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*note, I shall not be using real names

A co-worker of mine had hired an individual a couple months ago, to fill a position recently vacated – for Junior Accountant. The role is not that taxing; it comprises of doing journal entries, some accounts payable data entry, a weekly cheque run, and some variance analysis at month-end. The role does not require the monster tasks that I have, nor does it require a high level of knowledge with regards to Accounting Standards. It’s a role for which everything has been well defined, and if one follows instructions/process documentation then it is quite likely that one will be successful at it.

This particular Junior, shall we call her Monica, has been a trial for my co-worker. I asked Charlotte if she thinks that Monica is working out. I was asked why I had asked that question, and I said I had noted that I see Monica going up and down the stairs a fair bit to get the gourmet coffee that is on offer to our Creative Staff. And yet Monica is unable to answer the most basic questions, like “are you done yet? i need to calculate your entity’s tax provision”. I get a vacant look. So I expressed my concern that Monica may not be a good fit.

Charlotte and I chat about our assistants a lot, so she wasn’t taken aback by my questions.

Monica is not showing much initiative. Everything must be spoon-fed to the girl, and steps repeated over & over again until she understands the barest details. She takes a lot of notes, I have noticed that, but rarely does she refer to them. She shows up at 9am and leaves at 5pm on the dot. Monica was gently reminded that as an accountant she does not enjoy the full protection of the Employment Standards Act – meaning that if she needs to put in overtime she has to, without any additional renumeration (i.e., overtime pay) or time off in lieu.

I asked Charlotte how old Monica is. The response? 23, fresh out of school. I don’t recall being this green & unwilling to show any energy when I was freshly unleashed onto the workforce. Is there something special about those under 25 entering the workforce? Are they so accustomed to being spoon-fed and the idea of independent thought terrifies them? If one wants to succeed in any profession you cannot behave in such a manner that your manager micro-manages you, out of need, to ensure the tasks are done?

This is my first, albeit secondary, experience of a Gen Y worker. If Monica is indicative of the typical Gen Y then I worry about my future.