I am not a Baby Boomer. Please do not treat me like one.
I could stop there and have summed up a whole lot of my take on generational dynamics. However, I think it may be a bit lacking in substance.
So yeah, I am Generation X — I was born between 1964 and 1981, as it seems to be classically defined. We got one of the first Atari 2600’s when I was nine. When I was 13, General Motors laid off most of the City of Flint…and since I grew up in Michigan, that single act pretty much depth-charged my attempts to find an after-school job. Why would McD’s call me, when unemployed 30-somethings with a kid to feed would pledge their loyalty to the Golden Arches?
That attitude has plagued my entire work career — why would anyone hire ME when every other applicant has 15 years more maturity and work experience, as well as more college and/or more willingness to pledge their entire soul over to Widgets, Inc? (or whatever employer it was) I have fought an uphill battle to stay employed in the face of overwhelming numbers of more-experienced, more-trained, more-established Baby Boomers who also posess, coincidentally, a monumental selfishness as part of their Code of Ethics.
Picture the “Me Generation” as a meat grinder, and “Generation X” as a juicy strip of tenderloin. Possessed of an “I win, you lose” mindset, there has been no way that my Baby Boomer supervisors and managers were ever going to let some (as is popularly perceived) apathetic slacker bum get ahead while they were on watch.
And now they’re starting to retire. In the next few years, all of those managers are going to be leaving open jobs, then it should be MY time yet…I have a sneaking suspicion that some few will cling to employment just long enough to eliminate those open positions and crow about cost-savings before they, too retire off to a condo funded with MY Social Security contributions.
The ironic thing? After the “Me Generation” turned down ballot proposal after ballot proposal to fund the schools I was enrolled in…they now want ME to approve ballot proposals for Senior Citizen Services. I finally have the chance to choke them off and make them quit sucking me dry…and my generation has completely given up the desire to vote. Our legendary apathy is going to make our taxes go up to feed the very Boomers who have kept us poor our entire lives. We have a chance here, and I’m going to watch my generation squander it.
Yay, Generation X. Here’s a slogan: “Generation X: Sacrificing ourselves for the MIllenium Generation — Even though they won’t say ‘thanks!'”