Article rubs Millennials the wrong way

Patrick Flannery
July 24, 2017
Kelly Elliot, a marketing representative with Stihl Canada and Ward 1 Councillor for Thames Centre, Ont., has taken exception with the August Canadian Rental Service article, "Working Millennials," by Kate Zabriskie. Elliot has been tweeting about the article and received some responses from other Millennials not happy with the article's tone. Elliot's emailed comments follow.

I enjoy reading each copy of Canadian Rental Service magazine, and staying current with issues that affecting the Dealers that carry our products. Your magazine covers all aspects of the businesses, and I appreciate that you have the ability to provide that information to your clientele in a print format.

As a millennial, it was fantastic to see you recognize the future of the rental business in the “Canada’s top 10 Under 40” article! In the publications and releases that paint “millennials” with the stereotypes of being “lazy”, etc., it is important that the generations before us are confident that is not the case – as many more recent articles are stating – and they can be confident that they are leaving their businesses in the hands of qualified leaders.

However, immediately following that fantastic article, you published a “feature story” on “Working Millennials”. I almost spit my coffee out reading the absolute garbage written in this article, that defied everything you had promoted in the previous article. “Spell Out Everything”? “Use Praise, And Do It Often”? Wow, way to make my generation seem to be unintelligent, useless and appear to be fragile “snowflakes”. What is more humorous and ironic, and I do not want to make any assumptions of what generation you fall into, is I am sure that your parents’ generation could have written the same article about you and your generation.

I would encourage you to update your information, as I did read that this article was originally published in 2015. You could enjoy certain articles like Boston’s Globe’s “Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re workaholics” or Fortune’s “How Do You Manage Millennials” as a good start. A simple “millennials aren’t lazy” Google search can also provide you with valuable information that is more relevant that Ms. Zabriskie’s utter nonsense.

It is quite possible that Mrs. Zabriskie didn’t mean to come off quite as condescending as she did. However, I did tweet out my dismay with a picture of the first page, and am getting quite the response from my other millennial friends, so I believe it’s fair to assume that it isn’t just me.

As a Millennial who works full-time, is an elected official on my local town council, volunteers in my community, and am married with 2 young kids, the subheading alone that offers questions that make my generation seem inappropriate, unprepared, and irresponsible is frustrating. I am surrounded by successful, independent Millennials who are disappointed every time an article like this is published. Especially one that is geared towards an older generation of business owners who are looking to leave their successful businesses in the hands of young people. I strongly believe that with this article, it would be easy for someone (such as my father, let’s say), to question leaving his farm that he has worked so hard for, to someone who dresses inappropriately, is constantly unprepared and parties until 3 am. (All of those assumptions of Millennials again, being in the subtitle alone).  

Although I agree that all “these people” in my generation are not as hard-working and driven as my acquaintances and I are, the brush that was painted in this article was very broad. To quote the second paragraph of the article, “Are the new hires prompting those reactions bad hires? Are you just unlucky? Probably not”.

For more information
"Working with Millennials" - Canadian Rental Service August 2017

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