A Halifax-based business owner was recently forced to close after nine years, signing off with a colorful Facebook message venting all her frustrations.
At the top of the list was a complaint about today’s young generation of workers, who she said never failed to put themselves before the business.
“They believe they are entitled to be paid dearly to customize their own schedules around their social activities and hobbies and cell phone use at the expense of the business,” the business owner Kim Stacey wrote.
She went on to say they often can’t work because they are too “stressed out”, or “can’t handle constructive criticism” from business management.
Often, Stacey said the new generation of workers would prefer to “quit instead of learning worth ethic”, leaving management to pick up the pieces.
As well as her staff, she reserved blame for “HRM organizations” and “all levels of government” which she said engaged in systemic discrimination towards Eastern Passage, where the now-defunct business was based.
The Facebook post ignited an impromptu social media and public debate on work ethic in the region, with comments ranging from emphatic agreement to outright hostility to Stacey’s tough attitude towards her employees.
In defending her comments, Stacey said there is a misconception owning a business means being responsible for financially supporting employee health, social and family responsibilities, which said was “impossible” to do.
“I am referring to the large number of individuals who have actively successful social lives and spending habits while living at home, and as adults have the unrealistic expectation employers are like parents or teachers who are required to put their business priorities below extra-curricular activities.”
Stacey said when an employer refuses to allow an employee such flexibility, they are often “accused of being inadequate employers” in today’s market.
“School comes first and in many cases family, however when the expenses of the business rise and the employer has to sacrifice their own personal lives in order to accommodate sports or entertainment activities, and when documented job requirements are not performed because of cell phone distractions and texts during business hours and employers are given no choice but to either terminate or have them quit for enforcing agreed-upon job requirements - in writing by the way - that becomes a problem,” she wrote.
Stacey, the owner of the small business Emma’s Eatery, did acknowledge that the business had “many successful young employees” who had “excellent work ethic and were highly disciplined and committed for many years”.
A number of other factors aside from her employees also contributed to the decision to close, including insufficient traffic, inadequate and suffocating bureaucracy, and the cost of serving locally-sourced, sustainable food.
A “frustrating new generation” of entitled employees with poor work ethic has been blamed for one business closure, with other businesses warned.