Asian Girl Problem #42: Millennial Grind

If you can only read one thing today, this article on millennial work ethic is much better than my blog post. But if you have more time, here’s my take. Thumbs up for his cultural references and hopeful, positive outlook on our generation. I didn’t think he needed to be harsh on Girls in particular, since so many other are guilty of perpetrating worse stereotypes. Not the battle I would’ve picked, but maybe he needed a topical entry point into bigger ideas.

I believe Girls does represent a side of millennials that cripples us. I have similar moments of laziness, selfishness, and unfounded dreams of grandeur. They may be to a lesser degree than some of the TV characters (keyword: characters) but I think that’s why it resonates with all of its viewers. No offense, but there aren’t many other reasons to watch the show.

On a related note, I’m almost done with week two of a new job, in which I sit alone in a literal attic all day trying to set up an online e-store for a local fashion boutique. I could so easily be an Asian and more boring version of Hannah. My company’s owners are Cantonese, which, in a nutshell, means they can understand me but I can’t understand them. And that they eat a lot of dim sum.

Despite us all being “descendants of the dragon,” Mandarin and Cantonese people are very different once you see our nuances. Until recently moving near Oakland Chinatown and working for this family, I’ve never been exposed to much Cantonese culture.

Not surprisingly, I’ve discovered that we have plenty of stereotypes for each other. I grew up hearing that Cantonese people were physically smaller, more culinarily adventurous (dogs and cats), liked to own businesses and were harder workers. My dad recently taught me a new saying–that Northerners (like us) like to sit and “imagine mountains.” Or perhaps it was “create mountains”? If you know what I’m talking about, please set me straight.

The saying basically means that Northerners can’t hustle for crap, much preferring to wax philosophical, study art and blow smoke up each others asses all day. It also implies that Southerners put work and $$$ money first, sacrificing all other comforts and luxuries for their grind.

Maybe it’s self-fulfilling, but ever since I heard the stereotype, I feel like I’m turning into it. Even as I go to work for 8 hours like a normal upstanding citizen, I’m waiting for that lazy, selfish, idealistic, solipsistic, bohemian, millennial, northerner to come out and sabotage my current responsible adult life I’ve got set up. Talk about growing pains.


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