Friday, December 07, 2007

One Week Job, Part 2

A commenter writes:
" I am a bit tired of hearing about the pangs of these so-called 'new Millennials' and their hesitancy to join the working class. I am especially irritated by authors/journalists (Dr. Twenge comes to mind), who have created this buzz in the corporate world intimating we have to learn how to deal with and accommodate them in the workplace! There is no difference in what they are feeling now than what my grandfather and his father felt back then."

Many others chime in with varying degrees of derision for those so young and foolish as to wish for/ dream of / expect a happy time working at a fulfilling job.

Yes, attitudes have changed among young people. But the workplace has changed too. I wonder how those who bash the Millennials reconcile that image of them as privileged and coddled, with the fact that, every time they walk into a McDonald's, a Starbucks, a Target, a Circle K, a Best Buy, a Blockbuster, a Whole Foods, a Barnes&Noble, a restaurant, a bar, 90% of the workers who greet them are under 30. Half of all minimum wage workers are under 25.
These workers may not be white. They may be immigrants. But they represent this generation too, and they are getting "real work experience" in spades. A plurality are college students or even college graduates.
The difference between these service jobs and the factory jobs our grandparents found is that the salaries are much lower and you can't raise a family on them. So they can't be long term commitments.
Millenials are far from "hesitant to join the working class." They ARE the working class.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You GO Girl! I'm so tired of being insulted by the privileged boomers, who could look forward to an affordable college education, health care, housing, and pensions. Then, life was good. But it wasn't defended; people let themselves get brainwashed into becoming pliant consumerists who got greedy and voted in Reagan and Bush and their ilk, so as to avoid the "burden" of taxes. If only Californians hadn't passed Prop. 13, crippling the educational system and dooming generation after generation to crumbling schools. Now college is unaffordable, health care is unattainable, and housing is unreachable for many of us. Because of that horrible boogeyman, taxes. Oh, and competent governance. Gotta make sure to drown that baby in the bath water, don-cha-know...