Captain’s Log 5,162
I am so glad I am almost to retirement age. I can honestly say I am glad I am not just starting out now. I am glad I have all of that behind me, because I think the ones coming up now are in for struggles I cannot even fathom.
Things are different for young people now. They want everything because they think they deserve it, and that mindset will not serve them well. Young people know if they try something and fail, mommy and daddy will be there to pick up the pieces. That was never my moral code. Once I left home, I left home. That was it. I could go back to visit, but I could not stay. My failures were my own responsibility, and I had many of those.
So I sculpted my life to reflect that value system. I worked hard. I lived in less than perfect conditions (sharing home space, stretching a Subway sandwich into two meals, driving shitty cars, etc.)
So what struggles to these millenials have? They will always struggle to be responsible for themselves. They will struggle to understand a work ethic that doesn’t allow you to burn up your vacation time the minute you accrue it in your paycheck. They will struggle to come to work when they are not feeling quite right. They will struggle to understand the importance of taking “ownership” for their mistakes.
Things that my generation took for granted are beyond the realm of these young people. It is not uncommon for them to jump jobs every year or so. Because they know they have a safety net. They can always go back home and let mommy and daddy pay the bills.
I think I was more successful in my 20’s because I had to figure it out. I had my own business at the age of 25. It was not tremendously successful at that time, but it was a federally sanctioned non-profit, and I put in my last $18 to file the paperwork. Why? Because I believed in the work. Until I actually started earning enough money to live, I took every job imaginable. I sorted checks for one of my sister’s bookkeeping clients (a day labor company with about 7,000 checks a month). I worked as a clown, an Easter bunny, and Mr. Peanut. I demonstrated cameras. I worked in a bindery. I was signed up with every temp agency in town and spent at least one day a week as an office assistant. The best job was catering because I could bring home leftovers.
I was willing to go through years of discomfort to make my dream happen. I relied on nobody for anything. I had no husband, no parents with deep pockets, no rich relative leaving me a ton of cash. Even so, those were some of the best days of my life. We learned to make our own fun. We were whip smart, kind-hearted, politically active, and willing to take a stand for what we believed in.
I am proud to be one of the boomers. We came out of the “American dream” and built the American future. We knew the value of a dollar. We had patience.
I feel sorry for these rather fucked up entitled little snots that stand before me now. They think they are so smart and capable, but all they know is technology. They can text and program computers, but do they have a sense of where we belong in the space-time continuum? I think not.