RED EYE FIGHTS BACK
A column that ran on page four of Monday’s Red Eye really hit home for me. “Sandals in the Office Not the Problem,” by reporter Stephen Markley responds to a recent BusinessWeek article by Teddy Wayne that targets the 20-somethings in the workplace, describing the entire age bracket as unprofessional and irresponsible in his cover story, “Millennials: the New Office Morans.”
As a hardworking “Millennial,” it’s hard not to take offense to Wayne’s article, which explicitly states that civility in the workplace is nearing its low point with the most recent batch of college graduates. Especially annoying is how this article is only one of many in what seems to be a growing trend that has many major news outlets, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and NBC’s The Today Show, classifying our entire generation as lazy and rude.
Until Markley’s column, it seemed as though no one would defend our generation, which by the way is full of innovative and driven professionals (Check out Inc. magazine’s list of the Top 30 Under 30).
Markley writes: Armed with prosciutto-thin anecdotal evidence, Wayne makes the point that my generation doesn't know proper etiquette in work environments. He backs this incisive point with pictures of Warren Buffet in a suit and Mark Zuckerberg in sandals. I single out the Businessweek article only because it's the latest in the rising trend to dump on Millennials as spoiled, lazy, entitled jerks, who listen to their iPods at work. But while we're making generalizations, boy do these other generations sure think a hell of a lot of themselves! And why not? After all, they've done such a great job. They spent 30 years creating a political and economic system that let wages stagnate and income inequality spike. Then they started working more hours, which made them more miserable, so they quieted their personal dissatisfaction with a bunch of useless crap like gargantuan homes and gas-guzzling SUVs. And because they failed to innovate anything other than useless financial instruments that made only 1% of them richer, they started running up mountains of debt. But you're right: Millennials do spend too much time at work on Facebook!
Sarah Marseille Senior Publicist