Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wall Street 3: Sense of Entitlement

"Wall Street 2 may have come out last week, but you ain't Shia playa." - Reverend Doctor Page

Today's post is focused on the generation behind me. I'm talking about the folks born in the mid 80s aka Generation Y. And I feel the need to talk about them because I'm starting to notice a few things, actually a few bad things, based on interaction and conversations with a few of them. I'm not saying these few people represent the whole generation but I will say I hope these few are not an indication of what we should expect from the generation. Now that I've set a record for saying "few" in one paragraph, let's focus on What's going on!

Before I go into the Honest man rant, let me explain a few things about Generation X. Growing up, the following things were either non existent or not fully developed yet: Internet, cell phones, instant messaging, google, facebook, twitter, blogs, mp3 players. You know what was the big thing when I was in high school? Pagers. Yep, they're like dinosaurs now, completely extinct. I mention these things because the above has historically transformed society to the point it's how we interact and view things today. Good or bad, the impact has been huge. Could you imagine if that stuff didn't exist today? Probably not if you were born starting from 1984 and on....

When the digital revolution started, it opened up a Pandora's box of new access into people's lives. Privacy is now a premium as you can learn a lot about an individual simpky by doing searches on the internet. It's kinda crazy if you think about it. If someone really wants to know about me, they can type in my name, and within seconds get a quick look at me. And that's what our society has morphed into, getting quick results, and using that information to make a faster mark on society.

One thing that troubles me with the digital revolution is the accompanying sense of entitlement that has also developed with it. I'm starting to see a trend in recent college graduates and first timers to Corporate America that they are entitled to making big decisions after less than 5 years in workplace. Are you shitting me? Maybe because I was brought up old school where the folks around me made me pay my dues before they put me down but that attitude is very prevalent today.

It's actually scary to be honest. Recently I've had conversations with a couple of folks and it worries me that one day I could be working for those people (although I'd quit my job before that happen LOL). One of those topics happens to be around promotion. They keep talking about how they deserved to be promoted. How they are doing so much more than their teammates. If you let them tell it, they've saved the world (translation company) from the evil doers of the world (translation competitors), and now they want the key to the city (translation promotion). Let me break away from proper English, to say "Yo what da fuck you talkin' 'bout Willis?"

I don't understand the sense of entitlement. You're doing a good job. Are you doing a great job? And are you doing a great job on a repeated basis? One thing I remember asking a peer who was adamant about being promoted was "Are you better than me?" That was because I wanted him to understand that you have teammates on your team and you have to constantly ask during promotion, are you better than your peers? And I don't mean your gut tells you yes type bullshit. I'm talking about the proof in the pudding. Are your accomplishments that much better than your teammates? Have you impacted the business more than your teammates? If you can definitely say yes to these, then you got an argument. But if you wavering, then um, pimp Imma need you to cool on the promotion talk.

The other thing that worries me is the lack of apathy to take advice. When I started working, I was very eager to learn from those that had been working longer than me, whether it was 5 years or 25 years. I was cocky but not in a sense where it showed through my actions and work. I kept my stuff humble until I had that definite I'm kickin' ass moment (which came around my 5 year mark). Now when I try to help others behind me, I just get blank looks. Or the typical "ok" response which means I know they don't give a shit about what I'm saying. And that's disappointing because I would like to think I could make a person successful based on my track record. But again the entitlement thing kicks in and it's frustrating.

Let me end with this. Like the above quote that started off this post, if you are not making a huge impact in your role, like say Shia is in Wall Street 2, then you need to know your role and shut your mouth. It's really that simple. No one is saying that you can't speak, or carry someone's football pads, or not be aggressive, or not seek to be successful. But you cannot go about it by arguing with cats that got skin in the game, or being bold to say a 20 year veteran is clueless or saying you deserve a promotion when you've brought in like 500K in revenue to a billion dollar business or telling someone they don't know what they are talking about when the only big you've done is run the student computer lab in college. Make sense? Get a clue Generation Y. I got faith in ya but damn ya'll do got me worried....

Today's Lesson

Think of yourself as Luke Skywalker and me as Yoda from Empire Strikes Back. In other words, "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will." Take a good look in the mirror young folk, pay your dues, and understand I'm just trying to help you out. Let's end with some Marvin....

"Brotha brotha, far too many of you lying,
Brotha brotha brotha, far too many of you trying,
wiki sites (BROTHA), virtual fights (BROTHA) don't punish me (BROTHA) with your mental tease (BROTHA) promise me (BROTHA) that you will see (BROTHA) What's going on!"

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