Updated: September 25, 2012 10:49AM
Is she going to the office or to “da club?” It’s hard to tell. She strolls in at 9:05 wearing flip-flops and something that resembles a bridesmaid’s dress, and you spend most of the day wondering if she’s going to put on heels and a jacket. But don’t hold your breath. To her, skinny jeans are the same as dress pants and flip-flops akin to classic pumps. Just be glad she left her hipster-inspired jumpsuit at home today.
She’s a millennial.
He spends his whole day practicing 100 different ways to roll his eyes at you. His “I don’t need this” attitude accompanies every task. And while he practices tacit compliance, you’re well aware based on his facial expressions how he really feels about making copies, running errands or picking up the lunchtime catering.
He’s a millennial.
Millennial. The word comes fully loaded. It means whiny, lazy, entitled, self-obsessed and even argumentative. Millennial has become the four-letter word of a generation, the word you never want to be called. And like women who cover their gray with dye, their wrinkles with cream and their thighs with Spanx, some millennials spend exorbitant amounts of time and resources trying to cover up the fact that they were born after the “Star Wars” trilogy hit theaters. Why? Because the boomers aren’t the only generation with millennial disdain. It’s like Millennials Anonymous. Hello. My name is Marcy, and I am a millennial — who hates millennials.
I’ve sat quietly through countless conversations dragging my generation through the mud. I’ve nodded my head and agreed as we’ve been characterized as everything from unprofessionally dressed to raging alcoholics. Horrendous examples of the worst of Generation Y are alive and well and living in the cubicle next to you. And to those who fit these stereotypes, here is my message: Grow up. Get over yourself. No matter what your parents told you, you’re not a special snowflake. Stop complaining and arguing with your boss. Just because your mom lets you get away with a bad attitude when you call her for money doesn’t mean your co-workers should. And by the way, take down your drunk Facebook photos. Finally, to quote a movie from our generation, “You are not the exception. You are the rule.”
And to those who buy into these stereotypes as textbook definitions of all millennials, I also have a message. We’re not all lazy and entitled. Well, alright, a little bit entitled. This millennial had her first job at 14 and worked through college. This millennial likes long hours and is happy to empty the office dishwasher. This millennial wants to learn from the women who kicked down the doors so I can stand where I stand. This millennial wants to lead, both in my community and my industry. We are not all lazy sheep who follow without responsibility. Many of us are dedicated, conscientious professionals who, even though we were told we could be anything we want to be, realize we still have to work for it. Believe it or not, millennials like me are not the exception. We’re the rule.
And by the way, can I have that promotion now?
Marcy Twete donated her fee for writing this column to the Step Up Women’s Network.