Bridge to Nowhere: Why Millennials Are On Our Own
I posted the original post yesterday, which caused quite the stir. Going into writing the post, I knew there would be various reactions. After discussing the writing with friends I decided there needs to be more context before you begin reading.
I don't dislike Boomers, but I have some issues regarding how my generation has been treated. I've felt physical and mental pain in my interactions with many older people. This is why I've chosen to use the word “most” in my article. It's my personally held belief that most Boomers are not my kind of people—and I'm sure the feeling is mutual. I’m not going to apologize for my opinion, and I expect the same from you.
Here's what I think we can agree on for the most part: Millennials are incredibly lazy; Boomers can't control their emotions; Millennials have the attention span of a gold fish; Boomers are 90% someone named Karen; Millennials don't understand traditional values; Boomers messed around in world politics too much, and Millennials are stupid.
There are good and bad people throughout the generations. My aim with the below post is to express to the older generations our feelings and emotions regarding how I feel my generation has been treated. I don't claim to speak for all Millennials and these observations and opinions are mine alone.
I never intend to intentionally make someone uncomfortable and I am not intending to in this piece. My attempt is to paint a picture of the older generations through the eyes of mine. I sometimes think some older people have never heard our grievances laid out—so I've decided to break the ice and get my opinions out.
Some people are going to hate this and some will love it. Some might agree with the premise but not my delivery. Some might politely disagree and others might have some choice words. Just know that I stand by every single word of the article. The language is explicit but chosen carefully. I hope you read with the spirit in which this was written.
This topic will be touchy for some people but know that I am writing with the best intentions.
In the military, there‘s a saying—BLUF or bottom line up front. It's a way to not beat around the bush. Say the most important thing first and then give details. So here's the BLUF: I'm convinced the Millennials are entirely alone in figuring out how we will continue to live with a modicum of normality. I have little faith the Boomers—will impart critical knowledge to the younger generations. It's like we’re sitting alone on an inflatable raft with a geriatric who just slashed the side and jumped in the water with the only life vest.
I'm not talking about every Boomer, but if you already have your panties in a twist, I probably am talking about you. Keep reading because we are about to test the efficacy of those blood pressure meds.
We have a generational issue in America, and we aren't talking about it. I’m not sure where it came from, but it’s pervasive and destructive. How can we learn what you know if you won't even invite us to talk?
Young ≠ Stupid
My first gripe with Boomers is their arrogance, particularly regarding their egos. I've been to many places around the world and have done many different jobs. From the perspective of a 31-year-old guy—I have had contentious relationships with Boomer colleagues in every single work environment.
I believe the main reason for their attitudes toward me is that I'm an innovator. I can go into an office or other workspace, and within a couple of hours to a week, I can identify and fix most of the problems regarding efficiency and production. The complaint I get from Boomers is that I don’t “understand the foundation” of whatever method they are using. That’s horseshit. I don’t have to be a mechanic to tell you the car driving around with three tires isn’t performing its best. What many Boomers fail to realize is just because I’m younger than them does not make me stupid. I was a GS-13 in the government and had an MBA before turning 30. I didn’t achieve those goals with charisma alone. I’m intelligent, good at what I do, and know my worth.
Instead of getting to know me and maybe finding out some of my ideas, they feel threatened and insecure. As a result, I’ve been wrongfully investigated, lied about by grown-ass adults, sexually harassed, threatened, and bashed, all because I have the audacity to show them the inadequacy of their labor.
The entitlement coming from Boomers is extraordinary. Coming from the generation who grew up in the most prosperous period in human history, y’all sure do complain a lot. Quite literally, for the entirety of Boomers' lives, they have been able to get practically whatever they wanted when they wanted it. Instead of capitalizing on that abundance to create a better way of living with limited resources in mind—the Boomers wanted everything to be newer, better, and bigger.
The Boomers took the hard work of the Greatest Generation and rode those coattails until the fabric frayed. They have to have houses they can’t afford because they are entitled to a picket fence. They need to go on exotic vacations because they work hard and deserve it.
Boomers rail on Millennials for complaining about the college average tuition being $35,000 a year when they went to school for approximately $2500 (1976) or less, and that included room and board. No wonder y‘all could work minimum wage jobs and still go to school full time without taking out monster loans.
Let us be honest for a moment. The entitlement and greed of the Boomers fucked the future of the Millennials. You borrowed precious resources from our future to keep you fat and happy with absolutely no intention to return anything. Of course, I’m glad to hear any arguments to the contrary.
Why is it so difficult for most Boomers to admit when they are wrong? I really don’t get it, folks. A typical Boomer will argue that the sky is purple until they are blue in the face—even when clearly defined evidence is provided to them. That evidence is wrong because they are always right.
As the younger generation inhabiting this earth with you, how are we supposed to understand what failure is if you aren’t willing to talk to us about yours? Admit to us how many times you fucked up, and then tell us what you did to overcome your adversity and succeed. When we get upset about our precarious circumstances, the older generations call us pussies and snowflakes. They tell us how rough it was for them to walk 50 miles to school uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes. Your challenges as adolescents do not somehow trump ours just by virtue of you being older. You had your troubles, and we have ours. Neither should be diminished.
Averse to change
Help me out here because I’m genuinely curious—what about change do Boomers fear so much? For example, if you so much as suggest a new restaurant to go to for lunch, they shut down or, in some cases, lash out. Here is a small anecdote to give you an example of what I’m referring to:
Every quarter myself and other executives at the company I worked at met to go over the numbers and the business moving forward. Every time we had this meeting, we ordered food from a local restaurant because it was usually a long evening. Every meeting, the food comes from the same Italian restaurant. For the upcoming meeting, I suggested changing it up a bit and trying a new Chinese place that just opened. Everyone was on board except one. This one, who will only be referred to in this article as Crotchety Old Bridge Troll, was the person who usually arranged the meetings and chose the place where the food was ordered. They declined to place an order and instead ordered themselves their usual meal from the Italian restaurant and ate it in their office.
Allow me to tell you what that looks like to someone in my generation. You look like a stubborn and petulant child. In the words of the incomparable Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, “When you talk like that, I’m tempted to ring for Nanny and have you put to bed with no supper.”
There are exceptions to every rule, and there are some exceptional people of the Boomer generation. I’ve met some incredible people who do not embody any of the common characteristics of the genus Boomer. I know those people would drop everything they were doing if I said I needed help. We might not talk all the time, but I know they would be there if ever I needed them. Those friends understood the destruction their fellow generation was inflicting on the world and rose up in an effort to break the cycle. But unfortunately, those friends are in the minority.
To all others, especially those who got pissy reading this article: We get it—you worked so very hard for your lavish lifestyle, and we should prostrate ourselves at your feet in homage to whatever it is you think you sacrificed. At the end of the day, we are your children and grandchildren, and you have signed our death certificates.
Note: If you’re an angry Boomer fixin’ to give me the what-for in the comments or through email—save the precious time you have left because I’m not going to be bullied into a fight over the internet with someone who has the emotional intelligence of a two-year-old. Die mad about it.
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