Millennials: Can’t Work, Or Won’t Work?

Michael Levin has written a piece for the New York Daily News about the work ethic of the millennials – the 20-somethings that are trying to enter the job market today. Here is an edited version of his piece:

“As God is my witness, I will never hire a millennial again as long as I live. I’m convinced these people want to have jobs – they just don’t want to work. The problem is that when they actually get to the office, nothing happens. I’ve been through four different admins in the past year and a half, and each was worse than the previous one. It’s hard to tell if they can’t do the work or if they just simply don’t want to.

“Most struggle with large amounts of student debt. Maybe they figure that there’s so little hope of reducing that debt, based on their entry-level salaries, that they give up before they start. The whole point of an entry-level salary is that if you stick around, the salary moves up as your responsibilities grow.

“Last month, I hired a twenty-something admin with great credentials and outstanding references. Two weeks later, I had to send her an email pointing out the sloppiness and inattentiveness in her work. I’m not talking about anything insane – just getting phone numbers and time zones correct. That very same day, she sent me an email reminding me that she had a bachelorette trip to Florida in three weeks that would cause her to miss three days of work. Who takes vacations two months after they start the job? Who has the tin ear to put in a vacation request the same day the boss sends you an email about sloppiness? Millennials, that’s who.

“People who study these matters suggest that millennials grew up in a culture where everyone was made to feel special. You didn’t have to put forth an effort to win a ribbon or even a trophy. Just showing up was good enough. What a terrible lesson to teach young people.

“My soon-to-be former admin ignored being fired and prepared to come to work the following Monday, George Costanza-like. So I had to fire her a second time. She responded with a plaintive email reminding me that without her job, she no longer had a source of income. Did I have any ideas about how else she could make money? Then she asked if she could list her position with my company on her resume and use me as a reference.

“Ironically, she had been my second choice candidate for the job. My first choice was a woman with an even more stellar track record. Unfortunately, when I performed a cursory Google search of her name, I found photos of her on websites like where she expressed the fact that her greatest desire in life was to become a plus-size model. I don’t have a problem with her being a plus-size. I struggle with my weight, too. I do have an issue with the fact that my clients could Google her and find the same compromising photos I did. They would also see the terrible grammar with which she described her plus-sized dreams.

“The final straw came yesterday, when my millennial bookkeeper announced in an email that she was leaving “effective immediately” and would have nothing further to do with my company. She wouldn’t even share passwords with her successor. I’m sorry, millennials. You’re all special. You’re all smart. And you’re all fired.” – Michael Levin

I’m surprised he didn’t close with, “Hey! You kids get off-a my lawn!”