The Newbies Are Coming! The Newbies Are Coming!

Bob Goldman on

Here's the thing about jobs.

Work too much and you'll be fine. Work too little and you'll be fine. Care too much and you'll be miserable, and so will everyone around you.

Such is the case with the unhappy employee who wrote to Alison Green, the workplace advice columnist for New York magazine.

"The new hires are driving me up the wall," the disgruntled letter writer explained, summing up his frustration with "new hires who are recent college grads, all under the age of 24."

What's so annoying about the newbies?

They "stand in huddles and chitchat for half an hour or more." They also "take advantage of hotdesking and hop from desk to desk three or four times a day," and "yell to each other across the office." Perhaps worst of all, they don't understand that "ripped jeans are not 'business casual.'"


(If you feel yourself getting hot under the collar over the antics of this "bunch of kindergartners," I sympathize. The exasperated letter writer is 29 years old. I can't imagine what conduct like this feels like to old-timers, who are 30 or 35. For the truly ancient, the 40-or-over set, such behavior would surely be enough to cause severe palpitations.)

The question here is whether the frustrated employee should bring these concerns to their boss. Alison Green's answer is straightforward: Stop caring so much. The hijinks of the newbies are "something their manager can address if they want to, but it's not on you to handle."

In other words, mind your own beeswax.

Exceptions can be made, Green allows, but only for behavior that "more directly impacts you, like the yelling and the constant chatting." Really? I know you would find it impossible to work with people who are wearing torn jeans, and I don't blame you. I find it difficult to work no matter what people are wearing, and, I have to admit, getting anything done on Naked Thursdays does take concentration. (Pro tip: a blindfold helps.)


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