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Friday, November 03, 2006

Helicopter Parents in the Workplace?

You've all read about helicopter parents who hover over their children at school and drive their teachers nuts. Plus they make their children ill-prepared to enter the real world. That used to be problematic--but apparently mumsie and daddums have figured out the solution--they will hover over their child's workplace as well.

Here is a quote from the article:
A 22-year-old pharmaceutical employee learned that he was not getting the promotion he had been eyeing. His boss told him he needed to work on his weaknesses first. The Harvard grad had excelled at everything he had ever done, so he was crushed by the news. He told his parents about the performance review, and they were convinced there was some misunderstanding, some way they could fix it, as they'd been able to fix everything before. His mother called the human-resources department the next day. Seventeen times. She left increasingly frustrated messages: "You're purposely ignoring us"; "you fudged the evaluation"; "you have it in for my son." She demanded a mediation session with her, her son, his boss, and HR--and got it. At one point, the 22-year-old reprimanded the HR rep for being "rude to my mom."

Just reading that gave me a headache. But it also reminds me that I need to read FastCompany more often.


she said: said...

This is what low unemployment gives you. Am I crazy, or is there just a huge wave of arrested development going on these days?

JKB said...

Of course, everyone knows the best way to get a promotion is to have your mom call or fall apart when given negative feedback.

These brats make me so tired. I had one throw a tantrum in frustration and walk off while involved in an operation that required constant monitoring. I've had a couple toughen up and become productive workers but it is so tiring to have to watch them like 5 year olds. It's always good to adjust to new ways of doing things but sometimes the ends don't justify the means. Some means result in criminal charges.

What is interesting in all these stories about Gen-Y is that they all promote the same treatment the parents gave the kids. Namely, the kid gets whatever they want and the manager is suppose to make it happen regardless of the sacrifice they must make. Work is sometimes mundane and boring. It is getting through those parts that prepares you to handle the challenging work. Let's just hope that a recession doesn't bring a reduction in payrolls. I doubt these kids could handle a lay off. Needing daily approval doesn't prepare you for being told to hit the road.

Michael Moore said...

You were on the forefront of this issue. Has your perception changed in the last seven months? Helicopter Parents got a lot of play on the Today show this morning. My perception is that the door is open for the helicopter parent's hovering in the recruitng phase, but needs to be slammed hard for the parental interention into the workplace.

Anonymous said...

Ohh please....Come on parents, you are suppost to tech your child how to solve their problems, not to solve for them....think..