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I’m A Millennial Working With Gen Z

I didn’t think working with a group of undergraduates would make me feel old AF. I guess I should have expected it since we’re all almost a decade apart! Yeah a decade! For those that don’t know, Business Insider explains that “Generation Z refers to the generation that was born between 1996-2010 following millennials.”

While I know my fellow student, coworkers don’t intentionally seek to make me feel disconnected to them or feel old, the age gap is real and here’s why:

  • During a staff meeting our boss noticed that one of my coworkers was wearing PF Flyers and referenced Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez. I understood the reference, but no one else did, not even the person wearing the shoes. Come to find out none of them have watched The Sandlot, and all I could think was “You’re killing me smalls!”
  • Apparently, no one uses voicemail anymore. One of my coworkers doesn’t even have his set-up.
  • I’ve learned that none of them have a DVD player, I guess when you have Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV there’s no need right?  
  • When I told my coworkers, I dressed-up as a Ball Player from A League of Their Own for Halloween, they had no idea what I was talking about. Sure, the movie premiered when I was a baby but I still watched it when I got older and it’s an absolute classic!
  • None of them have watched The Office (that’s what she said!). I’ll admit I was late to The Office watching game, but at this point I have watched the series five times over. It’s so funny, how could you not watch?!
  • They made fun of me for not knowing what the game Smash is.
  • I’m closer in age to the professional staff, which makes it hard to separate my student hat from my former professional worker hat.
  • Lastly, this is not directly pointed at my coworkers, but rather other classmates who are more interested in late night drinking/partying, when I’m over here wanting to be in bed by 9pm.

As for a bonus, just today I was asked, “is that an old people thing?” As I looked at my boss in disbelief, I shuttered, "did he just call me old?” I couldn't help but laugh – these Gen Zers have lots to learn, and apparently so do I.

Melissa Landeros

Washington '20

20 something graduate student from California.
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