Millennial Slackers Have Got Muffin Going For Them If They Won't Work For Free
Let me tell you a story.
It’s the story of an ordinary Aussie girl who dreamed of growing up to facilitate the vending of quality muffins and muffin-associated accoutrements at reasonable prices to people all around the country, and who worked hard every day of her life to make that dream come true.
Now let me tell you another story. It’s the story of a generation of filthy-fingernailed slackers who are so intent on selecting the right emoji that they are systematically destroying that Aussie girl’s dream through their sloth and greed.
That girl is Natalie Brennan, general manager of Muffin Break, who like so many of us nowadays, has recently been excoriated on social media for that dreadful modern crime that we used to call “telling the truth”. Telling the truth about young people today and their selfish insistence that literally every uni or TAFE-linked work experience they have must involve some kind of remuneration -- a truth we all know but are afraid to voice lest we too fall victim to the latter-day Salem in which we live.
What Brennan said was that nowadays, so-called “millennials” -- the generation that got its name from the fact they were born before the premiere of the television show “Millennium” -- are not willing to put in the hard yards like young people were back in her day. Specifically, Brennan has found that in recent times, very few youngsters are approaching her begging for work experience or unpaid internships.
Now, there should be nothing controversial in this. It’s an undisputed fact that humanity has been getting progressively lazier for several thousand years, so the fact that today’s teens and 20-somethings are the laziest yet is trivially true. It’s also undisputed that, unlike previous generations who would consider it a privilege worth far more than any vulgar financial reward to contribute to the vital work of Muffin Break, the current crop tends to believe that not even muffins are worth selling unless you get paid for it.
Readers of my own generation -- sometimes called “Generation X” but which I prefer to dub “Generation The Original Pippa On Home and Away” -- will empathise with me when I say I cannot believe the way the youth of today continually rejects amazing career opportunities for no other reason than the need to acquire basic sustenance. Back in my day, we would do anything for a job: work for less than minimum wage, work for nothing, pay a “coming to work” fee, wear a tie. Nothing was too hard for us, because we cared about employment. Young people in 2019 don’t give a toss about employment: all they care about is thinking up new versions of the distracted boyfriend meme.
In fact, social media, as the Muffin Mogul states, is the root of the problem. Brennan is quite correct when she says, “Even giving people constructive criticism about how they can learn or improve, it’s like someone is ‘unfriending’ them.” What can you do with these mollycoddled children, who believe criticism is like unfriending, who believe an honest performance review is like being ratioed, who are all, “Oh, you can’t give me a formal warning for workplace misconduct, it’s like you’ve muted my hashtag”? It’s impossible to deal with people who operate at such a baffling level of simile.
READ MORE: Are Unpaid Internships Ripping Aussies Off?
What millennials don’t understand is that life is hard. You can’t expect to be handed everything on a plate: unless, of course, you’ve ordered some of the fine products available at all Muffin Break outlets. Brennan tells stories of millennials who have applied for jobs with her company having already made up their mind they want a certain level of pay. Any employment expert could tell you that this is no way to build goodwill in the business community.
Any young person hoping to score a job should very clearly state in their cover letter that they will be grateful for anything they can get. If you’re really serious, you might even tell your prospective boss that you find the idea of being paid for your work insulting, and will immediately resign if they so much as offer you a travel allowance. That way they will know that you want the job for the work, not for shallow materialistic reasons.
And there it is in a nutshell: people born after 1980 have grown up in a world that convinced them they were entitled to everything: food, shelter, medical care, a living wage. Unlike previous and superior generations, they were never taught that life is what you make of it, that hard work never killed anyone, and that corporations are dealing with ever-tightening profit margins and really cannot afford any increase in overheads at this time.
Natalie Brennan may have committed a great heresy against the 21st century’s popular religion of Gimmeism, but to those of us who remember the days when we were proud to be working for free, because we knew it would stand us in good stead for the future when we would be working for up to six dollars an hour, all Brennan was doing was describing the world as it is.
If millennials don’t want to be called grasping shiftless hairy-palmed vermin, maybe they should stop behaving like grasping shiftless hairy-palmed vermin. Step One: go down to your local Muffin Break and ask if you may do the washing up. And if they say you may, a simple “thank you” will quite suffice.