News & Opinion | April 28, 2022 11:34 am

Gen Z Doesn’t Want to Work for You Anyway, Dollar Tree

A discriminatory "help wanted" sign posted by a Dollar Tree manager has sparked controversy

The sign for a Dollar Tree store in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. Another discount store in Bremen, Indiana, courted controversy when a manager put up a hiring sign discriminating against Gen Z workers.
Gen Z need not apply.
Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty

Born between the years 1997 and 2012? Unfortunately, Dollar Tree does not want your labor.

A manager for the discount chain in Bremen, Indiana, was reportedly fired after posting a discriminatory “help wanted” sign that essentially expressed the sentiment that Gen Z need not apply.

According to WNDU, the handwritten sign read: “I apologize for us closing AGAIN. My 2 new cashiers quit because I said their boyfriends couldn’t stand here for their entire shift. Don’t hire Gen Z’s. [sic] They don’t know what work actually means. NOW HIRING! *Baby Boomers ONLY, thanks!”

The local news story eventually made its way to TikTok where, according to the Daily Dot, the event sparked even more controversy and discussion, mainly over how Gen Zers don’t really care that they’re being barred from working at Dollar Tree, a place where they’ll be paid nine dollars an hour to deal with the general public. Users also speculated why this Dollar Tree manager called on Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, in particular, to apply.

“They only want ppl who are desperate and too tired to fight for anything other than poverty wages,” said one TikTok user. Another wrote, “Back in their day companies could take advantage of you and people would call it hard work.”

It’s no secret Gen Zers have a different outlook on work compared to prior generations. Data has shown that the young generation is more likely to switch jobs than older generations, and would “rather be unemployed than unhappy” in their current role. As a recent Vox article succinctly put it, “Gen Z does not dream of labor.

Now, older generations (specifically Baby Boomers) might confuse Gen Z’s apathetic attitude toward work for laziness, but the reality is that most Gen Z workers — most of whom entered the workforce during the pandemic and “The Great Resignation” — aren’t willing to sacrifice their wellbeing and sanity for a demanding job that pays a wage they can’t even live on.

So actually, former manager of a Dollar Tree in Bremen, Indiana, Gen Z knows exactly what work means. That’s why they’re not doing it.