Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

I Don’t Want to Be a Traitor to My Generation or Anything, But…

It’s always a little disheartening when two hours into a sixteen hour work day, you overhear someone (no one you know, but still, some lady) saying that your generation has no work ethic. It’s always a little hard not to get up and tell this lady that I probably work harder than she does, and for about a quarter of the money, but whatever, bygones.

A few weeks ago, I saw a book that’s coming out soon that was all about how managers can speak to their twenty-something employees and get them motivated. What really stuck out was the cover, which featured a man’s arm clothed in a business suit shaking hands with a full-sleeve tattooed arm. It’s not as though this is a new concept. I mean, managers in the sixties and seventies had to deal with their twenty-something employees that looked entirely different than the work force had ever looked before. And now, it seems to be the same.

Now, this complaint that young people aren’t motivated to work isn’t a new one…it seems like every generation is at first painted out to be lazy and unwilling to work. I can’t speak for what came before me, but I must say, that from my perspective the problem isn’t with my generation. We’re willing and eager to work and work hard. The problem is motivation. In every job I have had since college, including being a Production Assistant on movie sets, I am met with shock and awe at how fast things get done. For the most part, I’ve worked for people around my age who are better, more devoted workers than I am and yet still, we’re all shocked at how much we accomplish each day.

We accomplish because we are motivated, because we can see or are told the effect we have when we work hard. On the other hand, I’ve also had employers that give me one task and have nothing else when I finish that task. I think this is where the notion that we have no work ethic comes in. Now, it’s easy to look like you’re working. I get a task, I finish it, I ask for another one. If there’s not another one then yeah, I’m going to go online because it’s better than just sitting at my desk looking bored. I’m not lucky enough to have the boredom problem anymore, but when I did, it was more excruciating than having way too much to do. And it wears at your motivation.

If you know that your work is going to take three hours, and you have to be at work for eight hours, why would you feel pressed to get it done quickly? Why work hard when there’s nothing waiting for you on the other side?

Peace, Love, and Rash Generalizations,


March 31, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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