Millennials in the workforce: Cocky, careless and confident

I read a great Inc. magazine workplace blog about the problems motivating and managing millennials — the below 30 crowd. I am excerpting it as it echoes what college professors and grad professors tell me about their students.

I was talking to a grad school professor last week who lamented how often students inform him of what they deem to be relevant in his lectures and syllabus and what they deem to be a waste of their time. (One thing they find absolutely unnecessary and tedious, he says, is history. Their major concern is the here and now, and they don’t see how events of the past have much to offer.)

Repeatedly, professors report that students earning lackluster grades come to them and complain, “I have to get an A in this class,” as if they can will themselves a better grade without having to put in any real effort.

Here is an excerpt from the essay by Mayra Jimenez, a 32-year-ol entrepreneur, who says her challenge is “recruiting a group of loyal, competent young employees under 30 years old.”

This is only an excerpt, so please read the full blog.  (You may want to send the link to some 18-year-olds of your acquaintance.)

By Mayra Jimenez

I’d like to think my problem isn’t just that I’m an old fart. I own a luxury swimwear ecommerce platform (and most recently, a brick-and-mortar location in Miami Beach as well) with my husband. We’re 32-year-old owners with a startup mentality.

When I was 23, I used to dream about being part of a company that cared about what I thought, that saw my true potential and gave me challenging responsibilities. Turns out, our millennial staffers don’t really see it that way –and, while I know that I can’t generalize my experience to a whole generation, I also doubt that my young employees are unique.

Here’s my list of grievances:

They’re cocky. I have yet to give a millennial a leadership position and have them accept their new role with humility. Once you give them a fancy title like Assistant Buyer or Marketing Specialist they automatically seem to think they’re God’s gift to you, your clients, and your other employees.

They take things for granted. Recent graduates (regardless of where they went to school) from time immemorial have been asked to make copies and bring people coffee. Millennials, on the other hand, seem to think someone should have rolled out the red carpet when they popped out of school.

They think they’re exempt from rules. These are all activities they seem to think are normal: sending emails to clients with blatant grammatical mistakes, knowingly telling customers incorrect information (because they think that’s a better answer), and ignoring an inquiry from their boss.

They don’t follow through. Our normal expectation for an adult over 21 is that they are able to take care of tasks with little supervision without having to be reminded. But that’s not the case, with even our most responsible millennials.

They don’t want to pay their dues. It’s the Culture of Now for them, and frankly, this makes our fairly minor age difference seem like the gap of a century. When I graduated from college, my peers and I were fully aware that our first year or two in the workforce would be spent in dull jobs, because you have to start from the bottom and work your way up.

I feel like breaking open the anti-suicide windows of my 21st floor office and shouting, “calling all smart, stable, and humble fashion-oriented people, can you please show up to work today? On time?”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

54 comments Add your comment

redweather

July 9th, 2012
11:20 am

While this column may be a gross generalization, I give it an A for humor.

Fred ™

July 9th, 2012
11:22 am

She nailed it.

Fred ™

July 9th, 2012
11:23 am

10-1 redweather is a millennial…………

Mountain Man

July 9th, 2012
11:32 am

“recruiting a group of loyal, competent young employees”

Loyalty? Companies are not loyal to employees, so why should they be expecting loyalty back FROM their employees. Companies will lay off people in a minute if they think it will help their bottom line. Employees have learned this, and they will think nothing of leaving one company if another offers something better.

Skeptic Teacher

July 9th, 2012
11:33 am

Mrs. Jimenez is also a millennial. After reading her article and some of the comments, I’m not so convinced that it’s not a two-way street as far as her management style goes. Plenty of millennials I know (I’m one) are quickly humbled after graduation by the fact they can’t a job at a snap of the fingers.

Folks with crappy grades due to lack of motivation or poor work quality have always “needed the A”. This is not new. Why are we acting like it is?

redweather

July 9th, 2012
11:34 am

Right Fred, the last birthday I admit to was my 29th.

catlady

July 9th, 2012
11:36 am

I’m not in the same position that the author is, but what I see is millenials finishing college and struggling to get full time work in their area of study. Some of them are like the above, but it can also be said about my generation–the Boomers. We expect special treatment because of our “experience.”

Scott Fresno

July 9th, 2012
11:48 am

Many of the millenials that I know are happy to just get unpaid internships with the hope that maybe it will lead to something better down the road. That is something my generation never had to deal with.

Old Sarge

July 9th, 2012
11:51 am

I can solve her problem with one sentence. Give a young vet a chance. As America continues to ingnore this advice and suffer for it I make no appologies for laughing at your pain.

Public HS Teacher

July 9th, 2012
12:01 pm

This is absolutely true for new teachers. As a verteran, I have paid my dues in many ways in this profession.

New teachers (and I have only seen this in the last few years) come into the profession and think they know-it-all. They refuse to ask for help and in fact when I offer help, they basically laugh in my face.

They feel that getting to be ‘friends’ with the students is most important. I have seen new female teachers talking to their kids about their dates from over the weekend.

The fact that their student’s socres (on standardized tests, etc.) are much lower than the experienced teachers is lost to them. They will quickly blame “bad questions” or their students had a “bad day”. However, each and every time, their students cannot perform.

The administration loves these new teachers. The new teachers are eager, young, energetic, and much less costly. So, the administration favors these new teachers over the experienced teachers.

Another thing that drives the experienced and better teachers out of the profession.

Common Since

July 9th, 2012
12:04 pm

Maybe the problem is that she’s in Miami.

catlady

July 9th, 2012
12:11 pm

Ms. Jimenez is only a heartbeat or two away from being a millenial as well, BTW.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

July 9th, 2012
12:15 pm

I am a tail end millennial (28) with a Gen X attitude. I despise the baby boomers who have created such a mess of the culture and who refuse to believe the world did not begin when they were born , and I find recent grads to be insufferable self absorbed bores with little to no perspective or context for their knowledge which makes them rather useless. The attitude the blogger speaks of is the end result of an entire lifetime lived under the lefts “self esteem” programs, No winners, no losers, just participation awards and 2+2=5 if you feel good about yourself. I may not have liked it at the time, but being raised by my grandparents for the most part has been good for me in that I learned that life doesn’t revolve around me as a natural order, I have to shape it that way thru relentless hard work toward goals i set.

Mary Elizabeth

July 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

From the article by Ms. Jimenez:

“It’s the Culture of Now for them. . .”
—————————————————————————–

From the article, above, by Ms. Downey:

“I was talking to a grad school professor last week who lamented how often students inform him of what they deem to be relevant in his lectures and syllabus and what they deem to be a waste of their time. (One thing they find absolutely unnecessary and tedious, he says, is history. Their major concern is the here and now, and they don’t see how events of the past have much to offer.)”
============================================

Although placing priority on the here and now has probably always been the thinking of the majority of 20 to 30 year olds, I suspect that this generation of Millennials is particularly susceptible to the thinking of their time in history. Knowledge (with Google access) is increasing rapidly, without the needed, accompanying wisdom. A societal shift from self-service to self-interest has dominated the American psyche for three to four decades. Media access to constant movement – i.e. twitter, blogs, hundreds of channels available on television – of events and in people’s lives, makes “news of the moment” more to be valued than understanding historical forces and one’s relation to those forces, through reflection.

Usually, there is a subsequent, opposing reaction to dominant societal changes – such as the changes we are witnessing in the thinking of the “now” generation – which will balance the consciousness of the next generation. We shall see.

carlosgvv

July 9th, 2012
12:27 pm

And yet, unemployed people over 55 who have a proven work history find it next to impossible to find jobs. Is this employer the exception to the rule? Or, is she determined to hire only the young, come hell and high water?

Howard Finkelstein

July 9th, 2012
12:27 pm

As suspected, these kids are just a group of selfish, self-centered little miscreants without a shred of honor but an oversized load of arrogance.

clark kent

July 9th, 2012
12:35 pm

Welcome to the participation trophy generation. When you have no concept of winning and losing or what it takes to be a successful and productive member of society, you think that you’ll get your participation trophy regardless of whatever effort you put into your life.

Jefferson

July 9th, 2012
12:37 pm

Its kids raising kids.

Sandy Springs Parent

July 9th, 2012
12:40 pm

Even back in 2000 we noticed that starting Architect’s were demanding $55,000 to 60,000. Were they crazy!!!. They felt that they were entitled. I had staff Architects with over 10 years who did not earn that. Instead I hired an Architect, who was close to 60 and had been laid off by one of the big firms right before he would become eligible for retirement. He had been making $90K, but he was humble and took the $55K I could offer him. I also knew I had almost 30 years of experience. I also had someone who bothered to help me when I was right out of school working for a contractor 29 years ago. Everything you do comes around. I ended up with a much more reliable employee who was not going anywhere. I hired several above 55 architects and engineers who had been laid off by the big guys just before retirement. I was only 40 or so at the time. They were all greatful. So many would not give them a chance.

William Casey

July 9th, 2012
12:42 pm

The “Millennials” are an interesting group. I’m an early “Boomer” (62) and have three sources of information about the “Millenials”:

1. A 21 year-old son who is a senior in the University system. (Math)
2. A girlfriend who is a professor in the university system. (Law)
3. Numerous former students ages 20-35 with whom I remain in contact. (Various fields)

Here’s my take on Ms. Jimenez’s points, most of which I consider to be valid about all generations of youth:

They’re cocky: I agree but much of it is mere bravado.

They take things for granted: This generation is the most “entitled” in history. Education and child-rearing practices have made them this way. The “I paid my money, now give me my ‘A’” mentality is a direct outgrowth of the “I showed-up, now give me my trophy” they experienced in youth activities.

They think they’re exempt from rules: They are no worse than we Boomers were on this one.

They don’t follow through: I’ll add, “they are unreliable, even in small things. This seems to be a generational trait, though my son seems to be an exception. I could be off-base here.

They don’t want to pay their dues: Largely true but, they are learning this (as Catlady pointed out) by having to work in jobs below their training much longer than we did. Lot’s of pissed-off 25-year-old waiters with college degrees.

Some of my own observations on middle-class Millennials:

1. Their “move-back-in-with-parents” after college mentality is strange. I wonder how prevalent this is.

2. They are unlikely to independently achieve the standard of living they are accustomed to as young as their parents did.

3. The “stars” (especially in difficult, in demand majors) will prosper as always. The “average” will be pushed back down toward lower middle-class status.

williebkind

July 9th, 2012
12:51 pm

Bachelors degree vs. Military experience – Why do employers view one as less valuable? If you make a side by side comparison fo the skills employers say a BA degree demonstrates and then look at military service, you will see the military provides the sames skills to include soft skills.

Miss Priss!

July 9th, 2012
12:52 pm

They’re too busy staring into their hand held electronic devices, attempting to look in town and in touch and self important! What a bunch of dorks.

Ole Guy

July 9th, 2012
12:57 pm

TriciaWarEagle, It would seem that, at your ripe age, you hate all gererations, both those who preceede you as well as the “punks” who follow in your paw prints. Let me tell you something about us Boomers…sure, we made a mess of things, but it sure as hell wasn’t for trying, which is one hell of a lot more than I can say for more-recent gens. I (generationaly) saw mans’ soujourn into the fringes of the so-called Last Frontier. While my father’s generation was responsible for the first “baby steps” of that challenge, it was my gen who accepted the Late President Kennedy’s challenge to “make that small step for a man; big leap for mankind”. Following my first tour with the military, I made it a personal goal to become as much a part of that effort as I could. I, and many of my generational contemporaries, were so-challenged as to devote our lives to the ever0expanding field of aerospace. We were, in a nutshell, motivated to SEE the challenge and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

We (generationaly) saw the social movements highlighted by such events as MLK’s showing on the Mall in DC; we SAW this challenge; we TRIED to do something about. We didn’t agree with many of the things we saw, so, as an unsure youth, WE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. We took stands, we demonstrated to the point of acquiring the attentions of policy makers. Whether those demonstrations were the right thing to do or not is a topic for the monday morning quarterbacks of history to haggle over. The point is…WE DID SOMETHING ABOUT THOSE ISSUES WHICH WE FELT WERE IMPORTANT. Though I personaly did not view those who demonstrated against the war in se Asia with favor, today, I view those folks with a favorm far greater than that which I view YOUR generation. WHY? Because we, generational, DID something about those issues which we felt were important. And that, Tricia, is a helluva lot more than YOUR lousy stinkin generation, which has only complained and whined over your miserable lot, has EVER done. So you can sit there and complain…what else is new?…about the gens which surround you. OUR achievements, the toys which YOU enjoy today, are yours to enjoy. Meanwhile, loosers, LIKE YOU, can continue to complain over the hardships which YOU have not been too successful in overcoming.

Hillbilly D

July 9th, 2012
12:59 pm

They’re cocky.

Some of that goes with being young but a lot of it comes with being catered to and coddled their entire lives, up to this point. The rod was never spared in the house I grew up in, so I knew I was far from invincible from an early age.

They take things for granted.

When people have never failed, struggled nor had to clean up their own mess, of course they take things for granted.

They think they’re exempt from rules.

In many cases, they’ve always had Mama/Daddy there to fix things and bail them out. It’s cause and effect. I can’t really just lay a belief that one is exempt from the rules on the young, though. I’ve noticed it steadily getting worse across all of society in the last 30 years. It doesn’t seem to restrict itself to one age group, economic class, education level, etc. Seems like every group got a healthy dose of it, somewhere along the way.

They don’t want to pay their dues.

I’ve noticed that a lot but they’ve never had to pay any dues before they get in the working world, so it’s a foreign concept to them.

When I finished high school, I went to work, full time, the next day. In those days, most everybody I worked around was a WWII Vet. Obviously, after the things they’d seen and done in life, they weren’t impressed with the likes of me. Fortunately, I had been taught growing up, to keep my mouth shut, watch and learn, and to work your way up. I was fortunate to have that upbringing and I feel sorry that many kids today don’t get the same. The day of awakening comes for everybody, sooner or later, and the later it is, the ruder it usually is.

Ole Guy

July 9th, 2012
1:01 pm

Casey, cocky goes along with youth. You can believe this 21 y/o pilot was the cockiest SOB in RVN. It was, and remains, the only way to survive. As we age and mature, we learn to temper that cockiness with maturity…the result…wisdom.

Hillbilly D

July 9th, 2012
1:05 pm

Looks like my post disappeared into cyberspace, again.

Trevor Millican

July 9th, 2012
1:24 pm

Very bold article. The Pew Research Center did a similar article on the Millennials. I’ve got to do more research on the people writing these articles!

http://trevormillican.com/blog/?p=24

The road to serfdom

July 9th, 2012
1:35 pm

Millennials are coming of age in an America in which almost everyone has coveted “victim” status—due to imagined disadvantages attributable to race, gender or a variety of physical conditions.

And they’ve been told that government can and should provide them with personal happiness. But that “the rich” are somehow preventing this. Equally bad, half of all earners pay no income taxes yet expect ever more government programs which benefit them personally.

And the mainstream media is so heavily committed to the Obama presidency that it won’t report on key issues in a balanced way.

Elizabeth

July 9th, 2012
1:45 pm

It is not just the millennials. It is all students and it begins in public school. Public school teachers have been putting up with this from parents and studetns for years. Now that it is in the workplace, you are now figuring it out? Have fun– it is only going to get worse.

Sensationalistic

July 9th, 2012
1:45 pm

I assure you that if you look hard enough, you’ll find the college kids/recent graduates that will pay their dues and be humble.

I like to think of myself as doing the best that I can with what I can. I won’t deny that young adults are being pushed by all sides to get money. Georgia Tech takes great strides to say the average income of each major and how it is so above the mean. Problem is, they may not end up with that job because the market can’t support it. Now you have a graduate that is bringing in $20,000 a year instead of $50,000 as starting level.

Also, wasn’t there a blog post two weeks ago talking about non-paying internships? The interns sometimes had to mop the floors all in the name of “getting experience”?

Very curious how we pivot from taking up the side of being outraged about kids not getting paid the first 3 years of their career and then get mad when they complain about having to shred paper and spend long nights at work doing mundane tasks.

Guest

July 9th, 2012
2:12 pm

So most people who apply for a job at a luxury swimwear company in Miami Beach are vapid, entitled narcissists? I’m shocked!

William Casey

July 9th, 2012
2:46 pm

@OLEGUY: two things

1. Thanks for talking to Trisha for me. Saved me a lot of difficult typing. LOL

2. I get the cockiness and youth connection. However, your cockiness was based on a demonstrated accomplishment, the ability to fly. I was cocky as hell at 25 as well, also based on demonstrated accomplishments. The cockiness I see today is often based on….. NOTHING. Is there such a thing as “existensialist cockiness?” LOL

bootney farnsworth

July 9th, 2012
3:43 pm

perhaps if they tried hiring adults…?

Ashley

July 9th, 2012
4:44 pm

@Ole Guy….from one baby boomer to another, you always knock it clean out the park. I like William Casey am glad you put Miss Trisha in her place. Still waiting to see what her “me generation ” will achieve in the 21st century.

What the...

July 9th, 2012
5:04 pm

Sometimes I think this “education blog” is a big waste of time. How would anybody with an iota of commonsense expect these young people to behave when the parents and “education system” have spoiled them. This is just entitlement behavior at its worst. I see it everyday as a school teacher. They expect to “learn” on their own terms. If they’re not having fun, then they’re not learning. God forbid they have to do hard work. They read and listen just enough to be aware of the fact that society is blaming teachers for their laziness and poor behavior, so they do the same when they
class unprepared. If parents and society have taught these kids anything, its how to blame and criticize teachers. What kind of behavior would you expect? What type of attitudes do you think you we have been developing.

Ed Johnson

July 9th, 2012
7:07 pm

Maybe this interview with Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli offers an additional perspective, or perhaps a counter-perspective:

Why People Can’t Get Jobs
http://www.qualitydigest.com/inside/quality-insider-article/why-good-people-cant-get-jobs.html

Ryan Jenkins

July 9th, 2012
7:08 pm

Valid perspective. However, I believe the businesses that are evolving and positioning to prosper in the future are those organizations that capitalize on the energy and unique strengths of the largest generation on the planet, the Millennials. Use the Millennials as an indicator for change and innovation. Whether you like it or not, they will be the future leaders and spenders of the new economy.

d

July 9th, 2012
10:18 pm

Take a look at this week’s Crossroads and the lackluster graduation rates in DeKalb. I can say that I have noticed this year more so than in any of the past several years that I have taught in DeKalb that the students expected me to give them a pass they didn’t earn (or talk to other teachers on their behalf). I had a principal who told us that if we did our jobs and give the students the opportunities to do the work and we spoke with parents, she would back whatever grade the student earned. I had three who didn’t pass and three others who did only because their EOCT scores pulled them up just enough. I will begin on August 13 telling students that I am sorry, but I don’t accept laziness and I do not give a grade. I’d rather them learn that lesson now than when they are college freshmen on academic probation.

NTLB

July 9th, 2012
11:42 pm

This is a result of “hyper-parenting” and raising your children in bubbles of unrealism.

Another Math Teacher

July 10th, 2012
2:20 am

“I’ve dealt with in five and a half years of business: recruiting a group of loyal, competent young employees under 30 years old.”

Isn’t that illegal? Can’t anyone who was 40 or over that she did not hire use that admission in a lawsuit?

http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/age.cfm

What she says may be true, but I find it funny that her illegal behaviour is also causing her to get lower quality workers.

Dekalbite

July 10th, 2012
11:05 am

Too many principals in DeKalb pressure teachers to change grades and in the highest ranks they participate in grade changing. Teachers that complain lose their joss while the administrators keep their jobs and even get promoted. What kind of message does that send to students?

http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/update-on-mlk-grade-changing-horace.html

http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/dekalb-grade-changing-investigation/vCP2n/

the prof

July 10th, 2012
12:04 pm

my offering…..former D students constantly emailing with the “you’re keeping me out of _____ or from getting _____ job because of the grade you GAVE me”. Then at the end….”is there anything I can do to change that grade to a C.”

Jordan

July 10th, 2012
2:00 pm

Cry me a river. I’m a millennial and damn proud to be. So what if we’re cocky and confident. We know our stuff. We know how to operate a comupter and utilize technology to our advantage unlike most old baby boomers and even some gen xers. We know how to get the job done, work smarter not harder, move up in the workplace, keep a job or move on to the next one, we know loyalty doesn’t pay this day in age, we know how to market ourselves, and we know what we want and how to get it. Not to mention, the majority of us are educated and tgats why we’re all employed and that’s why we all make good money. You old whiners and complainers are just mad because we’re better and you’re the reason why this country is in the crapper. Don’t worry, us millennials will clean up your mess and make the world a better place.

Katherine

July 10th, 2012
4:59 pm

It is always interesting to me that baby boomers like to take credit for things that occurred during their lifetime but that they had no actual part in. For example, the Civil Rights movement which came to a head in the 1960s but which was lead by those who were from the previous generation (MLK, Malcolm X and Ms.Parks were all “greatest generation”) What about the space program in 1969? None of those senior scientists were baby boomers. Just because it happened during your lifetime doesn’t mean you automatically get credit for it. By that logic, the Millenial generation should get credit for ending the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall. But for all of you who like to piss and moan that the Millenial generation has done nothing, I query: Do you use Google? PayPal? Facebook? Even the blog technology that you enjoy bashing the young on? All brought to you by Millenial generation innovation. So get off your high horses, because we’ll all be working until we’re 80 to pay for your social security and medical benefits, which baby boomers are so fond of asserting that they are entiltled too, as well as all that national debt racked up by the last 3 presidents (also all baby boomers)

bootney farnsworth

July 10th, 2012
5:08 pm

@ katherine

do you enjoy your freedoms?

you’re welcome.

BTW: Millenials who bothered to vote voted overwelmingly for Obama. so thank yourself for your debt.

bootney farnsworth

July 10th, 2012
5:14 pm

@ Jordan,

exactly what job have y’all “gotten done”?
and not working is not working smarter – its called slacking

Katherine

July 10th, 2012
5:16 pm

@Bootney: So if you are saying that I should thank myself for the debt racked up by a Congress from the bb generation and a president that I didn’t vote for, can I thank you for Haliburton, GW Bush and Clinton along with all their corresponding debt?
Also did I say anything about being ungrateful to the military? No, but thank you for throwing that line in for your own benefit. I have numerous veteran friends from the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, a;ll under 30. Do you say thank you to them? Because their sacrifice is no less than those who fought in Vietnam, Korea or WWII.

Truth in Moderation

July 11th, 2012
1:38 am

The home school millennial generation is AWESOME! Expect great things from this small but influential group. To employers, they stand out in the crowd because they were taught to respect authority and learned loyalty from having a close knit family. They had parents WHO WERE THERE! They have manners, life skills (budgeting), and are focused on their life goals. When the going gets tough, they find strength in their faith.

Ryan

July 11th, 2012
11:47 am

Hmmm…well, I am a Millenial, and though it may hurt to hear this “entrepreneur’s” ears, not everyone will be as passionate about luxury swimwear as you want them to be. You may also find that based on that subject of business, you may be recruiting a certain type of Millenial. I also note I’m reading an “article” that is mostly a copy of another person’s blog. Tough work! I’m surrounded by Baby Boomers and X’ers who are lazy and incompetent, this is not a generational thing – most people suck and are not all that talented. Glad the entrepreneur has the gusto to go for it, but let’s not celebrate the “can-do” attitude of a person that results in one more Baby Boomer’s underage mistress buying a swim suit that costs more than I spend on clothes per year.

Ole Guy

July 11th, 2012
12:15 pm

Katherine, perhaps your “book version” of US History may not reflect the true reality of the era. We, as teens and as young adults, did indeed “participate” in many of the burning national issues of the time. Civil Rights, the war in SE Asia, and the ensuing “coverups” emanating from our capitol…ie Cambodian/Laotian incursions, as well as the overall involvement in a war which, like all wars, sucks far too much in the way of national resources, lives and monies taken away from well-intentioned objectives like Pres Kennedy’s and Johnson’s Great Society initiatives, etc ALL point toward an era; a youth which saw fit to take action, rather than sit on the side lines and complain. We were often led by not much more than exhuberance and the thoughts of self-invincibility; we often screwed up big time. Kent State was, perhaps, one of my generations’ most-shameful events. While we can ascribe blame for this on many parties, both generationaly and organizationaly…ie administration, ROTC presence, Ohio National Guard, etc, etc, ad nauseum, we, as those who, in one way or another, took part, either directly or indirectly, can reassure you, and many doubters, that the Baby Boom generation WAS THERE. While “taking credit” may not be a flattering way of putting it, we, as a generation, took more of an active interest/concern in the many tumultious events of that era. We weren’t always right; many of us were, in hindsight, quite brave. Those who chose to leave the Country rather than participate in the war exhibited, what many deemed, cowardice, though, with the buffer of time, their actions may have been considered near-heroic, for they chose to leave family and loved ones for an unknown quantity.

It is neither up to me, you, nor the pages of history to judge the actions of that generation. However, it can never be disputed that, as a generation, in one form or another, we took an active role in the events which would follow us, and generations to follow, well into our so-called golden years. I am quite proud of the tiny sliver of participation which I contributed, although, at the time, I, and many many of my generational contemporaries, had no idea of the long term and how our efforts would be viewed. Let it be said, however, that we, like our fathers’ generation, DID NOT simply complain; we jumped into the deep end of the pool and swam like hell…for good, for bad, for right or for wrong; I believe we all can be proud of coming from an era which contributed so much, both in science and,ultimately, in the way we interelate today.

Case/Ashley, thanks for your comments. My purpose, believe it or not, was not to “put anyone in one’s place”…although my communication style, both verbally and in writing, tends to be rather “pointy” and (purposely) devoid of the delicasies of political correctness (perhaps this is why I never had any inclination toward politics!).

However, I cannot stress my “disappointment” at a generation which, unfettered by the unpleasant byproducts of reality, have failed, repeatedly, to “take a stand” in their beliefs. Teachers, as a whole, allow themselves to be “operational fodder” for the powers that be…etc, etc, etc.

Baby Boomers will remember the line from that popular song…WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?