toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

May 03, 2010

job hogs

Prue’s workplace, like so many others, is largely comprised of the 21-35 age group with the emphasis being on 20-somethings and the feeling among the younger workers is that people over 40 are hogging jobs that should be given to somebody younger.

"Forty-up women workers everywhere are feeling very much out of place in organizations that are geared for youth," says Prue

"Like me, they work in constant fear that their jobs are on the line, and if it is not said so to their face then the feeling among the younger workers is that we are hogging jobs that should be given to somebody younger."

"They say to me: 'You've had your time, why don't you retire and give a young person a chance at a job?' and I'm astounded."

Hello? Retire at 45?

"If I could retire, I would," sighs Prue. "I hate how aggressive the youth culture is today."

"I don’t look or feel old," she says, "but they are making me feel ancient and it gets to me".

Prue's situation is difficult because she cannot afford to retire yet -- and she does not want to stay at home alone while her husband works.”

"As much as I regret that lots of young people are out of work," confides Prue, "I do not see their predicament as being my fault. If they want to pick on someone, they should attack the people responsible for the economy. I feel outraged that young co-workers are picking on me and making my working life difficult and unhappy."

"The traditional courtesy and respect for older women that was once shown in workplaces has flown out the window," says Prue. "I never spoke to older women workers the way the kids do to us today."

"This lack of respect for older people went to blazes sometime in the early 1990s, I think," says Prue. "I remember the bad recession we went through, much worse than the current one. There were mass sackings and fierce competition for available jobs. The competition and aggression remains. It's almost as if it has become de rigueur to be vicious at work these days."

"When a workplace is 99% comprised of people in the 21-35 age group, a woman in her 40s is regarded as ancient," says Prue. "And a woman in her 50s or 60s, according to the young-things, should be rocking in a chair in an old folks home."

"Even if you are in a position of power in the workplace," says Prue, "being 40+ is a liability. More and more positions of power are being given to 20-somethings because they are willing to work long hours and weekends too, and they are perceived as being at the cutting edge of everything new."

"It's bad enough being a senior worker in the ranks, but it's far worse to be a senior worker in management. You have far more to lose," laughs Prue.

Read more about Prue:

  • battle of the generations
  • a world ruled by kids?

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