The XX Factor

Is the IHOP Girl a Spoiled Brat?

KJ, your fury over the New York Times Magazine essay by the high school girl slumming it as an IHOP waitress seems to have hit a nerve: Our commenters tend to agree with you that she’s a spoiled brat, the emblem of an entitled generation who won’t get their hands dirty. I read the essay entirely differently. To me, it was a humble admission from a young girl stuck in a generation of kids who feel like they’ll never get a decent job, or a break. A summer job is a sign of future promise. Making 35 calls and getting no answer is depressing. So she tries something else, and then has to come to terms with the fact that she has no saleable skills. It’s a bummer to realize at 18 that all this nice learning you’ve done amounts to nothing if you can’t hold a glass straight.