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Demosthenes's avatar

Who's really more "entitled": young people or older people?

Asked by Demosthenes (12763points) September 30th, 2018

“Entitled” is the negative buzzword of the century, it seems. It’s the favorite put down for people of my generation (the infamous “millennials”), lumping them in a group of lazy brats who expect the world to be handed to them for doing no work.

However, from my experience working in customer service, I can say that, at least in the world of consumers, I come across more “entitlement” among older people than younger. Now I would say that only a small percentage of customers ever behave this way (at least at my job; I’ve heard it can be much worse elsewhere), but when they do, they are overwhelmingly middle-aged or older. They are impatient and easily irritable, they have an attitude of the rules shouldn’t apply to me, I shouldn’t have to pay this, I should be able to do what I want.

And no, I’m not attempting to malign any particular generation, and I come across plenty of friendly and pleasant middle-aged and older people (the majority of them are), I’m just curious to know what has been your real-world experience with “entitlement”? It’s a word thrown around so often that I think we need to talk about what it means and who actually deserves that label.

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16 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Young people. These days, they are spoiled ROTTEN!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I myself revel in my entitlement. It’s just wonderful cashing in on the expected crotchety traits that accompany old age. The problem is that I keep forgetting to subject younger folks to their duties, such as fetching stuff. But I’m getting better at it. Practice, practice, practice.

Demosthenes's avatar

@stanleybmanly My mom said that ever since she turned 60, she’s started to not give a fuck more. That doesn’t mean she’s rude and unpleasant to customer service reps! But it does mean that there’s a feeling of liberty that she never had before, a feeling that there are fewer people to impress. I can understand that.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The boomers, they were the worst. Millennials are to an extent just like them but only the really political, ideological ones. Many are indistinguishable from genXers who were for the most part content and quiet. The children of millennials I worry about, they’re hovered over, given anything and everything and just spoiled rotten.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Demosthenes Seeing young children turn into rabid monsters when their iPads are taken away, I do worry for the tech-saturated youngest generation too. xD

JLeslie's avatar

If you ask me who are the best employees in customer service, older people are on average.

If you ask me in terms of customers, I think it’s good and bad across all age groups.

I live in a retirement city, and overall older people have more patience for some things, because if they are retired they have less urgency in getting things done. Unless, it interferes with their golf game, then they get annoyed.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

You’ll know the answer when you go to Japan and South Korea. Entitled older people are famous there for their attitude toward younger generation. They’re well known to expect or even insist that you lose your seat so that they can have a seat in a train. I often heard that in Western countries people are nice to offer their seat to seniors, I have no problem with that but in Asia it’s generally first come first serve.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think all generations are the same, really.

chyna's avatar

@demosthenes I’m your mom’s age and I have to admit I feel the same way she does. Not entitled to be rude, but I don’t feel like I have to put up with other people that are rude to me. I speak up more now.

Brian1946's avatar


Would you say that those behaviors are more attributable to individuals, rather than to whatever generations they belong?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. That’s exactly what I believe @Brian1946.

Demosthenes's avatar

@chyna One example is that my mom has no more patience for people who are on the phones while driving. If the light turns green and the person in front of her doesn’t go, she used to wait a few seconds and then give them a polite little beep, but now, she says she can tell most of those people are staring at their phones and she just honks at them right away. And I understand that. But I’m not waiting until I’m 60 to call out text-and-drivers :P

@Dutchess_III I think so too. I think, for example, that my generation’s exposure to technology from an early age gives us unique issues, but I don’t think that if my parents’ generation had been exposed to the same technology that they wouldn’t have the same issues. I don’t think human nature changes from generation to generation. It’s human nature to get old and think the younger generation is worse than ever before. People have been doing it for millennia. I’m sure I will feel the same way when I’m old.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think natures changes, but I think behaviors change…and usually for the better. Sometimes not.
For example, we are more tolerant now of diversity. I’m sure there is still some white entitlement rolling around in the back stretch but it’ll get run down eventually.

KNOWITALL's avatar

In my experience, it’s definately younger folks. I’m 45 yrs old and never got anything handed to me, I had to go to work early in life and stay working to get where I’m at.

What I see with younger people is a blase attitude toward life in general. An “I’ll get around to it eventually’ mentality. Or a 12 yr old with an $800 phone because they’re an only child and parents spoil them. They want everything someone my age has but don’t want to put in the effort to EARN it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t see that. My kids and my grandkids are more than willing to work their butts off. I see a lot of kids working hard.

There we plenty of kids in the “older generation” (the 60’s) who didn’t want to work. They just wanted to party. It changes as we get older.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m sure everyone’s different, didn’t mean to generalize.

My mom has battled cancer for eight years and still works harder than many people I know, volunteers at a local organization and at church.

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