generation y struggles

I visited my parents this weekend.

My family is pretty crazy, so I usually limit my visits to holidays and birthdays. However, my sister just had a baby, and everyone was getting together, so I had to come up.

During dinner last night, my father went into a rant about how our generation is lazy and doesn’t want to work for anything. This offended me, because I support myself and I’m certainly far from lazy. Yet, this is a huge generalization that a lot of people make about Generation Y, without batting an eyelash.

Here are a few others that come to mind:

  • Generation Y expects constant praise and a gold star for ”effort”: We don’t expect to be babied and constantly praised. Positive reinforcement works for employees of all generations. Aside from money, it’s a great motivator. Life is hard. We all need assurance and a pat on the back from time to time. That’s it!
  • Generation Y mooches off their parents: Yes, it’s very common for Generation Y to move back in with mom and dad after graduating. The good ol’ days, when a college grad would get a middle-class income, buy a house, AND have a family, are long gone. The point of moving back is to save money while Generation Y desperately clings to its youth looks for a job and pays off student debt. Sounds practical if you ask me. The lazy, mooching college grad isn’t the rule, and should stop being used to label the rest of us.
  • Generation Y expects to make at least $80,000 / year right out of college: This is funny. I expected to make at least $60,000 out of college. Then I got a really sobering reality check. That was it. Guess who else got a sobering reality check when they entered the job market? Everyone else. Mind you, we were misguided by our parents! We were told that if we studied hard, got good grades, and graduated with honours, employers would be hounding us down, practically begging us to work for them. Or was that just my parents?

Baby Boomers are quick to point their fingers at us and scold us for not having our shit together. To this I say, Tell me good sir, how am I to fill a position that doesn’t exist? Moreover, why won’t you fucking retire already?

The thing is, every generation has a bone to pick with the one right after it. When we reach 40, we’ll look at the new generation and judge their choices, abilities, and taste in music.

How have negative Generation Y stereotypes affected you?

Why I hate twitter

I hate Twitter. Here’s why.

  1. I’m not a hyperactive, tech-obsessed extrovert. Most people (especially industry professionals) come across as hyperactive, tech-obsessed extroverts on Twitter. Yep. They’ll be tweeting all day, everyday. Sure, they upload and time their tweets in advance. However, reading all of that, much less, writing it, exhausts me.
  2. I’m not a “guru” of any kind. Most people (again, especially industry professionals) refer to themselves as gurus and ninjas. Especially in the realm of social media. It’s an overused cliche that needs to die.
  3. Spam. I hate being spammed with self-promoting material like “check out my blog/website/video.” Most of the time, this stuff isn’t relevant to my interests!
  4. Follower collectors. That’s right, they collect followers. My Twitter experience is not enriched by the self-promoting user who has 17,000 followers and is following 17,000 others. Ignore.
  5. Superficial conversations. It’s hard to get into something meaningful when you only have 140 characters.
  6. Direct messages. Again, this is a type of spam. As soon as I follow someone, I’ll get an automated direct message from them. It usually sounds something like this: “Hi, thanks for following. You can check out my website here http://www.website.com”
  7. Always being connected. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t like always being connected. I like to get away from the tech world to do real world things sometimes.
  8. I don’t like documenting every single moment of every single day. And I don’t care to hear a play by play of yours, either.
  9. Celebrities on twitter. Yeah, I don’t give a shit about celebrities on Twitter and what they’re tweeting about. Especially you, Kim Kardashian.
  10. Hashtags. Don’t get me wrong, hashtags are useful for searching for relevant content. I hate when people overuse them for everything, and end up #hashtagging #an #entire #sentence #like #this.
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Attention Twitter users! Those who hashtag improperly will be ridiculed.

I’m not a hater. Twitter is really useful if you know how to use it. And I’m still learning how to make the most of my Twitter experience.Twitter is excellent for staying in touch with news and trends. You could even use Twitter for open networking, and reach out to professionals in your industry (or preferred industry). Twitter is great when there’s dialogue involved, and not just a one-sided self-promoting monologue.

Assess how connected you want to be, and customize your Twitter experience based on how much you can consume.

How has your Twitter experience been so far?

Irrational fears

Almost everyone I know is afraid of spiders. They crawl around your room, quietly observing you. Creepy. But, I’m not afraid of spiders. I don’t kill them. I don’t evict them from my home. I let them stay. Logically speaking, that spider is my ally, because it’s killing all of the other bugs in lieu of paying part of the rent. Works for me!

Although my lack of arachnophobia makes me sound like I’m not human, I still have irrational fears like everyone else.

Inspired by Ronald McDonald…perhaps?

Without further ado, here is a list of my irrational fears:

  1. The Goosebumps song. This is scarier than anything I’ve ever seen on the show.
  2. That thing under my bed. Ah yes, an irrational fear that has followed me throughout childhood, my teens, and finally, my early 20’s. To this day, every arm and leg will be located on the mattress at all times. Not dangling off the bed. And not left exposed (i.e. not covered by the blanket).
  3. Leaving the stove on. Remember that scene from Friends when Rachel thought she left the stove on, and Ross said “You haven’t cooked since 1996!” Yeah…
  4. Murderers hiding behind the closed shower curtain. And for this reason, the curtain will always remain open. If the curtain is ever closed, the person hiding behind the curtain will receive a surprise sucker punch.
  5. Clowns. I really shouldn’t be afraid of clowns. I’ve been to the circus. I’ve been to lame birthday parties with clowns. I’ve been to Cirque du Soleil. But, I’ve also seen “It” so clowns are fucking scary, okay?! Why are they always smiling so sinisterly? WHY?!
  6. Mirrors in the dark. I don’t think I need to say more.
  7. Dolls. You know the ones…Big blue eyes. Curly blonde hair. Sometimes they blink at you. Some people collect them, and have rows upon rows of dolls on their shelves. Terrifying.

What are your irrational fears? Sound off in the comments below!

Last Night’s Debate

I watched the U.S. Presidential Debate last night. Even though I’m not American, I found it super interesting and intense.

Afterwards, I had a mini-debate with a friend of mine. His main argument was that Obama made the deficit worse.

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Naturally, I thought of this.

People, people, people. A lot of things are being blamed on Obama. Well, I don’t think that’s fair. In 2008 when Obama began his term, he was greeted by a shitstorm. I think that shitstorm might even be an understatement. He had to deal with money lost on two wars. Oh, and let’s not forget the economic meltdown via the banks.

So, when people say that Obama made things worse, I challenge you people. How can we truly measure the effectiveness and successes of his term, when he didn’t have a fresh plate to begin with? How do we know that things didn’t just get gradually worse, with or without him?

The next few weeks are going to be intense. If you’re American, I urge you to carefully consider your options. I won’t tell you who to vote for. But, I will tell you that this is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever have to make. This time (especially with the shitty economy) is critical.

So, sit down. Grab a pen and piece of paper. And make a list. Make sure you understand exactly what each candidate is promising you. Once you understand what they want to do, think about whether their ideas are realistic. Are they genuine? Have they put a lot of thought into this? Do they understand what they’re going to do, and how they’re going to do it?

Pick the candidate that is realistic. Pick the one who knows what they’re doing and how to do it. Don’t be deceived by cheery smiles and grand gestures. Talk is cheap, remember?

Oh and I have just one question to Gov. Romney. What pipeline from Canada?!

P.S. Binders full of women. If you like it, put three rings on it!

career commitment

Daria is an awesome show, because Daria is a sarcastic smartass who points out all of the little absurdities we take for granted. Go watch Daria.

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You’re standing on my neck.

Here’s a little gem I picked up recently. I think it resonates loud and clear for all of us 20 somethings who are lost. Hate your job? Indecisive? Have zero self awareness? Remember the wise words of one Daria Morgendorfer.

“My goal is not to wake up at 40 with the bitter realization that I’ve wasted my life on a job I hate because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.”

Did you get that? Good. Now go back to enjoying your youth and growing as a person. And don’t be hard on yourself for not having it all figured out. You’re really not supposed to. You’re just supposed to experiment, learn, and grow. Everything falls into place as you go along.

People who have it all figured out are just blindly obeying their parents’ wishes. Or, they’re not self-aware and lying to themselves. Yes, I really want to be an accountant. I really, really do. How does one know at such a young age and with so little life experience? It’s mind boggling.

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And so, I’m optimistic. I have one eye towards the future and one towards the past.

You are cordially invited to a threesome.

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Or until I had to pee.

Friday was interesting. I met an old friend from highschool over dinner and drinks. See, we were good friends in highschool, and drifted apart because we went to different colleges in different towns. Anyways, now that we’re both back in our home town, we can see a lot more of each other.

I was excited to meet up with an old friend and catch up. I wanted to hear about everything I missed for the past four years. I wanted to share survival stories of the post grad world. Job hunt tips. Resume tips. Keeping your shit together while you’re busy looking like you’re keeping your shit together.

I dressed like I had my shit together. Jeans, a nice top, and a cute pair of boots I can’t afford.

We sat down after excited giggling and obligatory exchanges of “You look great!” I ordered a nice plate of pasta and a martini. The waiter informed me that the pasta might be a while. Sure, sure, I told him. I’m catching up with an old friend, we’ll be here a while!

As soon as we got our drinks, she started venting to me about her love life. She’s been dating the same guy for over 2 years, and get this–he went to our highschool. I couldn’t remember him for the life of me. I nodded sympathetically even though I had no idea who she was talking about.

Then she dropped the proverbial bomb.

Would you want to try a threesome with us?

It sounds weird out of context. Let me rephrase that. It was something like this — John’s birthday is coming up, and I want to do something really wild for him. I want to have a threesome. I don’t want to look for an anonymous stranger on Craigslist because that would be really awkward!

Before I could bring up STDs and other disastrous things that are worse than an “awkward experience” she dropped it on me. We looked through some of your Facebook pictures, and we think you look great. Oh, and since we both know you, I think that everyone would feel comfortable. Would you want to try a threesome with us?

They shopped for a threesome partner on Facebook. On my Facebook, to be exact. I felt violated and flattered. I was summoned to this dinner+drinks meeting for a very specific purpose. And now I have to wait for my food, which for some reason, takes a long time to make. Dammit.

But more importantly, Who the hell is John and how does he know me? My mind started racing. I imagine a 15-minute long pause while I scrambled for a response. It was really, really, awkward. More awkward that finding your threesome candidate on Craigslist.

I’m really flattered that you guys are interested in me. I don’t think that I can, though. You see, I’m seeing someone. Yes…that’s it. I’m seeing someone. And it’s getting serious. So, yeah, I don’t think that I’ll be able to participate. But thanks!

I’m not seeing anyone. I just couldn’t fathom seeing both of them naked. I just couldn’t. It was way too awkward.

Luckily for me, this opened up another can of worms: my love life. Fantastic. I told really detailed stories about my current mystery man. I recycled good stories from my previous relationships and created the ultimate imaginary boyfriend! She was impressed.

The rest of the evening went by smoothly. However, she followed up a few days later requesting we double date.

Shit.

That job interview from hell

I didn’t say this at the interview.

I had an awful job interview last month.

It was for a sales position with a huge multinational company. I did my research. I dressed up. I brought a leather brief for my stuff. I arrived early. Seems like everything would have gone well, right? Wrong.

I knew I was toast as soon as the interviewer came down to the lobby to fetch me. She was wearing a casual summer dress. No make-up. She looked like a regular human being. I looked like a corporate drone. Oh god, I look pretentious.

Another interviewer was waiting for us in the boardroom. Also wearing a casual summer dress. Are my heels too high? Am I overdressed? I look like I took a wrong turn off Bay Street (our version of Wall Street). Oh god, I look pretentious.

I straightened out my back. I put on a big smile. Let’s do this.

They got right down to business. I expected an ice-breaker–an exchange of light hearted humor, some small talk, anything! Ever had sex without foreplay? That’s what this interview felt like. I felt slightly offended. Didn’t I deserve the dog and pony show that these interviews usually entail?

They threw behavioural questions at me. The inexperienced new grad that I was, I’ve never answered a behavioural question in my life. I panicked and went into self-preservation mode. A confident smile was permanently plastered on my face for 45 minutes while I spoke in a calm voice and bullshitted answered their questions. I didn’t let them see how uncomfortable I really was. I couldn’t let these unwelcoming hens with their cushy jobs and economic security intimidate me.

They didn’t look interested or impressed by anything I was saying. Everything was flat. They were flat. I was flat. The air in the room was flat.

I reached for my purse as I got up to leave. One of the interviewers quipped, “Oh, you have a Coach purse That’s…nice.” The stupid smile was still on my face. I reluctantly thanked her, said my goodbyes, and left.

Oh god, I look pretentious.

I immediately felt like shit and went home to gorge on frozen yogurt. Got my formal rejection letter in my inbox a few days later. My hunt continues!