Category Archives: Millennials

The End of the Sanctity of Libraries.

As you read the following blog entry, please play the Jaws music in your head.

I recently moved out of my rental house and am “in transition” as a finalize my next residence. Because I work from home, the chaos has doubled as I’ve struggled to find a place to work during the day that’s quiet enough to think. I started at McDonald’s because the wifi is free, but despite the hatred of their food, the constant smell of french fries was just not conducive to my dietary needs and the fact that there’s only one electric outlet available in the place – and it’s usually in use by an employee – I went to the library.

What a mistake that was.

On the blazing hot Tuesday morning, I traveled to the library for the first time in many years. After arguing with the desk clerk about whether or not I was qualified to have a library card or not, I ventured to an open table in the atrium. The tables each had signs on them that read, “QUIET ZONE. NO TALKING.” Understandably, since the atrium had high windowed ceilings that would carry the noise of a nickel dropping as if it were a church bell. I set my computer up, got out my notes, and began to work.

It wasn’t fifteen minutes before someone came into the atrium from the book section of the library to use their cell phone. As the woman carried on her conversation about what she wanted her friend to bring her for lunch, another call beeped in. I just tried to breathe deeply, and the woman, of course, took the call and shared her evening plans, giggling and laughing it up.

I tried to be patient and remember that I’m not the only person who uses a library – this is everyone’s library, I told myself. That lasted about 30 seconds because the gentleman at the table next to me whipped out his ramen noodles and started crunching them on the table. He pulled out a bowl, used water from a water bottle and proceeded to make the noodles right there on the table. When water isn’t warm, noodles don’t soften. It was a loud next few minutes. (And I have that disorder that makes you want to commit violent crimes when you hear other people chewing.)

Once lunch time was over, I managed to get in a solid hour of work done without anyone atriumusing the phone booth atrium. I was feeling good about my production when a woman wearing a name badge came into the atrium with two other people. She proceeded to pick up the “QUIET PLEASE. NO TALKING.” sign and move it to the window sill. She encouraged the people to sit down as she explained what is necessary to host an event at the library. I spent the next 10 minutes listening to where you can set up tables, what kinds of beverages are permitted on library premises, and what areas will be roped off for the organizations events. That’s right – a woman who works at the library moved the “QUIET PLEASE. NO TALKING.” sign so she could carry on a seminar, talk employment history, and chat about the storms coming through. Now I know why they have metal detectors at the front door.

Around 4:00 p.m., a man started circling the tables in the phone booth atrium. “Hey girl. What’s your name? Where you from? You got a boyfriend?”

“I’m working.”

“What’s your name? Your boyfriend here?”

It would have been easier to hear what he was saying under his breath if children weren’t racing up and down the stairs, screaming, while their parents sat on Facebook at the computers. I was literally sweating…and wondering if they were just short staffed that day. I packed up my stuff and left. Luckily I had somewhere to be.

The sun set and rose again as Wednesday was upon me. I was optimistic that Tuesday’s library ordeal was simply a fluke and today would be better. Wrong.

When I arrived, the parking lot was full and all the tables were taken. What? It’s 11:00 A.M. on a Wednesday in the summer. One table was full of people playing Monopoly. There were children eating McDonald’s at another, toying with their Happy Meal toys as a mom said, “Okay, I’ll be back in about an hour.” Apparently the county library doubles as an unsupervised daycare.

Over the course of the next few hours, I listened to cell phones ring rap songs, videos on social media, complaints about the Monopoly game, employees arguing over who would answer the phone, and even a girl play a new song on her phone for her boyfriend. I could have powered a windmill with the amount of effort I put into saying, “SHHH!!!” Someone came by to vacuum and that was the quietest part of the day.

It was complete anarchy. It was what you would see if you combined DisneyLand with a FEMA camp fire drill. And the employees never batted an eye. They pushed the book carts around, stepped over children rolling around on the floor, and smiled at patrons across the room as they talked on their phones.

I left to go get a late lunch and enjoy the peace and quiet of my own vehicle. I contemplated going to WalMart to buy a whistle and a vest so I could direct things myself, but I was already developing an eye twitch from the stress of it all. Oh, how I’d love to issue some sort of citation inside the walls of the bibliotheque. When I returned from lunch, I was bumped from the atrium to the genealogy section because people were napping at the “QUIET PLEASE. NO TALKING.” tables. I don’t think it means what they think it means.

I cranked out a little more work before heading to dinner with a friend. What a sigh of relief to know my 2 of 3 of my days at the library were done.

I’m not going to get into today’s debacles here at the book box. It started and ended with the a line for the ladies restroom because some woman was on the phone in the stall. The ONLY stall. We all waited, and waited, and waited – just like they do on Orange is the New Black. When she exited, she acted as if we were disturbing her. I don’t know why all the safe spaces in the library are also phone booths, but it’s transitioned from ‘weird’ to ‘scary.’

genealogyI’ve written this vent piece from the genealogy section where the sign reads, ‘No food or drink allowed in Genealogy.’ As I’ve typed, I listened to two children eat sunflower seeds and spit them into a solo cup. Signs mean nothing around here, but when they told me their mom had to the run errands, I wasn’t about to get onto them. And remember the whistle I wanted to buy? No need. During editing, a child was actually blowing a train whistle upstairs. May God bless all the little children. Jesus loves them, but right now, I don’t.

Growing up, I loved the library. In college, it was the quiet place where I actually got things done. The only sounds you ever heard were squeaking shoes and laptop battery warning alerts. That’s not the case anymore and I can’t wait until I never have to come back here again. Over the course of 72 hours, I’ve developed an eye twitch, spent a decent portion of those hours swearing and sweating, and I’m pretty sure the blemish on my neck is actually a hive.

The sanctity of our libraries are dead. It’s quieter at McDonald’s.

Why I’m Not Voting Straight (R) in November

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Wednesday I received a call on behalf of a Republican campaign asking if I was supporting [X] candidate. When I said, no, it got a little …tense. I keep telling people my ballot will be a colorful amalgamation of decisions. Some Red, some 3rd party and a few skips, but never any Blue. Naturally this upset said representative who told me that I can’t always get what I want and taking my ball and going home is wrong. Oh, and, I’m wasting my vote. A wonderful example of voter outreach and engagement.

Let me tell you why this isn’t working, especially with millennials. You see, Democrats are out in the community telling people what they will do for the community, the state, the country, and we’re over here doing the ‘NO WAY Macarena ‘on the Highway to Hell. Our talking points are:

  • ‘Jason Carter is bad for Georgia’
  • ‘Michelle Nunn has ties to Obama’
  • And my personal favorite, ‘John Barrow used tax dollars to pay for his campaign Facebook page’.

No kidding. They’re liberals. OF COURSE these rhetoric lines are applicable. This shouldn’t be surprising information to anyone. But those aren’t convincing reasons to go vote. Those are just reasons to not do anything on Election Day because Republicans aren’t saying why their candidate is ‘the best’. It seems like all we’ve seen lately are hit pieces on consultants that aren’t on the payroll and a push for Senate Majority. We get it. Those are valid points but we need more substance.  We may not agree with the fact that Democrats are out talking about what voters will get out of voting (D) but at least they’re offering something tangible. We have things to offer too, like limited government, lower taxes and economic freedom.

Also, this “straight slate” thing isn’t working for a lot of people. No Republican can honestly tell me that Perdue and Deal (and everyone from CD-1 to Insurance Commissioner) is exactly the same ‘type’ of Republican and believes all of the same things and therefore, they all deserve the exact same support. Puh-leeze.
There’s a reason that every restaurant doesn’t have a price fix menu. People like choices. Choose an entrée and then the sides you like based on flavor and calories. Even Panera Bread gives you the option of chips, fruit, or bread.

Right now, it doesn’t matter who I’m not voting for in November. What matters is the ‘why’.  With 60 days to go, the GOP has got to offer some answers, some hardline reasons.  The reality is this: On a national level, Republicans have hurt many people too, especially in the eyes of the skeptical millennials and Independents – you know, those folks you’ll need should there be a runoff, and definitely by 2016. And the non-politico types don’t always separate federal and state-level folks (hence the reason we are, rightfully, hammering Obama/Pelosi/Reid ties). People have been burned. It’s no longer acceptable to say ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’. Tell me why. Show me why. Give me tangible evidence. Talk about policy. Stop using tag lines. Paint me a beautiful picture flowing with Liberty. Otherwise, I will have no choice but to paint my colorful amalgamation on my ballot on Election Day.

And if not accepting the one-size-fits-all slate makes me ‘not Republican enough’, then so be it. There’s a laundry list of people behind me thinking the exact same thing.  But that will directly contradict the GOP talking head slogan of ‘We have to side with the folks that agree with 70% of the time and not focus on the 30%’. Does my 70% have a seat at the table?

Everything You Think About Conservative Millennials Is Wrong

 

millenial cat

Millennial:
noun

  1. a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; a Generation Yer.
    “the industry brims with theories on what makes millennials tick”
Unless you live in the stone age, you probably hear this term daily, but the majority of people associate it with the lazy working class of twenty-somethings who likely have no direction in life and whom also lack respect for anyone who would identify as a baby boomer. Don’t lie. You know that’s how you think of them us. Those kids you don’t want on your lawn.
But they we are an integral part of the political game. As cliché as it sounds, they we are the future and at some point, the baby boomers will have to stop shunning them us. We see the world differently, but somewhere in the mix of labeling and the desire to be right because you’re older, you stopped listening and wrote us off as “not conservative enough”.

Allow me to offer a few examples.

Immigration
Last week, I attended a Peach Pundit Immigration forum where the diverse panel actually included ‘one of us’. Chairman of the Georgia College Republicans, Will Kremer, made a point that resonated with me immensely. “When you talk about immigration reform, and you refer to these people as ‘invaders’, it turns us off. We grew up with these people, we went to school with them.”
It’s true. Right, wrong or indifferent, current protocol puts these children, sometimes anchor babies, in school with us millennials and so we don’t see them or their families as the delinquents society is painting them to be. We see them as humans first. It doesn’t mean we don’t want tighter immigration policy, that we don’t want to secure the border or enforce the laws on the books. Maybe our view could open your mind a little bit when it comes to discussion because we see it differently.

Next, consider gay marriage. I challenge you to find one millennial -liberal, conservative, libertarian or independent who lists gay marriage as their number one issue. I would put money on the fact that it isn’t even in the top 5. You think it’s the demise of our country, we care about our national debt, the student loan crisis and whether or not we will have a job post-college/grad school. We may have our personal views on it, but it’s not what’s driving us to the polls.millennials_and_cause_infographic
Also, we don’t see the over-criminalization of drugs as an abuse of power because we are all a bunch of pot heads. We see it for what it is: a pathway of destroying lives of youthful and first time offenders who will likely never “re-offend.” This has become a taboo talking point. Stop shutting us down as druggie good-for-nothings because we don’t think a marijuana offense should ruin a career path. We just see it differently.
Finally, we don’t really like war. Not because we don’t want the strongest military in the world or we’re any less patriotic, but because as a nation, we choose poorly and you’re going to die and we will have to pay for it. And much to your denial, we are pro-life.

I’m not saying that millennials are right about everything. Most of us know we still have a lot to learn. But our hearts and minds are still open so we see things differently. We grew up differently. We have a different level of compassion and we have different reasons for supporting candidates. We tend to pick issues over party affiliation, but only because you’re alienating us. We aren’t going anywhere, I promise, so we at least deserve a seat at the table.

I Can Spend! Spend! Spend!

shopping-bags

When I was 18, I applied for a credit card because I was told that’s how you build credit. “No credit is worse than bad credit” they say. So I applied and received a $500 credit line on the first try! I was ecstatic. I filled up on a tank of gas using my card and the next month they raised it to $1,000 with a “Congrats!” letter. This was excellent news considering that was about the amount I made monthly at my rinky-dink church job while in college. Even though I was an adult and knew everything at a mere 18 years old, my mom always cautioned “Don’t run it up! But don’t pay the whole thing off either. Just keep a “very, very low” balance”. So I did.

Over the next year or so, I made a valiant effort to ‘make smart decisions’ with my $1,000.00 credit line and didn’t use it much at all. Fast forward to age 20 and my car unexpectedly needs new tires. (I am a female and don’t normally give any vehicle the attention it needs. Truth is, it probably needed tires for a while) I put a whopping $700 on the card and the next  month, I had a big credit increase –$4,000! Congrats!! Paid off the tires completely and it doubled again…$8,000 with yet another congratulatory letter.

I’m not sharing this credit information because I’m proud. I’m sharing it because I am absolutely appalled. I managed to hold steady at the $8,000 limit for a couple of years but yesterday I logged in to pay my bill and found that my limit had been extended to a colossal (to me!) $11,200. I am 25 years old. I have no business having a line of credit like that. Whether I’m making $25,000 or $100,000 a year, we are talking about AT LEAST 10% of income dedicated to credit card debt. With so many people my age unemployed, a majority of millennials carrying a massive amount of student loan debt and  the whole ‘well, we don’t really give a rootie-pa-tootie about personal responsibility”…we are headed down a dark road of personal and economic destruction and everywhere we turn, there is a crutch to put of the debt for just a little while.

Now, I will say, I struggled with this internally because I certainly don’t want younger people to be discriminated against or denied anything because of their age, but there has to be some benchmark for credit. It’s just like the mortgage bubble and the student loan bubble. Not everyone needs a credit card. Not everyone needs the same credit line. Not everyone needs the same perks. In that capacity, the responsibility is on the company. Stricter income-to-debt ratios? Or maybe don’t increase the credit limit unless someone asks? I never once asked for a credit line increase, the company just did it for me. And for goodness sakes…can we please stop rewarding people for spending on someone elses dollar? My credit score went up over 50 points when I took out my student loans.

I don’t want more regulation for private companies who are lending out the credit, but it comes back around when we, as taxpayers, have to bail them out again- not to mention, we don’t know where this ‘loaned’ money is actually coming from.  We preach and preach and preach about the national debt and say ‘Americans live off of what they earn, why won’t the government?” but in reality, we’re perpetuating a cycle of transferring debt to different boiling pots that are all about to overflow. Credit cards aren’t sexy and neither is debt. It’s time we start characterizing spending a little differently and stop being so careless.

Lazy, good for nothin’ 20-somethings

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I was reading an article on the Huffington Post about what parents owe their children and it was just joyful! With a failing economy and high unemployment, it seems that many college graduates are forced to move back home. The article discussed the intense pressure a lot of parents feel to pay for their children’s college, graduate school, cars, weddings and home down payments. Like I’ve said before, the comments on the articles are more discouraging than the actual article because the views of readers really shine through.

Here are some of the more disturbing comments:
“I will owe my kid everything. A baby doesn’t ask to be brought into this world. Why would anyone? Except for a privileged few, the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. Parents force life upon their kids. It’s their duty to ensure the quality and happiness of that life. Whether my child goes to medical school or ends up living their life in an institution for the mentally challenged, I can and will gladly pay in full for it. It’s not a question of who owes what to whom. It’s a question of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Procreation is MY action. I can choose abstinence. I can choose birth control. I can choose abortion. Creating life is my decision – not my child’s, not society’s. Why should anyone else foot the bill for it?”

“Parents who love their children give their children as much help as they can. If your parents don’t help you, please Google: Ultra Emapthy. The very first Google listing is mine. Become part of a family where people help each other. Michael”

“Parents don’t think they “owe” their kids? Fine. Then kids don’t “owe” their parents seeing their grand kids ever. Parents don’t think they “owe” their kids? Fine. Then kids don’t owe their parents when they’re adults finding them hospice, or Senior Citizens homes, or taking them in if some how they can’t manage. Parents don’t think they “owe” their kids? Fine. Then kids don’t owe their elderly parents any concern if mom and dad get duped by scammers who pray on seniors. They’ve got their own financial worries. Parents don’t think they “owe” their kids anything? Fine. Then when parents die the kid can just as easily demand the state bury their parents at state expense. Kids don’t “owe” parents burial. Parents think they don’t “owe” their adult children anything? Well they should’ve thought of that before they had kids. Your kids don’t stop being your kids just because they’re 30 or 40.”

What the?? Most right-minded people don’t believe anyone should foot the bill for anyone else. They simply want PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Do you really need that iPhone? Or that Louis Vuitton bag? How do you feel good about purchases like that when you can’t afford rent, utilities or school?

Nowadays, “children” can stay on insurance plans until they’re 26…that’s EIGHT YEARS PAST ADULTHOOD!! And whether you want to or not, when you apply for graduate schools, your parents incomes and credit is factored in when determining financial aid and student loans. We as a society don’t encourage self-reliance…we encourage dependence. And it starts way too young.

When will my generation learn that you can do it all? When will people stop being so lazy and work their way through school and stop relying on mommy and daddy? When will social programs stop reinforcing gifts and entitlements? It circles back to the notion that people my age think they are above bagging groceries or working at Five Guys to make ends meet. They would rather move home and collect unemployment than work a job they are overqualified for.It’s one thing to be in transition or to be getting started. But getting on your feet doesn’t take 5 years on mom and pops dime! I can assure you that when the recession is over, you will still be behind the people who worked their asses off to keep the train moving.