management. And they will feel their life is a blighted failure if they don’t.

    Are most people really like that?

  31. If I were a boss and an employee’s parent called me, I would FIRE that employee as an object warning to every other employee.

    A while ago I heard a Gen Y coworker, who at the time had maybe 3 months experience in her first job, say to her boss, “My mom wants to know why I haven’t had a promotion yet.”

    She wasn’t fired for that… unfortunately…

  32. Chris @21 – wasn’t there a recession in 2001 / 2002? Dot com bust plus 9/11 left a lot of people unhappy. Maybe it wasn’t enough to blunt the sunny optimism of the younger generation!

  33. I’d go into management, but I’d be just the type of managerial buffoon I can’t stand to be around.

    I’d much rather go into business for myself, then I only have to put up with me.

  34. I got out of management when I realize how much less fun I was having. Getting priced out of technical work is a major drag.

  35. Eh, typical bullet-point journalism – collect a few anecdotal observations, spin them into grossly generalized truisms, and pass them off as insight.

    Surely the reason we ‘Gen-X-ers’ (I’m thirty-six, never sure exactly which neat generational category I fall into) aren’t flocking to corporate management couldn’t be because, you know, corporate management is soul-destroyingly boring…

    That, and I swore never to use my superpowers for evil.

    I will say I thought there were a few kernels of insight amid the dross – though they’re hardly the universal truths they’re presented as:

    #7 – I disagree (vehemently) that we’re the ‘most conservative cohort’, but I can relate to “…rules, but you had to follow them in the workplace—and you resent it when others now don’t.” But I suspect ‘boomers’ felt the same way about Gen-X… it’s the universal ‘kids these days, they don’t know how easy they have it’ response.

    #8 – Again, I think this idea is presented the wrong way. I’m no technophobe… I’m a web developer for a games company, for pete’s sake. But it’s true I don’t have the same level of comfort with new technology as kids who have literally grown up on the internetz. I still remember my first personal computer… I didn’t get on the web until after college… I didn’t have a mobile phone until I was in my late 20s. So no, I’m not as comfortable with that stuff as the kids who were born into it – and yes, I am sometimes embarassed to have to ask about it. No-one likes to admit that some punk kid knows more about something then you do.

    But you know, that’s just my experience. YMMV.

    (Wait, do people still say ‘YMMV’? Is that ‘cool’? Am I dating myself? Crap…)

  36. I manage “Gen Y” age people for a living and I work with lots of them. Never once has a parent contacted our company to inquire about their child and I assure you that the people I manage would be horrified at the prospect of this happening.

    This whole “Gen Y” is difficult to manage meme is bull. These are young, hard working kids. They want to get ahead. Since they were young we have made it clear to them the lessons we all know – you won’t get something if you don’t ask. The worst you can get is told “no”. I think people get afraid of these kids becuase they don’t like to say “no.” Well, grow up. These kids will push you until you push back. Is this bad? Of course not.

    It’s true they have a different relationship with technology then those of us in their late 30’s early 40’s. I doubt any of us ever asked anyone out on a first date via text message or broke up with someone the same way. So what?

  37. John wouldn’t it be more appropriate to at least give one warning, first? There’s 2 ways that could shake down: deliver the warning to the employee if you want to eventually fire them (because the one thing a helicopter parent never does is listen to the pleas of their children to butt out), or delivered to the parent if you really want to keep the employee but also want the satisfaction of flustering an overprotective idiot.

  38. Gary T,

    I’m 37. Speak for yourself. I’ve done both. And if anything am more into tech than any of the under 30s I know. I’m also an admin who literally doesn’t own a shirt that’s not from the OpenBSD project or Thinkgeek. Age is a bad predictor of that stuff. And I’m training the kids. The thing about a lot of under 30s is that they use tech a lot but a great many of them don’t get it. As in how it really works. And a lot of the ones who do have an interest are being trained by those of us who do.

    I think because a lot of under 30s are more natural users of tech they get an unwarranted reputation of understanding it. The one thing they DO bring to the table is an unwillingnesses to compromise for stupid shit like business reasons once they do really understand tech. This is why I like working with them so much. They do very much get that. The kids are OK.

  39. People complained that Gen X was hard to manage back in the Time magazine “Slacker/Twentysomething/Generation X” scare story period. It’s because naturally those who are twenty want to, you know, have a fulfilling career while older managers just want the little bastards to sit down, shut up and do their jobs for too little pay. That’s never changed, though sometimes the management types forget what it was like when they were young.

  40. Steve,

    IME the ones who get into management are, for the most part, the ones who did sit down and shut up. So they don’t so much forget as were never like the rest of us.

  41. Parents don’t actually call their children’s bosses in corporate America, right? Please tell me that’s just an urban legend. I supervise Gen Y associates, and I’m pretty sure they all know they’d get fired if their parents called, but law firms are fairly harsh places to work.

  42. I was interested to discover Generation Jones as I tried to look up whether I was a young boomer or an old Xer, as I’ve never had anything in common with either. The Joneses are the group that overlaps – late 50s to early 60s. That being said, I agree that it’s all just so much granfalloonery.

  43. sng: Hey, don’t say that! I’m trying to get into management! I’m still and individual snowflake! I am!

  44. This all makes me think of this part of the brilliant Gen-Xer Kevin Gilbert’s 1995 song, “Goodness Gracious”:

    Goodness gracious, my generation’s lost
    They burned down all our bridges before we had a chance to cross
    Is it the winter of our discontent or just an early frost?

    Goodness gracious, of apathy i sing
    The babyboomers had it all and wasted everything
    Now recess is almost over and they won’t get off the swing

    Goodness gracious, we came in at the end
    No sex that isn’t dangerous, no money left to spend
    We’re the cleanup crew for parties we were too young to attend
    Goodness gracious me

    Now when I see boomer icons like Dennis Hopper pitching retirement planning services, or old boomer ladies “expressing themselves” on Botox commercials, I just can’t help but be cynical, like I’m supposed to be (I was born in 1968).

  45. What generation am I, this time? I keep losing track. What a load of CRAP. I’m working with people 20 years older than I am and 15 years younger…and we are all technically savvy people and on the same page. Not a bitter one among us, afaik.

    Such nonsense.

  46. The article doesn’t even make sense. On the one hand, it starts by saying that Corporates really need Gen X. Then it says that Gen X are technophobic, conservative and resistant to change. Do Corporates really need such people?

    The only thing I would say that would go along with the trend of this article is that many Boomers could, with reasonable luck, expect to spend their entire working life with one Employer, progressing through the organisation over the course of their life, and so were often very loyal to / enthusiastic about their employers, feeling that they were a valued part of the Corporate Family. These days it is much more common to expect to move jobs quite often over the course of a working life, and even to take on several different careers. I think this leads to a somewhat more detached view of your employer.

  47. I’m sorry to say that I know more people who are like what the article portends than not. Another point that could be made is that as Gen Xxers, our own parents, born just before WWII, merely had to be able to breath and wear a tie and pretty much pursue any career they were interested in at that time. Contrast that with the difficulty getting started my friends and I had despite actually finishing university. This generation gap has been explored in the book: Boom, Bust & Echo. However it is a Canadian perspective.

    To add one last point, anyone 40 or so that did embrace TECHNOLOGY in the early 80’s, may have incidentally provided themselves an advantage similar to their pre-war born parents. As for myself if I didn’t enjoy reading sci-fi, I would be completly devoid of any geek qualities whatsoever.

    “Klaus Daimler: 40, German.”

  48. Oh that item 9. The parents calling? Happens to me all the time.

    One employee had her mom call in late for her all the time, and when I explained that we are all adults here and we needed to hear from her directly, her mom read me the riot act for being more understand of her child’s needs. Then she had her bishop call in for her.

    I have also had a parent call and ask why their child had been let go, why they hadn’t received a raise, and if we couldn’t please give her an advance on her paycheck because she is afraid to ask but really needs the money. Or, she owes the mom money and mom wants us to make out the paycheck to her since the kid never pays her back.

    Yes, we fired her. Yes, the state let her collect unemployment because we had apparently not made it clear that acting like a 12 year old was unacceptable in the workplace.

    Sorry, did that come off as bitter?

  49. Another point that could be made is that as Gen Xxers, our own parents, born just before WWII, merely had to be able to breath and wear a tie and pretty much pursue any career they were interested in at that time.

    That’s only possibly true if what you mean by “parents” is “fathers” (and I do think it was more complicated than just showing up, even for white men).

    At 41 I feel like I fall between the group who grew up using computers and the group who mostly avoided computers. My parents purchased a Commodore 64 when it came out in 1982(ish), and the Mac was released the year I graduated high school. I even printed out my college applications on a dot matrix printer. However, no one I knew in college had their own personal computer – you had to use one of the university’s machines. If I was five years older, I probably wouldn’t have used a computer at all; five years younger and I would have at the least had access to computers in high school, if not earlier. It’s not surprising to me that there are people in my generation who never needed to use computers, who aren’t comfortable with them today.

  50. 26 year old Gen Y/Millenial/Echo Boomer/whatever dumb thing we’re calling 19 – 28 year olds these days here. For what it’s worth I would verbally eviscerate my mother if she ever contacted my employer in any way, shape, or form. My 21 year old cousin, however, still has her mom fill out fast food job applications for her (I found it hard to be sympathetic to my aunt when she told me about the “mean” manager who insisted she have my cousin do her own job seeking phone calls instead of her.). So it’s a personal maturity thing, not a generational thing.

    That’s a dumb article. But I find all articles that over-generalize and simplify all people from a particular generation stupid. I usually get cranky at all the “Millenials don’t like to work hard and all use social networking sites to communicate” articles so I understand how that article must make you Gen Xers feel. For what it’s worth I secretly wish I was ten years older so that I could be part of Gen X, too. Mostly because you guys got to see Star Wars for the first time in the theatre. :)

  51. I was born in the last quarter of 1964 and technically “qualify” as a Baby-Boomer yet I never identified with that generation. My parents weren’t typical parents of Baby-Boomers having both been way to young during WW II. Nor do I identify completely with so-called Gen X-ers. Although I married one. There’s a demographic for me somewhere. . . or not.

  52. And as the parent of an employed 22 year old (part-time as a cashier while still in college), I would never even dream of calling her boss. And I wouldn’t dream of bugging her about being promoted when she does get a job in her field. Most of the advancements I’ve made in my computer tech centered career are by changing jobs. If she gets promoted, great. If not, then she gets to decide if she’s happy where she is or wants something different –she is an adult after all.

  53. I think the botox baby boomers should be composted they are way past ripe and need to be recycled.

    GenY is exactly like the Boom generation for the most part. That is why they are called Echo Boomers not just because of their number. I think Paris Hilton sums up Gen Y and their concerns pretty nicely. It is all about how much money I have and what I look like and how much you have and what you look like. I think the problem here is that a lot of Gen Y lives in a two-dimensional reality due to the internet, video games and television being their world. I know they are less aware of foreign affairs than we were.

    I am proud to be a gen xer. I believe our generation is the only one that protested the corporate status quo. I believe that old boomer is jealous that she wasted her lifetime being a slave to the corporate world just like so many other resentful boomers. It has been my experience that the Gen Ys don’t have their own minds they have been brainwashed by the capitalist consumerist society and are valuing things they were told to value much more so than we; we definitely protested the status quo through grunge, our politics and now through the career paths we choose.

    Cynical is a compliment It’s better than ignorant and stupid.

  54. Boomers, presumably including the article author, are the most narcissistic, self-righteous and pompous generation ever to burden the planet. They now stare gaping with incredulity at the financial abyss their self-indulgence made of their retirement, and are freaking out. They apparently hope somehow playing off Gen-X against Gen-Y will incite Gen-Y to help them out.

    I have one practical suggestion for them: learn to appreciate the underappreciated culinary virtues of dog food.

  55. Adelheid: The last term I heard to describe people born between the Boomers and teh Xers (like you and me) was tweeners; that term was then stolen by bonehead marketeers as a way to sell crap to 10 year olds given money by teh over-indulgent stupid ass parents (but thats a separate rant).
    So we have no catchy name so I just ignore all that crap; I gots other stuff to do
    I just because I don’t text message like a ferret on speed doesn’t make me a technophobe.

  56. As a corporate trainer for a rather large financial institution, I attended a meeting where we seriously discussed something called the “emerging generation” – specifically the questions around how to deal with the growing trend of parents not only contacting their children’s employers, but actively participating in the interviewing process.

    That “thud” you just heard? That was the last remaining illusion I had about my job falling to the floor, and not even taking a last gasp.

  57. WizarDru,

    You cannot collect unemployment if you were fired from your job with justifiable cause.

    Unemployment is meant to assist those who have lost their jobs through layoffs or circumstances beyond their control.

    If you are fired for incompetence or malfeasance, you cannot collect unemployment.

    Which is why I to find it remarkable that this person–who was clearly fired for incompetence–was allowed to collect unemployment.

  58. OK I get some calls from parents. But I get a hell of a lot more calls from spouses in the “gen x” age group then parents of “gen y”. Answer is always the same, can’t discuss this with you…

  59. Random Michelle K – really depends on the state and how employee friendly it is. I find most UE hearings go to the ex-employee in cases of incompetence. Malfeasance usually yes – incompetence is at best a crap shoot.

  60. Gen-Xer right here who ran into exactly the kind of corporate advancement problems the article talks about, for pretty much exactly those reasons (hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day). I jumped ship to go work for a university press. Suddenly I’m in the land of 18-to-22 year olds. (Are they considered Gen Y, or have they got a different name yet?)

    The creepy thing is that the music hasn’t changed. The frat boys across the street still play all the music Gen X was playing in college (REM, Hootie and the Blowfish, Violent Femmes). I wonder if this is how the Boomers felt when Gen X played Led Zep?

  61. This division of generations into X-,Y- or whatever is ridiculous. Clearly, there is my generation, Grumpy Old Folks, and Those Damned Kids. That is all.

  62. “By definition, [middle class is] where most people are!”

    Uh, what? There are lots of definitions of middle class, but most of them have nothing in them that would support that.

  63. Generally when I use exclamation points, Randall, it’s a sign I’m being silly and/or sarcastic.

  64. how to deal with the growing trend of parents not only contacting their children’s employers, but actively participating in the interviewing process.

    Some guy I interviewed showed up with his wife, and wanted to bring her into the interview (“she’s my business partner”). Sorry, no dice. Oh yeah, he didn’t get the job of course.

    Answer is always the same, can’t discuss this with you…

    And also, “don’t ever call me again, or it will be the worse for your child / spouse”?

    The big disconnect I had with that article was the implicit assumption that everyone wants to not just go into management, but into middle and then senior management. And they will feel their life is a blighted failure if they don’t.

    Well, ya know, there is the money, and also the security. When there are layoffs, middle and upper management generally do the laying off, they don’t get laid off (surprise, surprise).

  65. Personally, I think the author of that article is Gen Y… and there is evidence, twice over that she may be barking up the wrong tree – in a sour grapes type of manner.

    Here’s hoping the html code survives. I linked to a couple of articles about the self-absorption of gen y graduates and how it will be detrimental to their career success.

%d bloggers like this: