"I pick myself right up."
That's what my almost 4-year-old daughter Maxine says when I ask her what she does when she falls down.
But after watching "60 Minutes" legend Morley Safer tackle the values and work ethics (or lack thereof) of so-called Millennials (people born between 1980 and 1995), I wonder how many of them would say the same.
From negotiating time off during job interviews to having to be told that they "should wear underwear under their clothes," it's tough for me to comprehend when, where and why the future workforce of our nation has became so complacent.
Was it because mommy and daddy worked too hard and didn't pay enough attention? Is it the free-wheeling universe known as cyberspace, where anything and everything is practically available at the click of a button?
Enron? WorldCom? Tyco? Divorce?
No, I give too much credit. Whatever the excuse for such lackadaisical behavior, it all comes down to just that — an excuse. Call me cold or insensitive, but I won't apologize for living in a tough world.
We Americans have the opportunity to make whatever we want out of life if we apply ourselves. However, too many of us, and our children, take all of that for granted, to the point where we feel like we're owed something from everyone, including employers and strangers.
No. The only thing we're owed is a paycheck if we're under someone's employ. The rest — career advancement, life balance, goals and love — are all up to us.
The challenge we face as parents is trying to instill that value system in a world of instant gratification, where cell phones and WiFi and portable video games and seeming entitlement are front and center.
One example Safer heard was some applicants bringing their parents to job interviews. Huh? Do you think mommy and daddy will also help their coddled little darling close the sale or meet the deadline too?
Who are these parents?
I'm all for showing the way to the right path as parents, but whatever happened to teaching responsibility? If mommy and daddy are so protective that their children can't interview without them, isn't that more damaging to your precious little babies than having them make — and learn from — their mistakes?
Incidentally, if they're interviewing for jobs, chances are they're not babies anymore.
Call me a sucker, but I like doing a good job.
I like when my boss pats me on the back or sends an e-mail that says "nice job." I live for that. The Millennials, it seems, would scoff at such nonsense.
Of course they're doing a good job. They showed up, didn't they?
And people wonder why large corporations are outsourcing jobs.
We're in for a rude awakening if this is where we're headed.