When you hear the word ‘millenial’, what picture comes to your mind? For me, the most vivid picture is that of a young guy in his mid-twenties trudging wearily in the streets of this city in the sun, bracing the scorching afternoon heat because he is a man on a mission. He’s wearing a white shirt tucked into beige khaki pants, black official shoes and a frown on his face. There’s a brown envelope tucked under his arm, inside is a CV that reads ‘Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering’.
I picture him walking into one of those imposing buildings in the middle of the city, and into the offices of a corporate firm, a smile plastered on his face, his heart palpitating with hope and anxiety. It’s one of those offices with polished floors and glass doors that open into lavish offices. Perhaps there is a boardroom where the CEO sits every morning trying not to be distracted as he listens to a presentation, then raising his hand two minutes into the presentation to say, ‘Erm, sorry to interrupt, but at what stage does the money start coming in?’…
He hands over his brown envelope to a receptionist seated behind a glass desk, her eyes glued to a YouTube video on her computer screen, her face expressionless and distant. She takes the envelope and place it among a pile of documents at a corner of her desk, where they will gather dust as they wait to be opened someday. Perhaps inside some of these envelopes are pages and pages of academic excellence honed by years spent inside lecture halls. But what’s excellence worth if it stays hidden away on paper?
I see him walk out of this office then into another, handing in his CV with a smile on his face, each time hearing the words; ‘Don’t call us, we will call you and let you know’ then wending his way through the Welcome rug on his way out, his hope persistent and unflickering like a candle fluttering defiantly on a dark windy night. A week later and he’s still optimistic, incessantly checking his phone for a missed call or a message; ‘Following your application for the position of….. we would like to invite you for an interview at our offices tomorrow morning at 8am. Please keep time.’
One day he is sitting at a lonely cyber cafe, dusk is beckoning, and his eyes, dancing with excitement, are gazing into the computer screen in front of him. He checks his inbox folder, then his spam folder for that email he thinks will change his life, or for a sign at the least, that even though there is nothing at that moment, he won’t wait forever. I picture him getting up ten minutes later, resignation in his face as the stark reality finally breaks through the layers of denial in his mind, denial that he’s been chasing the wind, that the envelope with his CV still sits in an office desk, yearning to be opened.
I picture him waking up the next day, slipping into the comfort of a pair of jeans, a tee shirt and sneakers, instead of his official wear, and choosing a different path, because who said success can only be found inside the bureaucracy and bumbledom of an office building?
Picture Credits: http://www.pixabay.com