toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

November 11, 2012

being old in a young workplace

Having raised two children to independence, Audrey, 45, is well aware that young adults see her very differently from how she sees herself or how her friends see her or how she really is - and being old in a young workplace is taking a toll on her.

"No matter how older women look and perform," explains Audrey, "to them we're seen as old and grey, dumpy, boring and technologically challenged - strictly pen and paper types. In other words, they magnify the slightest sign of aging to depict us as dinosaurs."

Who are they?

"They are the bright young things that have taken over workplaces," laughs Audrey. "They’re the same ages as our sons and daughters, even our grandchildren. My boss is 24, my supervisor is 22 and my co-workers are aged from 17 onwards.”

“It’s definitely a youthful company, and they never allow me to forget that at 45 I’m a dinosaur!"

"Actually," says Audrey, "I was exactly the same when I was that age, and now I’m getting my just desserts for treating my parents so shamefully."

"I thought they were so boring, so frumpy and so uncool and I was so fabulous!"

"Of course they laughed at me and said I was just going through a phase, but I sincerely loathed them for being so ordinary. I was ashamed of them."

"And yet, in the eyes of the young things of today, I’ve grown up to be just as ordinary, boring, frumpy and uncool as my parents."

"There is a vital difference, though," adds Audrey. "My parents never experienced ageism at work – they never had 24 year old bosses and 22 year old supervisors like a lot of mature workers have to put up with today."

“I blame easy to get university qualifications for this situation,” says Audrey. “Once kids get a piece of paper in their hands, they think they’re better than everyone else – and employers seem to think so, too, because they’re giving them key positions that only highly experienced older people once held.”

Read more by Audrey on this issue:

  • an age old problem
  • workplace dinosauresses

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