this Yiffie is fifty


That was the cover story for the August 27, 1990 edition of  FORTUNE. 

Alan Deutschman talked at length with 30 college-educated workers employed by Fortune 500 companies who “… beat the odds from the very beginning” , crediting the widespread use of the pill for the dip in birth rate for 1965  and for years after.  Deutschman went on to say that this ‘generation’ “… struggled to recast the rules (of corporate America) according to their own demands.  Meet the employees who can say No.”

Hmm.  Well, I guess I AM all that.  Recasting the rules is something I have always done and will continue to do.  Shit, I don’t even think I’ve read the damn rule book.  When I’ve mentioned before that I often get into trouble, it’s usually because of that or the whole saying ‘No’ thing. I refuse to sell my soul to corporate retail pharmacy.  Though, I feel the need to clarify something.  Neither of these actions are selfishly motivated.  I (and from what I’ve read about my fellow Yiffies) would rather spend time with my family or go kayaking.  I don’t kayak on a regular basis, but kayaking is fun.

So what IS a Yiffie?

According to the article, a Yiffie is an acronym for – Young, Individualistic, Freedom-minded, and Few.  The baby-buster, of sorts, instigating a ‘boomer backlash’.  An anti-Yuppie put on this earth to challenge the previous workaholic generation therefore striving for a “stronger sense of balance in their lives“.

The older managers think that if a shoe doesn’t fit, you should wear it and walk funny.  The baby-busters say to throw it out and get a new shoe.  Their attitude says that they are going to make the choices.

For me, I’d probably just go barefoot.  But then I would most likely stub my toe or something stupid like that.  Oh well, I’m used to bleeding and damage control, of course.  So, it’s all good.  I’m certain the majority of my fellow Yiffies  follow suit.  They wouldn’t necessarily stub their toes, mind you,  but they  would “do their own thing.  Ask what do I want to do, rather than what does someone else want me to do”. 

When I first read this article back in 1990, I was on fire.  Now that I have exhausted every avenue in pharmacy I am capable of tolerating, positive change is upon me.  Revisiting this article today, validates  who I AM – a Yiffie who IS fifty.  And, I look pretty damn good, baby!

Perhaps busters lack strong generational self-awareness in part because they haven’t been analyzed and targeted as a separate consumer market by Madison Avenue – or explained themselves by Hollywood.  Nobody has made a  Big  Chill  or  thirty something  about their generation.

I doubt  My Life  As A  Retail  Pharmacist –  A  Fictionalized  Memoir will be the self-awareness ‘voice’ of the Yiffie.  I think we are ‘individualistic’ enough to go without explanation.  And, quite frankly, some things don’t need to be analyzed that closely.   For me, writing IS my next choice.  That IS …


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.