Thursday, April 24, 2008

Millennials In The New Millennium

Millennials Or Extraterrestrials?
By Kat Piracha

“A new breed of (blank) is about to attack everything you hold sacred: from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They are called, among other things, "Millennials."

“American worker” is supposed to be in the (blank) in the above statement. But according to two specials from CBS’s 60 Minutes, "The Millennials Are Coming" and "The Echo Boomers," this is how young American adults in the workplace are. It almost seems like they are not speaking of human beings. It sounds like the description of an extraterrestrial attack.

New generations of “Millennials” or “Echo Boomers” are coming, and they are going to replace the baby boomers in the work place, run offices with the most up-to-date technology, and allow coworkers to perform in flip-flops on hot days.

I think I read about this in the Book of Revelation. This is surely a sign of the Apocalypse. First terrorists drove planes into our towers killing thousands of civilians, then the U.S. occupied Iraq, the country is sliding into a recession, homeowners are barely capable of covering their mortgages, and “Millennials” work with their ipods on.

Perhaps many young Americans do seem non-traditional in corporate America. However, many institutions do groom students in preparation for the work place. These “Millennials” go on to blend into corporate America. Is there going to be a 60 Minutes on them? Probably not. These shows are propaganda. The two episodes on young Americans not fitting in with Baby Boomers in the work place seems like a story done because of outraged employers, upset by the few employees that have shocked them.

Take the alumni of college preparatory schools from the Northeast, alumni from private and Ivy League schools and see if they conform to these “Millennial” behaviors. At Maria Regina Preparatory High School for girls in Westchester, New York, a seminar is offered every year for girls in their junior year about etiquette in the work place.

That means at the tender years of 16, these young women are taught that any piercing and/or tattoos they may get in the near future should be able to be covered up when they enter the work place. They are taught to arrive 15 minutes before a job interview, write thank you notes, and not use slang around their employers.

At Saint Gregory the Great school in Harrison, New York a private school for grades K-8, administrators take students from grade six and up on periodic dinners to demonstrate proper dinner etiquette and suitability for the future. These young students are taught to sit up, put napkins on their laps, use cutlery, among other courtesies. Where are these students on the 60 Minutes reports?

Tiffany Mayuga, a recent graduate of Manhattanville College, a private liberal arts and science college has just been hired to work as a part of a marketing company in the Mecca of corporate America, midtown Manhattan.

At the ripe age of 23, her work wardrobe consists of button down shirts and black power suits. She has no tattoos and only one piercing on each ear. “It's unfair to put that (prejudice) on us and assume that because we’re computer savvy we’re inefficient,” says Mayuga. It’s more than the way we dress to go to work, or whether we listen to iPods when we work. It’s about our ability to meet deadlines.”

Tiffany Mayuga defies
the stereotype offered
by 60 Minutes.

Rest assured America. Historian Neil Howe and co-author William Strauss who were interviewed on 60 Minutes have spent a majority of their careers studying generations and have come to the grand conclusion that this generation of young adults will be different from the previous generation of baby-boomers. Shocking.

Both 60 Minutes reports seem incredibly biased. To dissect a generation under a camera lens is a waste of intelligent peoples' time. You don’t have to be a historian or an academic to realize that there will be personality differences between generations. It’s nature. Without progress, we would still be in a cave in Pangaea carving obscure figures on walls.

Perhaps the next time 60 Minutes does a report on an entire generation of Americans they should include every member of that generation, not just the few who conform to a stereotype.

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