Millennials, Your Boss Should Not Call Your Mommy To Talk About Your Job

Millennials, Your Boss Should Not Call Your Mommy To Talk About Your Job

When we were young people, we would have blanched at the thought of our potential boss calling our parents about our potential job, though it is tough to imagine the CEO of Starbuck would have called Mom about our barista gig. But this is now a thing bosses do, and thing millennials like. We are dismayed and confused and old.


In an interview last fall with Fortune magazine, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi revealed that she often writes letters to her direct reports’ parents to thank them for “the gift” of their children. Some of those parents even write back. Nooyi said her gesture has opened up new and intimate lines of communication not only with the parents, but also with her top employees.

Christ almighty, the last thing we would have wanted fresh out of college is our boss having “new and intimate” lines of communication with our parents about anything, really, because that line of communication would mostly have been “your child perpetually comes to his/her dead end job hung over and surly” and that does not really sound like a good talk.

We were hoping this was an isolated incident and PepsiCo just had a really weird boss and really helicopter-mommy employees, but this thing is spreading.

Recently, LinkedIn gained international attention when it sponsored a bring-your-parents-to-work day. More than two dozen companies in 14 countries participated last November, allowing employees to show their parents exactly what they were up to. Some companies, like Google, have been offering employees chances to expose their parents to their work lives for years.

These companies recognize that Millennials, and the generations that follow them, have a different perspective on their careers and the role their parents play. They also realize they can make powerful, personal connections with their employees when they encourage parents to be proud of their kids’ accomplishments.

There are so many things wrong with this we do not even know where to begin. First, fuck you you fucking fucks for getting jobs out of college good enough to talk to your parents about. Our parents were not particularly interested in the travails of our data practices temp job, and nor were we. Next, what kind of twentysomething craves parental approval enough to have them come to the office? We craved parental disengagement because of our burgeoning drug habit and our dead end jobs. Finally, what kind of helicopter mommy or daddy actually needs to come to their child’s job and have a looksee or, worse still, be a part of the hiring process of precious little Ashleeee or Jayyddden??

Nooyi also admitted that she has called the parents of potential hires, urging them to convince their children to accept a job with PepsiCo. She recalled trying to recruit a high-potential candidate who had an offer from another company. In order to gain some leverage, Nooyi called the candidate’s mother and explained why her son should take the PepsiCo offer. When he found out the CEO of PepsiCo had called his mom, he took the job.

Millennials, if you are going to yell at us in the comments about how we always bash you — WHICH WE DO, SO SUCK IT — it will only result in more mockery unless you thoroughly repudiate the Take Mom To Work thing, because Jesus.

[Harvard Business Review]

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