“Crystal texted me an answer to the research questions I gave her!”

The boomer lawyer was aghast, alarmed, and getting red in the face.

“What is it about these Gen-Ys?” he asked, knowing I was heading up an initiative called #PayGenY. They should pay us to train them for $#@%$ sakes!

“Where were they raised? In an iPhone factory?”

From the other side of the barricade, a third year law student asked  me in all seriousness why her parents couldn’t learn to text. (It’s their second language, your first, they will always text with an accent).

The edge in her voice told me everything I needed to know about the  degree of heat in her relationship with her boomer progenitors.

I’d just offered to spill the secrets of a successful law practice  from 30+ years of front-line experience and she couldn’t resist  thrusting a shiv between the ribs of a generation of mothers who left  long voice mail messages as if their children had the time to listen to them!

Get to the point, Mom!

These examples of home life and  workplace conflict are not surprising. Boomers, like most generations,  have developed amnesia about the complaints leveled against us by the  Great Generation. We were “spoiled” (our generation’s “entitlement”). We  were disrespectful of our elders. We cursed. We had no work ethic. We  “girls” didn’t wear makeup and spent far too much time wearing jeans.

We rebelled against the wisdom of the ages to “do our own thing” and “love the one we’re with.”

by Victoria Pynchon


Victoria Pynchon is an attorney-mediator and arbitrator. She is also a principal in the She Negotiates Consulting and Training firm for which her blog “She Negotiates” is named. In addition to writing for the Forbes.com legal blog “On the Docket,” Pynchon also authored the book “A is for A**hole, the Grownups' ABCs of Conflict Resolution.