toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

November 11, 2012

battle of the generations

Prue is acutely aware that there are very few organizations that actually favor employing senior women workers. Her workplace, like so many others, is largely comprised of the 21-35 age group with the emphasis being on 20-somethings and there is a real battle of the generations going on.

"If the war of the generations in workplaces is not overt," says Prue, "then it is covert as in excluding someone older from get-togethers over lunch or after work. I have personally experienced being shunned by younger co-workers."

"If I didn’t work in a place with other older women I would have to quit - I couldn’t put up with this sort of thing on my own."

The object of these covert actions, of course, is to get the senior woman to quit. So, being the sole senior woman in a workplace aggressively slanted towards a youth culture would be an even more dangerous situation to be in.

"Of course," concedes Prue, "not all young people discriminate against older women workers. There are some who actually prefer the company of mature women and feel very badly about the way the others are behaving."

"A lot of the generational war," says Prue, "reflects what is going on at home in the family lives of the younger workers. Some may be at loggerheads with their mothers and wittingly or otherwise transfer all that emotional baggage onto some unsuspecting older woman at work."

"Others may be in the process of leading independent lives and do not wish to be associated with older women, who may, or may not, remind them of their mothers. And the 30 plus somethings may be just hung up about their advancing age and don't want to face what they will look like in years to come."

"On one level, I can appreciate how they feel," says Prue. "I’m 45 and if I had to spend all day with 68 year-old women I probably wouldn’t enjoy it either. But a workplace is for working, and if 68 year old women had to work to survive then I wouldn’t be mean and nasty to them and attempt to deprive them of that right."

"I warn all my friends looking for a new job to be very careful," says Prue. "They should not underestimate the generational war in all workplaces. Somewhere new is not necessarily somewhere better, so expect it and be prepared for it."

Read more about Prue:

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