“Toga, Toga” ~Bluto, Animal House
Call me a traitor to my generation, but I love millennial’s. I really do.
I know, I know….as a Gen X’er, I’m supposed to be full of vitriole for the “everybody get’s a trophy” generation. Those little bastards who charged into the world and began shaking things up with their optimism and ambition and open-mindedness and socially conscious attitudes.
What can I say? I guess I just think that, perhaps, their on to something.
However, I also get the angst my generation feels. But, I think it’s less about “kids these days” and more about workplace dynamics.
We Gen-X’ers are sort of stuck between two generations. The Boomers, who won’t get out of our way so that we can assume upper level leadership positions at our jobs….and the Millennials, who are nipping at our heels and demanding upward mobility faster than we achieved it, willing to take less money for their efforts and eager to move on if they don’t get it.
And employers want them and are working hard to attract them. In the final, roughly five years of my corporate career, I saw my employer lighten up significantly on everything from vacation to dress code policies as a means of snagging top young talent.
Suddenly, “work/life balance” was a thing to be measured. Paid parental leave policies that allowed a full month of paid time off, for both mom’s and dad’s, following the birth or adoption of a baby, were rolled out. This, in addition to the three months of paid maternity leave available to mom’s.
Now, if you need a break, but don’t want to use a vacation day, you can use a flex day, instead of just waiting until you have a nervous breakdown and have to be committed.
Personal matters getting in the way of a regular 9-5? That’s what flexible work schedules are for!
And these are all good things! However, the proceeding generations worked for years without any of these niceties and so we Gen-X’ers and the Boomers are a bit salty over all those years we missed out on life because we were too busy working.
Take me, for example. For the first five years of my career, I didn’t take a single vacation day, or sick day. And I didn’t get paid out for those days either. That means, I worked an extra 15 weeks over a five year time span….for free.
One of my old co-workers missed the birth of his first child, because he was too busy dealing with a “critical” customer issue.
But, here’s the thing….we didn’t actually have to do any of it. Nobody made us. Not really. We did it, because we were duped into believing we had to.
Because we believed that’s what it meant to have a strong work ethic.
And quite frankly, because we didn’t have the balls to buck tradition.
That’s, on us.
Personally, I think these kids have the potential and the courage to be the next, great generation and to change the world for the better. I’m rooting for them.
With one exception….their campaign to kill the top sheet.
Tops sheets are lovely!
- They minimize the frequency with which you need to wash your duvet cover….and I will do anything to avoid washing that thing. I’ll even risk scabies. Because seriously, shoving that insert back into the duvet is a full on aerobic workout and I hate cardio.
- They can be so cozy! I love nothing more than curling up under just my top sheet, on a cool summer evening, with the windows open and a soft breeze blowing through the room. Ahhh….nature’s air conditioning. And you all love nature!
- And speaking of nature….have you ever smelled the scent of a freshly laundered top sheet that has been line dried by mother nature? I know you all probably don’t have clothes lines, or yards to put them in, but you can use mine. Message me. I’m serious. It smells like heaven. And just think of all the energy and quarters you’re saving by not using a dryer! Nature.
So, look. I’m not giving them up. Even if it means I have to spend my golden years and whatever social security funds remain by the time I’m eligible, sifting through bins of old top sheets at thrift stores and flea markets, because now their vintage.
Want us to all go braless? Fine. Victoria’s Secret is that shit is uncomfortable and I don’t wear one most of the time anyway.
Want to rid the world of every chain restaurant? OK, sounds good. I haven’t been loyal to a chain since Chi-Chi’s went out of business.
I know how to make my own fabric softener and I hate napkins.
But, I’m not giving up my top sheet.