Living through an American Recession

Dealing with never ending life changes. Who says making lemonade is the best thing to do with those lemons life throws at you?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A sense of Entitlement

Legality aside in general, the word entitlement refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit. A "sense of entitlement" as it is commonly used.

As I watch the restaurant I work in close, a select few seem to exude this sense of entitlement, rationalizing and satisfying it by stealing. I have become a babysitter slapping hands as they try to fill their pockets with money, booze, equipment, and food, countered with resentment and lost friendships.

I'm not sure why this generation is so jaded and shocked by my lack of a sense of entitlement.  Perhaps it was that the previous generation was so graciously rewarded with company paid college, retirement, paid vacations and a sense of job security, travel and comforts?

As a  Gen Xer I certainly understand this feeling. My father was a WW11 veteran of the Air Force, received and engineering degree from UC Berkley paid for by a company that he retired from. As a senior he collected disability from the military, retirement and interest on savings. He never understood my struggle to attain loans for college, work entry level jobs with no sense of job security.

"Hard work, loyalty and commitment pays off." He said
"When? We are expendable." I replied.
Perhaps the sense of entitlement was always there, they just got what they wanted.They fought for equal pay, unions, safe work environments and labor laws.

So where does that rational to steal come into this picture?

If Mr. Jones across the street says

"Hey kid, I'll give you $20 if you mow my lawn every week."

You agree and continue to mow for 6 years. One day  Mr. Jones puts up a sign in his yard  advertising the house for sale. The house sells. Are you then entitled to go into Mr. Jones' garage and take his things because you feel a sense of entitlement? His things are still his personal property on his private property. There is no entitlement. You may be entitled to unemployment, earned sick time or unpaid vacation if that was part of your contract for employment but you are certainly NOT entitle to steal Mr. Jones' belongings.

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