b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Who's a Slacker?



Who's a Slacker?

I had dinner last night with 2 fellow alumni from my alma mater (good 'ol University of Scranton). The 3 of us graduated several years apart from each other. The conversation turned to experiences with coworkers, specifically with subordinates. The things my friends revealed really surprised me; I had lived so far on one end of the spectrum in corporate management hell, getting eaten alive by superiors that it never really occurred to me what it would be like to have really BAD employees.

I consider myself a seasoned manager. Over the course of my career I had hired - and fired - people. But the cases my friends presented were quite different. They both had experiences where individuals that reported to them either directly or indirectly were not even CLOSE to being in the same ballpark with self-starter-type people. Now I'm not sure they had a hand in hiring these underlings or not, but SOMEONE had to hire them.

There is a wave of "new meat" in the workforce who are not motivated to work. Sometimes a job is just a job, but if it's a job in an industry where you want to make a name for yourself you cannot sit on the internet and chat on IM all day (you may want to but it's really not a good idea - these are the people that my former bat-$#@%-crazy manager should be terrorizing!!!)! I can't begin to tell you how this distresses me. People will not do something unless they are told to - it's like they have no mind of their own and need to have their hand held.

So the big question is (that I hope someone will have a comment on): Are we being infiltrated by a generation of slackers?

This is kinda funny, check this article out: Sycophantus Maximus

According to the Society of Human Resource Management guidelines, the Generational differences include:

Gen X – tend to be more flexible, good at collaboration and consensus building and mature beyond their years.

Gen Y – thought to be more team oriented then Gen X’ers. They may be more educated, highly creative and more techno-savy then those who have come before them, but they may look to more mature workers to create an environment in which they can work effectively.

So, if we take this as "our" guidelines for the IMing, internet surfing generation, yes, we are in the perfect position to do the discipline style babysitting that some of these “kids” parents and teachers didn’t provide. Because their world until now revolved around chat rooms, iPods and the like – we are their new leaders.
Ok, this is all fine and good but... how much of this hand-holding do we need to do before common sense kicks in and they say, "Oh yeah, NOW I know what I'm supposed to do!"?

If they're supposed to be better educated they should only need so much prompting. It just doesn't seem to make that much sense.
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