Monday, May 12, 2008

Generation Y

I read with interest and some incredulity the ST writeup on this new Generation Y business which is now under the spotlight.

Is it just me or are they basically writing we have an entire generation of people with some serious ADD? I mean, to mention, even recommend, that their erstwhile employers are having to constantly entertain them, deal with smartass comments, keep their minds stimulated, then give them all the electronic toys that their little hearts desire ... this is all completely familiar to me given that I go home everyday to face the very same thing except that by "the very same thing" I mean my 3-year old son.

What is with the free bus fares, free meals, and on-site pinball machine that some gaming company was providing to its Gen Y employees? Seriously if I had some kid in a jumper push a scooter pass my office in the rush to eat the free food and play pinball over a 3-hour lunch, I'll put a cap in his head faster than you can say "whee!"

Surely this cannot be true. I'm almost completely certain that Gen Y has been misclassified. They're not a bunch of yahoos who think they're God. That would make them completely unemployable and any fool who thinks otherwise better have spare cash for a S$50,000 per month food and entertainment budget. And what happens when Gen Y gets horny? Do you have to pay for their hookers too? Or create a sex chat room for them? I hope it's the latter. It's cheaper.

On a related note, we have had 2 18-year olds roosting in our office for the past month. They are going to law school and they want to find out more about what work is like in a law office. One of them is apparantly a top scholar. I worked with her for 48 hours, after which they had to take her off my hands or else I would've killed her.

The Straits Times should have mentioned that Gen Y does not handle printing or filing. I would regard this information as absolutely crucial. For the 48 hours that we worked together, she was given the deceptively simple task of printing my emails and then filing them. After 3 hours, I was forced to streamline the task further - just print the emails I pick out for you, and then file them.

End of the first day. She's at her seat, sending text messages on her phone. Her computer screen is nothing but a sea of coloured instant messages. There is a pile of paper next to her which is broadly one-third of the height it should've reached. The files are nowhere to be seen.

Are you done? I asked.

Oh yes, I am. She said, still busy text messaging (Gen Y can multi-task!!)

Ok. Mind if I take a quick look? I need to refer to some of the documents attached with the emails.

Oh actually I just printed the emails. I didn't print the attachments. They're very long. She said, power-thumbs still going strong with the text messages.

Why did you do that? Didn't you notice that some of the emails just said "Please see attached"? If this is the case, then clearly the attachment is more important than the email, right?

Well the attachments are very long. They run into ... well.... lots of pages. I can show you. I don't think you want me to print them.


She looked at me like the chair just got up and bit her or something. Then she started printing some documents. I went back to my desk to calm down, as my Gen X heart cannot take all of this stress. A while later, I looked up and she had gone home. The freshly printed documents were still sitting in the printer, unstapled, unsorted. Perhaps waiting for the office ghost to pick them up, staple them and file them. Poor office ghost.

I realised then that I had made my unreasonable request at 5 minutes to closing time. Therefore, whilst the "very long" document was still printing, the clock struck 6 and Gen Y went out the front door (remember - they cannot sacrifice their personal life for work). Obviously she was smart enough to realise that if I had needed the document so badly, then I would hunt it down to the right printer and pick it up myself. I would not need a middleman to staple it or pass it to me. Gen Y is very intelligent!


At 11:52 AM, Blogger Indiana said...

So Gen Y will pay Foreign Talent to print and file :P

At 3:59 PM, Blogger mr.udders said...

Which perhaps goes to show that you are the Gen X employer that Gen Y employees would circumvent?

At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm one of those supposed Gen Y brats and I think your company must be heaps leniant. As far as work experience in an office went for me, text messaging or instant messaging was prohibited during office hours unless they were related to work. The rule was that personal stuff had to be done in your own time, which is fair enough because you don't get paid to text your friends about your boss's visible panty line or something. Leaving tasks that were supposed to get done unfinished just to go home on time was not looked on too kindly either. And that was my parents I was working for then.

At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Han said...

lol I'm not surprised. Alot of those who are supposed to be top scholars have a bad case of entitlement mentality. Non-scholars like me often are on the receiving end of their bitchiness and exclusionary tactics.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger monkey girl said...

I agree w/Han's comments. We've raised a generation of kids who feel they're entitled to everything and have no interest in working to get it. You can't start from the top, you have to work your way up.
If you give them everything how will they value anything?

At 12:45 PM, Blogger ene said...

I teach students who are the Gen Y generation. They cannot deal with uncertainty ("how many pages? what font size? what colour paper?") and when quizzed on what they want to be when they graduate, their answer:

"I want to be the boss so that I don't need to take orders from anyone."

Woots! Can't wait to see how they turn out when they enter the actual workforce....

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Mei Del said...

from my own observation of the gen y adult teen's waking hours (i have 2 at home) - they tend to surface anything from midday to 7 pm. i predict a dramatic shift in working hours in the future ...

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Little Miss Drinkalot said...

No no, top scholars can only draft documents, not print or file them.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger knobby said...

Mummyyyyyy! I'm scared! The smootiemonster *sniff* scaaared me! *blubber blubber blubber*

LMD: lol

At 10:50 AM, Blogger knobby said...

Mummyyyyyy! I'm scared! The smootiemonster *sniff* scaaared me! *blubber blubber blubber*

LMD: lol

At 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha,I don't know where the work ethics went. I still remember the days when my senior will leave audit comments like "please use reenforcement rings when filing"

At 10:20 PM, Blogger gremlin said...

re-enforcement rings! dun even go there!

smootz, you get the worse of the pack. It took a lot of restraint on my part today. Even your domestic helper is Gen Y. Sorry to say.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Boy. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Boy. said...

I'm a Gen Y student and most of my friends were responsible employees during the time they worked/were interns/on attachment. Perhaps you were just unlucky? Murphy's Law in action, y'know.

At 2:24 AM, Anonymous maxine said...

perharps they want to put what they learnt in use not printing and filing. knowing that what they do matters (which isnt printing or filing, trust me) their motivation will go up. and u'll never see them texting.

At 9:44 PM, Blogger coern said...

haha. no wonder foreign talent is increasingly an option for employers. there's an increasing percentage of gen y-ers who think attitude and desire isn't as important as their supposedly spectacular results.

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