First let me tell you, my computer broke, so I wrote this hastily on a computer in a library (they have computers now!) and I only had 30 mins to do so. Then I copied it to my phone and from my phone am pasting it here. No proof reading was done, it’s not very good and it was more venting on my part than anything else.
Also, I still don’t know what millennial really means, or quite why it requires 2 Ns.
In the space of a month or so, I’ve gone from being a copy editor to working in a pub. I had to work hard to obtain this job in said pub. Who’d have thought that we’d one day live in a world where even bar work was a competitive industry. I saw a line outside the Job Centre the other day, there were eight people fighting over an application form for Clarks. Some one pulled a knife – he had a degree in astrophysics.
I have been applying for many jobs. It is a soul destroying exercise in futility for anyone in their 20s. No matter how you approach it, you’ll always get the lazy responses ‘thanks, but no.’ Or, worse than that, you’ll get ‘you have not got enough experience.’ If you ask how you go about getting the necessary experience when every company turns you down for your lack of experience they mutter something unintelligible before pointing behind you and saying ‘what the fuck is that?’ Like a fool you turn, and when you turn back they are gone.
If you ask what happens when all the people with experience eventually die, their faces adopt a far away quality, as though they are staring into some murky abyss, before whispered words escape their puckered lips ‘…then God help us.’
The problem is, most of us were conned into going to university, and for most of us it was a con. A massive fat CON. We were lured into it by talk of walking out the other end being more employable than those who didn’t go. We were told not to worry about the massive debt, because our degrees would propel us into roles so well paid that it’ll be gone within the week. All of this turned out to be a lie. Everyone has a degree, and when everyone has a degree than we may as well not have bothered, especially if your degree is in performing arts.
I suppose it doesn’t help that I went to the University of Hertfordshire, which is less a university and more a community centre catering for unemployed millennials. Which brings me on to the crux of my point.
What the fuck is a millennial? I think I am one, but I don’t know what it means. Everywhere I read or hear it, it sounds patronising, dismissive and dripping in ridicule. Often when we lament the lack of jobs, those in positions of authority say “there’s plenty out there, you just have to look hard for it.” or the problem with millennials is we “have a huge sense of entitlement,” and “want success handed to us on a plate” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4232696/Millenials-generation-huge-sense-entitlement.html)
Others say the problem lies within our work ethic and maybe we should all work in bars and restaurants and do so happily without complaint. Stefanie Williams writing for the Huffington Post writes about her success in The Problem With Millennials and Work Ethic: “All of this was afforded to me not in the first month I was working at a restaurant, but after I put in the hours, made the sacrifices and sucked up my pride in order to make ends meet and figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefanie-williams/the-problem-millennials-work-ethic-talia-yelp_b_9282244.html)
Well done Stefanie, though as well as hours and hard work you missed out huge dollops of luck. However, with astronomical rent prices climbing ever hire and even those restaurant jobs being harder to come by as well as the cost of living forever climbing, we millennials will be aged and haggard by the time we start earning enough to make a proper go at life. We’re the first generation that on the whole, will be worse off when compared to our parents. Most of us will never own our own home and as to having a career progression to boast about, the vast majority can forget about that, what with our chaotic Cvs. Worked in one bar, worked in another bar, had a brief stint in IT support, was made redundant as it was outsourced, worked in another bar.
As for being self-entitled, we have lived and are currently living in one of the worst economic crisis in recent history. An economic crisis that was not our doing. In fact, we had nothing to do with it. Yet we must be the ones to fix it, we have to be the ones to suffer the low wages, the lack of jobs, the crushing financial burdens. I say again, most of us will never be able to afford our own home. Either because they’re too expensive, or because we’ll just end up having that nuclear war we’ve been talking about for so many decades.
Of course we expect a good job, we were promised a good job, coaxed into spending a lot of money on higher education due to the that promise. Of course we want more than bar work, as we approach our mid-twenties. These are the years we should be starting on our path to a career we can be proud of. Soon we’ll be in our thirties, maybe wanting to squeeze some of our own children into an already over-populated world, how can we afford to do that when we’re barely getting by on our shifts at The Wobbly Cow or The Fat Crustacean or The Whorish Whore or Wetherspoons?
Just give me a fucking job!