Hey Gen Xers, If You Really Wanted Millennials To Get Jobs, Maybe You Shouldn’t Have Spent Ten Years Making Us Do Cup Stacking!

Dan Caprera
Published in
4 min readAug 14, 2019


From Creative Commons

Hey Generation X, it’s time we had a little chat.

Now I know it’s probably fun to blame millennials for our low employment rates… according to a recent Forbes article, right now the millennial unemployment rate is “12.8 percent, compared to the national average of 4.9 percent.”

And I bet you loooove lording that over us, don’t you, Gen Xers?

But I’m sorry… if you really wanted millennials to get jobs, then maybe (just maybe) you shouldn’t have spent ten whole years forcing us to do cup stacking!

Yeah. That’s right.

This one’s on you, old-timers.

That’s the reason why I’ve been unemployed for the past seven consecutive years… the cups.

It’s always been the cups.

Seriously, Gen X. We know what you’ve been saying about us behind our backs in your precious WaPo op-eds and your CNN thinkpieces… you’re saying things like “millennials are unmotivated” or that “millennials are too lazy to succeed in today’s cutthroat economy.”

And I’m sorry… but are you freaking kidding me, Gen X?

We’re too lazy?

We’re too lazy?

Hey “MTV Generation,” maybe it’s time for you to own up to your mistakes and realize that the LITERAL ONLY REASON that millennials (like me) are so unprepared for today’s ultra-exclusive job market is that, for ten whole years, YOU forced us to spend every single waking hour practicing the art of competitive cup stacking.

I mean, I’m looking at my INSANELY GOOD COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT right now (2.2 GPA, baby!), and that’s the one explanation I can come up with.

See, instead of teaching us about hard-work and personal integrity… you spent precious class-time teaching us all about “sport stacking” — a “sport” where the only conceivable purpose was to see how fast tweens could stack 12 cups into pyramids.

And instead of instilling us with all-important life skills like ambition and entrepreneurship… from the ages of 8 to 18, you corralled us into gymnasiums and forced us to stack expensive, aerodynamic, Speed-Stacks-brand stacking-cups until our underdeveloped teenage hands were covered in cup-shape callouses.

And instead of bolstering our resumes with valuable, irreplaceable job experience… you told us that, if we were lucky and we practiced hard enough, that one day we could participate in the international World Sport Stacking Championships in beautiful South Korea alongside such legendary sport-stackers like William Polly, Jim Sweetern, Josh Hainsel, and THE Dalton Nichols (the giants of the game).

Let’s face it… You screwed us over, Gen X.

You screwed us, big-time.

That’s why employers refuse to call me back. Not because of my bad references. Or my degree in Photography Studies. Or because I once spent three years living in the back of a pre-owned 2008 Subaru Forester while writing an as-of-yet unpublished sequel to the hit play Our Town.

It’s because of these Gosh. DARNED. Cups!

And the worst part about all this, is that some part of you must have known what you were doing. Because cup stacking isn’t like all the other extracurriculars.

See, in team sports like baseball and soccer, students learn how to make friends and collaborate with their peers (skills that clearly help when it comes to getting hired).

On the other hand, however, cup stacking is a brutal, solitary, one-man activity that teaches children one skill, and one skill alone… what it feels like to be lonely.

Moreover, in extracurriculars like theater and choir, students learn how to engage with art and unleash their creative potential (once again, skills that clearly help in the ever-competitive labor market).

Conversely, however, cup stacking is all about stacking cups. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It’s just cups.

And, I’m sorry Gen X, but you spent an entire decade forcing us to stack them, and then you have the SHEER COJONES to tell us that we have no viable job skills in today’s burgeoning labor market?

You have got to be kidding me, old-timers!

You have got to be freaking kidding me.

In summation and in conclusion, I realize that the labor market is perilous, and that my generation’s employment-level can’t be blamed on any one explanation. However, it’s also important to note that that last sentence I just wrote was a gosh darn lie, because there IS ONE SIMPLE EXPLANATION for why my generation (especially me) has had so much difficulty breaking into the current job market…

And its name is cup stacking.



Dan Caprera

Dan Caprera is a comedy writer. He has written for many websites. Like McSweeney’s. And Vulture. And the New York Times Daily Crossword Puzzle. DanCaprera.com