Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

Millennials and Gen Z will never see it coming

Millennials are probably the most insecure generation to be birthed in America. Gen Z is probably the most overconfident generation to be hatched by birthing people in America. The two generations combined are a comedy of perceived abuses except the abuse is inflicted upon the rest of the nation.

A New York Times article goes on and on about Millennials who are now running companies and have to deal with Gen Z who are now entry level employees. Millennials are trying to hard to remain young and are consumed with “being cool” and Gen Z is only a few years younger than their Millennial counterparts but think they run the world.

As a millennial with a habit of lurking on TikTok, Jessica Fain understood that skinny jeans and side parts were on the steady march toward extinction. But when Ms. Fain, who works as a product manager at a large tech company, heard that some of her favorite emojis might also be confronting retirement — namely that laughing-sobbing face — she decided to seek the counsel of her junior colleagues.

“I heard that using this emoji isn’t cool anymore,” Ms. Fain, 34, said she wrote in a water-cooler-type Slack channel.

“Yeah I only use that emoji at work for professionalism,” she recalled a younger employee replying. “H8 2 break it to 2 u Jess.”

Ms. Fain is old enough to remember when millennials determined what was in vogue: rompers, rose pink, craft beer, Netflix and chill. Now, she gets the foreboding sense from colleagues that her AARP card awaits. 

The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them – The New York Times (

I’m all for ditching most corporate hierarchies. A great deal of the time in large corporations the middle managers are there to funnel things up and down the chain existing to solely protect the boss from the employees and vice versa. I prefer a more horizontal organizational structure but not a total horizontal structure. The owner, stockholders, and the executives they hire still have to have the final say in the policies and direction of a company. Gen Z seems to have little understanding of this.

Lola Priego, 31, chief executive of the lab-testing start-up Base, had to laugh when a Gen Z employee sent a Slack message assigning her a task to complete. Ms. Priego interpreted this as a welcome signal that her 15-person staff doesn’t find her intimidating, but another member of upper-level management was horrified.

The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them – The New York Times (

Progressives use children to push their political agendas. This to me is diabolical and amounts to child abuse. Teaching kids they are the center of the universe is wrong and leads to inflated self-importance. They don’t have a proper understanding that there are people who don’t think like them and that’s okay. Differences of opinion are what makes a robust society. Instead they want people to march in lockstep to the point where they will purposely not conduct business with people based on political opinion. It’s short sighted.

Ms. Rodriguez is one of many managers who recalled her Gen Z employees being the first and most vocal in urging companies to demonstrate their support for the protests after George Floyd’s killing. Tero Isokauppila, 37, president of a food business, heard from junior staff asking if his company would post a black square in solidarity with the movement on Instagram. Elaine Purcell, 34, co-founder of the maternity care start-up Oula, got a Slack message from one of her youngest workers after the shootings at Atlanta-area spas in March asking what the team could do in solidarity with Asian Americans.

To many corporate leaders, this invites a welcome correction after decades when businesses were largely silent on racial inequities both within and outside their offices. But some managers are also struggling to balance the demands of their employees for political engagement with their own sense of what’s appropriate for their brands.

“You talk to older people and they’re like, ‘Dude we sell tomato sauce, we don’t sell politics,’” said Mr. Kennedy, co-founder of Plant People, a certified B corporation. “Then you have younger people being like, ‘These are political tomatoes. This is political tomato sauce.’”

Many are aware, too, that a misstep can lead to backlash, or call-outs from staff: “Some young former employees are much more willing to burn bridges,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “To me it’s shortsighted. Is it worth the social clout of getting gratification on social media but then trashing someone who could continue to help you professionally?”

The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them – The New York Times (

A focus on perceived slights and older generations catering to these narcissistic tendencies are a waste of energy. While these two generations are busy looking at their own navels the rest of the world are plotting to remove the United States as the world’s pre-eminent power. I guess the bonus is they will never see it coming. Ignorance is bliss.