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Gen X Should Take A Day Of Absence

Not really. Despite being called “slackers” in our youth, we are generally pretty hard working and responsible adults. But apparently we don’t rate.

A screen cap from CBSN appeared as follows:

Apparently no one was born between 1965 and 1980. And Gen X actually goes back to 1962 on most charts….

Being born smack in the middle of this particular cohort, I can assure you we are here. Without Gen X, Amazon and PayPal would not exist. Along with a slew of other startups, like Facebook, that people like Peter Theil, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk have funded. Your life without Prime. Think about it.

Gen X is also the boss. The oldest members of our cohort hit 50 in 2012 and we make up the lion’s share of management and senior management position within organizations. We finally got the gray hair the Boomers told us we needed and we are heading the table at organizations across the country. In 2015 we also represented 55% of founders in startup companies.

We were supposed to be the first generation that made less than our parents. Didn’t happen. After being branded slackers we stepped up to plate and worked out tails off. We lived the 80 hour work week before “work-life balance” was a thing. You just balanced it because your grandparents and parents told you that was how life worked.

Now our parents are getting older and our kids are growing up slower. We are the peanut butter holding the sandwich together between our Boomer parents and kids that are late Millennials or Gen Z. It was forecasted that we may be the first generation that doesn’t downsize our homes. Rather, we would upsize size up to accommodate our aging relatives and our children and their families. Unlike climate change predictions, this one looks to be spot on according to Pew Research data. And more often than not, the household belongs to Gen X.

Sometimes referred to as the middle child generation, we are ironic and cynical. And highly suspicious of institutions like government and the media. Unlike the stereotypical middle child, we also don’t seek attention. According to some polls, only 41% of us even identify with our generational label. Maybe one of us that doesn’t is the one who left us off the graphic on CBSN.

So guys, it’s time for a day off. The slackers who hold it all together need to ban together in our oppressive invisibility and give ourselves a participation trophy for a job well done. We were the last generation who didn’t get those, so take one.

If you grew up with MTV when it still played music, can still name all the characters in The Breakfast Club or ever wore fluorescent and thought it was stylish, this day is for you.

We’ll leave the world in the hands of a generation who claims to have “burnout” because the idea of “adulting” paralyzes them. A paragraph from the Buzzfeed article the CBSN segment was covering is illuminating. Brackets and emphasis are mine:

But the more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis [literal errands like the ones you run every week], the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.

Anne Helen Peterson, Buzzfeed News, January 19, 2019

Just one day Xers. Turn off your text alerts. Your voicemail will be full when you return. Guaranteed.


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