This employer is not impressed with yoof as a rule:
1. They’d rather prostitute themselves than work hard. “I’m showing you two more stories I’ve written, and if you’re still thinking about giving me a chance, read them. I’ve also make a reluctant decision to attach 2 photos of my tits and ass.”
2. They don’t want to start at the bottom. “I had a black female intern at my previous job, and as with all interns, I started her out doing the crap work. Unfortunately, she took it all as racism [and quit].”
3. They don’t want to pay their dues. “And if you join me at meetings, you’ll be expected to take notes.” The kid stopped the interview. “Whoa,” he said in that snarky gay way they think is cute, “I ain’t nobody’s bitch.”
4. They see everybody as The Man. “In this genius’s mind, there is no difference between a startup trying to generate business and a multinational corporation fattening itself on slave labor.”
5. They don’t understand the value of taking risks. “How much does it pay?” he asked. I told him it doesn’t pay anything, but if we get the gig he’d be rewarded a handsome commission. I also explained that a huge client like that would do a lot for our mutual job security. Then he said something that blows my mind to this day: “That’s not ethical.”
6. They think the world owes them a new bike. “Due to his own negligence, his bike was stolen, which made it much harder for him to perform this task. His solution? I should buy him a new bike.”
7. They’d rather steal than create. “Rather than work on their site, they decided to simply hijack my content verbatim and make it theirs. They didn’t say, “Here’s a funny article I read elsewhere.” They claimed all the content as their own. They showed a total lack of self-awareness when caught.”
8. They are obsessed with recognition for even the slightest accomplishment. “The few times Generation Why actually gets off their ass, they become consumed with getting credit for it. Photographers are the worst at this, which is ironic since their job involves little more than pushing a button.”
9. They can’t seem to handle even the simplest tasks. “They complain about the lack of jobs but every time I give them an easy chore, they spend hours trying to figure it out.”
10. Where are their businesses? “It drives me crazy when people criticize how our system works, but they don’t actually go out and try anything,” said co-owner Ed Pitts. “This is more authentic capitalism.” These people created jobs, avoided debt, and revitalized the town. For all the complaining about capitalism I’ve seen from the kids today, I don’t see that many entrepreneurs.”
He could be right but all the same – he’s not a particularly pleasant person. Then again, he’s providing work through his own efforts.
Custom car-maker David Kirkham emails: “Your WSJ link is (depressingly) more accurate than you may realize. I would hire 5 more guys right now if I could. However, it is virtually impossible to find anyone with skills anymore. The number one skill we are missing as a society is a work ethic. I speak to employers all the time and we all are looking for the same potential employee–someone who is honest, hard working, and who has reasonable intelligence. In other words someone who willing and able to learn new things and admit it when they screw up. Notice education is not on the list.”
However, back to our original employer:
Still, I like working with young people. One in ten has unbridled passion and a boundless work ethic. When you watch them learn something about business, it makes you feel like you’re here for a reason. When they eventually snatch the pebble from your hand and start doing better than you, it’s a rush that makes all the other dross seem irrelevant. The money is just frills.
My question is, which model is going to advance society more – the entrepeneurial with its share of nasty-pieces-of-work like this guy or a society full of the feckless?
And another thing – there’s nothing new under the sun. The old have been criticizing the young since time immemorial, particularly the older conservative. Agatha Christie:
Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled – they took drugs if they couldn’t sleep – they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer. [10 Little Niggers”, 1939]