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Made to 'feel old' at work

(42 Posts)
grantobe Tue 28-Mar-17 10:34:36

Someone has done some research on workplace ageism and putting out some pretty astonishing figures

"78% of older workers claiming age discrimination exists in the workplace."

Admittedly I only work part-time and my work place has been great for things like flexible hours and understanding when I or DH was ill, but of course sometimes I do wonder what motivates some decisions made etc. I don't feel that ageism is a problem for me, do you? But do you think it's different when you are working part time? As opposed to full time.

here is the link for the research and article
oh and I'm 58

Grannyknot Tue 28-Mar-17 10:47:32

At work when I was 63, I had a female colleague directly saying to me "Aren't you a bit old to still be working as a secretary?" (wrong on so many levels). I was working as an overpaid very well remunerated Executive Assistant to a senior director.

She then carried on to "jokingly" say "Shelf stacking at B&Q is a nice job for older people". I can't remember what my retort to her was, but a few weeks later at Diversity and Equality training that we attended, with most of our other colleagues present, I offered it as a perfect example for the ageism case study and made it clear that it had happened in the office and to me. She had the grace to look sheepish.

travelsafar Tue 28-Mar-17 11:32:57

I remember when i was working most of the staff thought i was excentric as i had such a different outlook on life to them, mind you most of them were young enough to be my daughter or grand daughter!!!! I played to it though and made them laugh and it was such fun winding them up sometimes!!!! smile

tooly Tue 28-Mar-17 11:39:36

I'm now retired, but before I left work for good I had to deal with a reshuffling at work and had to switch job roles. It was difficult to adjust to the change (the role I moved into was very different to anything I'd done before and was especially dull), but I also felt like I was too old to adapt to a new role, especially as many of the people around me were a lot younger. I also felt as though I didn't matter - of course, the change was business-related - but felt as though I got little support even though I'd been at the company for over 30 years.

JackyB Tue 28-Mar-17 11:57:33

I am 62 and my colleagues are nearly all in their early 30s. I have never had any discrimination from them - mainly because I've also been at the firm for the longest and know the most about the product and its history, not to mention the system we work with.

They also come to me with difficult to understand customers from Holland, Switzerland and Austria. No idea why - there are only 2 of us whose mother tongue is not German, but we are expected to be able to converse in all German dialects, too.

So I suppose I'm saying: Make sure you get into situations/conversations which require solving problems based on experience which only you can have at your age, and gain respect from your younger peers in that way.

Also it helps to be up to date with the current culture and to be able to join in with jokes.

However, I do work full time, so perhaps a part-timer would be looked at differently.

As for the article that is linked to - well done!

>>Our ageing UK population and the widening skills gap means it’s crucial we start to shift attitudes towards older workers.<< Hear! Hear!

M0nica Tue 28-Mar-17 16:56:36

In my last job, I had, at one time, access to a list of all staff in my division, including addresses and date of birth.

I realised, with a shock, that apart from one director, I was the only member of staff over 50 (I was 52) at the time.It never caused me any problems, in fact I cannot remember the question of anyone's age ever arising in any discussion. I applied and was appointed to the job when I was just short of 50, so HR and my (much younger) manager knew my age from the start

In other parts of the company I had worked in the age range of employees ran fairly evenly from school leavers to those about to retire.

My hair was still its natural dark brown and it has occurred to me since whether it would have made any difference if I had been grey haired.

stillaliveandkicking Tue 28-Mar-17 21:17:03

Im almost 55 and say it myself all the time. Im far too old for this! I'd just brush it off. I'd rather not work past 60 if I had my way. Yeah I am older but always have a great quip for the younger lot.

grandma60 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:24:40

I retired last autumn at the age of 63. I found I had a good working relationship with colleagues of all ages in the office. In fact I enjoyed the fact that I was mixing with people with different outlooks and life styles than I encounter now. However I do feel I was discriminated against by young managers who chose to ignore the years of experience I had gained in the company and after years of involvement in the office procedures and training I became too demoralised to continue. (no regrets now though).
I am still in touch with older ex colleagues who are going through the same experience.
It seems that whilst the government keep raising the retirement age, a lot of employers actually prefer to employ younger workers.

M0nica Tue 28-Mar-17 21:26:33

I was one of those made redundant into early retirement in 1990s. I was in my early 50s. I had intended to work until my mid-60s and did spend a year job hunting without success.

Now those in their 60s wish they could retire in their 50s. The price of early retirement is a big loss of pension income and having to drop down to that reduced amount a decade or more before your contemporaries.

Grandma2213 Tue 28-Mar-17 23:58:38

tooly I too was reshuffled into a dull job I did not want. Many colleagues left/retired at this point but as that was clearly what the management wanted I stuck it out. The people I worked with were lovely, some around my age (63) and most others younger. I never felt 'old' and if they thought so they were too polite to show it.

My greatest moments were related to technology where I solved several computer problems that I was told had to be dealt with by the (young male) technology 'expert'. In fact I had to explain to him how I had done it in one case! He was never very happy about my 'independence'.

I retired when I chose to (not them!!) at age 65.

By the way I met the young technology guy at a play centre with my DGC last year. He asked me for advice on dealing with his baby and toddler. Well I now know where he thinks my role is in the community! hmm

stillaliveandkicking Wed 29-Mar-17 00:17:52

We are getting older, no doubt about it. We may "look" younger these days but our bodies age the same. My body is half a century plus! No, I don't think a 60 year old can do the job of a 40 year old. I hate getting older but I am. We really do need to move over and enjoy the fact that younger should get our positions now.

M0nica Wed 29-Mar-17 08:00:34

I do not think that our bodies do age the same - and that applies at any age. Some young people (under 30) are much fitter, healthier and have more stamina than others the same age.

By the time we reach 60 this original varied experience will have been made even larger by life's circumstances. Some of us, and no one can be a member of GN for long without realising it, have had very hard and difficult lives, some now suffer from illness and disability, others are still running marathons in our 60s (not me!).

Scientists are studying a group called the 'super old', a quite significant number of people over 60 and some in their 90s, who are both physically and mentally showing far fewer signs of age than their contemporaries

There are plenty of 60 year olds around who can work at the same rate as a 40 year old, it depends on the job. Some are considerable fitter and healthier than many a 40 year old.

annifrance Wed 29-Mar-17 10:08:54

When I was working in my early 50s I was way the oldest member of a team, but I was the top achiever! So they were sent to me for 'listening in' and some training. one year I received a Secret Santa from the youngest (teenager) member of the team. It was and CD of The Graduate!!! I thought it was hilarious - it was his Dad's idea!

Nain9bach Wed 29-Mar-17 10:22:56

Age is a state of mind. Any'ism' is about the person or organisation projecting their view. Things that change us - other person's perspective of us. Simply don't let it happen. It is a form of bullying. I would be stamping hard on the HR faculty to ensure that it is not permitted. They wouldn't dare be open about their views against race, gender or religion.

mischief Wed 29-Mar-17 10:30:50

Before I retired, a year ago, I was called a 'desk blocker' by a member of staff. I felt awful. I was already thinking of retiring but I admit it did make me realise it was time. I had worked 6 years over my retirement age. I'm so glad I'm out of the ratrace of employment and I'm now enjoying just doing the things I like to do instead of the things I'm told to do.

Annofarabia Wed 29-Mar-17 10:35:30

I am 70 and still work as a Supply teacher. Fortunately I don't look my age, good family genes, and no one has ever made any comment. Occasionally young children say I'm a grandma but that's it. You are not required to give your age at an interview so the agencies don't know your age. I feel lucky and work regularly at several schools, I pick and choose so feel really lucky.

nannynormal Wed 29-Mar-17 10:39:13

I am 72. When I was 65 I was told I had to retire company policy. I knew my job inside out and wanted to stay but leave I had to. TalkING to friends about a year later I found out that what I did alone was now being done by 3 younger people because the couldn't grasp what the role was about.
This is now costing the company three wages instead of one.

Lyndie Wed 29-Mar-17 11:10:15

So many people over fifty struggle to get work and end up starting their own businesses and consultancies. Which is great. Which I did but some of us, with just the minimum pension to look forward to, need to work for much longer. I worry how these people will manage. Attitudes need to change to older people in the work place. How many older people serve coffees in coffee shops. Other than independent coffee shops.

goldengirl Wed 29-Mar-17 11:14:22

I think I've been lucky. I've never come across ageism at work and now I'm supposedly retired I'm working on 2 voluntary projects headed by young people and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. They're just great and make me feel a welcome part of the group.

Emerald888 Wed 29-Mar-17 11:15:00

Nannynormal. My husband's aunt retired twenty years ago from running a department in a north london council. Several people then shared her job. The department was failing and they had to ask her back to sort out the mess! Presumably train the replacements.

Barmyoldbat Wed 29-Mar-17 11:31:32

I was made redundant at 52 and was dreading getting another job but to my surprise ZI wnt for three interviews and got all three, in fact at one of them they told me they would hold the job open for me. Also in one office I was by far the oldest at 50 but I use to rent somewhere out the wilds for a few days away walking and cycling with a group of friends. Several times Young people at work would ask if they could come!

MTDancer Wed 29-Mar-17 12:02:52

I have been self employed for 15 years as an administrator for my husband who is a sole trader.
He now has an employed job and I have been looking for almost a year for a job.
I don't even get past the CV state (I am 58). It annoys me when I see the lack of attention some people have. I have over 40 years experience and good references.
I even applied for a voluntary role with WASPI and wasn't even given the courtesy of a reply!
I can only put it down to my age. As I cannot retire until I am 66 it is worrying that I am having such trouble to find a job

Louizalass Wed 29-Mar-17 12:36:45

I'm 67 and still work full-time as an Administrator in a College. We have a good team and we've been together for many years. Nobody has ever asked if I was thinking of retiring and some even demand I don't because I know the job inside out! I confess that the job is demanding and at the end of a working week I can feel somewhat knackered but I'll keep on going until I feel the time is right. I'll probably ease myself in by cutting my hours down.... but for now, I enjoy the extra money! I've only been in this job 9 years and prior to that I worked 3 or 4 jobs at once (I live in a very rural area where full-time jobs are rare) so I was always short of money and was never able to save towards a pension or anything. I also have two grown up children who live in Australia & America.... which means expensive air tickets.... you can see my dilemma!

RAF Wed 29-Mar-17 13:18:13

The difference is that if you have been in a job a long time you will have built up respect.

But if you try and get a new job after 50, ageism really kicks in. You will be ignored on most applications, and if you limit your past experience to the past 10 years and don't put your date of birth on your CV (you don't have to) then you will certainly get the interviews, but as soon as you walk in, it will become apparent you have no chance.

MTDancer Wed 29-Mar-17 14:19:40

To right RAF.
Good for you Louizalass, keep going until YOU want to leave