Generation “y bother?”

News that the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is running an eight-week program to mentor young tourism employees will be welcomed by their bosses but mourned by Facebook, whose traffic will no doubt plummet as a result.  

I’ve lost count of the number of times one of my Gen Y staff has phoned in sick – too ill to get out of bed and drag themselves to work – only to watch their Facebook status going crazy for the rest of the day.

“XXX has the flu” they post. They don’t, of course. They have what’s known in medical circles as “the common cold”. If you’re too ill to come to work, you’re too ill to tell your mates you “like this”, you’ll be “attending Splendor in the Grass” or that you expect the “Sea Eagles to beat the Titans in the NRL at the weekend… LOL”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nurturing young talent. I’ve even included a session on that very theme at the Adventure & Backpacker Industry Conference in November, with ATEC Managing Director Matt Hingerty detailing how the Young ATEC National Development Program will motivate and inspire young tourism employees and provide them with a platform to develop essential business knowledge and networks.

And obviously I’m generalising to make a point. Some of my Gen Y colleagues work almost as hard as I do.

I just hope ATEC imposes strict elligibility criteria for the program, so only those genuinely interested in developing their careers are allowed to attend.

Those who see it simply as an early induction into the travel industry freebie culture should be told to FRO.

11 thoughts on “Generation “y bother?”

  • September 1, 2009 at 7:37 am
    Permalink

    While I completely understand the sentiment, I consider this is an interesting perspective given that the media has explicitly and repeatedly stated in recent months that anyone with a cold should ‘stay at home’ instead of risk spreading things like swine flu around their entire office, lest the world implode.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2009 at 4:53 pm
    Permalink

    at home sick doesn’t really require you to be asleep all day does it? You could be sick enough to be in hospital let alone home from work and still easily update your facebook status with a mobile device… it doesn’t really take much effort or health

    Reply
  • September 1, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    Permalink

    I’d rather some kid Tweeting or Facebooking at home with his germs, than in my face at work spreading the germs all ’round… I’m not sure Facebooking is exactly a strenuous activity anyway.

    Though I do wish morons who call in a fake sickie would be smart enough to not update their FB status with something like “lunching with the girls!” or “so so hungover lolz!” so that their boss and fellow employees, who their stupid enough to add as friends, can see.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm
    Permalink

    Would you be as annoyed if someone had spent their sick day reading a book in bed, watching TV or DVDs, or talking on the phone to a friend?
    Because essentially, all those things are the same as using facebook, just done privately.
    Facebook doesn’t require much thought or concentration. Work does.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm
    Permalink

    While I’m all for training to deal with this tricky generation, and often have shared examples of their generation’s traits with my fellow Gen xers, I don’t think this warrants complaint. Given the spread of Swine Flu, and the common cold, is from people NOT taking sick days, it’s encouraged at my workplace to stay away if you have a cold or flu, whatever you want to call it, so as not to spread it through the workplace. The easiest way to get a cold is via public transport or through the workplace from someone who HASN’T stayed at home.

    Just understand that you can be too ill to go to work and get out of bed, and still get online (even via mobile). Don’t Gen Y bash just for the sake of it, even though they are an easy target.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm
    Permalink

    I don’t think usage of Facebook/Twitter/the web in general is limited by age/generation anymore, especially in the travel industry where you are dealing with different timezones or people who are not ordinarily desk-bound.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2009 at 11:57 am
    Permalink

    Will the Facebook traffic really plummet? If they are not on FB while they are home ‘sick’ they will be doing it on your time in the office anyway…

    Reply
  • September 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm
    Permalink

    Interesting that all the comments are about taking a sickie and not the more serious challenge that Gen Y’s dont have the urge to professionally develop. Does this mean you all agree with that sentiment?

    Reply
  • September 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    So who are all those kids trudging into Sydney Uni every morning? They must have the urge to do something with those books and pens.

    Reply
  • October 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm
    Permalink

    I am one of the participants in this program. I don’t really understand what young people calling in sick has to do with the ATEC development program. Maybe you are hiring the wrong Gen Y’s? Looking around the room of our first session, I saw a group of highly motivated young people spending their own time on a Tuesday night to learn from the best in the industry. The lectures were infinitely more interesting and inspriring than facebook.
    Looking forward to the rest of the program and Alices’ blogs.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>