Several years ago, when I was senior editor and the magazine was called Corporate Legal Times, I was in charge of finding internship candidates and supervising them once they were on board. It seemed easy enough. I worked closely with my contact at the university, he or she would send over one or two candidates, and after I determined the potential intern was up to the task, I put him to work.
Even though the difference in age between these students and me was only about 10 years, the difference in what I perceived to be "work ethic" was huge. Despite the fact our work hours were from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., interns would often stroll in around 9:30 without even considering explaining the 30-minute tardiness. On one occasion, my supervisor needed information on a project an intern had been working on, but when he approached the intern in the kitchen around noon with his question, the intern immediately responded, "I'm on my lunch break now. I'll get back to you later."