I’ve been racking my brain trying to come up with a good topic to discuss on this blog for a month now, and Betsy gave me the best idea. Instead of getting into a stupid internet drama comment battle with my neighbor, I’d like to lay out my ideas about my generation, based on this article which talks about why corporate America is shitting its pants because of Generation Y, and this comment, which I received from my next-door neighbor on Facebook after sharing the article:
Who us going to support you and pay your bills because your generation refuses to sit in cubical sand take orders from a boss you can’t stand or a job you hate? Who is going to clean the house? We’d all like to be that way but some if us have to bust our asses to pay for a house and bills for our kids. I know you Viviana are not lazy but yes many people in your generation have a huge sense if entitlement.
This article basically outlines the fact that my generation is a “fuck you, we don’t take no shit from nobody and we’re tired of playing by your shitty societal rules” kinda people, and corporate America doesn’t know how to handle it. Really, they talk about how previous generations in general don’t know how to handle it, but the focus is career based. And damn is it true. If my neighbor’s comment says anything (aside from some rather atrocious grammar) it’s that she took away nothing from that article except that my generation is “entitled”!
Except that we’re not. I don’t think it’s entitlement to want the same things that generations before were able to get with ease. Like, you know, a nice paying job, with benefits and enough money to save for a rainy day or a vacation. And minimal debt and affordable college education. How is that entitlement? We’ve been told all our lives that THAT’S the path to a nice little life. And frankly, we’ve found that to be a lie and we’re not down for it.
It’s not that we expect a silver platter to be laid on our laps, it’s that we don’t take things at face value as they’re given to us. We challenge what we’re told, we dig deeper, we’re inquisitive. Yes, we don’t believe in wasting our lives sitting in cubicles being dictated to be some asshole in a suit. But isn’t that a good thing!? Shouldn’t people be rejoicing that a generation has finally had enough of that shit? Or is it generational jealousy that’s causing this rift?
Here’s the thing about Generation Y. We’re a bunch of do-it-yourselfers and startups and community builders (take a look at all the sweet community projects happening in Detroit that are aided along by young Detroiters) because we realize that the societal norms that have been pushed upon us all our lives – go to college, get a job, get married, start a family – aren’t what we want. We don’t want to be corporate slaves, wasting our time in some office or some retail place, watching our blood pressure rise and the wrinkles form on our faces from all the stress. We’ve decided that we don’t need to continue working some shitty job with shit hours and shit pay that gives us nothing but shitty outlooks. We’re tired of helping the shitty job wheel keep turning and we’re doing something about it because we refuse to believe that our lives should be dictated by a job we hate. There are literally so many better things we could be doing with our time and we’re taking action.
We’re not okay slaving at the bottom, working laughable minimum wage jobs despite having 4 year college degrees, while corporate bosses rake in 6 figures and up dictating to us about things they’ve never done in their lives. We’ve had enough of unfair working conditions, hypocritical politicians, and massive corporations lying to our faces with a toothy grin. We’re Generation Take-the-Reins and our predecessors are scared of us.
They’re scared of our potential so they try to slander us by calling us lazy, entitled, and stubborn. They try to put us down by pointing out that we’re still living at home with our parents, and we’re okay with it. But they fail to point out that the reason we’re still living at home with our parents is because we can’t get independently livable wage jobs with the frequency and availability that previous generations did. And as the vast majority of corporate owned jobs are run by people from previous generations, we’re not to blame for that.
Yes, we approach work from a different angle than people are used to. We refuse to adhere to schedules that don’t work and cover our tattoos and take out piercings because it makes you “uncomfortable”. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to work or aren’t willing to work. It means that we’d rather do it on our own terms, and not just for money, but for the betterment of our society, for things we care about, and for our future generations. My generation wants to change things, and to change things, we must first look at what we’re given from a different perspective. That’s what previous generations find disconcerting – that we’re taking a legitimate hard look at what’s wrong with our society and we’re challenging these norms – and not quietly, but loudly and vehemently, with every fiber of our beings.
We still want a lot of the same things everyone else wants – an enjoyable, happy life, filled with good people, good memories, some extra cash to go sight-seeing and travel a bit, maybe a happy little family and someone to love us – but we’re doing it differently. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s what change is. It’s constant and it’s moving, and someday a different generation will have us squirming in our seats, but we’ll know that we started something positive, not just for us, but for them, and theirs.
So don’t all us entitled. Don’t call us lazy. And don’t call us stubborn. We’re challenging beliefs and shaking the building blocks of a wall of lies. We’ve had enough of the force-fed ideal lifestyle bullshit that’s been shoved down our throats our in entire lives, and we’re reconstructing the meaning of an ideal lifestyle. We are Generation Y, damnit, and we’re proud of it.