Spoiled Brats

Why do you think entitlement ruins our economy and do you think personal responsibility ends the spiral of this madness?

What do you think?  Where do you stand?  If you post a comment on the blog I will send you a download of The CEO of YOU: Leading YOURSELF to Success by Marsha Petrie Sue.

If you are really serious about taking control of your job and making more money, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything.  The first step in turning yourself and your job into the perfect situation is to dump any thinking about what others “owe” you. “Why do my employees have such an entitlement mentality?” is a question often asked in business today? And I’ve learned it is not just the Generation Y’s who create this image.  The Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s are as much at fault as any other workforce participant.

I think many people have become spoiled brats. Some blame it on generational differences, others say it’s society gone soft and still others claim there is a disappearance of the work ethic.  It is a combination of all of these.
And companies and employers can blame themselves:
•    They have not set clear connections between job performance and compensation.
•    All employees are rewarded the same.
•    Automatic raises are given because of tenure.
•    Companies have poor or inconsistent communication.
•    Come-and-go-as-you-please work schedules are acceptable.
•    Dress codes are not enforced.
•    Annual raises of 10 percent to 20 percent of base salary are automatic.
•    Regular grant of stock options are expected.
•    Full coverage health insurance costs are part of the entitlement.
•    Employer-subsidized soft drinks, bagels, coffee and more are expected.

I was speaking to Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers on Monday.  The president of the company agreed with an analogy I had been told by another company leader.  The group was whining and certainly displaying difficult behavior when he chimed back with this:

•    So, when your numbers are terrific it is because you are such a fabulous sales person and so good at your job?
•    And when the bottom fell out of the Real Estate Market and many of the financial markets, it was the economy’s fault for your numbers tanking?
•    Then why did 20% of the team continue to make their numbers and succeed?

My belief is that a certain percentage of people have learned to be resilient in their jobs and make the decision not to be spoiled brats.   The toxic behavior of a whine and cheeser (see Toxic People) is easy and is reserved for the lazy that don’t take the time to figure out what does work and what they should leave behind.

What is your perspective?  Do you fall into the Spoiled Brat frame or have you figured out how to pull yourself up and move forward no matter what?

Remember Vilfredo Pareto and the 80/20 rule? I also think this is why 20% of the investors today are investing in the financial markets and 80% are whining because they overextended themselves and often times because of their greed!

What do you think?  Where do you stand?  If you post a comment on the blog I will send you a download of The CEO of YOU: Leading YOURSELF to Success.

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  1. Jan Kiwacka says:

    I definitely agree with you. There are a lot of spoiled brats and it doesn’t matter what age they are. It seems the more we try to do for people to motivate them or keep their job interesting, the more they expect and complain if they don’t receive it. I hear complaints that people are upset with the economy and downsizing going on in every company. I talk to them about doing their best and constantly improve and motivate themselves. We can only do that and try to help our company stay on top. And what do some of them want to do, just whine that getting downsized is inevitable?? Wow!

  2. Judith says:

    I am fortunate to have few of the “whine and cheesers” you describe on my staff. Here in the Midwest, with high unemployment and tough winters (= high heating bills) we are lucky to get any increases these days, and most are well under 4%. They don’t cover the increased costs of living . The whiners began to see the writing on the wall over a year ago and have, for the most part, buckled down. Those that haven’t will be on their way out before long – if I have to recommend cuts underperforming gripers who bring everyone down are first on my list! Sure people still complain – but it’s more about the economy than the company, they know we’re doing what we can to keep them employed and their families insured.

  3. Wendy says:

    I agree, people are not motivated anymore to do a good job, just complain about what they aren’t getting.
    I remember the days when raises were given by job performance not automatically. We need those gudelines back in the workplace…

  4. Lisa says:

    We are a number of “whine and cheesers” which we also call “drama queens”. We have them on the clients side and out side of the house since we are contracted employees. It is true as you have said it is not a single generational problem.

  5. Ali says:

    There are a lot of spoiled brats out there mostly of the younger generation. We have been dealing with the salary issue and people feel entitled to be paid for working over the 40 hours standard that are salaried even 1 hour. I did not look at it past this generation; but you are absolutely correct. Thank you for sharing this information.

  6. Ang says:

    I work for a very large company that values its employees. Unfortunately everyone at the company has been there for so long that they don’t realize how tough it is at other companies. This company, call it XYZ, has one of the lowest out of pocket medical plans I have ever worked for. I am also making more money than I have ever made in my entire life, which being a Gen X’er isn’t that long but still long enough that I have worked for companies that do not value their employees. Everyone thinks this company is out to get them or their job and it is not the case. I have worked their long enough to see this. A lot of my peers complain about what the Union employees make versus what we make. It is true, our Union employees do make more and have better benefits at times. As management, if I have a issue to take care of my Manager assumes I am being honest. WE have that ability to take time off if needed, even if we don’t have it, within reason of course. The union employees don’t, they get written up and after so many get a letter and progressive discipline. There are advantages and disadvantages but the majority of my peers only see the advantages and COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN!!!! I seriously would love to talk to someone in the Upper Ranks about having you talk to all of us because the negativity is OUT OF CONTROL. It breeds and just continues to create more and more negativity. And like I said I have seen other companies and how they work, this Company, XYZ, really is a great company with a lot of obstacles but it is still a great company. The “spoiled brats” are here at XYZ by the droves and it’s all about what the company owes them. It is all ages and genders, it’s honestly OUT OF CONTROL!!! And I don’t want to be part of the problem but the solution, so thank you for your articles.

  7. Mary Ann says:

    Bottom line is that nothing is free.

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    I was watching a Sunday Morning news show the other day and they were showing all the perks for people who work at Google and I was thinking to myself, “don’t we all wish we had those things!” Free food at work whenever you want it cooked by fabulous chefs, cheap daycare, sleeping stations, come and go work days, etc. But like I mentioned earlier, nothing is for free. The day of reckoning will come for Google just like it did for Wall Street recently. It may come when things aren’t so pie in the sky and they have to start taking away some of those perks in order to survive and much to the amazement of management they will find that many of their staff will turn on them. Or it may come all at once when competition forces it upon them. One thing I do know is that it will happen, what I don’t know is when.

    You must create value whether you are a country, company or an individual and you may even get by with not doing so for a while and maybe even years but it will eventually catch up to you. Granted, some may benefit and even get rich in the interim using countless schemes and ploys but eventually someone is left to pay the piper.

    And the really sad part is that if they had just been appreciative for what they had in the beginning and been honest all of this could have been avoided. It reminds me of when I was a kid and my parents said that if you do something wrong and tell the truth the punishment will not be nearly as bad as when you do it wrong and continue to lie about it. Based on the condition of our attitudes, health and economy it appears to me that too many Americans have delayed fessing up for too long now.

    We have some great people in this country and I think we can and will get back on track.

    I agree with you.

  8. Billy Mitchell says:

    While I agree with the idea that people have developed an all for me and who cares about the other guy attitude.
    And the sad thing is business government and our public and private school system has supported the creation of this attitude.
    Once the government gave tax breaks for health benefits for employees it not only created the give me state it also began the deadly drain on our medical system.
    While schools were built to train employees, beginning in the sixties personal responsibility was no longer taught. Every thing is OK, and we don’t want to hurt Johnny’s self esteem by grading on the quality of his work, especially if Mary does better work, we are all equal remember.
    One other thing to consider is what if we actually fired Johnny for lack of performance. What sill be the cost in time and money when Johnny takes us to court and sues us for discrimination or some other nonsense?
    All in all I agree with your assessment and we created this and we support it by not telling the truth to people because we might hurt their feelings.

    Appreciating you,
    Billy Mitchell

  9. Monica says:

    I agree with your comments that it is an accountability issue. The accountability needs to take place at all levels. After being in the corporate workforce for 20 years, one of my key observations is that there are many managers who haven’t been trained on how to manage and who aren’t holding individuals in their organization accountable. Many revert to what they know, and often try to manage by fear or with threats. Employees must want to change and improve; however, I also think managers need to be willing to show them the way. Unfortunately, so many managers are burdened with too much of their own workload to take the time to focus on managing and growing their teams.

  10. Kristy says:

    I work ina leadership position with a jealous male counterpart who is a Steam Roller and Back Stabber. I was given a job that he very much wanted about 6 years ago, and he has been a daily treat to work with. I plan on meeting with him to try to come to a point where we can work together respectfully. I become angered by his behavior adn get to a point where I call him on his actions or assert myself standing my ground, and events become exponentially worse. It has gotten to the point where my Supervisor wants us to work it out, and expects me to lead the discussion and be the bigger person. How do I do this when past experience trying this route led him to at first play dumb, then demand incidences, and his voice got louder and laoder until we agreed to disagree.

    I am hoping through your web site I can learn more on how to manage this ongoing situation which I truly believe he has no intentions on improving.

  11. Staci Shelton says:

    I think that there is a balance to be made. Employers benefit from the expertise of (good) employees. Benefits and raises are not a gift from employers, they should be a part of taking care of the people who help make them sucessful. So, I’m not as harsh on people who feel “entitled” to be treated well by their employers.

    Where I do agree, is that most of the people who feel “entitled” do not DELIVER. And treating everyone equally when clearly everyone is not equal does not motivate.

    I’m blessed to work for an employer and boss who value my work, and I’m grateful enough to know that no one owes me anything…and therein lies a happy arrangement.

    Thanks for your work…you’re awesome!!

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