They don’t make ‘em like they used to

2013 August 28
by Grace Boyle

Please excuse me while I rant a moment.


With James and I both working full-time during the day, we’ve gone through our share of dog walkers, doggy day care, etc. We care a lot about our pup, Cerna, and as energetic as he is, exercising and tiring him out is really the best thing for everyone. We also believe in a high quality of life for him.

We have a great doggy day care we love, but it’s a lot of moola and we have to drive him there and pick him up, which when you have morning or evening plans sometimes it’s not as plausible. A few dog walkers have moved or gotten “real jobs” after college, so it has some turnover.

We always like to go off a referral and even one dog walker (a so-called “professional”) we found, proceeded to tell us how she doesn’t like pitbulls (he’s a lab/pit mix) and would never work with us in an accusatory tone, before James ended up calmly saying we didn’t want to support her then anyway and hanging up (Yelp review incoming). Just put that on your website and we would have been fine. Totally get the entitled to your opinions but don’t berate our well-behaved dog that couldn’t hurt a fly.

Recently, a friend mentioned they knew someone vaguely that might be interested and he was still in college. He followed up and seemed nice enough. He came by, met Cerna and we chatted price. He wasn’t free Tuesdays and Thursdays, so James and I agreed to take those days to bike home and let Cerna out. We came to an agreement and he came the first week.

Then on Monday, at 5 PM, I get a text that he forgot to tell me he had a meeting that day and never came to let him out. Great. I leave work early and let Cerna out as he had been home all day. Frustrating, but not worth ending things over. In general, just irresponsible. This isn’t just a meeting, but another animal we’re talking about.

Then I wake up this morning, and see that at 2 AM I get a text from him. I am incredulous. Word for word below, it’s “not worth my time” and “otherwise I am done.” Thanks for the warning and really pro of you to text us at 2 AM, giving us no warning.


I think I typed five different replies, as fast as my little fingers could. My eyebrows furrowed and huffing and puffing my way through it. Each time I deleted it and was reminded by James, to not get into it. Just say thanks, you don’t have to come then. Leave it at that. It wasn’t even like he was with us for long.

My thoughts on this situation specifically:

1. Since when is $12/hour (what we paid him) not enough for a college student?

2. If you had a problem with price (I can respect that), negotiate in person. Newsflash, he AGREED to this price and said that worked for him when we asked him and met in person.

3. Don’t text in the middle of the night. That’s not professional. Save the saucy attitude for your friends. Not employers that have been nothing but fair and nice. His tone is clearly one that is rude (look at his word choice) and thanks for the notice ahead of time, he was supposed to come that day.

4. Finally, when you are in college, walk this dog 3-4 hours a week, make your own hours and play with a dog for “work” beggars can’t be choosers. We’ll find someone who is grateful. Sorry to have done business with you. Like, at all.

Now, I didn’t have to post this. In fact, I rarely rant here. I mean, the kid doesn’t even know my last name, let alone that I have a blog. I’m not blowing up his spot and would never mention his name but I feel generally, this wouldn’t have happened years ago. It just wouldn’t have. What is up with this entitlement?

I try to imagine someone as ethical, virtuous and hard working as my Grandfather sending a rude text in the middle of the night, in a rude tone, being like “peace out” I don’t need to work. Maybe this is some rich, spoiled kid. I don’t know. But generationally, this just wouldn’t have happened. Therein, they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

I never would have done this in college. I had multiple jobs and worked hard. If something wasn’t working out, I would be upfront and speak in person. Any transaction, I would take seriously. Now, I probably was less responsible when I was in college, but not when it came to jobs.

All of this makes me feel old, upset at the new generation and keen on how I want to my parent our some-day children. Seriously, buck up.


Thanks for listening. Am I crazy here or do you feel the same with entitled youngins?




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  • Rebecca Thorman

    I had a paid intern who was still in college at my last company that was fantastic. So fantastic that we had already offered him a job after he graduated. So when he started not to reply to emails and not showing up for our weekly scheduled meetings, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I thought maybe he was having family issues or he got dumped. Or since he was in a very demanding college program, that maybe school work was overhwleming him. We were all genuinely worried about him, since he had been great prior to these issues. After about a month of us emailing and calling him, and hearing nothing, I received a Facebook message. Alas, this *poor guy* had a big social event to plan. In his explanation, he also assumed he still had a job after he graduated. Hahahahahaha. Nope, nope, nope. I still think something more was happening since it was such a complete turnaround, but what a waste regardless. I feel your pain!

  • Grace Boyle

    Man. That is unreal! And I recognize, this is so blanketed (doesn’t mean everyone is one way) and obviously me sort of just unleashing ;) but I wrote it because it’s an overarching topic that I notice not just with this dog walker. Thanks for sharing. Doesn’t make me feel so played ;)

  • Akirah Robinson

    Wow. I can’t believe that. I don’t think you’re overreacting. I think some people just feel entitled. I’m not certain how much more money he’d want to make for walking and playing with a dog. I mean, Dan and I pay $20 for an entire DAY of daycare. Regardless, it was unprofessional and I’m sorry you’ve had some trouble finding good help. I hope someone good comes through soon.

  • Grace Boyle

    Thanks! Boulder is expensive. An entire day of daycare is $27 and a half day is $18 (that’s 6 hours) and he would be coming just for 45 minutes for the $12. I totally get if he wanted a bit more, I don’t mind that, but he agreed to this amount and without being a professional dog trainer he really doesn’t have credentials. In college I happily made $10 an hour and never complained. If I didn’t like it, I would find something else or not have taken the job. Ha. Now, I can hopefully laugh about this. Thank you for commiserating with me ;)

  • Akirah Robinson

    I figured that you were in a place that’s more expensive. I live in Pittsburgh and the cost of living is low here. Even so, I think $12 is reasonable. And if he wanted more, there are better ways to ask for it than text. Proper grammar would be good too.

    I made $7.75 an hour at Panera when I was in college. I was THRILLED! Lol.

  • Christa

    OH. MY. GOD. wow. that is unbelievable!! When I was in college (“back in myyy dayyyy”) I made $9/hour to babysit two CHILDREN, and he was getting $12/hour to walk your dog? That seems like the easiest decision ever. How entitled and ungrateful. And unprofessional…I could go on. How much does he possibly think he can make???

  • Grace Boyle

    My sentiments exactly!

  • Grace Boyle

    Haha so true. I know. We’ve paid other dog walkers that and they were fine with it. Even still, his tone was rude. It wasn’t like, “I’ve done the math and don’t think the cost works for me. Could we chat more?”

    Instead he says things like “I am done” and “not worth my time” and it’s at 2 AM. Definitely think he was not thinking as straight ;) ha thanks for the support either way!

  • Clare

    I would freak out. So incredibly rude!

  • Eric Elkins

    It’s my biggest challenge as an employer – the sense of entitlement, the inability to take constructive criticism, the low value in honoring a promise or commitment. Oh, and the poor use of apostrophes, commas, and homonyms.

  • Cordelia

    I’m just as astonished and outraged as you are at this kid, but please don’t make this a generational thing. Would people in your grandfather’s time have sent a rude text at 2am? No, because there was no text messaging. Were there jerks and entitled little brats in your grandfather’s time? Yes. They have existed since the dawn of time. That’s why every generation feels that their elders don’t understand them, while simultaneously feeling that the generation coming up is lewd, fast, and unprincipled.

    This kid was an unprecedented a**hat, no question. But please don’t write off his entire generation because of one bad apple. There are bad apples in every demographic you can name.

  • Grace Boyle

    Cordelia, thanks for your thoughts. I’ve shared in other comments if you saw, that I mentioned this was obviously a generalization and it doesn’t at all mean the entire generation is one way. That is never the case and it’s sweeping, of course. That said, I didn’t literally mean my Grandfather would send a text, but he could have just not shown up, he could have told them in the same rude way in person and the thing is – he wouldn’t have. It was far more ethical, you need to work hard, etc. I simply don’t see it AS OFTEN these days. Also, I’m speaking of experience. I could name numerous experiences where it’s the same. I’m a Millenial myself, so I know that it exists around me and even in my friends. But really, this goes far beyond just this kid’s actions. He doesn’t represent anyone, he only represents himself. But I just see less work ethic, more entitlement, more idealism, less commitment, in general these days. To me, I see it 9/10 times. Now to sweep an entire generation is unfair. I’m just speaking to what I see noting, in an older generation, it is far far less common.

  • Grace Boyle

    It is tough. And as an employer I see it too (especially with our interns or just out of school grads).

  • Grace Boyle

    I’m hoping soon Ill be laughing about it. All you can do, right? Live and learn :)

  • tarable

    Oh sister, do I know where you’re coming from! I think I told you that our nanny resigned via text message…the day before she was supposed to come and watch our son. Like you, I had many nasty text messages that I wanted to reply with but ended up taking the high road. And then to add insult to injury, she didn’t even say goodbye to my kiddo. Meh. As much as I may love it, there are some things that are just too important for text messaging.

  • Grace Boyle

    I know. That’s even worse. When I was thinking about this I realized what a high turnover rate student / nannies must be. That’s so tough! Ha, well at least, I can now laugh about this at least. I mean the text message wasn’t even nice! BAH!

  • James R Moreau

    This kid oozed the typical rich kid shitty-ness that is so prevalent in this town. Good riddance.

  • Larry Meadows

    Interesting story. I just heard about a young person who turned down a full time job making $14 an hour to start with a path to $21 an hour in 90 days based on performance. The “worker” turned down the job because he would lose his food stamps and unemployment – which worked out to more than he was being offered to work. So whether rich or supported, there is a problem in this country when the reward for work is lower than the reward to not work.
    Also – your dog deserves a better person anyway. hope you find em!

  • Grace Boyle

    Yes, very interesting conundrum. And I can definitely see all sides of the spectrum. Appreciate your thoughts. A new door opened and a great friend/neighbor needed some work through grad school that just started which is someone we trust and know, so it all worked out :)

  • Anna

    recently Swami Nardinand brought it home for me when he said, ‘you can take time to explain but if they still don’t understand, then you must see that it is not your problem. The attitude someone takes is part of their life, their responsibility. People generally respond from ego, if you follow their behaviour you will be lost. The only thing you can reasonably change and spend time on is gaining a clear understanding of who you are.

  • Grace Boyle

    Beautifully said. I agree. I like to think instead of being defensive or just writing something rude back (to match his) wouldn’t solve anything. I just said, we’re all set and thanks. Letting go is powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  • EH

    Unprofessional and poor tone for sure, but perhaps it wasn’t worth his time for $12. How far was his drive, etc? That 45 minute walk could easily turn into a 75 min walk with driving, then gas costs and so on. Takes that $12 for 45 mins of work down to a real payment of $7.20 hour. Personally, I wouldn’t consider $7.20/hr in 75 minute a day increments worth my time.