Millennials certainly complain a lot. They seem to think that the baby boomers they are looking at today are the same individuals and had all the same stuff and job status when baby boomers were the age of today’s Millennials.
A recent complaint I read on facebook was that college graduates are often expected to start at salaries of $15 an hour. Millennials complain that they can’t live on that amount. Back when baby boomers were their age, baby boomers often married. Then there were two $15 an hour incomes (ha, ha, as if that were the starting salary back then), but for the sake of explaining it so a millennial can understand, a married couple, who both worked, would then be earning a combined income of $30 an hour. Today’s millennials refuse to marry until everything is perfect. They have to have the perfect job with the perfect salary and they complain if they don’t.
I have Millennials for children now and they often say that baby boomers (me) had it soooo much easier. Yeah? Do they mean when my fellow male students sat in their twelfth grade classrooms wondering if they’d be fighting a war next year this time in the jungles of Vietnam? We had the draft back then, and whether or not you believed in the war, if Uncle Sam called you, you reported for duty. At age 18. And back then, drinking age was 21. Yeah, heading off to war when you were not even old enough to vote or drink alcohol was a breeze.
Baby boomers are also blamed for the student loan debt that plagues many college graduates. That’s somehow our fault as well. I would hope the millennials got loan counseling when they were signing the forms to borrow all that money. I know we did. We had to read the paperwork while standing in the financial aid office and signing the forms. We also had to sign up for classes by going to a building and if we wanted to drop/add classes after we saw our schedule, we had to go stand in line to do that. No computers back then to let us sit in our air conditioned dorm while we tended to those mundane chores. Also, our dorms were not air conditioned. It was fans or nothing.
I could go on about how baby boomers had it tough also, but back then we expected toughness. I’ll never forget John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you. – Ask what YOU can do for your country.” We did ask how we could improve our country. We may have resented older people who seemed to have it all, but we listened when they said they didn’t start out with a house and two cars and nice furniture. It took time and work to have those things.
The most recent thing I read that Millennials are suggesting is that no one use the self-checkout lines at Walmart. Really? Why not? Uh, they think the cashiers (who make less than $15 an hour) should be kept busy and be kept employed. Well, I think I prefer to go ahead and check myself out when the lines are long. I get done more quickly and my cans aren’t dented and everything is rung up exactly right because I notice the price as I ring each item. No more heading to Customer Service to get a refund on an item that was rung up at a higher price than it should have been.
I’m wondering if we old folks should listen to the Millennials and do the opposite of what they suggest. They seem to be the ones having so much trouble dealing with life and accepting the notion that success or failure is up to the individual and the choices s/he makes. I’ve seen myself fail, and I’ve also succeeded at times. The difference was, I blamed myself, not some old person who happened to be doing better at the moment than I was.
Respect for elders would be nice to see again, but I don’t think the Millennials will be giving baby boomers that ever.
The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (73-90 years old) Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old) Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old) Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old)Mar 1, 2018