In years past when we spoke of “generations,” we meant a 30ish-year period of time, but in the last few decades we’ve defined each new batch of growing kids as a new generation, something closer to an 18-year period. Boomers and Millennials have gotten most of the media attention, perhaps because their conflicts have been high enough in profile. You hardly ever hear of Gen-X, the batch born in the 60s and 70s, which may leave you wondering how to handle them should you encounter them in the wild. What can you assume about a Gen-Xer? Having lived in this generation my entire life, allow me to enlighten you.
- We have no corporate identity. We don’t go around defining ourselves, because we never think of ourselves. We live as we are.
- We are the humble generation. Meekness, selflessness, quality service, and the spirit of Christmas–that’s what you’ll get from us. We excel in avoiding pride; we’re monsters of meekness.
- Voted most likely to be ignored. We are the people making the trains run on time while others are extending overlong meetings with questions they wouldn’t have to ask if they had been listening earlier. We’re the ones you rely on when you go to the Caymans on vacation.
- We hate meetings. Maybe you don’t want to send an email because you think your ideas will eventually make sense after you throw enough words at it, but they won’t and then we’ll have to have another meeting to explain what happened at the first one. Stop the madness.
- We have skills. We totally have the great skills girls/guys like. We are on track to be freaking awesome, except our skills aren’t good enough yet, because we’re losers.
- We don’t care that you hate our cargo pants, and we think it’s silly to care that much about it. I mean, we aren’t wearing parachute pants anymore, so give it a rest. (You love the flannels though; admit it, you sly dogs.)
- We didn’t ask for your achievement award. We’re here to earn our stripes. When did you start remembering our names, anyway?
- We don’t care. That’s not true; we do care. We want to make the world a better place. We want to have strong families and good jobs. But you were asking something about a team-building exercise or was it a retirement party, so, yeah.
- Pet rocks were better than Tamagotchi or Farmville crops.
- Breakdancing is better than walking it out or chicken noodle soup (!?), and moonwalking is way better than anything you kids think you’re doing in your little clubs.
- Some of us are still living on a prayer, and we won’t stop believin’ all night long, even though we may ask ourselves daily whether we should stay or go to Africa for Christmas.
- To be honest, we are the world. We are the frickin’ children.
- You don’t laugh at our jokes, because they’re too sophisticated for you. We are the most ironically funny generation ever; it’s hysterical just to think about the jokes we almost told.
- We’re raising a new generation to be just like us in all the best ways and to avoid all of your stupid mistakes.
These are just a few of the many marks of Generation X, the most selfless, kindhearted, loyal, and noble generation alive today. We don’t need your gratitude more than anyone else, so if you recognize us in the workplace or on the street, just give us a tip of the hat or a quiet smile.
Photo by psymily/Morguefile