Work

Helpful Guidelines for Millennials Entering the Workforce

Written by a bitter and sarcastic Gen Xer

–I appreciate that you refer to texting, typing and speaking on the phone at the same time as "multitasking" but, in the future, please refer to it by its rightful name: ADD.

–It's super terrific that you're taking that "Edible Weed Scavenging" course and I just LOVE that there's an end-of-semester field trip thing happening. Now about your request. In my day, I sawed scrap iron at the trash heap that abutted the exercise yard of a medium security prison as a way to pass the time so that my mother could enjoy her soap operas without being interrupted. See what I'm getting at here? I accommodated her schedule. So no—we cannot reschedule our budget evaluation meeting so that you can go on your weedy field trip.

–You know that opinion you have about our upcoming call center initiative? The one you feel very strongly about? Write it down on a piece of paper, fold it neatly into fours and put it in your desk. Now go make me a coffee.

RELATED: 10 Things I'd Tell My Idiot Younger Self

–It's lovely that you like reaching out to your colleagues and telling them stories about yourself. You are so interesting and I mean that. My favorite is the one where you paid $399 to "literally" strap a water jet pack to your back for a "mind-blowing fifteen minutes." I've gotten plenty of mileage out of that one at my friend's sangria "tasting" parties so when you think about it, that brief and adorable flight unexpectedly paid for itself.

–When I ask you to write a white paper, and then you Google "how to write a white paper" and then you download five examples of white papers, and then you ask me for help with writing your white paper, you're fired. I'm kidding. Please stop crying.

–The next time I ask you to print out the annual report, print out the goddamn report. Please do not mention "the trees."

–Everyone needs feedback. I mean, this isn't a fucking silent yoga retreat, right? But let's have some perspective. Webster's defines feedback as "helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, etc." For example, when I made the honors list in my high school, my mother rewarded me with what might have been a wan smile. I applaud dedicated mothers such as yours who apparently rewarded you more often and more elaborately. However, I guess what I'm trying to say is that feedback is not actually "a perpetual state of being
complimented, reassured and high-fived." I can see how you'd confuse the two because—well, I can't see it but where's that coffee, Sunshine?

–Answering one's phone during a meeting is something a CEO gets to do. What you get is the opportunity to find me a really cheap flight to Cancun because you're so good at that kind of thing. Go!

–Just to be clear, we do not have a Sports Day scheduled for the staff. Nor do we have a Zip-Lining Day, a Whitewater Rafting Day, a Beach Volleyball Day or even a Trivia Quiz Day. Please stop telling me about the team-building activities provided by your former employer who, may I remind you, paid you $13 an hour. We do, however, have cinnamon danish in the break room. They go great with coffee. Just a subtle reminder that's sailing over your head, even as I speak.

–It's interesting that, during our last staff meeting, you brought up the problem of "being bored" as one of the challenges you face. This place in which we find ourselves is called an office. This activity in which we are currently engaging is called work. I think you have mistaken all this for a bouncy castle.

–It has come to my attention that you've recently tweeted "this job is making me bitter" to your 22K followers. I strongly encourage you to do something we in the trade like to call "thinking" before clicking buttons that communicate your random and uncensored thoughts in the future. My second piece of advice is to refrain from throwing around words like "bitter" so lightly. You believe you understand the meaning of this word. You think you have lived it. It's actually kind of sweet. Come on, Sunshine—let me make you a coffee.

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