Pre-Millenial Countdown

Last night my mom called me to tell me to put 60 Minutes on right away. Shocking that she was calling me to tell me to watch it, not shocking that she was watching it in the first place. That whole CBS-as-a-beloved-network-for-the-older-folks stereotype is pretty true, aside from that fact that they show How I Met Your Mother. Anyway, I guess a woman from my company was on the show and they filmed her at my office. (Hilariously, my co-worker Maggie also happened to randomly watch it because her mother-in-law is staying with her and is of the 60 Minutes watching age.) The woman they filmed is a “trendspotter”, because at my company we have at least 2 people whose job it is to read a lot of blogs and magazines and stuff and find out what’s on the cusp of being popular [like “metrosexuality” and apparently “separate bedrooms for married people”] and then going on TV shows to say they just discovered what’s on the cusp of being popular. The segment was about so-called “Millenials“, late teen and early twentysomethings who are in the words of everyone involved in the segment, ill-prepared for the workplace because they have been too coddled by their parents to be self-sufficient. They have always been told they can do whatever they want to do and as a result, don’t respond well to criticism or well, stuff they don’t want to do.

I know I don’t exactly fit into this new generation – it consists of kids who were born after 1980 – but I took offense to the broad generalizing that everyone interviewed was doing. Some of my favorite quotes about the ignorance and ineptitude of the new, young generation from the show:

“You do have to speak to them a little bit like a therapist on television might speak to a patient. You can’t be harsh. You cannot tell them you’re disappointed in them. You can’t really ask them to live and breathe the company. Because they’re living and breathing themselves and that keeps them very busy.”

“They have climbed Mount Everest. They’ve been down to Machu Picchu to help excavate it. But they’ve never punched a time clock. They have no idea what it’s like to actually be in an office at nine o’clock, with people handing them work. And oh, by the way, possibly asking them to stay late in the evening, or their weekends.”

Now, I am probably the laziest and least-driven of all of my friends (so I guess I should blame my parents? Because they never pressured me to be something I didn’t want to be. THANKS A LOT GUYS!) and yet I still have a full-time job that doesn’t interrupt my breathing or pyramid-climbing schedule. It’s not even that I’m annoyed by these statements, I’m annoyed that 60 Minutes is being watched by older generations and thinking that THIS is what they have begotten and that we’re kinda lazy, disloyal brats. No thanks to Morley “It’s” Safer “to make generalizations than to do real reporting”! Am I right?

This might not speak well of my generation, but I have more friends who would prefer NOT to work and be struggling artists/actors than to be grouped together with whatever these other people are. For all the people I know who think they are talented and wonderful and deserve the perfect job, they aren’t averse to showing a little respect and paying their dues on their way up that ladder. I don’t know anyone like the people discussed on the show. I guess smart, well-adjusted 20-somethings don’t make for good tv though. Unless they are on How I Met Your Mother.

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