Thursday, August 03, 2006

An X dealing with Ys

I'm a member of Generation X, the real Generation X (1958-1966), the one Douglas Coupland was writing about in his popular book, Generation X. Although the term was used to define anyone twentysomething, it was tagged onto those of us born at the end of the Baby Boom (1947-1957) who are well educated or well experienced in the work force but who have been unable to move up the corporate ladder, those of us who may have more than one degree but not the jobs to go with our education. Also refer to Boom, Bust & Echo, another book that defines us Generation Xers, or as an Generation Y, go google it! I did:

Coupland first wrote of Generation X in September, 1987 (Vancouver magazine, "Generation X", pp. 164-169, 194: see illustrations below), which was a precursor to the novel and slightly preceded the term "twentysomething". The main character Kevin, 25, is a Canadian "trailing edge" baby boomer who denies cohort affiliation with his older sister, 34, and friends, all boomers. Kevin and his cohorts are all over-educated, under-employed, and pay skyrocketing living expenses, which forces some to move back home to live with their parents (that is, boomerang). Unlike boomers, they were too young to march for peace (Vietnam protests ended with the draft in 1973 with protestors typically aged 16-25) and either were not born or were too young to recall Kennedy's assassination in 1963 (long term memory starting at age 5). Coupland referred to those born from 1958 to 1966 in Canada, or 1958 to 1964 in the United States. As the term Generation X later became somewhat interchangeable with "twentysomething", he later revised his notion of Generation X to include anyone considered as "twentysomething" in the years 1987 to 1991.

And I googled Generation X (1979-2002) too because my office is starting to hire more and more of this group. I'm trying to understand them, I'm having to supervise them and it is annoying at times! This is the generation who had their lives scheduled for them to the max. Some of them lack respect but want respect themselves. These are the kids who expect the corner office on Day1 of the job. These are the kids who will change jobs several times because of boredom. These are the kids who have never had life without email or technology. This is the generation of instant service. Some of them fire off emails to deal with problems cced to management because they don't like the direction a face to face conversation is taking. This is the generation that lacks social skills because they've had conversations mostly in chat rooms or via email.

Sigh...good thing management is made up of Baby Boomers who think Gen X is bad enough and dealing with Gen Y is worst.

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