Friday, July 09, 2010

NY Times Special: White Upper Class Gen Y Problems

When enabling goes too far, the Scott Nicholson story. This is a 'backfire' story. The NY Times tries to push the narrative 'the death of the American Dream', but choose a terrible case study to spotlight. This happens often with the NY Times as they seem completely out of touch with the many NYers they want to sell their papers to, or advertisers they want to sell ad space to get to readers. Rather than discuss the truly tough time many people have in the 10% unemployment USA of today from all walks of life, or even Joe Average, they spotlight a silver spoon jerkwad who makes readers' blood boil. Go read the comments (all 1487 of them), they SHUT THEM DOWN. A majority of them are against this article, this overgrown spoiled brat, and the type he represents. This article, sent to me by a former city gal, inspired lunch time discussion amongst me and some older coworkers. Countless blogs have picked on this kid, and I will pick on the entire system.

Observations -

1. Contradictions are many. He wants any job, but turns down a 40K a year insurance job. He signs up for the Marines, is rejected for asthma reasons, then told he can apply again, but says no thanks the sheen is gone. He wants a job that meets his college training, but he was a poli sci and history student (what is his training? reading a lot and writing an essay that sucks up to your professor's POV on the subject.).
2. His family has paid for everything and continues to pay for everything. College fully paid with no loans, rent, cell phone, you name it. They even pay for his half of the rent he now shares with his older brother. Enablers. Grow a pair and be firm with this kid. I had it good and was lucky to have what I had growing up, but jesus, the gravy train should end sometime. There is the difference: my parents had threats and backed them up. After all, who else sells their kid a 12 yr old Honda for $3500.. and had to be worked down to that price?
3. Gramps tells him to go to Europe. WTF planet is he on? Europe is in even worse shape, there is no boom in Europe, and hello, you can't just move somewhere and start working. Foreign countries don't take kindly to those who don't follow immigration rules, especially in a worldwide recession.
4. This is a classic type I have seen in my 8 years working (haha I'm an old man now). Mommy and Daddy told me I was awesome at everything even though I wasn't, my teachers said I was a unique snowflake, and now I want to get the big job right off the bat. Newsflash: you ain't shit, it's a HUGE recession, and this is the real world. You won't get to CEO in 5 years. The entitlement and impatience in many of these mediocre kids always surprises me no matter how often I witness it. Colgate is a good school, but in this economy it will not open every door. Our parents, if they were fortunate, got to where they were through hard work, showing competence, and a good luck. Sometimes finding a manager that takes an interest in you can make that 40K claims adjuster "dead end job" a foot in the door.
5. Note to the NY Times: dean's award at Colgate means for one term he got over a 3.3. Took me 3 mins to find that out online (also found out I would have been Phi Beta Kappa at Colgate). Let's not portray this unemployed mooch like he's Newton. Lazy research. I made Dean's List once, fall semester sophomore year, 4 A-, 1 A, 1 B+. My GPA for that semester was 3.7, and I just made it by the rules at the time. What a joke Colgate, a 3.3 is B+, does a B+ average deserve the phrase 'academic excellence'?
6. They say he has Marine handsomeness. WTF? Is this just because the writer knew he'd mentions the Marine enlistment thing later on? My wife saw the head on photo of him and thought he was mid 30s. What does this have to do with the elusiveness of the American Dream?
7. He mows lawns randomly, and does odd jobs for cash, but won't take a job for the sake of doing a job or get paid for an honest day's work as a temp or the previously mentioned claims adjuster. He says he might bartend. Without any experience, he'd be a barback, hooking up the kegs and cleaning up a bar. His snobby attitude towards anything not in his golden dream career path is horrendous, and this is a slap in the face to the millions in the NY metro area.
8. Polisci or history majors usually run to law school when they leave undergrad because it is the refuge of the confused college graduate. Look at this perfect example.
9. Fuck you grampa for hoping someone could meet him to put him at the front of the line. Yes, I know this works a lot, but WTF, do you want him to ever get anything on his own? Plus, no one likes to hear about the nepotism hire or the his dad is buddies with so and so hire.
10. Where does he think the corporate ladder starts? Everyone starts somewhere at a company. This feeds into his lack of imagination. He has a narrow interest (corporate job) and only thinks of narrow possibilities.

My coworkers and I discussed this at lunch and then thought of our 'starts'. We discussed how a degree means far less than a good work ethic, basic competence, willingness to work both independently and on a team, and dependability. This guy's attitude towards the chance with the Marines made my former Marine coworker laugh "they'd eat his candy ass at basic". My lunchmates said how college taught them time management, how to write, and some higher math skills. Two of my coworkers got starts in grunt office work, and eventually got into nice career paths. Another was an Army Lt., went to a 2 year college, and then started in billing/accounting. He's now, 30 years later, supervising 30 accountants. Me, I was shit lucky. My degree is the only reason I got a job. When I graduated in the last recession, my Wall St dreams were dashed (as well as GE & UTC) and I looked elsewhere. Because of the school I graduated from (and only that), two companies were willing to interview me for a job that normally they don't give to fresh from school applicants. I learned tough lessons, had some great mentors and a great VP who believed in me, inspired me to be better and took an interest in my well being. My job wasn't my dream job, but it was A JOB, and it is an interesting one that has served me well.

When we were walking back, I said to the group that if I were put in a position of hiring/firing decision making, I would fight tooth and nail to NOT have a college degree be a requirement for a job. I would specfically say college degree OR equivalent work experience. With the number of jokers who get degrees now and the horrendously lame coursework 'required', I would rather hire an internal candidate without a degree that I know has a good work ethic, is competent, has drive and is reliable over a 22 year old fresh out of college with no track record. An MBA is an even bigger joke now as they give those to whomever will PAY for one. A college degree used to be a good way for companies to filter people who had spent some years studying, following rules, etc. to get a degree. The degree being a seal of approval. For many kids, now it seems that college is a 4 year extension of high school, but with better drugs, sex and no parents.


beauty sale shopper said...

This is probably the most thought-provoking blog I've read while reading random blogs on this site.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Thank you. Good luck preparing your little one for a future of independent living. My wife misses Mary from SYTYCD as well.

I can't but help think of the 40 mil Americans on food stamps right now, and how they would kill for a 40K a year job.