This incident made the rounds over the last few days, with various bloggers taking sides. Not usually one to weigh in on internet b*tchmemes, I must say in this case: I’m with Steve. One funny response came from eSarcasm’ satirical restraining order post that supposes what would happen if this went to court.  Very amusing.

young steve jobsIt’s easy to pile on with the folks online who are sending waves of disapproval and worse Chelsea Kate Isaacs’ way, though I don’t think piling on with hate mail is a good solution as it ignores the larger problem. The fact that she genuinely feels so entitled that she fully expects the media division of a major company to help her with a college paper is going to be fodder for jokes for weeks, if not months. However, I say that we need to recognize that this is what we get when kids who were raised to think no one gets hurt and we all get a trophy for waking up each day grow up and hit college.

Hyperbole? Perhaps. But I’d like to call your attention to this article from Psychology Today called “A Nation of Wimps“. Ms. Isaacs falls into the upper level of a coddled generation, and I think it shows. Not in the way she contacted the media department of Apple initially, no. That showed some initiative. However, the proper response when not getting an answer is to recognize that you are writing for a classroom grade, not a student paper or other publication. At which point, you would drop it, move on, and find another source for your class.

That’s why I think Steve Jobs handled it well. At some point, everyone needs to hear the simple word “no” in order to learn how to handle their first failure. I’d argue that taking it to the media in the form of sending your email trail to Gawker is not how to handle failure. It smacks of snakes and snails and tattletales, not a grown up work ethic.

Do you think Steve was right? Or are you in Ms Isaacs’ corner? You can read the email trail at Gawker to weigh in.