Black teenager rolling his eyes

Things you should never say to a Millennial

Listen up, Baby Boomers. Yes, that’s those of you born between 1946 and 1964. And, while we’re at it, here’s a refresher on the other gens:

Generation X: Those born between 1965 and 1980.

Millennials: Those born between 1981 and 2000.

I was born right on the cusp of Gen X and Millennial: I roll my eyes when I hear about Trigger Warnings, but I also resent the complacency of the older, more established Gen Xers. That said, I should probably direct this list at older Gen Xers, all Baby Boomers, the WWII generation, and anyone living in a bubble of privilege.

Here goes:

1.) “We had to buy a house in this neighborhood way outside of  (fill in city name) because we couldn’t afford anything in the city. When we sold it–even though we’d made all these improvements on it–we didn’t get a penny more than what we’d originally paid.”

Woman sleeping on a couch
Photo courtesy of Venturist on Flickr.com

(You don’t bother mentioning that you can only afford to couch surf at your mom’s.)

 

2.) “You’re having trouble finding a better job? You just need to try harder.”

Woman working at a fruit stand, looking bored

Thanks, Baby Boomer Jane. Now go back to 1988.

 

3.) “Why don’t you take (fill in course name) at (fill in college name)? Maybe then you’ll find a better job.”

Cartoon man looking at a giant bill
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Great advice! I’ll go $75,000 into debt getting my 3rd degree and STILL not be guaranteed a job–or at least not a job that will pay off that mountain of loans. As a sign of my gratitude, would you co-sign this loan?

 

4.) “I’m taking a sick day, so I can go to the doctor.”

Two doctors looking at a patient
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives

I’m not resentful or anything, but screw you and your good health insurance and your paid sick days. I’m uninsured/I’m still on my parents insurance/I have such a high deductible that I can’t afford to go to the doctor. As for sick days, see numbers 5 & 7.

 

5.)(Fill in major national holiday) is a paid holiday for you, isn’t it?”

Family picknicking next to their car
Photo courtesy of Librarygroover on Flickr.com

Paid holidays? What are those? I work part-time and don’t get paid holidays/I’m a contract worker and don’t get paid holidays/I’m a temp and don’t get paid holidays/I’m unemployed and every day is like an UNPAID holiday.

 

6.) “I’m really enjoying my retirement.”

Tiara that says "officially retired"
Photo courtesy of Steven Depolo

Yeah? Are you now? Enjoy it for the both of us because most Millennials will be working until the day we die. Assuming the Earth is still intact enough to support human life by then.

 

7.) “I had a great time on my vacation to (fill in name of country).”

Couple smiling on a beach
Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Good for you. No, FABULOUS for you. In order for me to take a vacation, not only do I have to dig into my meager savings, but I don’t get paid time off which makes it doubly cost prohibitive. Oh, thanks for the t-shirt. Which island is this? Oahu?

 

8.) “My boys are home from college for the holidays.”

Family preparing dinner while person puts feet on coffee table
Photo courtesy of Tony Alter

That’s so wonderful that you can spend some quality time with your kids.  If I were to have 2 kids tomorrow and send them to an institution of higher learning in 20 years, it would cost me $205,000 per kid. Considering what I make, I’ll be lucky if I can afford to HAVE kids let alone send them to college. Say hi to Tyler and Dirk for me!

 

9.) “We took cruises to the Balkans and Alaska this year.”

Joseph and Rose Kennedy, 1940
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Wait, let me get this straight: you were so well-compensated at your job–and got a pension to boot–that you could retire and then travel the world? I hope you get pick-pocketed on the subway AND mugged the next time you’re abroad.

 

10.) “Oh, good for you, teaching French classes at (fill in name of college/university).

Student in lecture hall with feet up on seat
Photo courtesy of Ian Collins

Do you know what “adjunct” means? It’s a euphemism for part-time worker. And when you add in all the prep and administrative time, an adjunct gets paid the same as someone working the cash register at Hobby Lobby. Now board your little head-in-the-sand plane and fly back to the 70’s when there was job security and the possibility of advancement in higher ed.

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5 thoughts on “Things you should never say to a Millennial

  1. It is a standard conversation amongst my friends that we were a privileged generation (boomers) coming of age at a time when a restaurant job would be enough to have your own apartment, and even groovy clothes, as well as health insurance. You weren’t going to get rich that way, but working for a living meant you had a living. I look at the prospects these days with dismay.

    It isn’t easy on the boomer end for a lot of us. The promised pensions for hard work are evaporating, and many people are having to continue to work into their 70’s and 80’s. My choice is to not live in the States, but to live in a developing country where my little pension from 50 years of work will suffice. I’m lucky I can make that choice. Social Security for some in the States is just about enough for a diet of beans and rice, if not cat food.

    I faced doing adjunct work and opted for teaching English in Asia. A decent gig will get you housing, a wage adequate for savings, and a cheap cost of living. The university jobs in Korea can be very good.

    Good luck, and thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Vellissima. I definitely meant this post to be snarky/humorous and not representative of how I–or Millennials in general–feel about all Baby Boomers. Some, yes.

      As for your experience teaching in Asia, I did the same thing. I spent two years in Korea, which is the last time I had a job provide me health insurance!

      Like

      1. Yes, that was enough for me. A good wage, housing and health insurance. I stayed in Asia for 13 years. Now I’m retired and moving to South America. I’ve heard boomers say those things about millennials. I know you were being snarky, but it is true to some degree.

        Liked by 1 person

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