I Am Special / I Am Special / Look at Me: Generation Self-Esteem II

I know that my earlier post on Gen Y kids was a bit bogus. There are huge generalizations and no real data in the argument. But I'm going to stir the pot more by posting portions of an earlier column by Jeffrey Zaslow on Generation Y that has a bit more anecdote and information about how the business community is dealing with younger workers:

...as this greatest generation grows up, the culture of praise is reaching deeply into the adult world. Bosses, professors and mates are feeling the need to lavish praise on young adults, particularly twentysomethings, or else see them wither under an unfamiliar compliment deficit.

Employers are dishing out kudos to workers for little more than showing up. Corporations including Lands' End and Bank of America are hiring consultants to teach managers how to compliment employees using email, prize packages and public displays of appreciation. The 1,000-employee Scooter Store Inc., a power-wheelchair and scooter firm in New Braunfels, Texas, has a staff "celebrations assistant" whose job it is to throw confetti -- 25 pounds a week -- at employees. She also passes out 100 to 500 celebratory helium balloons a week. The Container Store Inc. estimates that one of its 4,000 employees receives praise every 20 seconds, through such efforts as its "Celebration Voice Mailboxes."

[...]

America's praise fixation has economic, labor and social ramifications. Adults who were overpraised as children are apt to be narcissistic at work and in personal relationships, says Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University. Narcissists aren't good at basking in other people's glory, which makes for problematic marriages and work relationships, she says.

Her research suggests that young adults today are more self-centered than previous generations. For a multiuniversity study released this year, 16,475 college students took the standardized narcissistic personality inventory, responding to such statements as "I think I am a special person." Students' scores have risen steadily since the test was first offered in 1982. The average college student in 2006 was 30% more narcissistic than the average student in 1982.

I'd love to post this entire article; it's worth a read. There are specific examples of company policies to improve intergenerational communication. But let's leave it at this:

In the end, ego-stroking may feel good, but it doesn't lead to happiness, says Prof. Twenge, the narcissism researcher, who has written a book titled "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled -- and More Miserable than Ever Before." She would like to declare a moratorium on "meaningless, baseless praise," which often starts in nursery school. She is unimpressed with self-esteem preschool ditties, such as the one set to the tune of "Frere Jacques": "I am special/ I am special/ Look at me... "

Ha!

More like this

*Scientists inaugurate new mental health condition so vague it applies to everyone over the age of 12, Dysphoric Social Attention Consumption Deficit Anxiety Disorder. The hallmarks of the condition include "worrying about life, feeling tense, restless, or fatigued, being concerned about their…
SteelyKid's second-grade class is doing a "Zoom Time" thing where the kids make short presentations to the class about one of their interests. It's basically an expanded show-and-tell, with fifteen minutes for talking, and five for "questions and compliments." She, of course, decided to talk about…
Aren't grandparents adorable? They're sweet and kind, they've been married for decades, and they've got wonderful archaic 1920s names like Edward and Edwina. Last week, based on the anecdotal evidence of my own grandparents and a couple from an NPR report, we speculated that couples from that older…
The Cosmic Variance post that led to the Cult of Theory post earlier this week was really about a New York magazine article about the negative effects of praising kids for intelligence. It mostly concerns a study done by Carol Dweck, in which fifth-graders who were praised for being smart after an…

We've gotten two interns in my unit. The systems guy is a very nice kid, but he's got that "praise me" thing going on.

The other intern seems like a nice kid, with none of that "praise me" attitude. They're the same age too.

However don't get me wrong, the systems guy is eager to learn and readily admits to not knowing very much.

I don't know whether it's age or foreign-ness, but I find a lot of this a bit bewildering. I do know that a kind of pallid English reflection of your praise culture exists over here, but it still has to contend with our innate diffidence and identification with failure. So my understanding is inevitably secondhand. Still, there does seem to be something in this whole problem that is cognate with the pre-socialised infantile territoriality of some very vocal portions of your society, that whole I-see-I-want-I-deserve-howdareyoukeepmefrom attitude that finds its most perfect expression in the infantile creed of Libertarianism. I can't help suspecting it comes of being God's own nation. That sort of thing is guaranteed to fuck you up...

...finds its most perfect expression in the infantile creed of Libertarianism. I can't help suspecting it comes of being God's own nation. That sort of thing is guaranteed to fuck you up...

Maybe it's the cultural worship of individuality taken to extremes. I don't recall it being quite this bad, but I am attuned to hear it in the constant anti-boomer rhetoric.

Asking Gen-X, Y, etc what they think about the boomers, the first thing you'd hear is the "concern" over the inevitable fiscal drain due to SS and the hardship it'll impose on their future. That could be the truth way off down the line, but it would have a little more validity if they actually worked for a while and contributed something substantial so that they could speak in terms other than hypotheticals.

Instead, it's generally a shortcut straight to complaints. That's a type of work, isn't it?

I guess what bothers me is that they'd buy that whole Libertarian "privatize SS" line without doing any meaningful research; but I think that Cato and the rest of "drown government" crowd is counting on buttering them up by telling them they're special and they deserve to work for themselves, not for mom, dad or others. They're smart; they earned those "A"'s fair and square.

Individuality is what counts here. These are generations that made it on their own; no standing on the shoulders of others for GenX/Y.

Look at this; now I sound like the grandmother that doesn't even appreciate the quality music produced by her grandchild. I guess individuality leads to alienation and bitterness too.

Asking Gen-X, Y, etc what they think about the boomers, the first thing you'd hear is the "concern" over the inevitable fiscal drain due to SS and the hardship it'll impose on their future. That could be the truth way off down the line, but it would have a little more validity if they actually worked for a while and contributed something substantial so that they could speak in terms other than hypotheticals.

...."if they actually worked for a while"? Most Gen-Xers are in their late 30s; most Y'ers only a decade younger. Are people magically excused from work if their life wasn't chronicled by Forrest Gump? If so, someone forgot to tell me and everybody I know.

Today's generation has already been grinding away in the workforce, thankyouverymuch, and have seen their paychecks during vulnerable, just-starting-out times slashed heavily for the sake of weird, exotic cultural entitlements such as Social Security that they themselves will almost assuredly never benefit from.

The "Greatests" and "Boomers" felt entitled to affordable college educations for themselves, and then they felt entitled to vote for policies that removed those from subsequent generations, setting the stage for the crushing debt burden that now looms. "Boomers" felt entitled to free love without protection, so AIDS.

Generational entitlement works in many ways, and so does myopic blame. I question the very existence of the phenomenon being discussed. For any metric where modern workers can be said to be worse than those of the past, there will be at least as many others where they excel higher.

>> has a bit more anecdote and information about how the business community is dealing with younger workers

How many times have you called for data to support an ID hypothesis and been provided with only anecdotes backed by speculation? Surely your own alarm bells must have been going off as you typed this, given that I believe you are one of the more consistently honest folks I've had the pleasure of meeting/reading on the Internet.

The hypothesis as I understand it is that the allegedly increasing supply of manager-to-worker compliments is driven by increasing demand in younger workers. Well, let's assume the hypothesis is correct.

Question 1 - does it actually matter? Do we have reasons to believe that someone will leave a $60k/yr job for a $50k/yr job simply because the latter offered 33% more praise or fell under the purview of a "celebrations assistant"? Do we have any industry-wide comparisons measuring the effects of celebration committees on labor productivity and revenue growth? Mind you we're distinguishing between the well earned praise we believe a excellent performance deserves and the presumtively unearned praise these selfish younger workers believe they are automatically entitled to. Do empty praise and "You're Super Keen!" celebrations really improve the bottom line?

Question 2 - what do we learn about younger workers from this anecdote? Obviously any conversation about how the business community is dealing with younger workers is necessarily incomplete if it's not placed in the full context in which these events are occurring. Job security is down and even nonexistent in many areas, pensions are the rapidly disappearing dinosaurs of compensation, and income inequality has continued increasing for several decades (for ex: http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_snapshots_20060823).

This is the first generation in almost 80 years that has the serious potential of being worse off than their parents, and they know it. On average, their portion of the pie is growing less rapidly than older/wealthier individuals, managers, and current capital owners. At this point, that trend seems unlikely to fix itself. Is it really a surprise that new workers entering the labor force crave support and validation from their companies that the reality of today's economy isn't offering them? "I know other people don't have job security, but please at least afford me the illusion that I do."

I'd like to respectfully offer my own hypothesis that also cites no surveys or other data. If companies focus on and improve the ways they ensure their workers feel empowered to do meaningful and important work in exchange for reasonable compensation packages with excellent opportunities for future advancement, managers might find they don't have to kiss their workers' butts quite so much.

Here I'm distinguishing between immoral selfishness and justifiable insecurity and, of course, I'm willing to be wrong. But postulating that the reason businesses are exploring more non-economic worker benefits during a time of rapidly rising business profits and slowly rising real wages because "it's what the workers really want" isn't quite what I need to see before I'll issue the ol' mea culpa.

-E

By Erisian23 (not verified) on 20 Jul 2007 #permalink

For a multiuniversity study released this year, 16,475 college students took the standardized narcissistic personality inventory, responding to such statements as "I think I am a special person." Students' scores have risen steadily since the test was first offered in 1982. The average college student in 2006 was 30% more narcissistic than the average student in 1982.

But are the 2006 students interpreting the questions the same way as the 1982 students? Considering how much the former group has heard the word "special" from preschool onward, it may well have a different meaning to them than to the 1982 group -- and the authors of the test.

"Still, there does seem to be something in this whole problem that is cognate with the pre-socialised infantile territoriality of some very vocal portions of your society, that whole I-see-I-want-I-deserve-howdareyoukeepmefrom attitude that finds its most perfect expression in the infantile creed of Libertarianism."

How amusing. Before reaching comments, I was thinking that the whole phenomena could be blamed on post-soviet liberalism, specifically the dependency created by the welfare state, the victim exhaltation of the ambulance chasing elite, and the slick-tongued amoral self-justification of political correctness.

Perhaps we could argue with each other by cherry-picking anecdotes, using inappropriate metaphors, ignoring counter-arguements, and moving the goalposts whenever the weight of our evidence comes up short.

I didn't believe it until I had to depend on three or four Gen Y individuals to get some work done and discovered that they felt it was beneath them and the job of older workers only. No sense of responsibility to anyone but themselves. I've no idea if the phenomenon is general. I sure hope it isn't.

The person who wrote that social security is exotic and weird is perhaps unaware that poverty among the elderly in the US was anything but exotic and weird prior to social security.

By hip hip array (not verified) on 20 Jul 2007 #permalink

There's an interesting rebuttal to the conclusions media and society have drawn from the study: "Will the real Gen Y please stand up" at http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-oe-howe2mar02,1,40…

>> it may well have a different meaning to them than to the 1982 group -- and the authors of the test.

I'd be interested in seeing how they controlled for changing definitions. My gut, which is easily on par with Chertoff's, tells me changes in prevailing parenting philosophies is a factor worth controlling for.

I also think it's interesting to consider the contexts in which the two groups of college students are giving their answers. Of the sample questions given, my favorite was "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place".

Believing you could do a better job taking care of the world than today's politicians and business leaders have isn't narcissistic of you. It just shows you've been paying attention.

It also struck me as odd that the older[1] generation is latching on to their 1982 college test scores as if those scores are the gold standard. I can't help but wonder how the NPI scores of 1982's 40-somethings would compare to the scores of today's 40-49 population. Sadly, I couldn't find any NPI surveys that captured that data.

We ought to be asking for more behavioral studies demonstrating increases in actual selfish behaviors. A psych profile may call out potential risk factors, but then we also have to suffer reading things like: "Younger individuals aged 18-24 were the group most likely to give more than in the past, [...]" AFP, May 2, 2005, http://www.afpnet.org/ka/ka-3.cfm?content_item_id=20649&folder_id=2345

Rising charitable giving in the 18-24 age group is inconsistent with many of the conclusions people have drawn from Twenge's study (or her book, currently #4,918 in Books on Amazon.com).

Fwiw, I'm not in the 20-29 bracket. I simply believe we ought to tread carefully when we start reading conclusions into new studies that seemingly, oh-so-coincidentally, validate our moral superiority and/or low opinion of others. Thar be sharks in them thar waters.

-E

[1] "older" - hah! My informal and non-scientific survey proves to me that today's 40-somethings are the smartest, longest living, and best looking 40-somethings of all time. Today's 20-somethings really have their work cut out for them. So take off your Aviator Sunglasses, put your Porsche in park, and give yourself a big hand, you stud!

By Erisian23 (not verified) on 20 Jul 2007 #permalink

Wow. I love hearing people pigeonhole me and tell me how and why I am. It's great. As a 27 year-old with a degree in computer science fully incapable of finding a job using that skill in a world where jobs are rapidly being shipped overseas, I don't think I have ever said "I won't do that work because it is below me." In the nightmare workforce that has been my post college experience, I have been a cage cleaner at an animal research center, a gas station attendant, worked graveyard at a parking garage, and now I work in the bulk section of a grocery store.

And now, I am back in college starting entirely over.

I couldn't give a rat's ass about praise. Call me an idiot, I don't care. I just want to make some above poverty level money. Is that entitlement? I don't think so. I'm not standing with my arms crossed saying, look at what I've done now reward me. I'm working hard. Harder than the people around me. Multiple jobs, in school, raising a family.

Sorry. I hate this Gen Y B.S.

I had to depend on three or four Gen Y individuals to get some work done and discovered that they felt it was beneath them and the job of older workers only. No sense of responsibility to anyone but themselves.

I had to depend on the Baby Boomers who comprise the Bush Administration to get some work done and show responsibility to others. Gosh....

@Jane, I think you have a good point--the narcissism index seems suspicious. How could one pose a single question to a group and conclude that it is more narcissistic? And "special"--to me, that word means mentally retarded. I don't think my generation would want to be called "special!"

@Erisian23, I don't know about your ultimate conclusion, but you're right--this isn't data. It's simply a series of bizarre anecdotes. I think it's somewhat humorous, regardless of gen Y is like, that throwing 25 pounds of confetti at workers can make them feel better. I'd rather have that thrower fired and have the salary distributed as benefits or higher pay!

I'm pretty sure that fifty years ago, bosses complained that their workers couldn't be forced to weld a widget, that those shiftless bastards felt "entitled" to all sorts of crap. . . it's the union's fault, I tell you.

ChrisH:

I'd rather have that thrower fired and have the salary distributed as benefits or higher pay!

Well, that's just insensitive. That confetti-throwing job is probably the culmination of a four-year college education. As Ezekiel Buchheit says up above;

"It's tough out there for a brother!",

so having a festive workplace is a valid substitution for having no career, no future, no pension, no healthcare. I'm waiting for the study that shows a direct relationship to confetti use in the workplace and the reductions in healthcare costs.

And, it's probably one of the few jobs that can't be viably handed off to H-1Bs.

Erisian23: Stauss and Howe (LA Times article) are tools of the HR industry, and some of the guys behind the "Army of One" marketing push of 2001 that was supposed to appeal to Millenials (I think they're trying to trademark that word, like Chris and Mark are trying to own "Denialism"). They know how to write drama though:

...a reassuring prospect if Social Security collapses under the demographic weight of the boomers.

Now, I could put up with the GenY/Millenium praise in that article; it's empty pablum from HR industry shills, but I really empathize with that poor and overburdened "if" in that sentence. Some phrases are so tortured that you just want to scream out for their pain. There's no love for the poor "if". Yup, it's always the little guy that carries the load.

I question the very existence of the phenomenon being discussed. For any metric where modern workers can be said to be worse than those of the past, there will be at least as many others where they excel higher.

I think we just have a difference in POV what "worked for a while means". I've only had two real employers in my entire life (three, if we count a roadside fruit stand I ran one extended summer), but I see a lot of people in my workgroup that move around prodigiously -- most in that GenY group. They view me as too timid to step out into the competitive marketplace on an annual basis. I view them as idiots that don't build a career, instead expecting to fall ass-backwards into that fortuitous position that gets them into a six-figure salary. It's just professionals sharing respect for the job the other does.

This whole premise of entitlement backlash from the GenX/Y illustrates a descent into a trailer-park mindset: "I don't need taxes or a social safety net because as soon as I win the lottery, I'll be set and I want to keep ALL that money. I'm just waiting for my lotto numbers to come up. Buzz off in the meantime."

I lived in a trailer-park so I think I'm qualified to comment on that worldview. When a generation starts to embrace it, then I'm more amused than chagrined.

Besides, as subject matter, this beats atheism vs. religion and creation vs. evolution by a longshot.

"You know the Woodstock generation that were conceited and so full of themselves? They couldn't dance."

Great Whit Stillman line. That's mostly what I think of as the bad part of Boomers. I know there are exceptions, but talk about narcissism and irresponsibility.

Part of the current generational misunderstanding can be accounted for by expected levels of personality differences across different parts of the lifespan. Personality doesn't change that much after 30, but there is a small, steady increase in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. And compared to someone in their mid-20s, it's probably a bit more noticeable.

So, you need to compare 20-somethings from today with the Boomers when they were in their 20s. Let's say the Boomer was born in 1950, and the Y-er in 1980. During which era were early-mid 20-somethings more pathetic in a social and cultural sense: 1970-75 or 2000-05?

This could change due to MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. Kids who are now 15, in 10 years could be worse than Boomers... although I don't think there's the self-righteous "I'm so altruistic and you're a pig" preening going on in a teenager's Facebook or YouTube page. Well, we'll just have to wait and see about current teenagers.

Ted: I don't see what "trailer park values" have to do with any of this. Unless having a trailer is a prerequisite for most high-paying jobs, and for about half a century everybody in the country was able to get a trailer with significant government assistance, but now suddenly we have a modern generation that has to pay for their trailers via high-interest loans such that basically everybody under a certain age is at least $40,000 in debt. That would speak to the cold economic realities of the X/Y-ers.

More: http://commonsense.ourfuture.org/independence_day

Gens.X/Y don't believe they "don't need a social safety net;" rather, they take it as a foregone conclusion that they need one but will not get one, because it will be something else the Boomers have overused, mismanaged, or neglected into oblivion. Guarantee newer workers that they will have the same opportunity as the last 60 years of Americans, and they'll stop clamoring for radical change. Shrug and say "meh, see what happens," and abandon the option of credibly complaining when they do the only thing that makes sense.

Finally, before people spend more time complaining about the business choices of modern workers, let's give fair view to the fact that, back in their day, previous generations of workers felt entitled to exclude women, ethnic minorities, the openly gay, and the handicapped from the workplace largely if not completely. So much for values.

Guarantee newer workers that they will have the same opportunity as the last 60 years of Americans, and they'll stop clamoring for radical change.

Ok, man -- I'm missing it. What is the radical change you're clamoring for? Dissolution of SS that will put a few extra bucks in your pocket to increase the lotto odds? The few extra bucks so that the American public can self manage the privatized accounts? Hedge fund envy?

What?

----
You had me down cold with the "meh, see what happens". Down to the shrug. Chilling.

I'm sure I did--that's the sad thing. Guess I also have you on the "can't credibly complain about what the kids do about it."

Look, it's simple. Our economic system, and the performance of the last 50-ish years of workers, is presupposed on conditions such as SS and pensions, which appear to be on their way out. Recognizing that, modern workers want some chance to set aside that tax money that otherwise would be a generational entitlement for everybody but themselves. It's just basic fairness. The crew gets the passengers onto the lifeboats, but then also has a lifeboat of their own.

I suspect that if modern workers weren't trying to stave off that huge unreciprocated loss, people in this thread could with equally obvious glee say they were being lazy kids who never take responsibility or plan for the future.

Guess I also have you on the "can't credibly complain about what the kids do about it."

There may be muffled bitching and pounding from the coffin. But I doubt that you'd think it relevant.

Look, it's simple.

Do you know why boomers and older Gen-Xs think that millenials are doofuses[1]? It's not that we have anything against millenials in particular -- you guys carry our genes -- except for the notion that coming out of the school and joining the workplace, as a group, you have some sort of epiphanic knowledge which has so far escaped the grasp of other 6B current planet doofuses and most of the dead ones too. I've worked with a bunch of sharp young guys that can make a decision at the drop of a hat. Know why? Because the less real world experience you have, the less you have to consider the variety of factors that play in the decision. No need to point out the anti-intellectual bias there; I'm aware.

When something is a binary decision, it's simple. Easy to decide. A or B. And lack of real experience makes things simple. But put in a few years, eat shit sandwiches occasionally, personally discover that they taste bad and you notice a slowness that starts to creep into all decisions, including the really major ones that impact society in general (and is holding a couple hundred K of my cash hostage). The binary switch they gave you in college is replaced by an analog dial, that you fritter with endlessly. And NOBODY's happy with the results, because they're all crappy compromises.

I suspect that if modern workers weren't trying to stave off that huge unreciprocated loss, people in this thread could with equally obvious glee say they were being lazy kids who never take responsibility or plan for the future.

Meh, see what happens. :-)

We're old. You might catch us napping or something. That's the only way that SS is going down.

------------
[1] -- Also you guys really listen to crappy and depressing music. That can't help.

You'll pardon me if I don't take seriously your lecture on "simplicity" versus "real experience," given that just a few posts above you said that GenX'ers--people now in their late 30s to mid 40s--hadn't worked at all yet. You seem to be speaking to nothing but stereotypes. I admit, I hate the people on "Sex And The City" too, and I guess it would seem like cosmic comeuppance for them to be poor and scrabbling for a while. But yanno what? They're not real.

[1] -- Also you guys really listen to crappy and depressing music. That can't help.

This is a footnote to why "older Gen-Xs" think millennials are doofuses -- that would be the same older Gen-Xs (born in the '60s) who gave birth to the slacker culture and grunge music of the early '90s, hardly distinguishable from emo (what the link links to). Depressing music is much oldler anyway: The Cure, The Smiths -- old Gen-Xers. And Joy Division / New Order -- Boomers!

Just admit that you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Also, if one uses a more liberal definition of "Boomer," then The Cure and The Smiths are Boomers too. (I'd lump those born in 1959 as elder Gen-Xers, but someone else might classify them as Boomers.)

You'll pardon me if I don't take seriously your lecture on "simplicity" versus "real experience,"...

It's all for the LULZ. Don't take any of it seriously. :-) If it was "simple", it would have already been done. Ergo, ...

Tell you what, let's compromise; I'll feign interest in the millenials by offering a few suggestions:

1. Means test SS benefits. I'll allow that not all recipients deserve the full payout. Those that need it get it, those well off, get less.
2. Increase the SS taxes to "all income", earned and invested, not on just the first 97K. That will take the pressure off of you and put it on those that benefit the most from social stability.
3. What's to stop you from having your own lifeboat, i.e. a personal savings account after you fulfill your social security obligations? I understand that savings accounts and retirement accounts have been around for a while, and are a well established vehicle. If you have a good job, you'll be able to do it (with a little kvetching of course). If you don't have a good job and can't put anything aside, you'll be thankful for that social cushion. Where's the harm?
4. Let's blame Hitler (Doh! I call bye! Doesn't count as invoking Godwin); without him, the boomers wouldn't have been born boomers.

But really, this is all a red herring. Boomers won't be eating that money or burning it; they'll be passing it off to the health care industry, grasping to last just a little longer. They're just the well greased conduit that passes money from the treasury to the health care industry.

And plastic surgeons; one needs to keep up appearances.

----
Toodles

Just to get the conversation back on track, I think the main article misses the egg for the chicken. The reason this sort of stupid stuff is done isn't because the younger generations (Note. I'm at the leading edge of this generation, at 28) want this sort of stuff. It's because middle management (who for the most part is much older) perceives it as what we want, and we are willing to accept in lieu of better wages, benefits and job security.

I'll repeat that. 'cos it bears repeating.

Middle management theory perceives that feel-good measures are a cheap way of maintaining staff morale in the face of stagnant wages and increasing job insecurity.

This, by the way, is so much horsedung it's not even funny, as this sort of thing actually insults most people's intelligence, but we live with it because there really are no options these days.

What do the younger generations want? Well, we already have the crushing debt of college, and a good number of us are unable to find jobs in our chosen field. We were basically promised that you go to school, go to college, graduate, and a job would be waiting for you. Now, I know this always was horseshit. But that was what the educational system promised.

In short, we want what our parents had.

I agree with Karmakin. I think this is more a way to "spin" corporate compensation. Feel-good crap for those low on the totem pole, high salaries and perks for those high up. Both of these irrespective of merit.

Undeserved praise is a minor problem. Undeserved compensation is a much more serious one.

"Mr. Nardelli's contribution to raising Home Depot's stock value consists of quitting and receiving hundreds of millions of dollars to do so," said Frank, who has vowed to study the issue of executive compensation this year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR20070…

"Maybe it's the cultural worship of individuality taken to extremes."

They work so hard on being individuals, they all end up a like. "We're all individuals"

I'm not!

By Evinfuilt (not verified) on 23 Jul 2007 #permalink

Wow. I suppose the plural of anecdote is "data" now, huh?

20-somethings certainly can be prone to immaturity, but I hardly see how anyone with even a hint of self-awareness can pretend that this is a new development.

"These kids these days think they are so special! They are not anywhere near as special as I AM!"

As a disclaimer, I have long since waved my 20's goodbye. It's just that I have been hearing variations of "kids these days are not as good as we were" since I was a wee lad, and it cracks me up to hear it coming from the very people that I remember, once, being the shiftless kids.

Some day, when I am an old geezer, I will get to listen to Gen-Y's talk about who useless the kids are these days.

By General Woundwort (not verified) on 23 Jul 2007 #permalink

Well, sure - but that option isn't on the menu. Your choices are: (a) No raise, more work, plus confetti; or (b) no raise, more work, no confetti.

Which would you choose?

OK, blockquote doesn't work here... that post was supposed to reference the following:

I think it's somewhat humorous, regardless of gen Y is like, that throwing 25 pounds of confetti at workers can make them feel better. I'd rather have that thrower fired and have the salary distributed as benefits or higher pay!

The confetti would only annoy me, and I'd end up shoving it up someone's arse.