According to Wikipedia, Baby Boomers were named the "Me Generation" by writer Tom Wolfe during the 1970s. However, Sandra Fox's article titled "Is Today's society too self-center" (2012) talks about how society gives awards to everyone and promotes the concept that all should get something for everything they do. In a book co-authored by with professor W. Keith Campbell titled "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled -- And More Miserable than Ever Before." where Fox talks about how the younger generation is more narcissistic than those of the Baby Boomer generation, but I wonder if this is true.
I decided to interview working adults about their professional experience with the younger "Me Generation" as compared to the Baby Boomer generation who is suppose to be more of a traditional, high value generation. Of course the names have been changed along with the company names to keep the interviewees out of the unemployment lines.
Gaye was a young female in her twenties when she applied for a full-time programmer analyst position with Sun Medical Center. She was interviewed and offered a Junior Programming position supposedly a new position created for her. However, she soon learned the male manager, yes a baby boomer, lied as the person they offered the programmer position to lied on the application about their degrees and was not coming, yet Gaye was not moved up. After obtaining her Master's degree she was offered a promotion, but only after the promotion was because of the respect that the CEO had for Gaye and told her manager if he wanted to move up he better promote her. So her boss was employing the "Me" concept, just being secret about it.
Dana works at a local university where Don had been the IT department manager for over 15 years. Don always came to Dana for advise, gave her the new and most challenging projects, and administration was always commenting on the excellent job Dana had done in her position. Yet, Don decided to help one VP to create a department to do what Dana did with a staff of two and assisted in trying to stall Dana's advancement opportunities. It worked the VP landed a President's job at another university and Don was left holding the bag with a frustrated Dana who lost interest in work and a new department manager who was trying to get Don kicked out of the university. Don tried to partner with the new department manager by again making Dana the fall guy, but Don soon learned that the Manger was out for him and he returned for Dana's support only to find Dana with her resignation in hand. Clearly Don who again was a baby boomer and showed he practiced the "Me" concept but in a sneaky way.
Valerie took a position with a grant project team to create a new and exciting adult learning method to increase credentialing opportunities. Valerie thought she was going to learn a lot from a baby boomer, Ralph, with 20 years data analysis skill and prior experience in the area. She was going to be moving up in supervisor and allowed to be a major player in the project. Soon Valerie learned her new boss was a "Me" person. Ralph did not want to have anyone ask questions about the project, to challenge his planned approach, to ask where is the innovation as the project seemed to be just connecting parts from others projects into on website, and no one was allowed to do something better than Ralph did in his past two failed attempts on the project. Valerie was not trying to upset Ralph but had a greater interest in outcome than Ralph's ego or falling his personal practice of relaxation. Valerie asked for help from the VP and she did has he suggest, but this only made Ralph more upset. Than one day Ralph came in and demoted Valerie while reducing her pay by offering a position that did not exist and expect her to still do the task of her old job, yet the companies Human Resources department said nothing. Valerie had one angle in the company who provided a soft landing for her and appreciated her dedication to the project, but the company President who Valerie worked for said nothing and also was a baby boomer. Ralph's attacks against Valerie as a secret baby boomer Me attack supported by a baby boomer HR manager who secretly meet with Ralph to plan the events. The president is also showing secret Me Generation actions because she is worried about her reputation to move to corporate if the project should succeed, she just want say it to Valerie.
Perman (2013) talks about how the Millennial's outwardly say they are looking out for themselves or have the "Me" attitude so they can get promoted by the Baby Boomers. Joe Stein (2013) calls them Millennial's lazy and shallow, but are they or are they just following the Baby Boomers who taught them in college and they observe in industry? Amy Henderson (2014) states that each generation is a "Me Generation" and it is the news media and the advancement in technology that makes it seem like the Millennial's are more of a "Me" generation. The nice thing about the Millennial's at least they are open about the "Me" part instead of being secretive about it like Baby Boomers. Seems like the Millennial's trying to make society more honest, while promoting the great this the generation has achieved.
I am interested in hearing your experiences with the different generations and who you think are more about "Me"
- Fox, 2012: http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Is-today-s-society-too-self-centered-2450413.php
- Widkipedia, 2014: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_generation
- Cindy Perman, 2013: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/24/millenials-time-magazine-generation-y/2678441/
- Joe Stein, 2013: http://time.com/247/millennials-the-me-me-me-generation/
- Amy Henderson, 2014, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/when-comes-baby-boomers-still-all-about-me-180953030/?no-ist