My biggest pet peeve is the elder generations who claim that 20-somethings these days think we are entitled. We were raised to follow the unbeaten path and pursue careers that we “love” because older generations told us to! Our parents worked as bank tellers, construction workers, and restaurant servers—they made minimum wage and they hated every minute of it. So they sent us (the entitled generation) to college, where dreams come true and you are taught to do what you love. And hey, since you’re doing that, you won’t ever work a day in your life! So naturally if there was an Anthropology degree, we majored in it. If you could get your master’s in it, we went to graduate school for it. So what if there was a small margin for employment in Photographic Arts—we studied it! Because you told us to! Look at us go, pursuing out dreams and whatnot.
As I pour my second glass of wine and watch my cat chase around the 37 houseflies invading my apartment, I like to think about those older generations and the dreams they told me to follow.
(But I don’t want anyone to assume that I am spoiled, so let me clarify this is a $3.99 bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s, and my cat was found in a McDonald’s parking lot in Hamtramck, Detroit.)
My elders told me, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” What it seems you actually meant is that if I pick a career in a field that interests me, I would never get a chance to work a day in my life…because no one will hire me. Or are you saying my unemployment checks will cancel out my student loans? (They don’t, FYI.)
See, these older generations told us not to follow their paths; they said that they want better for us. “Go to school, get an education!” they said. Until it became time to start hiring us. After that, well, fuck, you better have eight years of college, three degrees, four internships, and you want to make HOW MUCH a year?
How dare you ask for a raise after you spend $120,000 on that education and worked without pay for a year? Who do you think you are?!
This is when I begin to doubt my work ethic. Did I not work hard enough as an intern? Did I not earn every dollar that I was pai— oh…that’s right. I wasn’t paid. I worked for free for a year to even be considered for a paid internship.
You owned property at my age? I made an $80,000 investment in my education.
AND MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE:
You’re annoyed that we are always glued to our phones. Then please do not complain when I neglect to answer your work emails and phone calls after 5PM or on weekends.
I’M NOT ENTITLED; I’M BROKE.