Mailbag (April 2018)

A letter from one reader regarding a previous article on millennials in the workplace. 
Published: April 10, 2018
Dear Editor,

I was disappointed to find that “Tapping the Talents of Millennials” (February 2018) was just another case of libel against my generation. After a brief disclaimer about the “danger of hasty generalizations,” the article transitioned into a litany of generalizations based on “expert” opinions and dubious research findings. As a group of scientific professionals, I would hope that the editorial board’s standards are higher than those of the general press, particularly when publishing negative stereotypes about fellow colleagues. In one example, the article cited a far-fetched study when it claimed that millennials “want to stay home and play video games all day instead of working.” Drawing on statistics from 2000 to 2015, the referenced publication downplayed the Great Recession and massive advances in automated manufacturing to reach the conclusion that many millennial men, such as myself, were just lazy video game addicts. Such a poorly supported opinion in an article about young veterinarians isn’t just disrespectful, it’s delusional. Phew! I’m glad to get that out of my system. Now, back to Super Mario.

Will Pass, DVM
Boulder City Animal
Editor Response:
Dear Dr. Pass,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to our article. We appreciate the fact that some of the observations we reported — be they myths, stereotypes or unique experiences — don’t fit your self-image. Clearly, most millennial men are not lazy video-game addicts, as Erik Hurst reported. We were jolted when we read that comment and can appreciate your reaction. We included it to illustrate how varied the views of this generation are.

We recently heard a comedian talking about his young teenage daughter. He said, “She’s a strong young woman; she came through surgery well. We had to remove the cellphone from her hand. Now we’re hoping for eye contact.” The audience roared with laughter. With your feedback in mind, however, I wondered whether such tales are not taken as jokes by those who rely on their cellphones as a part of life.

Your taking the time to write (and get it “out of your system”) was the right thing to do. You’ve increased our sensitivity and we thank you.

Carolyn Shadle and John Meyer

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