Sunday, May 23, 2010

I AM ALIVE, yet lamenting

Just in case you were wondering.

Also, I'm a little discouraged. CMG showed me an article from the Wall Street Journal, and it has me shaking in my little waitressing sneakers. "A Lament for the Class of 2010" is honest and forthright, but downright scary. It puts forth the truth that even Ivy-Leaguers among us, even the kids with the best resumes on the market, are "entering a workforce that neither wants them nor needs them...They will enter a world where they will compete tooth and nail for jobs as waitresses, pizza delivery men, file clerks, bouncers, trainee busboys, assistant baristas, interns at bodegas." In essence: holy shit. What are the rest of us supposed to do?

We, "Gen-Y" in this article, will bear the brunt of the mistakes of the generations before us, look on while the Baby Boomers greedily consume what is left of social security, facing the prospect of working well into our seventies. We will have to solve the problems of the environment, national debt, health care and other various crises. The author of this article claims that even the children of the Plimoth pilgrims of the seventeenth century had brighter prospects than we do as a generation.

I think the hardest part of this prospect is the fact that, as children, we were told that we could be anything we wanted. Until a few years ago, this seemed pretty true within reason and with enough hard work. A cousin who graduated a mere four years ago was looking at starting salaries between 50 and 80 grand a year. We're happy to settle for 30, not even enough to pay for a year at many of the colleges we graduated from. Our parents worked incredibly hard and brought home fruits that we will probably never be able to bring home, even if we work just as hard.

Perhaps we are simply too selfish. There are more college grads on the market now than ever before. By sheer math, we can't all be making six figures within the next ten to fifteen years; there simply isn't enough money or space. In fact, there's no room for us, seemingly anywhere: perhaps the most innovative if given and chance, perhaps the brightest if given a chance, perhaps the most motivated if given the chance. Problem is, everyone is too innovative, creative, bright and motivated. But let's face facts: the baby boomers and the following generations will get tired, and old, and will retire. But does that mean we will have to wait a decade for a promotion? More and more of my friends are interning: they must work for no money to prove themselves worthy to be hired for salary. Here is a Times article for more interesting reading on the internship phenomenon.

I guess for now we'll all just have to pound the pavement, keep knocking until someone hears us, wait tables until we have varicose veins (which might be by the age of 27).
Oh, crap.


  1. unpaid internships are crap. even worse, places that make you pay to apply to work for them. how does that even make sense?

    my brother finally got a job a few months after graduating, and is currently making bank in the gulf of mexico. lucky bastard.

  2. Ah I feel ya girl. I have a job (I got it right out of college just before the economy kicked the bucket) but I'm looking for another job and I'm worried as hell.

  3. I'm getting ready to go to college, and this really scares me! I'm praying that I get a decent job after college!