The culture of entitlement

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Dealing with multi-faceted personalities is a full-time job. And when you work in an industry where you are surrounded by people all day, every day, that job becomes compounded by a plethora of drama, negotiation and, on many occasions, very warped senses of entitlement.

I’ll admit there are days when I feel a little bigger than my britches but I am firmly rooted in the reality in which I know I am replaceable. I am very good at my job but I do not hold any sense of a misguided belief the place where I work would not be able to go on without me.

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Sadly, many people do not follow my logic. The culture of entitlement is alive and well and thriving like a bacterial colony in a petri dish. And like any bacteria, entitlement grows, spreads and inevitably infects anything or anyone in its path. Those who feels a sense of comfort in their role may want to keep in mind there are many people who can slip into their shoes and potentially wear them better. A sense of entitlement changes people. It makes them act impulsively and show little regard for those around them. It drives a wedge between the entitled person and the people with whom they share the field of battle and, now, smaller wars are created within the bigger battle.

There is a very narcissistic quality to entitlement and those individuals feel they are more important than others. Their end goal is to feel like they have won and to feel superior to those around them. But all they have done is create a toxic work environment and lose the respect of their coworkers.

I have seen what a sense of entitlement can do to working relationships and to friendships. The pathogen of privilege is destructive and ugly, and it can forever change the relationship you have with those you work with. Be cognizant of others. Realize you are all on the same team. And, no matter how long you have maintained your job, work hard every day to prove you are part of that team and be humbled by the realization that you can be replaced.

 

A warped sense of entitlement

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I have never been one to define myself by my generation but the more time I spend just existing in each day the more I realize how profoundly different my perspective is on what this world owes me compared to the twenty-somethings of this new generation.

When I was in my twenties, and even now, I never for one moment thought the world owed me anything.  It was up to me to put in the work to earn my place on this revolving planet and prove to everyone that I deserved my spot here.   And I have continued my journey in that paragon of reality.  But so many of the generation of today feel a sense of entitlement and hope to gain the greatest amount of accolades with the least amount of effort.  They seem to expect everything for nothing.

The thought process plagues me and I spend countless hours wondering where this ideology began.  Where did they acquire this sense of entitlement?  How is it they can feel so exempt from basic human nature as to not strive for achievement and the resounding sense of accomplishment that follows without putting in the work?  They have become a generation of people willing to rest on the laurels of others and take the credit for the blood, sweat and tears that they have not emitted.  They live in the pampered dog world – not the dog eat dog – world and it makes me fear for their longevity in the authenticity of being a member of the human race.

A sense of attainment is based on hard work.  You get back what you put forth.   That dog eat dog world promotes the attitude of “survival of the fittest” and those who are deemed fit are those who actually compete.  If you are sitting on the sidelines and simply relishing in the victory of the team without playing, you are winning by default.

There are some members of this younger generation who have made it out from under the blades of “helicopter parenting” and are becoming successful adults who are willing to work hard and take responsibility for their own success.  But the vast number I have encountered rely heavily on others to do the work for them.  A word to the not-so-wise, if your mom calls to get you a summer job your resume will find itself at the bottom of the pile.

To those particular slackers, I say – participate in the outcome of your own journey.  You can only blame other people for so long for any supposed limitations before you are forced to subject yourself to a heaping dose of introspection.  The only limit in your life is the amount of effort you are willing to put forth to strive for personal success.   Life isn’t easy, but the satisfaction achieved when you are successful is well worth the energy exerted to create that success.

Hey twenty-somethings – reality is calling….it wants you to join us.