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MILLENNIALS FIGHT A STEREOTYPE

Children Of Boomers Deserve Better (which might be the problem.)

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Millennials Are Normal People, In Spite Of Their Image

Baby boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials heard the same gripe from their elders.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with this younger generation.”

“If this is the best this country has to offer, we’re going to hell in a hand basket.”

“Can anyone get through to these people?”

Elders used to be The Greatest Generation, the bunch that saved the world in WWII, along with the Silent Generation in the Korean War that was forgotten by the Greatest Generation and the rest of us.

That’s why it’s called The Forgotten War.

We used to have a population that would shut up and knuckle down when they were told to shut up and knuckle down. Whether it was an office full of men in gray flannel suits, or a saw mill green chain, the Greats and the Silents did their deal then moved on to the front porch rocking chair.

Now boomers and Gen-Xers  get to parrot the same complaints. They can’t understand why Millennials seem so unmotivated and under achieving. Does that sound right to you?

Before you blame yourself for being a rotten parent, check this out:

You can only hear, “Listen, it’s my way or the highway,” so many times before you tune it out or hit the road. That’s how we grew up. With parents who beat the Nazis and Japanese in a do-or-die game of world politics, it pays to listen.

Even a dad fighting the war behind a typewriter in New Jersey has bragging rights.

My dad was a machine gun toting Marine who hosed adversaries in Korea. Whether they were Chinese or North Koreans, he got shot and shot back enough to collect a Silver Star for valor. I listened to him. Who wouldn’t?

His nickname for me was ‘The Big Seagull’ because I drifted around the house, avoided chores, and dive bombed the dinner table during meal time. It was the sort of act that would wear anyone out.

Since most Millennials are the spawn of boomers, did we do them a disservice by not raising them with the iron fist? That’s the opinion you hear most.

In an inc.com article titled, “Why It’s So Hard To Turn Fickle Millennials Into Leaders,” Adam Vaccaro lists ways to manage the young ‘uns.

1. They Want Face Time. 2. They Want To Jump Around. 3. They Need A Different Type Of Manager.

As counter-point, Denise Restauri writes in forbes.com, “5 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Motivate Millennials At Work.

1. Empower Millennials And They’ll Figure It Out. 2. Inspire Creativity and Courage Follows. 3. Use Experience Over Things. 4. Tap Into Their Need To Grow And Develop. 5. Bring In The Passion.

NYTimes.com hits it hard with, “Millennials at Work: Young and Callow, Like Their Parents.” Mitchell Hartman did us this favor.

His research included this quote:

Camille Perry, 26, of Portland, Ore., said her generation had a poor work ethic, although her own schedule was filled with labor. She holds two jobs: bartending at a neighborhood karaoke lounge and serving at a downtown lunch restaurant.

“We are a generation that spent a lot of time in front of the television or playing video games,” she said. “There’s just a prevalent laziness.””

Didn’t Camille see the story about the brain surgeon who keeps his surgery skills sharp by playing video games? How many surgeons work with video screens that magnify their work because modern medicine isn’t about slicing and dicing as much as it was in the past?

If you need proof, ask someone with a big zipper scar on an old knee operation to compare it to an arthroscopic procedure.

Pew Research Center’s Paul Taylor gets this in:

They are a generation that is not conflictual,” Mr. Taylor said. “They don’t want to get into fights. That augers well for their ability to adapt and get along in a workplace.”

Is he calling Millennials pansies because they don’t want to get into fights at work? Thanks, Paul.

We see it differently at BoomerPDX. The elders of The Greatest Generation looked down on the Silents because they couldn’t take out North Korea. The Greats and Silents both knocked boomers for their problem fighting the North Vietnamese.

Finally, the Gen-Xers and Millennials get some slack for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here’s why: The Greats fought all-out war to Unconditional Surrender. Every generation after went into armed conflict with political restrictions like ‘lines of demarcation’ and ‘free fire zones.’ No more unleashing hell on enemies and gunning everything in sight.

As parents, boomers look pretty bad. We didn’t browbeat our kids by telling them they were nothing, that they couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the directions on the heel.

We gave them juice boxes and trophies just for getting out of bed in the morning. We held graduation ceremonies for every grade. We celebrated every birthday, every holiday, everything on the calendar, like kooks. Why? Because we didn’t do it as kids. Now we get to. And it’s fun.

Blame boomers for an unmotivated, under achieving, drifting generation. Then when a Millennials saves your ass, just say thank you.

When our darlings post the events on the family Facebook page, and it goes viral, boomer parents across the country have the right to say, “Suck it, Millennial shamers. We knew what we were doing.”

If you have Millennial kids you’re proud of, share it in comments.

 

 

 

 

 

About David Gillaspie
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