Monday, 9 September 2013

An Alienated Generation?

The press has a lot to say about Generation Y's lack of workplace and social skills. But the real question is: do they have what it takes to deal with an alien invasion? Read on to find out...

Image courtesy of the Nuclear Hipster App page
Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Helicopter parents.  Delusions of grandeur.  Hyper-materialism.  What do all these phrases have in common?  Apparently, they are all features of "Generation Y" - which is what the generation that was born between 1980 and 2000 A.D. is now being called.  Previously it was known as "Generation X" and "The Millenial Generation".  (No wonder these kids can't stay focused on anything for very long... the people that named them aren't exactly setting an example.)   

Anyways, the business world seems to be taking issue with this generation of well-bred, too-poised miscreants; specifically, with its unrealistically-high expectations.  Generation Y is said to take criticism badly and to expect great rewards (e.g. positive feedback and annual raises) for its average work performance.  It's hard to blame them - Generation Y, that is, not the managers that are lining up to run them down in surveys.  Generation Y has grown up in a society which shamelessly forks over 99% of its profits to the 1% that least deserves it.  So when Generation Y-ers don't get the same treatment as those wasters in upper management from Day 1, it's no wonder they tend to move on to a different job in a hurry. Again, how is this unlike an industrial magnate who walks away from the countries he's ruined and runs for government?

A few social commentators are wringing their hands and asking what Gen Y's fickle tendencies bode for the future of our society.  That may be a scarier prospect.  When you extrapolate this generation's high expectations, perfectionism and non-committal tendencies into purely social realms (e.g. those where there is no possibility of world domination and/or obscene wealth accumulation) then the desire to snicker sadistically at their managers fades a little.  Imagine what life might be like in the year 2040, when these "narcissistic  gadget-junkies" are running the show.  What would their reaction be to a calamitous emergency?  How would they react, say, if aliens invaded the Earth and started eating people alive? 

I can just imagine how the diary of a Gen Y prime minister facing such a crisis would read....

Day 1: Just got back from a meeting with the alien invaders.  They are saying they will only give us peace if we allow them to consume 1 million of our healthiest young citizens per year.  WTF.  If we lose that many teens and twenty-somethings per year we'll run out of pop musicians, reality TV stars and models in, what, five to ten years?  This invasion has got to stop!

Day 2: The aliens have ignored our parents' efforts to make them leave us alone (WTF).  So we have been forced to launch a Facebook campaign against them (Facebook/Causes/Stop Invading Us You Awful Aliens).  

One of those old-timer MPs protested our course of action, saying, 'What will we do if the aliens aren't on Facebook?'  He was so smug about it!  So we all blocked him and formed a Facebook group to make jokes about his hair.  That'll show him.  EVERYBODY is on Facebook!

Day 4: Alien invaders have responded to our Facebook campaign by blasting Facebook's headquarters with a laser and devouring Mark Zuckerberg's flambeed remains.  We have all gone home early today to mourn the loss of our friends... friend LISTS, I mean (same difference, I guess).  

I really hope my entire Cabinet doesn't resign in the face of this setback, like it did when we received that rude email last year...

Day 5:  Great news - half my Cabinet is still on board!  And we've struck back at the aliens!  We posted like, a DOZEN links to videos of the alien-Facebook attack on Twitter.  Now the people can see what is happening, they can rise against up the enemy!

Day 6: Good news: the Twitter videos went viral.  Not-so-good news: the people have risen up against each other! Not the aliens!  (Major WTF)  They're looting each others shops, stealing each other's necessities and beating and maiming each other to secure the remaining shelters.  Like, can't they just go and live with their parents if they need food and shelter?  And aren't they embarrassed to be caught on camera acting all... desperate?

Day 7:  After this stressful week, I think we were all in need of a retreat... but we soldiered through.  After an exhausting five-and-a-half-minute emergency session, we finally came up with a solution for the uprising.  We will send some celebs out in the streets to plead with the angry mobs.  If someone really fit and popular tells them they're ruining the city's image, the mob will back down.  I know it.  

By the time we'd hatched the plan it had already gone four p.m., though, so we all had to go home for the weekend. We'll be sending those celebs out first thing Monday morning, though.  Aliens, watch out!  

Day 10: The celebs went out this morning and only one made it back (so far).  I watched the carnage on the CCTV live feed and kept waiting for the credits to roll; it was so realistic, like something on TV.  

The celeb spokespeople tried every means of reconciliation they knew: offering the mob autographs, guest slots on Big Brother, even hugs!  Then things got a bit heated and a couple of celebs told the mob that they were a bunch of haters, and said that blood-spattered hair and torn clothes was not a good look (so last year, too).  Well, I guess they paid the ultimate price for losing their cool: they won't look much better than the mob when the air-limousine brings them back.  

 Day 17: After taking a week off from the civil unrest/alien invasion situation for mental trauma, we are back in session.  Our first order of business was putting a 24-hour curfew in place.  Next, we tried to contact the military so it could enforce the curfew.  We couldn't reach anybody at the military H.Q. at first but then I sent Mum round in her car to scout the place out.  She learned from the janitor that the Military personnel had all left - they decided to switch careers because keeping the peace is just way too stressful now.  I can't really blame them.  

Gotta go... I've got to email this group referral-letter out to our ex-military personnel before the end of the day.
Day 22: The alien invader's army has stepped in and is now keeping peace for us.  They say they don't want all their prey killing each other off.  I guess I can't blame them but it still kind of hurts my feelings (they were so rude about it).

Day 25: The aliens do seem to be much better at this keeping-the-peace stuff than we are.  I think we should leave them to it.  It's the sort of work that is best left to ugly people... or whatever they are. We don't have to see them under all the visors and armour.
Day 27: Some people are saying that the aliens are so good at keeping the peace, they should be put in charge of the planet.  WTF.  And who is leading them, but that cranky MP we blocked?!  (I can't remember his name anymore, without Facebook to remind me... SO annoying). We passed a bill denying the aliens a right to stand for election though, so, problem solved.  We also designed an ad campaign warning people not to vote for any aliens.  Take that!  Now we just have to wait for the eleccy to come back on so we can run it (I sent all the power station staff on a paid retreat this week to thank them for their hard work.)

Day 30: The aliens have shut down the Parliament and are converting it into an abattoir. I've really had enough of this job now - a whole 30 days and no word of promotion from anyone.  So first thing tomorrow, Mum's going to get us a spaceship to outer space and look for another planet to live on. I don't know who ever asked NASA to send out all those stupid satellite signals and tip off the aliens to our existence but it wasn't ME.  Why should I clean up the mess? 

Day 31: Bad news.  Turns out that the richest 1% people on the planet flew all the spaceships away about four weeks ago.  They've gone to find a new planet... without us!  SO not fair.  But I guess it's my fault for not aiming high enough in my career.  I should never have settled for being a lowly Prime Minister. 

Day 39: We have resumed negotiating with the aliens now. Our proposals are as follows: They can eat 1 million of us BUT ONLY IF they keep the streets clean, the eleccy running, the shops, pubs, bars, clubs and galleries and gourmet fast food joints open. Government and military would be nice too, but not essential. 

Day 40: The aliens totally rejected our terms so now we've gone underground to the sewage system. Gross, right?  But we discovered the aliens can't reach us here.  While we were watching videos of them on Youtube (and posting insults about their clothes, lol) we noticed that they seemed scared of manholes.  Actually it was that cranky MP who noticed it, but I'm still not friending him cause Facebook's gone (that's an upside).  After some trial and error, he and I discovered that the aliens don't like the sewers because they have super sensitive noses.  I have a sensitive nose too though, so that  needs to be taken into consideration, no matter what the cranky MP says about our 'odds of survival'.  I happen to think surviving in a sewer is very odd, thank you very much!

Day 73: The aliens are all starving. But there's some good news!  They have turned the eleccy back on so we have Internet now!  

Day 74: Better news!  The aliens sent us a Tweet today - they have agreed to ALL our proposals. They'll only take 1 million peeps a year and they'll keep all the shops and stuff open. We've won! 

Day 75: We are back above ground again.  Everything is almost back to normal except for the part where we are being eaten alive. But nothing good ever comes without a price - that's what my business management teacher used to say. He taught us skills for life, that man. 

Day 77: The shops haven't reopened though because the aliens are renovating them.  And the net's gone down again. I was a bit worried when I found out that the aliens had started filling in the sewer tunnels, too, but apparently they are just trying to save us some money on the maintenance budget.  How nice!   

It's easy enough to mock people 10 or 20 years younger than oneself as being inexperienced and naive.  Too easy.  When they reach the same age as the people dissing them, though, they will probably be a lot harder to make fun of because they won't be young and naive anymore.  Older people have just had more time to realize that the rules they learned as kids are not all "hard n' fast" rules.

Ironically, the rule that 'Generation Y' seems to have all learned best is that all rewards can be bought for the right price, and that image is everything - which probably explains the rise in materialistic, narcissistic tendencies among them.  They didn't learn that rule from Mum and Dad's confidence-instilling parenting strategies, though.  They learned it from the ad campaigns designed by the very same companies that are whining about their poor work ethic, today.

Poetic justice?

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