The blokes behind the Mary’s burger joints, Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, have gone and unleashed a stream of boomer-esque clichés about young workers being lazy on their podcast, The Sun-Herald reports. Now people are understandably pissed.
Smyth, who also co-owns Sydney pubs The Lansdowne and The Unicorn, said the phrase ‘work-life balance’ is “one of the most dangerous terms young people have been introduced to.”
“The luxury that I got given as a kid was you can choose what you want to be,” he continued.
“That was the thing my parents and my grandparents fought to give me. I thought the whole idea was trying to find a fucking job that you loved, and that’s your work-life balance.”
To that, half of the damn country collectively said: “yikes”.
“The fact these people and their venues are built around this faux mythology of being alternative and counter culture or whatever when they’re actually just replicating the same old shitty fucking neoliberal dynamics as usual is genuinely maddening,” said one person on Twitter.
Then Smyth started telling people how to spend their days off, which as any hospo worker knows, are sacred.
Days off are a chance to relax and/or hang with mates, but too often, young workers get texted about work shit by their bosses.
Smyth reckons we should just put our phones down, conveniently forgetting that it’s not an option for many young workers.
“On your days off, just actually put your fucking phone down,” he said.
“Don’t respond to the message on the WhatsApp group, and don’t check your emails. Stay off Instagram. Actually treat your two days like you’re on holiday.”
Ahh yes, these kids and their phones. That’s the problem with today’s generation. The problem’s definitely not the fact that young people keep getting funnelled into precarious work that encroaches on their personal life.
anyway work life balance is really important (and caring about it is not mutually exclusive to hard work and liking your job) as is your mental health!!!! so fuck the mary’s owners and fuck their contrived shithouse bougie-but-pretending-they’re-working-class bars
— chloe sargeant (@chlosarge) November 22, 2020
That’s not all, either.
Smyth also said went into the whole ‘young people get offended too easily’ diatribe.
“It’s almost impossible to run a business now without offending somebody. It’s almost impossible to run a life without fucking offending somebody,” he went on.
“You’re seeing it so clearly with this cancel culture behaviour, which seems to be getting some sort of push-back now, thank fuck. I think COVID has given some perspective to life, to a degree.”
Now young Aussies are hitting back.
One Twitter user summarised the whole thing by calling Smyth and Graham “talentless pricks with rich parents who dress to look like they grew up poor flogging overpriced burgers they started making for a fad that ended five years ago, and still they think they’re hard done by.”
This reads like an AITA post https://t.co/AwszXNuHOF
— Kyle Moore (@kylejmoore) November 22, 2020
Well this is as delicious as a slice of $20 avocado toast. https://t.co/0m417OCe87
— Beverley Wang (@beverleywang) November 22, 2020
Two arrogant parasites whining that workers want to be treated with decency and respect.
— Giovanni Torre ???????? (@GiovanniTorre) November 21, 2020
What the headline should’ve beenhttps://t.co/fBEA3ATNv7 pic.twitter.com/2ea8RDRtqI
— liam, regular cobba (@limblr) November 21, 2020
In an interview with PEDESTRIAN.TV, Smyth said the comments were taken wildly out of context. He said mental health of employees was crucial to Mary’s Group, and he encouraged all staff to disconnect from work on their days off.
“My industry is full of the most wonderful, hard-working, passionate, individuals who sacrifice a lot for the happiness of others,” Smyth said.
“And that’s what my career has been built on. To have it warped into another framework, it’s not fair to the staff who are still sweating next to us, and it’s not fair to the conversation as a whole.”
You can read our full interview with him here.