Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tired of being a Gen X'er

I'm a member of Gen X. Today, this has me in a cranky mood...

Dean Dad started a discussion on the grey ceiling, which is the problem of people in my generation facing a long road to promotion because their bosses are in no hurry to leave the company, thus there are no spots open....

In Academia, the problem is a glut of tenured professors of that age hanging out until they can no longer make it to class... I was fortunate to be hired at BNCC at a time of growth (Gen Y increased enrollment) and I'll start my first year as a tenured person this year --- of course, I'm also anticipating giving it all up for love--- to move to Red State, so this is still a concern of mine. Add to this concern the increase requirements for tenure for my generation as opposed to the older generation, and it is easy to see that we face a significant problem.

Generally, I'm tired of being in Gen X -- we are either cast as lazy and spoiled, or we are ignored. When we were in our teens and early twenties -- the whole world was focused on people in their thirties and forties... now we are getting there, and the whole world looks like an Ensure Commercial. Clearly, 50 is the new 30 -- just when we are becoming the current 30...

Drive around most neighborhoods looking for an apartment -- you'll see an attractive and well-maintained building and then realize it is either an assisted living or over 55 kind of place. Try to make a doctor's appointment (this was really bad when we were military) and the clinic is booked by Boomers!

On the other end, Boomer's kids -- Gen Y and the like -- dominate popular culture now... so there was never really a time when Gen X got to be influential and chic.... the Boomers hung on long enough to hand the reins of "cool" over to their spoiled little kids.

4 comments:

Addy N. said...

Well, I am smack-dab in the middle of GenX (1970) AND have boomer parents (at least my mom who is 1950). I actually have a lot of students who parents are my mom's age! And colleagues my mom's age or older! Interesting discussion you have here- I'll have to contemplate some more...

timna said...

I kind of know what you mean, even though I'm approaching 48 (aigh!). Maybe it's my missing decade -- I was on kibbutz for the 80s so all of my academic work is from the 90s.

Arbitrista (formerly Publius) said...

Imagine how people born in the 1930's felt. They were sandwiched between the WWII generation and the boomers. Ouch!

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

It may be my own perspective -- but it seems to me that the boomers had a huge impact on the economy in that they drove up the cost of education and as they started to make real money they drove up housing prices. People born in the 1930s weren't priced out of being able to work their way through school.