Talkin' 'bout your generation

Thursday - 6/27/2013, 2:00am EDT

Senior Correspondent Mike Causey is on vacation.

It's been almost 50 years since Roger Daltrey rebelliously called out all those old fogies criticizing his friends "just because we get around."

But the teens who once thrilled to "My Generation" have entered the workforce, grown older and are, in many cases, high-ranking employees and managers — in other words, they are the old fogies they once railed against.

Tuesday's column, "Generation whine?" generated a large amount of feedback from a wide swath of federal employees: long-time fed baby boomers, Generation X'ers and even some millennials, too.

The responses ranged from millennials "deserve every bad rap they get" to "let's not point fingers" — and everything in between.

For example, one reader, who identified herself as a baby boomer said, who cares if millennials complain too much. Maybe the rest of the federal workforce could take some pointers:

I think working people don't whine enough. Government has tried to convince the American people that we are not entitled to a fair wage, to the Social Security we worked for, to our pensions. We have been given many excuses for not receiving rewards for our efforts. I say we all need to whine more.

Still, other readers identified a clear attitude problem with their under-30 cohorts:

I guess we are all just people, good and bad. That said, there have been some true gems by my standards, but the majority have come in with a sense of entitlement and attitude that has left me "awestruck" in the not so positive way. They have been above: getting their hands dirty, doing some of the grunt work, paying their dues or being accountable to peers. In my agency they have gotten onto amazing multiple grade career ladders, got the 13 the next year and then furious they didn't all get a 14. I understand valuing and believing in oneself but the sense of entitlement misses the fact that there are others in the world too who have something valuable to offer.

And not everyone agreed that the government is an ideal employer for young, idealistic millennials. In fact, at least one reader wrote to tell us he thinks members of Generation Y are gaming the system.

The government is a hard place to adapt, we have many different types of employees and managers. Our biggest issue is to have the ability to eliminate "dead wood." It generally takes a year to document poor performance. The senior managers do not want to back the managers in the pits because of fear of EEO complaint. The law needs to be updated. Non performance should not be a basis for EEO complaint. The "Y" generation learned quickly how to play the game in this respect.

Yes they also sit with earphones in their ears and love to play video games as well. Based on what I have seen, we have coddled this generation too much.

Finally, a call for a ceasefire in the clash of the generations from this anonymous millennial:

As a millennial myself I have to agree with the fact that it's a "me" generation and that many are not used to working hard for what they receive. ... Some want to be in management immediately because they feel entitled while others actually work much harder and produce more efficient work products at faster rates. Many of the baby boomers I've come into contact with (at my government job) seem to equate time on the job with entitlement towards promotion but that makes absolutely no sense if your work is not efficient. They draw a veil over their work as if it were their own personal belonging. I, as well as many of my peers, have found it difficult to work with those who withhold information because they feel that you will somehow steal their job simply because you are younger. The truth of the matter is, without working together we will not be successful. We should embrace our differences: boomers should want to leave the organization in a better position than when they were there through work with the millenials, and millenials should want to learn/appreciate the history behind the decisions that were made to get the organization where they are presently.


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

The head of Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being has urged citizens there to exercise "food patriotism," by avoiding McDonald's and sushi bars and opting instead for traditional Russian dishes.

(Source: UPI Odd News)


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