A plea to Generation Vexed: Overcome the desperation of non-deprivation

posted at 1:25 pm on August 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The Los Angeles Times has coined a new term for the generation presently aged 18 to 29: “Generation Vexed.” The term captures all the economic anxiety, the future-related frustrations, the delicate disgust with disappointed expectations of those who grew up accustomed to comfort, but came of age in the midst of a financial crisis. The label soberly cloaks what was formerly the “Self-Esteem Generation,” that group of supremely self-satisfied youngsters who were taught to regard themselves highly, regardless of whether they had done anything to deserve high regard; who classified themselves always and irrelevantly as “winners”; who assumed any completed assignment at all was worthy of an “A.”

A connection? I think so.

Sure, we didn’t ask to be pumped full of pride as clueless kids. And no, we didn’t ask to enter the workforce when unemployment was upwards of 8 percent. Certainly, we never begged to inherit $14 trillion in national debt. But we fell into the trap of using all of these ready circumstances outside of our control as excuses for our own inexpert and imperfect maturation. We thought our mere existence assured us a life of luxury — and, when life taught us otherwise, we did what bratty adolescents always do. We blamed our parents.

And because our parents were of that utterly irresponsible generation, the Baby Boomers, because they actually did buy into psychobabble when they parented us as babies, because they did concoct financial instrument on top of financial instrument, because they did run up the national debt, the narrative made sense. They were to blame for the nation’s problems and we, the innocent, stood to suffer for their selfishness.

Somehow, we’ve even managed to garner a reputation as an unprecedentedly responsible generation, as the generation to revive faith in something greater than ourselves, as the generation to introduce a libertarian-leaning fiscal conservatism to the federal government, as the generation to sidestep self-destructive behaviors out of an-almost boredom because we’ve grown up on gadgets and so find alcohol, drugs and promiscuity to be a little, well, passé.

And perhaps all of that is true of us: I certainly hope so, and I think it’s possible we will achieve positive results as we come to power and influence. But I’ve also heard it repeatedly said — or feared — that we will be the first generation to be forced to accept a standard of living lower than that of our parents. And I want to explore why.

Is it because we’re the first generation to face a challenge not of our own making? Hardly. Every generation has inherited the good, the bad and the unasked-for from the previous generation. Think of the children of the American Revolution: Opportunity abounded, but so did danger and scarcity. The children of the Civil War: Fathers were absent for the years of the war and often never came home, leaving kids without male role models. More recent generations inherited the Great Depression and two World Wars that, while a boon for the economy, were nevertheless no ideal inheritance. So, it’s not that.

Is it because we view “standard of living” from the prism of a perfectionistic materialism? That seems a little more likely. Somewhere along the line, the American Dream — which once encompassed the deeply rooted desire to live free from intrusive government intervention, to govern ourselves, to express religious beliefs without fear of government reprisal — was reduced to just the material — the car, the house, the kids (with or without the spouse, as though marriage is simply for personal fulfillment, as though children are the equivalent of pets!). And as long as the American Dream was just material, the means by which it was achieved no longer mattered. Hence the experiment in redistribution of wealth undertaken by FDR and his philosophical successor, LBJ.

And if that’s all we, Generation Vexed, are going for — an ever-more material American Dream — then, yeah, we’ll have a lower standard of living than our parents because we’re on the losing end of the New Deal and the Great Society. That is, we’re entering the picture just as the worker-to-retiree ratio has begun to be unsustainable, just as entitlement programs are about to go bust, just as the art of war has changed in such a way as to no longer galvanize the country and the economy in the way it once did.

But those of us who were born or grew up in America are still the least-deprived generation to ever live. If anything, that’s what’s tripping us up. We think we’re down and out because a cushy career at a non-profit didn’t court us (I’m not making this up — that’s the example the Los Angeles Times gave as representative of Generation Vexed).

Yes, we’ll have to make difficult choices. We might have to forgo expensive educations in favor of affordable state schools, might have to work a little harder or a little longer than we expected, might have to settle for a smaller first house. But I don’t buy it that we have to put off marriage or our entrepreneurial dreams. Who says money is the biggest predictor of marital success? (For the record, according to research from the Gottman Relationship Institute, it’s not.) And the economy is always receptive to added value.

In other words, we don’t have to accept a lower standard of living: We just need to redefine in our minds what it means to live well, have courage, take risks — and see in our “deprivation” an opportunity to create. We need to remember a life is more than the material, revive pleasure in learning, pleasure in striving, pleasure in celebrating successes with family and friends.

Maybe it’s cliché to say it, but whether we outstrip our parents in freedom, happiness and prosperity is all in our attitude.

(H/t to Mark Steyn for the headline and to The New American for the article that made me think about this in the first place.)


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It’s parenting, it’s all parenting. I’m 27 and looking back at how I was raise I have to admit my parents were geniuses. Drove me nuts at the time though.

Example: When I was a kid, I once stole a candy bar from hardware store (I’m still horribly ashamed by it). The owner caught me, called my parents and it was downhill from there. After being thoroughly shamed by both the owner and my father, dad had me go in the backyard, dig a 4x4x4 hole in the yard, with squared edges, with a spade shovel. After I did that he said “fill it in, level” I nearly cried. I never even thought about taking something that wasn’t mine again. I hated him at the time, but I couldn’t appreciate the lesson that was being taught until I was older.

Mom and Dad were quick to praise and quick to punish, and it worked. I grew up in a heavy drug use town and made it out without so much as a parking ticket. I was at a wedding last week and saw some people from high school. Two were stoned at the wedding. All I could think was “there but for the grace of God go I.” I will raise my kids the same way I was. It’s all about good parenting.

Meric1837 on August 30, 2011 at 3:16 PM

To IlliniDiva:

Part of my business is assisting my clients with staffing their open financial positions. If you aren’t finding opportunities, you aren’t looking in the right place or working with the right people. We have more positions open than we can fill for people with your stated skill set.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, there is not a shortage of jobs; there is a significant mismatch in skills needed and skills available.

Badger91 on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Fair enough… Still I don’t like being cast into a group that does the exact opposite of what I do, especially when it attacks my character.

angelwing34215 on August 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

But you are in that group. You’re surrounded by them and amongst them.

You can’t expect us not to point out that they are idiots just because you aren’t an idiot, too.

You know most of them are going to vote for Omoleface again next year, and think social cons are the biggest threat to the planet after global warming, right?

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Tina, help me out here.

Why do the young women in the cohort you describe dress like skanks, sluts and ho’s?

I admit pure bafflement.

Do I just not get the joke? Do they think these clothes are truly sexy and alluring?

Trust me, I was all in favor of the braless hippie chicks back in the day, but the gals today make the raunchiest hookers of that era look like prudes by comparison.

See, I won’t hire someone dumb enough to put up a FACEBOOK in all their pierced, tatted out and lingeried glory.

You represent my business in your off hours whether you want to not, so I’m just not taking the chance.

Bruno Strozek on August 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I’ll take one final shot at this.

Go talk to a recruiter that specializes in placing individuals into professional jobs. It won’t cost you a thing to interview a recruiter and most times they are paid by the company offering a job.

I am not nor have I ever been a recruiter but I have found that if you are frank with them, they will be frank with you. Most are very professional and get a great deal of enjoyment at finding the right positions for people.

Vince on August 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

If you’re a part of the Generation of Idiots, but don’t share their values, then just take comfort in the fact that you aren’t an idiot, too.

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

I feel like a soft skinned fool after reading what you have to say.

angelwing34215 on August 30, 2011 at 3:24 PM

.

astonerii on August 30, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Ok! Then what you are trying to say is that there are no jobs out there that fit your criteria. The job you want is not available. That’s not the past generation’s fault as you stated earlier. You just haven’t found the specific job you want.

Pssst. You may have to take a different position and work at getting what you’re really looking for. Get your resume posted and tell the recruiter exactly what you want. Then he/she will hopefully be good enough to give you enough facts to help you make a decision on what you need to do to get there.

Vince on August 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

It would be a lose-lose for me and the company taking a finance sales position. First, I’d probably be let go for not producing and I’d have that to deal with that cloud. Second, the company would lose by hiring someone whose skill set lay elsewhere.

And I have talked to “recruiters,” but most seem to be jerks with their own agendas. Like the recruiter with the $10/ hour temp position.. who was more interested at getting a sucker to fill the position than giving out honest advice.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I don’t know. Anytime I read stuff like this and start to despair about future generations I get out of the office and watch the young Marines at work. I inevitably come back thinking that we are OK. They are every bit as good, and probably better, than we were back in the day.

SoonerMarine on August 30, 2011 at 3:31 PM

I’ll take one final shot at this.

Go talk to a recruiter that specializes in placing individuals into professional jobs. It won’t cost you a thing to interview a recruiter and most times they are paid by the company offering a job.

I am not nor have I ever been a recruiter but I have found that if you are frank with them, they will be frank with you. Most are very professional and get a great deal of enjoyment at finding the right positions for people.

Vince on August 30, 2011 at 3:19 PM

I found many of them charlatans, who are only interested in recruiting for the position that they have in front of them. I’ve talked to many, many recruiters and when I’ve said, thanks but no thanks to something I’ve gotten some downright rude responses. Like I’d prefer to wait a little longer rather than take a $10/ hour data entry job. The recruiter snottily responded to that by saying my skills are two years out of data and my MBA is worthless. I understand that this is how many companies recruit, but let’s not pretend they care at all about providing honest advice. They’re selling a product.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Not being employed looks worse. And why would you put your salary/wage on your resume in the first place? Just don’t. If you’re filling out an application, and they ask you what your last job paid, leave it blank.

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I’d never put a low level temp job on my resume in a million years at all.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I’d never put a low level temp job on my resume in a million years at all.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Well, enjoy your funemployment, then.

On the other hand, you really might want to meditate upon the apparent contempt with which you hold perfectly legitimate work.

You might be getting in your own way.

No one is advising you to place the words “low level temp job” on your resume, mind you.

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM

I feel like a soft skinned fool after reading what you have to say.

angelwing34215 on August 30, 2011 at 3:24 PM

It’s generally much easier to occasionally harden soft skin than it is to soften hard skin. :-)

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:46 PM

I’d never put a low level temp job on my resume in a million years at all.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Wait, I missed an important point: if you’re not going to put it on your resume, then who’s ever going to know that you worked for $10/hour?

You’re not making sense.

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Generalities are a terrible thing.
angelwing34215 on August 30, 2011 at 2:49 PM

You always say that.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on August 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

You’ve got a couple things working against you. Right now, per the WSJ, the finance industry is starting to lay people off again, and in pretty high numbers. It’s hard to enter into a field that’s contracting. Second, per my friends, I’ve been told that unless you get a top ten ranked mba, the degree is not worth getting. Don’t know if you agree, but I’ve heard this a number of times.

Someone above said that there’s a mismatch between skills and open positions. This is true and false. There’s definitely a shortage of computer engineers, some other engineering fields and science fields. But the reason for this is only a limited number of people have the abilities to get into these fields. Thus why there are so many open positions. Even health care is now getting saturated. In short, it’s very tough out there except for people in a few expanding fields, so you’re not alone.

IR-MN on August 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Having large gaps in employment does not look good on a resume. I sympathize that you want a job that you’ll have for the next 20 or 30 years but I don’t think that you are aware of the fact that you will probabaly change jobs 3 or 4 times before you retire.

You don’t have to take a sales job but I think your problem is that you can’t find the salary you want. You can move out on $30,000 a year (if you lived in the St Louis area) and you can move up later on in life.

I don’t know where you live but maybe the cost of living there has you stymied more than anything.

Vince on August 30, 2011 at 4:04 PM

My plea to Generation Vexed: Get off the Playstations or Xbox whatevers, and get into the real world once in a while!

Vashta.Nerada on August 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

I do not play video games and I work in the real world. I can tell you what the problem is:

Parents and the economy. Not to mention the inflation in colleges. Have you tried going to college lately, or for the past thirty years? It is overpriced. Then, after the colleges, high schools, and parents successfully sell this crap dream, the student has debt to pay. Guess what? I didn’t sign up for this system because I am too young to have agreed to it in the first place. Someone started it long before. And then the kids don’t know what to do because they have suddenly realized nothing is there for them. How would that make you feel? We have recessions, crappy administrations, debt, social security (debt), no job market, illegal immigration, over-saturated market, etc. And we are the so-called “Entitlement Generation?” First she make thieves then she punish them. The ones responsible are the ones who came before us. Now, we have to fix it. And there are young people, like myself, who are trying to fix their situation. I don’t care much for these generalizations, but I will say, in my experience, that it is due to lazy parents who promote lazy behavior and to an ecomony that we are not responsible for. I am very close to quitting my job and joining the military because I would actually be beneficial there, and all of those dreams and hopes I was sold could be fulfilled. Stop telling your kids they are better than everybody and that they have to go to college. BE REAL.

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

*economy (because I know someone will point that out and try to use it to reflect poor thinking or writing skills)

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Temp jobs don’t give time off. (Unless you want to be fired).

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 2:30 PM

That’s just not true. Temp jobs are for people looking for permanent positions. I’ve had temp jobs, and I’ve employed temps, taking off for job interviews was expected in both situations. Maybe you had a bad experience at a temp job, but I assure you that is not the norm. Or maybe you’re just trying to make excuses for not getting a job. I guess if you don’t have to pay any bills, it’s fine to sit back and turn up your nose at work. I never had that luxury. I’ve worked at jobs that I thought were beneath me, and I always managed to pay my bills. Really, no job is beneath you if it pays you an honest wage for honest work. And I always found better jobs.

mbs on August 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

two World Wars that, while a boon for the economy, were nevertheless no ideal inheritance.

I think the theory behind this assertion is as erroneous as the grammatical construction.

itsnotaboutme on August 30, 2011 at 4:15 PM

I’d never put a low level temp job on my resume in a million years at all.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I took a temp job (I work two part-times) and I gladly put it on my resume. Suck it up because it ain’t gonna get better. You have to have drive and dignity in your work, even if mundane, because it is your work. Do you lack confidence or self-appreciation?

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, there is not a shortage of jobs; there is a significant mismatch in skills needed and skills available.

Badger91 on August 30, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Is there any willingness to close the gap by meeting in the middle, versus either party being asked to make an unreasonable effort? It’s one thing to state the existence of a mismatch, but it’s another thing to do nothing more than that. The longer the mismatch goes on, the higher probability will be that someone will be more aggressive about finding trainable people as opposed to perfectly trained people.

That, and some industries don’t really have a skills shortage as much as they have regulation-enabled fraud to overstate the shortage. Thank the government for creating an incentive in immigration law to avoid US citizens – people that have the skillsets and/or ability to be trained for the ones they don’t already have.

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 4:20 PM

VeXed? Gee, how original. Smacks of Gen X, and effort.

/

Christien on August 30, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Owen Glendower on August 30, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Having worked and attended a university, I can safely say they are letting in the wrong students and the requirements are far too lax. I currently work in an admissions field of a university and they give so many second chances it is ridiculous. I was worried over having a low-grade essay, but these kids get so many chances even after dismissal. It’s no wonder some of these kids end up in these courses and have such little expectation.

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Can we stop with the naming of generations already? Please?

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

^^Member of Generation Cranky.

ButterflyDragon on August 30, 2011 at 4:34 PM

It’s superficial, but I disagree with the story’s picture.
Gen-Vex is fat.

And being fat and unwilling to work for 10$/hour means you can’t make up for your lack of drive or work-ethic by presenting yourself well. Might as well text during the interview.
And change your name to Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces)
I don’t me you personally, Illinidiva
You just got me thinking of others I have met.

tomg51 on August 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM

me = mean

tomg51 on August 30, 2011 at 4:38 PM

mbs on August 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

If they wanted to try out the person, there’s the probationary period during a direct hire. Otherwise, it’s offloading uncertainty to people that have no real choice except a Morton’s fork(where both choices lead to equally unpleasant outcomes).

Temporary work reflects a lack of trust on behalf of the employer towards the person doing the work. These people are seen as disposable, not flexible. Contingent work is something that should be lessened, not increased – as it reflects a persistently bad economic situation.

While there might be the rare exception where someone can use it for the intended purpose of flexibility, that applies to the few people that don’t face a Morton’s fork in the job market.

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 4:39 PM

This means you won’t be voting for Obama again, though.

Good Lt on August 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM

And Rick Perry is the answer?

ernesto on August 30, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 2:22 PM

1. Your lack of finance experience looks bad, not the temp job.
2. I work two part-time jobs and I still look for full-time.
3. No one is saying you have to move out of the house unless your parents are making you. You need to worry about you and no one else. There is no need to try and keep up with a social standard.

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

The article is drivel.

Lon Chaney on August 30, 2011 at 4:52 PM

The term captures all the economic anxiety, the future-related frustrations, the delicate disgust with disappointed expectations of those who grew up accustomed to comfort, but came of age in the midst of a financial crisis.

Our ancestors didn’t come here to be miserable. They could have stayed wherever they were and done that just fine.

On the other hand, they believed in working for a better life and not having it handed to them on a silver platter.

However, if the “system” down the road can no longer supply those opportunities (choose your culprit here…as far as I’m concerned there’s plenty of blame on both sides of the ideological aisle), then what’s left?

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 30, 2011 at 4:55 PM

as the generation to sidestep self-destructive behaviors out of an-almost boredom because we’ve grown up on gadgets and so find alcohol, drugs and promiscuity to be a little, well, passé.

.
She don’t get out much do she?

ronsfi on August 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

I’d never put a low level temp job on my resume in a million years at all.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

How fortunate you are. That’s all I had for awhile.

I’ve skimmmed your posts and you sound like a totally negative person, dismissing any suggestions that come your way.

Get over yourself, pray to God and improve your attitude.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Fair enough… Still I don’t like being cast into a group that does the exact opposite of what I do, especially when it attacks my character.

angelwing34215 on August 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Who cares? I just turned 31, I guess I miss this generation by 1 year, but I’m still part of Generation X, aka the slacker generation. If it upsets that you that your generation is being stereotyped, when that stereotype is mostly accurate, then I would say you fit in just fine with generation self esteem/vexed.

My generation and your generation are generally a joke, a product of the Baby Boomers and their incessant need to rebel against everything their parents did. I suppose The Greatest Generation deserves some blame for coddling their kids too much, but when you live through a depression, a World War, and a so called Cold War, I think they can be given a pass on their coddling.

I’m glad my generation is laughed at because I know it doesn’t apply to me as an individual and I can outshine my peers that much more when I personally prove the stereotype wrong.

Daemonocracy on August 30, 2011 at 5:13 PM

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

1) The higher ed bubble is about to burst – be glad you didn’t saddle yourself with montrous debt. That’s a huge thing.

2) If the military appeals to you, go for it.

3) Stop whining. You’re healthy and intelligent, and probably you have friends and family who love you. Life is what you make of it.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Temporary work reflects a lack of trust on behalf of the employer towards the person doing the work…

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 4:39 PM

That hasn’t been my experience. In my experience, temporary work has reflected a lack of trust on behalf of the employer towards the economy, usually. It’s just cheaper to hire a temp than to take on the financial and regulatory burdens of full-time hiring.

Kensington on August 30, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Temp jobs can teach you a lot about offices and various bosses and industries. There are a lot of “smarts” that we would all do well to acquire. My second husband was a contractor all his life (supporting 3 kids and a wife who wasn’t working). Yeah, it was scary when he was out of work. It’s scary even when you only have to take care of yourself.

But there’s real appeal to a person who can make lemonade out of the lemons. This is the only life you have (even if you believe in reincarnation as I do, I have only one life as Disa). Show your prosepctive employers what you’re made of – you might be really surprised about what turns up.

Miracles happen every day, but you won’t even see them if you aren’t paying attention.

Oh, and forget about trying to snag an “impressive” job. I can tell you at my 30th high school reunion (where almost no one talked about what they do for a living), I saw lots of my classmates who did way better than me (in terms of taking Caribbean vacations and the like), and many of those didn’t even go to college.

You know, the “regular people” that the college-level kids sort of disregarded? They applied themselves, focused on the business at hand, and made nice lives for themselves.

Humility is an important thing to learn in life.

Pretend that you’ll die if you don’t work temp jobs, and that your lot won’t get better unless YOU PERSONALLY make it better.

Then get on with it.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I’m incredibly tired to hear that my generation is full of whiners and brats who don’t want to work hard, want to lounge around, and want six figures right out of college. I’m at the upper end of the spectrum (29) and have been in the workforce trying to get a job, but it has been awful for me with my grad. degree and five years experience. I’ve gone into career agencies and recruiters and been snottily told that since my “skills” are two years out of date, that I should be grateful to get a temp job doing data entry or copying for $10/ hour. Luckily, I can so no thanks because my parents are willing to put up with me and I have savings, but I could see people being desperate enough to take that deal and end up in a dead end situation. Not only is there great unemployment among the 20-somethings, but there is also many of my contemporaries who end up taking less than desirable positions. If you have a degree in business and end up making lattes at Starbucks, then you have a right to be crabby IMHO.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Hey, aren’t you the one who wears hoochie clothes out trolling the bars to meet guys?

Nevertheless, a couple of ideas:
- You could take that temp job, get your foot in the door and who knows where that could take you. Everyone who has made a success of themselves did scut work at one time, sometimes with the same company. Employers will like the fact that you will work, even if it is “beneath you”. Perhaps, GASP AND LORD FORBID you could actually do some extra work to “help out” and make yourself invaluable and get some extra skills. You know, interning and/or volunteering??

- There are no guarantees in life. Just because you get a degree doesn’t mean it comes with a “lifetime employment guarantee”. It’s really baffling to hear people think that because they did one thing, that they are automatically entitled to another.

- Those guys you troll in the bar. Be pleasant even if you are rejecting them. One of them could be a future interviewer for your dream job.

kim roy on August 30, 2011 at 5:29 PM

I’m smack in the middle of this “generation.” And yes, most of us are spoiled brats–and I’m saying that as someone from Middle America. The phenomenon is everywhere. Some of us try to rise above the label, though: for me, at least, that’s due to 1) parenting 2) a unique childhood (lived overseas for most of it) 3) personal ambition.

I’m in the middle of working on a graduate degree with the money saved by finishing my BA in three years. I’m not unrealistic about this job market: it’s dim, and saturated with people like me running around with advanced degrees and no jobs to fit their credentials. I may be shooting myself in the foot by getting a MA right now. I just don’t know. But I did learn early on in college that to get my foot in the door, to network, and to get work experience I’d have to work unpaid jobs–i.e., those pesky internships. Those were readily available, often because college students (or at least the ones I know) have taken on unpaid internships as their next thing to be righteously indignant about. (“It’s practically slave labor!”)

More opportunities for me then! The unpaid internships I did are what always stand out on my resume–particularly my stint with the state attorney general–far more so than paid positions.

KellyBomelly on August 30, 2011 at 5:29 PM

“My second husband was a contractor all his life”

Design, lots of govt work but never perm until a few years ago.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:30 PM

I didn’t know until just a few years ago that my dad went out and picked fruit to put food on the table in the very early 80′s when he lost his job. FWIW – we aren’t Hispanic or any other ethnicity that does the jobs “Americans won’t do”. It was temporary and he was able to find a better job in due time. But rather that than rely on the government.

I know kids from very, very poor families (we live in a rural agricultural area) who have cel phones, cable or satellite TV, wifi and video game systems. One gal who babysits for us just graduated high school, deferred entrance into college for one year because she can’t pay for it and just bought a horse with her family.

The you-know-what is very likely going to hit the fan, even if we elect a responsible Republican, and I am scared for what will happen then.

quiz1 on August 30, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I have spoken with my grandchildren about the risk of their generation suffering a decline in the American standard of living. They get the fact that it will decrease unless a greater percentage of Americans have good work ethics and don’t expect something for nothing. I am sorry for the young unemployed people today, at least those who really want to work. I am optimistic that things can turn around for them, fairly quickly, if Obama gets booted out and the Republicans get a filibuster proof majority in the senate.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 30, 2011 at 5:51 PM

How fortunate you are. That’s all I had for awhile.

I’ve skimmmed your posts and you sound like a totally negative person, dismissing any suggestions that come your way.

Get over yourself, pray to God and improve your attitude.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Agreed. She’s lucky she has parents to foot the cost of the roof over her head. Or maybe not. You know, when you’ve got no one to save your arse, you get creative. Me, I’m a Gen X’er who came out of high school in ’88 and couldn’t afford college. Not that it mattered. I remember in ’92, the year my class graduated from college, the headlines were NO JOBS for graduates. Worst time ever to get out of college (at the time). My parents said if I wanted to go to college, I’d find a way as their life lesson. So, I worked at Burger King, dry cleaners, receptionist, babysitter and realized at 23yrs old that my hometown was too small to do more than work in a bar or grocery store my entire life w/o an education. I wanted more. So, I moved south to MPLS. From there I worked at Alamo (I cleaned cars at 26yrs old–the only girl on the line), and temped. Temping gave me 1 permanent job offer at the ELCA publishing house in MPLS and while still working at Alamo to make the bills (I had roommates you see, couldn’t afford to live alone) then took a job urgent care desk clerk at HCMC. However, from that temp job w/the ELCA, I met a sales guy in Chicago who, as he liked my customer service and we became friends over the phone, offered me a job in Chicago even though I was now working at a hospital–making $20K/year. So, again, all alone with hardly any money in 1996, rented a u-haul and took that job and moved to better pay. A whopping $26K/year. From that job as an “assistant” to operations director in a frieght forwarding company (what the hell is that, you say?), found my niche and expertise: ocean exporting. Who knew? In 6 years, I moved companies 3x, jumped in salary to $55k/year because I was good, met my Danish husband (I was his customer) and in 2002 we moved from Chicago to Denmark. Now, almost 10 years later, I live in Latvia as an expat spouse stay-at-home mom getting to see the world. We’ve lived in Panama and Mumbai since 2005. We have no debt at all.

The point of this history is that 1) never in my life when I was in the darkest part of my early 20s eating saltines crackers with ketchup as food did I see an out…but I kept moving forward anyway. Take chances. Get out of your comfort zone and SACRIFICE and 2)realizing I had no one to turn to for help (i.e. $$), found out that I could in fact do anything I put my mind to. While I miss working now and have the blessed luxury of choice not to work thanks to my husband’s similar drive and goals to mine (funny–2 nationalities, 2 different upbringing, same life goals), I wouldn’t change a thing about my sometimes excruciating life path. It lead me to where I am now. Happy, secure, and ready for anything as well as debt free with good savings. Our kids are getting huge life experience and they sure are going to understand the work ethic.

So, Illinidiva, (diva is right) do yourself a favor and lose the attitude. Show the employers you are willing to work temporary jobs because you are determined to work and take pride in working wherever it is and stop being a snob. Don’t be ashamed of that temp job. My temp job opened the door to an international career I never knew even existed which I’ll go back to once the kids are older. Or, you can let your parents support you as an adult regressing back to childhood. Your choice.

Renwaa on August 30, 2011 at 6:14 PM

One more thing: in this awful economic climate, companies aren’t exactly taking chances on people with the huge costs that they fear will be associated with them (think Obamacare). Taking in temps is a way to try people out pretty risk free. If they like you, you may be surprised at what could be offered.

Renwaa on August 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Thank you, disa. I am smart and healthy. :) I have actually come a long way from where I was. I was, just three months ago, in a graduate program for a degree that I had wanted for the past three years. I did some research after getting in and found out that there are no jobs available for this degree, and so I dropped out. I thought it would be stupid to spend x amount on something that didn’t guarantee anything–learn to accept what I do have. Long story short, this graduate program, and many others I am sure, like to gather as much money as possible, so they tell future grads there is a shortage in their field and they NEED graduates. Then students graduate to find out there is no job and they are up to their knees in debt. I basically “woke up” this summer and realized what the real world is: do the best you can with what you got. I did some whining and some suffering, but this is a short-term pain. I know one day I will be grateful for it. And you know what? Most kids younger than me are oblivious. Just the other day I was discussing this current economic/college crisis and my sister became very discouraged about the future (she’s seven years younger). She is also very naive, inexperienced, and has yet to hold a job. I have juggled the career v. college road and I have decided to go towards work. Perhaps education will be great again, but right now it is simply not worth the investment.

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 7:15 PM

One more thing: in this awful economic climate, companies aren’t exactly taking chances on people with the huge costs that they fear will be associated with them (think Obamacare). Taking in temps is a way to try people out pretty risk free. If they like you, you may be surprised at what could be offered.

Renwaa on August 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

Yep. Gold in that comment. My husband started his current job as a temp, worked hard, never acted like it was “beneath him” (it was data entry), was interested in what the company did, when he finished his work asked for more and now he’s been there for 10 years. They went out of their way with a bit of effort to create a job for him and keep him.

Then again, he’s never been afraid of hard work and would look upon welfare/social assistance as failure.

It’s a cliche, but a true one when people say we make our own opportunities.

kim roy on August 30, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Having large gaps in employment does not look good on a resume. I sympathize that you want a job that you’ll have for the next 20 or 30 years but I don’t think that you are aware of the fact that you will probabaly change jobs 3 or 4 times before you retire.

You don’t have to take a sales job but I think your problem is that you can’t find the salary you want. You can move out on $30,000 a year (if you lived in the St Louis area) and you can move up later on in life.

I don’t know where you live but maybe the cost of living there has you stymied more than anything.

Vince on August 30, 2011 at 4:04 PM

I have five years experience, so I lived on my own before. All I know is that I was barely making ends meet (and my parents were helping me out with some bills) when I was making $10K more a month in Chicago. And I was living pretty frugally. Anyone could live on less than $30K if you are willing to live in a bad area of the city and eat Ramen noodles. There are apartments for $400/ month in the bad parts of Chicago.

I think that my generation has gotten screwed. I spent last decade working at a dead end job with no career progression. I went back to school at what I thought was a good time (2009) to get a graduate degree because I thought that I was going to end up coming out of the recession by 2011 (silly me). However, the recession is still going on and I’m getting the same jobs that I would have taken when I was 19 for extra spending money. So I’m sorry if people of my generation aren’t all roses, sweetness, and the American dream. We really got the raw end of the deal. Our parents sold us out so the good times could continue rolling for them.

I don’t think that anyone in my generation wants to be company men. However, we’re afraid that are four careers will consist of cashier at Sears, Starbucks barista, McDonalds’ burger flipper, and Walmart greeter. Nothing currently says that this is wrong.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

I took a temp job and in time was hired first as on-call (only worked when needed) and then as a part-timer (I work a core of three days a week, although that’s morphed into four days in the last year). I was offered full-time employment but it doesn’t suit my needs as my spouse works and I was taking care of an aging parent, so I remain a part-timer. I could get medical and dental benefits from my company if my spouse didn’t have them, and I get vacation time as well as sick leave. So never turn up your noses at temp work! It could lead to better things.

Plus, I want to say, not all of us Boomers were irresponsible jerks. Hubby and I never did drugs, booze, protested, or scammed the system. We’d much rather pay for our own retirement than collect Soc. Sec. We’ve been, dare I say it, model citizens all our lives. And I know many Boomers who are like me. I’ve heard it said the hippies in the sixties and seventies were much more vociferous (loud) than their actual numbers were.

theotherone on August 30, 2011 at 7:34 PM

You’ve got a couple things working against you. Right now, per the WSJ, the finance industry is starting to lay people off again, and in pretty high numbers. It’s hard to enter into a field that’s contracting. Second, per my friends, I’ve been told that unless you get a top ten ranked mba, the degree is not worth getting. Don’t know if you agree, but I’ve heard this a number of times.

I’d agree and disagree with your statement. I think that my program was actually harder academically than the other programs, but it was not good in terms of networking. I’m not sure why they didn’t drive everyone up to Chicago on the weekend and have networking events, but that is just me. The associate dean and I have talked at length about the fact that they really need to do a better job promoting it.

I’ve always assumed that the people who say that a MBA program is bad are those who got their MBAs from Harvard and are trying to justify the expense. :) I did have one company in my industry snottily inform me that they only accepted people from certain schools. It was my father’s contact and he mentioned that I should respond to them and mention that their CEO went to a local part time program. The silence was deafening. After that incident, I’ll google any company that I plan on talking with at a career fair and have the MBA programs that their CEO and CFO attended in hand.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:37 PM

That’s just not true. Temp jobs are for people looking for permanent positions. I’ve had temp jobs, and I’ve employed temps, taking off for job interviews was expected in both situations. Maybe you had a bad experience at a temp job, but I assure you that is not the norm. Or maybe you’re just trying to make excuses for not getting a job. I guess if you don’t have to pay any bills, it’s fine to sit back and turn up your nose at work. I never had that luxury. I’ve worked at jobs that I thought were beneath me, and I always managed to pay my bills. Really, no job is beneath you if it pays you an honest wage for honest work. And I always found better jobs.

mbs on August 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Because said jobs wouldn’t pay any bills?? Try living on near minimum wage in Chicago. I don’t think that I could even pay rent on that. Plus, you don’t get benefits, so that’s probably $300 or so per month in health insurance.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I’m incredibly tired to hear that my generation is full of whiners and brats who don’t want to work hard, want to lounge around, and want six figures right out of college. I’m at the upper end of the spectrum (29) and have been in the workforce trying to get a job, but it has been awful for me with my grad. degree and five years experience. I’ve gone into career agencies and recruiters and been snottily told that since my “skills” are two years out of date, that I should be grateful to get a temp job doing data entry or copying for $10/ hour. Luckily, I can so no thanks because my parents are willing to put up with me and I have savings, but I could see people being desperate enough to take that deal and end up in a dead end situation. Not only is there great unemployment among the 20-somethings, but there is also many of my contemporaries who end up taking less than desirable positions. If you have a degree in business and end up making lattes at Starbucks, then you have a right to be crabby IMHO.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

You’re TWENTY-NINE and live with your parents???? Oh, honey. When you finish up your snit of life not going exactly as you thought you deserved, and finally become an adult, real life is going to kick your ass. You need to redirect and refocus, ASAP.

di butler on August 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

1. Your lack of finance experience looks bad, not the temp job.
2. I work two part-time jobs and I still look for full-time.
3. No one is saying you have to move out of the house unless your parents are making you. You need to worry about you and no one else. There is no need to try and keep up with a social standard.

RDE2010 on August 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

1. I basically have five years financial experience, an accy. degree undergrad, and a finance MBA, so I’m not lacking in finance experience. I did lots of sales analysis in my old job, but since the position wasn’t in the Finance Deparment but a separate Pricing Department, I’m screwed.

3. I don’t want to continue living with my parents into my thirties. Which based on the current economy seems likely.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:44 PM

You’re TWENTY-NINE and live with your parents???? Oh, honey. When you finish up your snit of life not going exactly as you thought you deserved, and finally become an adult, real life is going to kick your ass. You need to redirect and refocus, ASAP.

di butler on August 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

I am out of work and cannot afford an apartment. I went back to graduate school for a few years to get a MBA and am still looking for a job. I lived on my own for a few years… so let’s not judge.

Seriously, I’m sorry. But flipping burgers at Mickey’s Ds doesn’t actually pay enough to get an apartment. There are quite a few twenty-somethings who have to live with their parents, because they cannot afford to live on their own. Apartments in Chicago run $800+ for a studio. Please try affording that on what jobs in Obama’s economy was paying.

Perhaps try something called not judging other people… It’s good for you.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

How fortunate you are. That’s all I had for awhile.

I’ve skimmmed your posts and you sound like a totally negative person, dismissing any suggestions that come your way.

Get over yourself, pray to God and improve your attitude.

disa on August 30, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Umm.. what advice?? Either that I should sell life insurance or that I should take a job for $10/hour and live on Ramen Noodles while sharing a studio apartment with three people in the ghetto??

I’m just tired of hearing all this moaning about kids today when the kids today have serious reason to be pissed off. Right now, I’m really not sure that the economy is ever going to turn around. We’re going to end up having a huge block of unemployed like they do in Europe.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

Hey, aren’t you the one who wears hoochie clothes out trolling the bars to meet guys?

Or perhaps I didn’t want the Hot Air church ladies telling me what I could or couldn’t wear?

- You could take that temp job, get your foot in the door and who knows where that could take you. Everyone who has made a success of themselves did scut work at one time, sometimes with the same company. Employers will like the fact that you will work, even if it is “beneath you”. Perhaps, GASP AND LORD FORBID you could actually do some extra work to “help out” and make yourself invaluable and get some extra skills. You know, interning and/or volunteering??

Ummm… currently volunteering for no pay at a non-for-profit. Imagine that!! Not a good network there, but everyone is appreciative of what I am doing for them and are willing to act as references. I’d prefer doing that to temping for minimum wage. I think that very few skills that I will receive from temping and I don’t fear being “fired” if I don’t show up at my volunteer position for a day.

There are no guarantees in life. Just because you get a degree doesn’t mean it comes with a “lifetime employment guarantee”. It’s really baffling to hear people think that because they did one thing, that they are automatically entitled to another.

No but the fact that Obama probably screwed up the economy should perhaps garner some sympathy. I think that the US economy might be screwed up permanently.

Those guys you troll in the bar. Be pleasant even if you are rejecting them. One of them could be a future interviewer for your dream job.

Sarcasm… yes. Always appropriate. Heaven forbid we not agree with the Hot Air clothing police.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 8:04 PM

One more thing: in this awful economic climate, companies aren’t exactly taking chances on people with the huge costs that they fear will be associated with them (think Obamacare). Taking in temps is a way to try people out pretty risk free. If they like you, you may be surprised at what could be offered.

Renwaa on August 30, 2011 at 6:34 PM

That suggests that A. Obama screwed up the economy and B. corporations shouldn’t be seen as anyone’s friends. I get that they’re there to make money. Well, I’m there to make money as well. I’m not sure why I shouldn’t consider a bad temp job beneath me, when they’re basically saying screw you, sucker.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Temp jobs can teach you a lot about offices and various bosses and industries. There are a lot of “smarts” that we would all do well to acquire. My second husband was a contractor all his life (supporting 3 kids and a wife who wasn’t working). Yeah, it was scary when he was out of work. It’s scary even when you only have to take care of yourself.

But there’s real appeal to a person who can make lemonade out of the lemons. This is the only life you have (even if you believe in reincarnation as I do, I have only one life as Disa). Show your prosepctive employers what you’re made of – you might be really surprised about what turns up.

Or you could get taken advantage of by the company?? Sorry, I spent five years getting screwed over by the same organization again and again and again, which is why I went back to school in the first place. My opinion of big business is that they really don’t care for the folks.. Do I like big gov’t (no I don’). But I don’t think that there are many folks within the business world willing to help out their employees. I don’t believe in miracles or good things at all.

I was a really good employee for five years and got great reviews and everything, but I spent my entire time there getting screwed over by this company. And then I go back and get a graduate degree and am supposed to think that the people hiring an MBA to do copying are somehow really great people who are going to give her many advances.. More likely, they think here is someone who will do extra to get a job, but we won’t give it to her anyway. We’ll just get someone with that experience at a cut rate price.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

That hasn’t been my experience. In my experience, temporary work has reflected a lack of trust on behalf of the employer towards the economy, usually. It’s just cheaper to hire a temp than to take on the financial and regulatory burdens of full-time hiring.

Fine enough.

Either way – the amount of temporary work offered for traditionally full-time professions seems to be inversely related to how the economy is performing.

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Umm.. what advice?? Either that I should sell life insurance or that I should take a job for $10/hour and live on Ramen Noodles while sharing a studio apartment with three people in the ghetto??

I’m just tired of hearing all this moaning about kids today when the kids today have serious reason to be pissed off. Right now, I’m really not sure that the economy is ever going to turn around. We’re going to end up having a huge block of unemployed like they do in Europe.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:56 PM

No, you’re expected to be as miserable as Mr./Mrs. X who made poor choices in life, or failed at running a business, but are in the right because they believe in a free enterprise system that has become increasingly Fascistic/Corporatist over the last century. They just know it has to work because it makes sense (I agree that in theory it should), rather than realizing it’s a rigged, unsustainable game based upon limited resources.

They will blame Republicans if Dems, or Dems if Republicans rather than taking a sobering look at the natural progression of the system and see that the point was always to “win”-to accumulate resources and hold on to them. Well, those who are most successful are indeed winning and squeezing out meaningful competition.

Common sense dictates that there is simply less for everybody else. They are under no obligation to “give us jobs”. They create jobs only if they need them to make a profit.

We’ll be looking at at least 20% permanent unemployment for here on out.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM

I don’t think that anyone in my generation wants to be company men.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

For some people, that provides some structure and a reason to have some dignity for one’s work. There’s nothing entirely wrong with it.

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

For some people, that provides some structure and a reason to have some dignity for one’s work. There’s nothing entirely wrong with it.

sethstorm on August 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Yes, but those people are likely to be screwed over by the new economy. Basically, the new company men are without all the benefits that came with that distinction. When the title came out in the 1950s, the company paternalistically took care of its employees. Only Dad worked and he made enough to pay for the house in the suburbs and allow Mom to stay home with the kids. The job was virtually guaranteed for life and had a pension when Dad retired at 65 (a DB plan). Now, workers are supposed to be as enthusiastic about temporary jobs that don’t have benefits and can allow them to be terminated without any thought. I’m not a fan of big government, but I’m not a fan of GE either. It’s in business’s interest to pay people as little as possible to make money. If they could get away with paying a penny a day, they would.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Illinidiva,
Petulant, whiny, and resentful is no way to go through life.I suspect that is coming across to more people than just the posters here at HA. Your demographic is getting what it voted for, so stop blaming your parents ( who STILL support you, ingrate). So, the last ten years of your life has been trashed. You gonna trash the next ten, or shift gears and find someplace/something else you can do? Here’s an obvious suggestion: Take your savings and get the hell out of Chicago ! Nothing positive is going to happen there. Re-invent yourself, someplace else. You better get busy, because if you’re still whining at 40, the battle may be lost.

teacherman on August 30, 2011 at 10:39 PM

My kids, 18, 19, and 25, all realize that nothing is free and they have to work for things they want.

None of them have chosen college but have pretty good plans for what they want to do.

My eldest has been working consistently, except for a few months of unemployment a couple of years ago, as a semi-skilled worker in warehouses. He’s licensed to drive a fork-lift and is a lead for his employer with decent pay and full benefits. He’s also a guitar player in a band that is having some success. I can’t say that I like his appearance, but he works hard to manage the band, sell tickets, communicate with fans and he stays out of trouble.

My daughter’s dream was to be a professional ballet dancer but she wasn’t able to make it into a company. Now she’s regrouping with a job at the mall as an assistant manager as well as a part-time teaching position. She needed to get some experience in the working world and make some money while trying to figure things out. She may want to go into physical therapy, a field she is intimately familiar with which is growing steadily thanks to us baby boomers.

My youngest, who just graduated from high school, is a merchandiser for a soft drink company. He has a good wage and full benefits. He’s also planning on entering the Air National Guard for our state to be trained on environmental systems for aircraft, skills that are transferable to the civilian world. He’s saving like crazy and plans to use his signing bonus to buy a house in a year or two.

My point is that many young people are grounded and less spoiled than Hollywood makes them out to be.

Another point is that you can have a happy successful life without going into debt for years for a college education. It’s far better, and less stressful, to live within your means.

Common Sense on August 30, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Yes, but those people are likely to be screwed over by the new economy. Basically, the new company men are without all the benefits that came with that distinction. When the title came out in the 1950s, the company paternalistically took care of its employees. Only Dad worked and he made enough to pay for the house in the suburbs and allow Mom to stay home with the kids. The job was virtually guaranteed for life and had a pension when Dad retired at 65 (a DB plan). Now, workers are supposed to be as enthusiastic about temporary jobs that don’t have benefits and can allow them to be terminated without any thought. I’m not a fan of big government, but I’m not a fan of GE either. It’s in business’s interest to pay people as little as possible to make money. If they could get away with paying a penny a day, they would.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM

And many of those benefits/pensions were won by pressure from organized labor…and then union corruption had to screw it all up. “Paternalistic” companies were that way for the most part to dissuade union involvement.

Some companies did have a different stance (Sears, Roebuck and Co. of the ’50s and ’60s comes to mind)-include your employees as members of the company. WTH-give them a few shares of stock so they, too, can have a vested interest in making money for the company. Also, a happy, well-paid employee is going to be a more productive, trustworthy employee.

There are many TEA Partiers and probably several HAers living off of union-negotiated pensions and/or military pensions won by lobbyists. They just won’t admit it. Those on the Right earn, and all others are leeches and thugs…even if they shared the same job title. That’s the kind of disingenuous crap I expect from Dems, but, people are people and a political label doesn’t change that.

I do agree with the Dems about the accumulation of wealth. After all, that is the goal of Capitalism. To believe that companies should share their wealth by providing jobs is a Conservative form of Socialism. On the other hand, I don’t think that companies should be taxed other than by the communities in which their operations are located, and then only at a modest rate.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 31, 2011 at 12:09 AM

The Los Angeles Times has coined a new term for the generation presently aged 18 to 29: “Generation Vexed.” The term captures all the economic anxiety, the future-related frustrations, the delicate disgust with disappointed expectations of those who grew up accustomed to comfort, but came of age in the midst of a financial crisis.

Oh, fer cryin’ out loud!! Poor you!

Every single human being ever born as a resident of this planet has had a difficult time, including Jesus Christ. And every one of them felt sorry for themselves at one time or another.

Maybe today’s YOUR bad day? Or this year’s YOUR bad year?

So what?!?!? It ain’t like you’re all alone in life!

Tomorrow will be better. Concentrate upon improving the circumstances which led you to today!

RULE: You work, or you don’t eat. Plain and simple. How well you turn your energy into remuneration determines how well you eat, and how often.

Who doesn’t know that?

Anyone?

Okay, then.

Now quit yer sniveling and discover that God put straps on boots for a very good reason.

Honest to Pete …….. I don’t believe somebody actually wrote that “Genration Vexed” thing; less that somebody PUBLISHED it; and even less that it’s on HERE!

Arg.

Just arg.

Farmer on August 31, 2011 at 6:52 AM

I enjoyed the article but I do disagree with a good portion of it. Materialism has been the hallmark of Americanism since de toquville wrote “democracy in america”. Many of his chapters are dedicated to his amazement at american materialism and commercialism. I think the second part about bad baby boom parents boosting self esteem into the stratosphere only to have reality send you crashing and burning makes sense.

snoopicus on August 31, 2011 at 6:56 AM

So I’m sorry if people of my generation aren’t all roses, sweetness, and the American dream. We really got the raw end of the deal. Our parents sold us out so the good times could continue rolling for them.

I don’t think that anyone in my generation wants to be company men. However, we’re afraid that are [sic] four careers will consist of cashier at Sears, Starbucks barista, McDonalds’ burger flipper, and Walmart greeter. Nothing currently says that this is wrong.

Illinidiva on August 30, 2011 at 7:26 PM

Your utter contempt for successful business models is a clue to your future.

Perhaps you could be the blogging face of Generation Whine.

Do you think Rush Limbaugh has a nice life? He didn’t wait around for somebody to offer him a well-paying job, and he had a ton of failures and reversals on the way up. And he didn’t go to college to get “credentialled.” He did it in the real world. That’s the America we grew up in.

It’s still there, you whiny little girl. How dare you feel sorry for yourself?

disa on August 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Is anyone else picturing Illinidiva as Ferris Bueller’s younger sister Jeannie?

disa on August 31, 2011 at 9:33 AM

And if the economy is truly ruined, then you might have to take the job you can get instead of sitting high and mighty on your dignity.

blink on August 31, 2011 at 12:48 AM

“Dignity”? There’s no dignity in sitting on your azz in your mommy and daddy’s house.

disa on August 31, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Maybe its…a values and moral problem?

Oil Can on August 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Yes.

pannw on August 31, 2011 at 10:12 AM

All I am looking for right now is a good job that has a real path to success and is related to my degree. I’m sorry if these are huge sacrifices and somehow deem me as a spoiled brat. (Eyes roll).

Illinidiva, you are a diva. You have every argument in the world for why your situation is not your fault, but it is entirely your fault. You have proved Tina’s point.

I went to college in the Carter years, where inflation, gas shortages and 20% mortgage rates makes today look like a boom. I worked, landscaping, bar-back, bartender, delivery boy, door-to-door sales, book keeper, computer clerk, stock boy and more, all while going to school full time because I needed the money to pay for everything.

When I graduated with my finance degree and marketed myself to bankers and investment houses, none of them wanted me – I collected over 200 ding letters. I finally parked my ego and got in with a research group as a typist. Lost that job in a down-sizing and went to work in fast food. Later, the research group offered me a new job and I went back. I eventually worked my way up to the point that I was running research programs.

I am successful, happy, have a lovely life and have never used my finance degree in any capacity.

Too many in my generation, the one that followed us and yours as well think they ought to be able to control their futures and get the lives they imagined. Get over it and get to work.

Cricket624 on August 31, 2011 at 10:42 AM

And if that’s all we, Generation Vexed, are going for — an ever-more material American Dream — then, yeah, we’ll have a lower standard of living than our parents because we’re on the losing end of the New Deal and the Great Society. That is, we’re entering the picture just as the worker-to-retiree ratio has begun to be unsustainable, just as entitlement programs are about to go bust, just as the art of war has changed in such a way as to no longer galvanize the country and the economy in the way it once did.

There’s a way to make it all sustainable. Screw your parents, abandon Social Security and Medicare, and begin preparing for your own retirement. If you are really kind, you can throw them a few bones — or help them out directly.

What are the over 50′s going to do — riot in the streets?

Disclosure: I’m 59 years old.

unclesmrgol on August 31, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Petulant, whiny, and resentful is no way to go through life.I suspect that is coming across to more people than just the posters here at HA. Your demographic is getting what it voted for, so stop blaming your parents ( who STILL support you, ingrate). So, the last ten years of your life has been trashed. You gonna trash the next ten, or shift gears and find someplace/something else you can do? Here’s an obvious suggestion: Take your savings and get the hell out of Chicago ! Nothing positive is going to happen there. Re-invent yourself, someplace else. You better get busy, because if you’re still whining at 40, the battle may be lost.

teacherman on August 30, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Never voted for a Democrat in my life. I voted for Bush twice and McCain. I blame Obama for the current policies and the destruction of the economy, which I’m afraid will never get back on track.

I also don’t have any money to pay rent. My savings went to pay for the MBA. What am I supposed to do? Just up and move to some town in the middle of nowhere with no job and unable to pay the rent. Yep, that works really well.

Illinidiva on August 31, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Your utter contempt for successful business models is a clue to your future.

See I understand the business world because I have experience in it. This is what I don’t get about conservatives. Yes, big government is bad, but that doesn’t mean that big business is ultimately good. Big business can be as harmful as big government. You seriously think that what AIG and Citibank did for the country is a good thing. The best thing I heard against TARP was the fact that what these companies did was wrong and helping them out created the phenomenon of too big to fail (a moral hazard). However, even if you were against TARP, that doesn’t mean that Wall Street didn’t seriously screw up. They managed to tank the entire international banking system.

Perhaps you could be the blogging face of Generation Whine.

Do you think Rush Limbaugh has a nice life? He didn’t wait around for somebody to offer him a well-paying job, and he had a ton of failures and reversals on the way up. And he didn’t go to college to get “credentialled.” He did it in the real world. That’s the America we grew up in.

It’s still there, you whiny little girl. How dare you feel sorry for yourself?

disa on August 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM

1. On the one hand, y’all complain about how Obama screwed the economy and then when someone mentions how he/ she is affected by his policies it is his/ her fault.
2. Limbaugh has a rare talent… 99.9% of the American population is not a Limbaugh or a business genius like Steve Jobs.
3. I get to feel sorry for myself. That is what is nice about the situation is that I don’t have to feel offended by anonymous posters.

Illinidiva on August 31, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Ah, forget it. You’ve got an answer for everything. You’re hopeless. Enjoy living with mommy and daddy, with your attitude you’ll never get a job.

teacherman on August 31, 2011 at 9:16 PM

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