I totally get that you write for the Herald Sun and that your job entails expressing your opinion and I dig that. I really do. It’s just that, well, I really dislike sitting down for my morning latte and reading rubbish in my newspaper.
And this morning, when I read your column, I thought it was rubbish. And I figure you won’t mind me saying that because you always express your opinion and say what you think, and I’m just following your lead.
I’ve read and seen a lot since Gary Ablett Jr announced he was leaving the Geelong Football Club yesterday, but what you wrote, what was in my paper this morning, really got under my skin. Because you didn’t just attack Gary, you attacked the entire generation he belongs to. My generation.
Before I get to that though, I want to get to this; what’s it to you? And, for that matter, Gerard Whateley from the Geelong Advertiser? Both of your columns this morning got me riled up, and for all the wrong reasons.
You, Rebecca, seem to believe that Geelong is one a man football club, and Gary’s departure signifies the death of the club. Which is, of course, a terrible view because we all know the fabric of a football club does not exist solely because of one man. Sure, it’s sad for Geelong, yes, he’s a wonderful leader and will be terribly missed by that community, but he’s not the only player they’ve got. Let’s just keep that in perspective.
As for Gerard, well, he had me for a while and then he really lost me when his closing line declared that, “Our sport is poorer for it.” It being “the AFL’s shiny new plastic team,” and “expansion.”
Expansion. That dreaded notion. Expanding. How horrible for a business like the AFL, for a community and an organisation, to even consider expansion and growth. It sure would be much better if we remained a national code of football that’s only truly celebrated in one state. Yep, that’s a great idea. The truth is, I think Gerard would be just as upset if Gary was defecting to the Werribbe Wombats and not the Gold Coast Suns.
And yes, we, the people, are so much poorer for a new team within our AFL community. Think of all those kids in Queensland learning to love a new code of football. Think of how horrible it will be for them, and their friends and parents, to have a state team to celebrate, to support, to grow up with. Think of all those extra jobs that “plastic” team has created. How horrible of them. How awful for another team to come in and compete against the others, and, even worse, to possibly inspire a whole new set of people to love the game that we do. Terribly inconsiderate of them.
But, Rebecca, I digress. I want to keep talking about you, because it was you after all that made me the most angry.
“It is a decision being made more and more frequently in workplaces around the country. Do I stay loyal to one employer for the duration of my career or do I jump ship to rake in the big dollars?” you ask.
“Gary Ablett Jr did what most of his generation are doing in their droves – he jumped for the cash, pure and simple. He put aside the old-fashioned notions of loyalty and longevity for the sake of the biggest pay day in AFL history.
While most employees over 35 consider long service a badge of honour, Generation Y is transforming the old-fashioned workplace into a place of temporary digs, limited loyalty and a stopover to something better,” you said.
And that, Rebecca, is about the point I spat out my latte and started grumbling into the newspaper. Because that’s the exact point where you got personal. With me.
I belong to a generation that is subjected to more diatribe than is humanly necessary. Your generation, unfortunately, seems intent on shredding and analysing the moves and actions of every member of Generation Y with a fine tooth comb. You should be worrying about the balding heads of your husbands and the few remaining strands on their scalps with that comb, because your fine-tooth ways are getting old. Really old.
You’ll have to excuse me, and my generation, if we swap jobs a few times because we’re working towards something better. Heaven forbid we try and get paid to do something we love – truly, genuinely love – in life. We really should just be grateful for any old job we can get, shouldn’t we? And we should just stick to that job, whether we hate it or love it, hey? Just like Gary should really stick around at a club – in the shadows of his father – even if he’s presented with a new challenge, a new opportunity and a pay rise? How very selfish of us, and him, to want to expand and grow.
I’ve written about Gen Y bashing before Rebecca, and here’s a paragraph that might help you get me:
“We, the children of Baby Boomers, have learnt a great deal about what we don’t want our lives to become. We’ve seen our parents work in jobs and get slapped in the face after thirty years of service, with not so much as a thank you on the way out. Do you blame us for job-hopping? We are accused of being spoilt – not working for under a certain pay figure, or under certain conditions, and for quickly leaving a job if an employer bullies us. If that is what constitutes being spoilt, then I am. I work hard, but I won’t do it for peanuts. I refuse to be unhappy at the end of each day, moan and whine about my job, and then rise the next morning to do it all over again. If my boss bullies me, not only will I leave, I’ll give him or her a mighty good verbal spray on the way out. I know that I am talented and smart enough to get a job elsewhere. If that’s being cocky, or having an “over-dose of self-esteem”, then I am guilty of that. I am guilty of belonging to a generation that values themselves. That takes pride in their abilities. And that refuses to settle for anything less than exceptional.”
It really is terrible, isn’t it Rebecca, for us to believe in ourselves?
You claim that we are proud, but shouldn’t be, of a CV that contains five pages of employment. I must apologise for that. But the small problem is I have more than one skill. And I’m not afraid to use them.
And for someone who seemingly isn’t interested in how much Gary Ablett Jr stands to earn, they why oh why do you reference money in every second paragraph of your column? I ask again; what’s it to you? I’d like to know if another newspaper, let’s say one from Queensland, offered you a position writing for them, a position that offered a substantial amount more of money, well, I’d like to know if you’d accept that offer? I’d like to know if more sunshine and less cold, more opportunity and less history, more money as opposed to less – I’d like to know if that would be a reason you’d consider switching jobs, or newspapers?
“Call me a dinosaur but yesterday was a sad day for footy.” Ok, you gave me permission;
Rebecca, you’re a dinosaur. Your views are so outdated, I’m surprised the calendar on your wall isn’t from 1929. Come to think of it, the folk from the ‘20s were probably more liberal.
The distaste left in your mouth from this entire situation has nothing to do with football, or Gary, or me or my generation – it’s you. You’re losing grip in an ever-expanding, constantly-changing world and you’re scared. And the only way you know how to hold on is to be critical. Of everything. And everyone that operates their life in a manner that is different from your own.
My generation is full of values – despite your claim that it’s not – and it just so happens that we value happiness. And fulfilment. And quality – in life, and of life.
And if that’s what Gary Ablett Jr is seeking, then we should allow him the decency of finding it. Without imposing our own opinions, or our own wishes, upon him.