The Rise of the Snowflake


We are interviewing for two new people for an open job. The interview process involved a panel of current employees who would listen and question the candidate. Well, we did do it this way. That is, until Human Resources said we needed to stop using panels during the interview process because it put too much stress on the candidate.

I shook my head when I heard this. Then I read the following article that I found on Twitter.

Miniature Horses and Bubble Walls: Outrageous New Ways College Kids Handle Exam Stress

I work as a Systems Administrator for a health care clinic. Most of my users are rather challenged when it comes to using technology. Most of my jobs are handled over the phone and require me to explain, as simply as possible, how to resolve the issue that the user may have. Sometimes, my explanations do not work and I will have to change the way I say things, wading through words to find what will click with that particular user. This can be very challenging. Not only do I have to try to give easy-to-understand instructions, I have to keep an even temper, deal with the user’s temper and not let emotion cloud my reason. It is tough. And it is stressful.


Here is the reality: The troubled user does not care about whether or not she uses “trigger” words. There are no “safe places” at work. Our conference room does not have coloring books or a therapy dog. I am paid to do a job and help our customers to be able to do their job. And I am paid well.


Where did I learn to deal with stress?

My family made me work and told me the world did not owe me a thing. If I wanted something, I needed to get it and I should never give up. I should never count on anyone else caring about my goals because those people were also going after their goals. In other words, it’s a dog eat dog world and the strong thrive. They supported me until it was time to leave the nest. Then they let me fly.


Sports taught me competition. If I won, I got a medal or trophy. If I lost, I got nothing. Score meant something. I learned to both win and lose. Losing was not a “trigger” word. It is a fact of life. Losing and failure were not end points but the start of the improvement phase. There will always be failure. It is how it is dealt with that makes up the character of the individual.


School taught me to handle pressure, meet deadlines and deal with authority. Ideas were tossed around which sparked constructive debate which the teachers would moderate. There was no real fear of offending someone or violating a Political Correctness taboo. Teachers did not worry (that much) about our feelings or offending our personal beliefs. We were taught that the “real world” had expectations that we would have to meet or we would have to find another job.


But, today, all that is lost. The families must follow rules and worry about their children’s self-esteem. Spanking are considered child abuse, discipline is a five minute “timeout”. In sports, all children are “winners”. Score is irrelevant and may not even be kept until a certain age is reached and EVERYONE gets a trophy. Schools (including Ivy League universities) have “safe places” where students can feel free of “offensive” words or ideas. Teachers are taught to avoid “trigger” words and will fill the emotional tanks of their distraught students when faced with the adversity of opposing ideas.


I fear for our future.

These delicate snowflakes are the ones that are going to lead our nation some day. How will they react when a hostile, foreign country does not conform to our desires? What happens when love does not solve terrorism? Will we have photo ops of the President sitting on the floor, working on a coloring book? I think it is time to go back in time. It is time to toughen our children up. Our future depends on it.


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