Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet the Millenials

The workplace has become a psychological battlefield and the millennials have the upper hand, because they are tech savvy, with every gadget imaginable almost becoming an extension of their bodies. They multitask, talk, walk, listen and type, and text. And their priorities are simple: they come first. - The Millenials Are Coming

Millenials on Subway
Forget Generation X. Or even Generation Y. And certainly forget the Baby Boomers.

We now have "The Millenials".

According to Pew Research, "America's newest generation, the Millennials, is in the middle of this coming-of-age phase of its life cycle. Its oldest members are approaching age 30; its youngest are approaching adolescence."

When I first read about the Millenials, I thought they were another species. The name sounds so SciFi. I imagined tall thin people wandering around Earth looking for work.

For that is the context in which I read about them. Somewhere I read that "Millenials" were having problems finding jobs.

As we all know, this global unemployment is the fault of Wall Street and its Euro and Asian counterparts. And in order to draw attention to the economic devastation caused by these stock exchanges, many Millenials have become "Occupiers". Occupiers are ideologically opposite to Tea-Party people. Of course it is possible to be a Millenial Tea-Partier, in which case you are "Misguided".

Perhaps the "Misguiders" will be the next group to grab the attention of the press. In which case no doubt its ranks will swell.

But back to the Millenials. Why did I imagine them as tall thin wispy people? Was it just the name?

Pre-Millenials, Brooklyn
I pondered this on my ride back home tonight. I was sitting next to a woman who was even older than a Baby-Boomer. She must have come of age in the nineteen fifties. What were THOSE people called? "Old people" comes to mind; but raking my long-term memory, I came up with "Bobby-Soxers".

So to rephrase.

I was sitting next to a Bobby-Soxer. She looked like the archetypical grandmother. White hair pulled back into a French twist, she was elegantly dressed and a silver eagle walking stick rested against her imacculate New York black skirt.

Every now and then the bus driver would sound his horn, holding the hormn down until the offending vehicle apparently blocking the bus's path, moved away. And whenever the driver did this, the Bobby-Soxer would yell "Shut UP!!!"

But what got me was, as no sooner than she'd emitted her "Shut up!", her face would go back to looking serene, and once again she was the story-book grandma.

Boomers and Millenials Unite
Around this time I was nearing the end of the novel, "The Leftovers". "The Leftovers" by Tom Perrotta is about a world where a million people have magically left earth, à la "Rapture".

Except it wasn't the Rapture. The book details the daily lives of a number of people who were not disappeared and who are called the "Leftovers". Individual Leftovers react differently as one would expect, but some form themselves into groups. One group is "The Watchers", aka "The Guilty Remnants". I preferred to think of these people as "Watchers" as "Guilty Remnants" made me think of buying scrap fabric at the now disappeared "Job Warehouse" in Melbourne a hundred years ago.

So there I was, on the bus, reading about Watchers - a subset of the Leftovers, sitting next to a Bobby-Soxer, when my mind did a lateral De Bono jump to the Millenials.

Millenials, Bobby-Soxers, Generation X-ers, Tea-Partiers, Occupiers.

What's the world coming to?

I'm just so glad that I am a Baby-Boomer. It sounds so solid. So normal. So salt-of-the-earth.

Oh and by the way, if you are thinking of reading "The Leftovers", don't bother. Unless of course, you are into baseball.

And as to why I say this, you cannot know. Not unless you get to the last chapter.

And I don't wish that on anybody. Not even on Tea-Partiers!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I'm a Bobby Soxer?
Nah, I think that was in the USA. Girls I knew in the Forties (yes, I'm THAT old) didn't wear bobby socks.
And you are a Boomer, and an early one at that? Salt-of-the-Earth, eh? Got a couple of those in our family but only one of 'em's salty...VERY salty mouthed. Wonder where she got it?
Think I'll pass on The Leftovers.

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