My first Saturday job was a real joy to me, for a while – I worked eight hours shucking vegetable barrows out onto the pavement outside the local grocer, and I got paid £1 an hour to do it.
For someone whose paper round had paid £4 a week to get up at 6am and spend an hour cycling the snowy streets every weekday, this seemed like a cushy job.
But offer me that job today………..no.
And that’s what young British Millennials are increasingly saying – they don’t want to be spending hours with vegetables. They want to be on X-factor!
But I repeat myself.
But this is a serious problem – modern young Brits say they don’t want a boss, they want a coach. A mentor. Someone that will lead by example.
Sounds suspiciously like they want me to move the veg again.
Let me be clear – I spent a year doing that before my “skills” enabled me to trade up for a job behind the counter talking to punters.
A year later I bought a decent set of clothes and started selling houses.
A year after that, I was able to get a job as a junior headhunter (recruitment, not cannibalism) and my career was off and running – in four short years I had graduated from vegetable rodeo to sitting behind a desk in my own little office, talking on the phone all day.
No more splinters. No more slipping over in the slush. No more clips round the ear from a fat old drunken grocer. I had made it!
But the vegetables down at the greengrocers still needed to be trundled into place. Every weekend I would drive past in my brand new car and watch a sullen teenager get a clip round the ear from fat old Dave, and I would smile – I felt like Richard Gere at the end of Officer and a Gentleman, watching the leathery old gunnery sergeant telling the new recruits how queer they are.
Today, the youngsters that I manage are insisting that they don’t want to be TOLD what to do – that’s demeaning. They want to be shown, and coached, and mentored. By which they mean they want me to work alongside them, with my sleeves rolled up, so they can feel not like employees, but like budding entrepreneurs paying for practical lessons in “how to do a job”.
They are narcissists.
And unfortunately, your modern narcissistic Millennial doesn’t react in a mature fashion when told to get on with it. They may SAY breezy things like “You don’t know until you ask” but then when given a firm No they react like you’ve pissed in their pocket.
So what will modern employers do?
Sam Vaknin says that the way to deal with narcissists is to abandon them, and I think that’s what happening.
So businesses will stop employing twats, and the older workers will find it easier and easier to keep working. Employers will factor in how much it costs to have surly Millennials constantly churning through their businesses, and realise it’s better to have a grey-haired worker who will knuckle down, be polite, and won’t expect to be “mentored”
And a generation of Millennials will suffer a hysteris of what little skills they have, will become unemployable, and will grow fat and depressed in their parents’ basement.
And yet I’m not worried about who will pay my pension – I’ll still be employable at 70 at this rate.