Fri
May 26 2006
07:50 am

The Knoxville News Sentinel has an interesting article about the "millennium generation" in the workplace, their work ethic, and what management styles they respond to. I liked this graphic, which seems useful as a marketing psychographics snapshot as well as a guide to workplace behavior.

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metulj's picture

Line 4

I have always enjoyed these things if only for their generalizations that seem oh-so-true, but when you scratch at them a bit, they smell not-so-good (sort of like Libertarianism).

Take line 4 for example: Baby Boomers are "idealistic." Oh yeah: Peace and Love. This is the "Everyone who grew up in the 1960s is a hippie at heart" myth. Here's a thought: Are the baby boomers so idealistic? Or is that just what we want to believe to blunt the history of that generation? I think you can divide baby boomers into roughly three categories: the people who bought into "Peace and Love," the people who bought into Nixon/Goldwater/Reagan, and the vast majority who worked, went to school, went to war, and gave birth to Generation X. The first two are such a small part of who actually grew up in the '60s, but seem to have had the most power that it is easy to see why some Baby Boomers resent BOTH groups as the world they managed to craft isn't so damn nice, either from a "hippie" point of view or the more conservative view.

Generation X is troubling as well. I know very few members of my generation who are 'cynical.' Pragmatic, sure. I don't mind being called a pragmatist at all, but pragmatism and cynicism always seemed to be coupled together when we talk this generational stuff and it cyncism gets laid at the feet of my age cohort undeservedly. Sure, there are some very cynical people born around my time, don't get me wrong. I would chalk up aberrant cynicism not to generational impluses, but to that behavior being a general American trait. If anything, Generation X was, to some degree, the generation that can be accused of being most naively idealistic and in some cases successful at it (South African Divestment Movement, AIDS activism come to mind). If my generation can be accused of anything, I think it is not paying attention the actions of the previous generation, especially with regard to social entitlements, and not taking up this as a cause. I think the training we got from our parents on how to ignore a problem was really, really good and they also gave us a bunch of ready-made tools, called neoconservatism, to justify it all that ignorant behavior.

I am currently interacting all the time with members of Generation Y here at Rutgers. They are smart, sharp and full of energy to the point of buzzing. I seem to remember my college days being much more slow paced. They are also prone to dismissing any sort of knowledge imparted to them as being ideological from the start. This might be the product of having easy, ready-to-hand knowledge technologies that allow them to check behind each and everything thing that anybody says quickly (if not accurately). They are also poorly read and consider reading things like the classics to be a momumnetal waste of time. It is not Generation Y. It is Generation QED. I think this technological desire of the post 1977 generation has a lot to do with the eclecticism and naive realism that they participate in. One of the really noticeable traits of a lot of these kids is "flavor of the moment" musical tastes. It isn't so much diversity as it is divergence for the sake of divergence.

Anyhow, I've run out of steam. I htink I will just be exaspperated for a couple of hours.... 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Number9's picture

I don't mind being called a

I don't mind being called a pragmatist at all

Has anyone ever called you a pragmatist? How can someone be a pragmatist when their ideology is the foundation of every comment they make?

Isn't Generation X the "me" generation? As the nation and most States increase their debt at staggering rates what does Gen X do? Do they vote? Or do they shop? What is the pragmatic answer?

Hasn't Gen X ignored not only the present but the future?

Not sure if Gen Y will agree with your assessment that they are Gen QED. Give Gen Y a chance. They may surprise you. Let's see if they vote in their thirties.

metulj's picture

The digit calling another

The digit calling another person an ideologue is too funny.

The 'me' generation was in the '70s. Another made up demographic.

Anyhow, keep trying. You won't debate in public, therefore anything you say is suspect, on spec. QED. 

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Number9's picture

Anyhow, keep trying. You

Anyhow, keep trying. You won't debate in public, therefore anything you say is suspect, on spec. QED.

So if I do not debate you in public then anything I write is suspect?

But this applies only to me? I was not aware of your status as Grand Inquisitor. I did not get the memo.

What is a narcissist? You seem to be highly qualified to speak on this issue.

metulj's picture

Calling me a narcissist,

Calling me a narcissist, again, is hiliarious coming from you. I am often wrong and admit it when it is demostrated to me. By definition, I cannot be a narcissist.

Read up:

(link...)

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Number9's picture

http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/dsm-iv.html#npd

1. An exaggerated sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Translation: Grandiosity is the hallmark of narcissism.

3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren't special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.

4. Requires excessive admiration

Translation: Excessive in two ways: they want praise, compliments, deference, and expressions of envy all the time, and they want to be told that everything they do is better than what others can do. Sincerity is not an issue here; all that matter are frequency and volume.

5. Has a sense of entitlement

Translation: They expect automatic compliance with their wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that they should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they're doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated.

7. Lacks empathy

Translation: They are unwilling to recognize or sympathize with other people's feelings and needs. They "tune out" when other people want to talk about their own problems.
In clinical terms, empathy is the ability to recognize and interpret other people's emotions. Lack of empathy may take two different directions: (a) accurate interpretation of others' emotions with no concern for others' distress, which is characteristic of psychopaths; and (b) the inability to recognize and accurately interpret other people's emotions, which is the NPD style.

Is your excessive use of QED a warning sign? Who made you the Judge?

Is your constant question of, "What are your qualifications?" another sign? 3000 plus post on the Blab and you are the number three commenter here on Knoxviews, yet you live in Brooklyn.

You may feel you are the Grand Inquisitor. Others may not agree.

metulj's picture

Too funny

I am not grandiose. Bellicose, sure, but not grandiose. My wife would never let me have a cape, dammit.

Look, people who call in to AM talk radio and bark about issues they know shit little about then hang up and feel like they just told off the whole world arrayed against them, should remember the bromide about glass houses, living in them and throwing stones. 

But you don't know ANYBODY LIKE THAT DO YOU?

Anyhow, back to work for me, saving the world a full time job for a hung-like-bull-moose, certified supergenius/superhero like me. 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Number9's picture

Look, people who call in to

Look, people who call in to AM talk radio and bark about issues they know shit little about then hang up and feel like they just told off the whole world arrayed against them, should remember the bromide about glass houses, living in them and throwing stones.

But you don't know ANYBODY LIKE THAT DO YOU?

You were so convinced with your previous guess as to my identity. You bragged about it for six months. Now you are so convinced with your new guess. You can't even narrow it down to the right zip code.

Actually I don't even think you listen to AM 1180. One of the other pack members must have convinced you that you were wrong. So am I still a libertarian government hater or were you wrong about that too?

Once again you reveal yourself. When you write, "and bark about issues they know shit little about" you are showing NPD behavior. Once again the Grand Inquisitor is the only one who knows the "real" truth. This is the underlying theme in everything you write. You are right and everyone else is wrong. Is that possible? For everyone else to be wrong all the time?

See:

3. Believes he is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Translation: Narcissists think that everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren't special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless.

In your skewed world it is not possible that other people could have views similar to mine. I must be these people. Is it really surprising that what I write is similar to callers and hosts on AM 1180? Will Bill Johns be the next Number9?

When I wrote about L. Ron Kunstler in a Knoxviews comment I knew the semantic pack would bite. And you did. It is too easy to send the pack running and barking aimlessly. When I heard L. Ron Kunstler on AM 1180 I knew I could have some fun running the pack. It wasn't even Mitchell that said that. How long before JB gets the Number9 mark on his forehead? Share with the class how you made this latest determination as to who I am. Are you using forensic writing analysis? A word database comparison? How do you compare what is written on a blog and what is said on the radio? You guess.

It is a shame you and your semantic friends are so committed to preventing any real discussion on either the Blab or Knoxviews. That is exactly why k2k is dead. Of course you arrogantly blamed k2k's demise on me in typical NPD fashion. Anyone with any divergent thoughts at k2k were pounced on and ridiculed into submission. k2k has over 1000 members and no one other than Joe Hultquist will post anything and all he posts is a newsletter from Otis White. I will note you had nothing to do with the demise of k2k but the point is still the same.

I would think you would welcome some competition from a person with a different viewpoint regardless of their supposedly inadequate skills. If you are so confident of your skills, intellect, and knowledge what is the problem?

It is not possible for everyone that disagrees with you to be troll. It is beyond conceit and elitism. So it must be something else.

Rachel's picture

Who the hell is L. Ron

Who the hell is L. Ron Kunstler?  And what does he have to do with 1180?

 I'm obviously (and obliviously) behind.  Probably just as well.

Andy Axel's picture

Fristian Diagnosis

Wow, watching little Sigmund Fraud in action here is sorta like seeing our dumbass incumbent senator diagnose a neurological condition via videotape.

____________________________

Wasabi peas are people! They're people!

metulj's picture

Rikki disagrees with me on a

Rikki disagrees with me on a lot of things. He is not a troll. I disagree with gemini's positions. She is not a troll. R. Neal is dead wrong to think that certain TN politicians might ever 'see the light' (I am thinking about HFJ). He is not a troll.

And then there is this: 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

I really wonder what set you off. I think it was probably some interaction with the government, where by all accounts you were in the wrong, and you lost that fight. As a matter of fact, I know that's what happened. 

Salmon's picture

Direct question for angry

Direct question for angry Mr. Mitchell. You are real upset with how many people vote. You want to take back the government. You don't even recognize that Metulj is cleaning your clock or maybe you do and are too gutless to appear in public. Did you even bother to register to vote in Knox County before a year ago?

Doctor Phil's picture

Great Diagnosis The digit is a narcissist

The digit is a narcissist for sure. Right on. It is all about him. He does not even bother to vote or pay any attention to politics. Then he sees himself as a victim and has something to say about everything all over the Internet and talk radio and thinks he is the great representative of the people and everyone has bad motives but him. Now he thinks the hippies are out to get him. It can't qhite pull it off though because he lacks the fortitude to come out and face Metuji man to man. Pitiful.

bizgrrl's picture

Good follow-up. I suppose I

Good follow-up. I suppose I could agree with you to some extent. However, I tend to agree with the graph as well.

A lot of generalities, but to be so brief, the descriptions sound pretty good.

There are many of the "Greatest Generation" that really aren't so great. Baby Boomers, conform to the rules? I guess to get that killer job. Generation X accepts diversity and is self-reliant? Guess it depends on where they live and who their daddy is. Generation Y, individualistic and multitask fast? Sort of like baby boomer hippies except their butts that show below their pants are fat. Multitask fast, doing what though?

Whether or not they are exact keywords, I bet it does work for marketers. Maybe it is just what each generation wants to think of itself.

mw's picture

Demographers vs. Marketers

So why does Gen X rate such a small, compact cohort (only 10 years long and half the size of the two around it)? As someone who gets lumped in with the Baby Boomers, even though I was born WAY too late to be part of the peace and love generation, I have always thought this stuff was a bunch of hooey. I remember how the demographers keep pushing forward the date for when the Baby Boom generation ended from 1959 to 1961 to 1964.

Speaking as a supposed baby boomer, but one who studied computer science starting in high school, was on the Internet before there was an Internet, and learned all my politics after Vietnam and Nixon blew up the last remaining pretensions of idealism in American politics, I don't recognize myself in any of the psychographics of my suppposed generation.

Marketers would do better to narrow their focus or broaden it significantly. Appeal to me as a woman in my forties, or as an iPod owner, or as a social liberal. Or appeal to everyone by revisiting that old-fashioned concept of mass appeal.

And as for workplace behavior. Honestly. "Employers say this generation would rather be mentored than managed and many are looking for flexible work schedules." Who exactly doesn't fit that description?

talidapali's picture

Oh happy me...

 I'm supposed to be a Baby Boomer due to my birthdate, I have some of the personality of a Gen X'er, but I think more and more like a Gen Y'er...(I've never met a piece of new technology I didn't like)

Though I must say..."Nurtured" ain't the word I would use for most Gen Y'ers..."Spoiled" is more like it.

Tongue out

"You can't fix stupid..." Ron White

redmondkr's picture

I thought of this post today

I thought of this post today as I read Garrison Keillor's daily Writer's Almanac.  Today is the birthday of Walker Percy.

Dr. Percy wrote, "[We] live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing."

He wrote this in the 60's.  We have made great strides since then.

nill illigitimi carborundum

Kevin Hayden's picture

Over-generalization?

I'd add: Boomers use technology for work, Gen X for play and Gen Y for socializing.

But I'd also add the pre-boomers, as boomers also were the first TV generation and Nuclear generation, both providing compelling reasons to learn beyond one's local community. That was a huge change from the pre-boomer era.

spinetingler's picture

I prefer these guy's take on

I prefer these guy's take on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generations_(book)

 A little more research-based, and the generations are more evenly divided (to address a point another poster made).

 Good book - I read it in 91 (despite Wiki's giving a date of 92) because I can distinctly recall sitting at my desk reading it at the school at which I taught (for one year only). Then, I named my band from a line in it.

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