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Free Advice for Fired Millennials

This morning The Awl allowed Brendan O’Connor to publish his side of the story as to why he was fired from The Milk Truck in New York City. It’s rather extraordinary in that O’Connor has a complete lack of self awareness combined with a general misunderstanding as to his past role in food service.

Part of me wants to introduce Brendan O’Connor to Shea Allen. She worked at some small market TV station, wrote a blog post about committing felonies and then went to the media to talk about how she’d been fired for blogging about going on TV without wearing a bra.

Shea Allen steals mail

Shea Allen and Brendan O’Connor are similarly unqualified for the jobs they were hired to do. Brendan O’Connor for his surly tweet and Shea Allen for confessing to a felony that puts her station at risk.

Shea Allen is possibly the only journalist on the planet to not notice that after 168 years in existence News of the World folded because telephones were hacked. Did she think that her bosses would find her (maybe) stealing mail to be adorable?

I’ve been fired from jobs. I was actually fired from my own father’s office when I was 17 and went for two hour lunches. I was also fired from the Mann Theaters when I was 15 and my cash drawer came up short. I wasn’t stealing, I was just not good at giving change. These lessons sort of piled up and by the time I was in my early 20’s I was a much better employee making a solid living.

I’m seeing alarming trends with Millennials and I’m going to give y’all some free advice.

  • Your first job will probably be a crappy job. Don’t wait until you’re 20-something to have that first job. Working is good for you, even when it’s not fun. 
  • No one owes you a job, you’re replaceable so it’s up to you to be better than everyone else (this advice holds true until you’re 75 or so)
  • When you are fired do not blog about it. The chances are good that someone agrees with your boss.
  • If you work in a service industry tips should feel like silver and gold raindrops. No one is obligated to give them to you. Customers can sniff out entitlement.
  • Be great, after you’re great people will know your name. It’s better to be great than to be famous.  


4 thoughts on “Free Advice for Fired Millennials”

  1. I posted about both these dimwits yesterday, sharing your exact sentiments. I think they’re made for each other. This seems to be the week for stupid millennial worker tricks- See the WSJ today for two stories that “got” me- One on texting or chatting with your mommy all throughout your workday, the other on the concept of actually living in your office-house.

  2. My daughter is 23. She has a very demanding and time-consuming job where she works 60-70 hour weeks – usually she gets overtime, but only for out-of-office assignments. Since she started the job one year ago, the entire staff of assistants (she is an assistant) has turned over.

    My theory is this: she works in a “glamour” industry and was able to do internships to help get this coveted job – as did most of those who came and went. In her case, she was ready for the hard work and long hours. I think in the case of the others – some of who left without a job to go to – they just didn’t think they’d have to work that hard. They were used to the cushy life of college and unpaid internships (my daughter was the same), and didn’t like the demands of the job. So….they quit.

    My daughter has lasted because she loves what she does and she’s ambitious. Plus, I don’t think we spoiled her rotten. And, she knows right from wrong. These two clearly do not. These two need a good talking-to from a wise elder.

    Not all millenials are clueless…it just seems that way sometimes.

  3. Early on in my working life I was told, “serve humbly where you are.” It’s the best advice about work I’ve ever received. So every crappy job/task I was given I did the work, then made a plan for something different. When the opportunity arose for that something different, I took it. Do the job you have to the best of your ability and with your integrity in tact.

    It won’t be the first time either of them get fired for “watch me! Look at me!” behavior.

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