Those Millennials. They’ll never understand the Boomers.I was supposed to babysit the grandkids, so I texted my daughter “What time are you bringing the small fry over tomorrow?” Apparently she assumed fry meant one child, and reminded me both children were coming. I knew that. I texted back “Small fry IS plural.” Small fry means children. Small fry can also mean insignificant people, and small young fish. Look it up). Apparently she’d never heard the phrase before. She thought I should have called them “small fries.”
Small fries are what you order at McDonald’s.
She asked her husband for his opinion. He thought small fries was correct. When I texted my daughter that her father agreed with me that it’s small fry, she wrote maybe it was a generation thing, and we were becoming “old farts.”
Is this a generation thing? I had an uh-oh moment because the narrator in my novel In the Context of Love is a woman born in 1957; she calls her children small fry. Will readers not get it?
Interestingly enough, my husband came home from work the next day to tell me about a presentation he attended titled They’re Just Not That Into You – Working Across Generations. According to the handout, Boomers see themselves as flexible leaders with lots of wisdom, but the Millennials see the Boomers as hardworking old hippies whose minds are set in stone. As for themselves, Millennials think they are great at multitasking and communication, but Boomers see them as romantic liberals with piercings and tattoos.
That explains a lot. I guess you could say Boomers consider Millennials small fry? Maybe, maybe not, but the presenter said Boomers and Millennials get along well in a work environment. Boomers give a directive, and the Millennials get a team together to work on the directive, and then return for feedback. All is well. However, both of them have a hard time with Generation X. Boomers give a directive, and Gen X says “don’t bore me with the details.” They go off by themselves to do the task, and then return, confident the the job was done right, but “I don’t want to hear it if it’s not.”
Here’s more on the generations from the presentation handout.
(born 1946 to 1964)
Positives: They are idealists who believe in working your way up and paying your dues. Optimistic. Experienced. Connected achievers. Believe in loyalty.
Negatives: They are workaholics, title conscious, stubborn, condescending and anti-technology. Uncomfortable with conflict.
Boomers see Generation X as wannabes.
(born from 1965 to 1980)
Positives: They are driven, empowering, flexible and entrepreneurial. Independent. Self-reliant.
Negatives: impatience, hands-off management style, unstructured and cynical. They have permanent anxiety.
(born from 1981 to 2000)
Positives: They are conventional, confident, team oriented, and achieving. Tech-savvy. Enjoy collaboration. Strong multicultural awareness.
Negatives: A distaste for menial work. Lack of experience. Sheltered. Impatient. Confidence beyond ability. Lack skills for dealing with difficult people. Entitled.
They see Generation X as yuppies turned political.
These are, of course, sweeping generalizations, and certainly there are exceptions. After all, I am not anti-technology. In addition, my Millennial daughter has great skills for dealing with difficult people, although she sometimes has difficulty putting up with her old fart parents.