a judge and i discussed the quality of this current generation’s workers. the assessment was poor. in that moment, i opined that “employers are the new babysitters of the world and employment has devolved to become a form of adult day care.” the judge judged my assessment and found my judgmental assessment had some ring of truth.
as a child, i had the occasion to babysit. it usually consisted of playing with a child until a designated bedtime. after struggling to get the child into bed, the reward was to get paid for watching television. the love boat and fantasy island filled those hours. memories of the song, “the loooove boat” and herve villechaize announcing “boss, boss, the plane, the plane” are etched in my brain. at the time, there were no cell phones. no text messages. no social media. the hot video games were “pong” and “breakout.”
being a bad or incompetent worker is not unfamiliar to myself. there were times that i was quite bad. those are tales for another time, space and dimension. my badness, however, pales to the current depths of this new generations badness.
as an employer, i have encountered this current generation’s amazing audacity. while they are interested in taking jobs, showing up for them on a consistent basis is not in the plans. there are those who believe that an obligation to even showing up to work is offensive. god forbid you raise this as a concern. especially because their lives are filled with things more important than work.
at work, they have have little attention to detail unless it is something that matters to their personal needs; they have little understanding of a business structure; and they have no understanding of the goal of a business.
most of this generation believes that employers are there to entertain them. employers are there to meet their needs for all of their life obligations. employers are there to send them home so that they can take care of their lifestyle needs. in the end, employers are to babysit; to house these so called adults until they can go home. for some, there is the expectation that we should leave the door open for them to allow them to come and go when they please.
government, schools and parents have coddled this generation. this is compounded by the fact that they have been provided addictive devices and computer programs. smart phones, social media, and applications are designed to increase usage and need. finally, they’ve been encouraged to engage in substance abuse.
it is hard to believe that my first job as a babysitter may end up being my last job as well. my decades of being a professional have been reduced to being the employer/babysitter to one of the most disturbing generations ever.
this generation is truly living in the garden of eden. their fantasy, however, will lead to a sad awakening when they enter their thirties. at that point, they will leave the garden. with their bubble wrap removed, they will be subject to a lifetime of disappointment. for those of this generation, you can make yourself great. there are only two things you need to do to start: first, put your cell phone away at work. second, take the time to understand the business you work at and understand your role. with this information, you will become a positive for the organization.
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