Making Us All Look Bad

I think twenty-somethings get a bad rap.  In various media trend pieces this past year, we’re described as self-centered, immature, foolishly optimistic, or entitled, which is of course, ridiculous.  Most people I meet my age are bright, creative, ambitious, dedicated, and compassionate.  On top of that, most of us who are gainfully employed feel a genuine sense of appreciation and responsibility, having found stability in a difficult time.

Which is why I’m a little infuriated with a hot story circulating around the DC blogs about congressional staffers engage (and tweeting) about on the job drinking.  As TwentySomething City points out, while the office of a Congressman of the minority party may not be a hotbed of legislative activity and all the messages were sent using personal Twitter accounts, this doesn’t reflect well on Congressman Rick Larsen – or on twentysomethings!

This validates two complaints I often here from collegues in their 30s and 40s about twentysomethings in the workplace – 1) they don’t know how to use social media responsibly on the job and 2) they feel they are entitled to goof off/space out/focus on personal activities on the job.  Looking at the Twitter messages of the offending staffers will make you cringe.  References to taking shots in the office, showing up drunk, bragging about your taxpayer salary paying for you to watch YouTube videos – there’s really no good way to spin this.

I realize this is a case of a few rotten apples spoiling the bunch – and I’d be lying if I said I never tweeted or blogged at work or showed up nursing a hungover – but there’s something about the brazen swagger of this trio that really grinds my gears.  I also have to call into question the senior staff – what sort of work environment, especially a public servant’s office, would allow this kind of activity to happen?

Does anyone know someone who was fired for something they said on social media?  Any positive or negative experiences with coworkers exhibiting behavior similar to these staffers, regardless of age?  Share your stories in the comments!



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