An Open Letter to Gen Xers, Boomers, Echo Boomers, etc.

Oh Experienced Ones,

In the past few weeks, I have seen several posts directed to my fellow Gen Y’ers when it comes to conduct in the workplace, the search for employment, the sense of entitlement, or “laziness.”

What I haven’t seen, is any feedback or discussion from my peers. Of course, there’s that one millennial blogger on AdAge (I forget her name but she does a fantastic job), but other than that, the Marketplace for Ideas is filled with people twice our age. The battleground is skewed.

I will try my part in doing some leveling.

First off, I think that I can speak for all of us when I say that there are a few of you that have gone completely out of your way to set us up for success. We thank you for that. The mentoring, the feedback and knowledge the few have set before us will never be forgotten, nor under appreciated.

Though look at the business models and the shape several industries are in. The traditional newspaper model is on the brink of collapse, the public is beginning to see how conniving (yet brilliant) the financial elite are, and the level of sexism and racism in the marketing and communications industry goes not unnoticed, but nearly untouched.

You have left us quite the mess.

You cannot blame this mess on us. You cannot merely say these changes came “unforeseen.” Give me a break. Your generation(s) brought us into the world as it is today. There’s no use arguing about that.

The Gen Y and millennial crowd are a bunch of entitled, confident, smart (overall, and in the sense of receiving education) and generally more accepting than ever before. But look at how we were raised! Your crowd gave us no other incentive not to come out the way we did.

But now, with the Great Recession looming behind us, things are beginning to change. There are some Gen. Y folks ready to chase you guys out of power.

You see, I can understand where you all are coming from. First, it was the “don’t trust anyone over 30”, and when you crossed that plateau, it was “don’t trust anyone under 30.” Funny how a paradigm can shift so quickly.

Shift quickly.

You all love to be in charge, and you all get indignant when you see us younger professionals barging in like we own the place. “Where is your experience, kiddo?” “Oh, you’re still a little green behind the ears.” “Once you’ve been around a while son, you will understand how it goes.”

In many situations, experience is needed. Though as we see the business environment now, it is those ones with experience that seem to be messing everything up.

I’m not trying to be all blame-y, I am trying to show you where we are coming from- if you care to listen.

Many of my peers will go to work with you. But be aware, they will either accept your philosophy to survive, or reject it because they think it’s dumb.

Many others will go the route I am, and create and support a new wave of industry. Sure, you all will try to learn and adapt to the new ways of today, and some of you will succeed. But you’ll be painting on an already used canvass.

While our canvass is fresh and new.

This has been more of a ramble, but the point I want to make clear is this: stop trying to change the mentality of my peers, old guys. Your way of doing things are over. Adapt, let us lead, or get shoved out the way. Accept new ways and lifestyles. Put more women and minorities in the workplace- and in power. Eliminate all the red tape and bureaucracy and politics in doing business. Rely on skill and talent, not on who people know and where they come from. If the person is good, and the service/product is good, then there shouldn’t be an issue. I am simply sick of all the trashy marketing, creative, political and business activities out there. Give it up.

Okay, I’m done.

For now.

Dwayne Jr.


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