Why Don’t You Just Take Me Behind the Barn and Shoot me?
As most of my friends who truly know me are aware, I wear my emotions on my sleeve and can become very irate over stupid people who perform or state stupid things. I am also a member of several groups that share blog posts and generally help each other out with exposure, as we all have varied traffic levels. I was going through my process today and a post showed up that totally infuriated me. This young man, who I am sure possesses a degree and has a position with a large company, wrote about “Managing Older People”, as if we are a different species. It must be the third eye I am sporting these days.
In the past year I have had friends that have lost their jobs strictly as a result of their age and salary. There is a huge tendency to push the more mature crowd out the door and hire young individuals with a degree, that supposedly have as much acumen as the veterans. In one such case a dear friend had been with a company for over 40 years and had about two years left before retirement. It was a case of second generation inheriting the responsibilities of running the day to day operations and the descendant made the decision to release my friend, after the person had dedicated his life to building the business with the father. I wanted to throw up it made me so sick.
Another friend worked over 25 years for a company that I was employed with for 10 years and had a Bachelors and Masters degree. He was a very intelligent individual who moved his family many times, always at the request of “the company”. He finally received a nice promotion and salary and was considered an astute business manager by all vendors and peers. He walked in one day last year and discovered he was no longer needed. His salary and tenure had worked against him, just like many my age.
Today’s writer stated many factors that needed to be used in managing the older generations. He stated that one shouldn’t come across “too strongly”. He is basically saying we need to be coddled and handled vastly differently than younger workers? I guess its okay to be strong with younger generations. When I was in management, age was not an issue and I managed all generations equally.
He states that a manager needs to work around the more mature workers schedule and definitely not plan social gatherings when its inconvenient for the older workers. I guess that mean no parties after 7:00 PM, since we all go to bed at 8:00 PM apparently. He talks about the (fact?) that older workers are not familiar with social media and we probably don’t have Facebook profiles, etc. Huh? I have a Twitter, Google+, Facebook. Linkedin, Pinterest page and I have my own web site. I am 63. I must be the exception.
He states that a younger manager needs to pay attention as older workers need “more benefits”. This baffles me as I would think all workers need the same benefits. He finishes by stating managing older workers is a tricky task. I sincerely hope that this “writer” never ages or faces the discrimination that is rampant in the business world for the more “Mature” population in this day and time.
My father was a night city editor at a large newspaper in the DFW area and was allowed to work up until he hit 70. I am amazed at how substantially our world has changed in regard to this philosophy. Funny how this phenomena parallels our economy landslide. Maybe we really do have something to contribute if given a chance!
In my younger days we were taught to respect our elders. In Japan they still have strong regard for their elders and actually endeavor to take care of them. They insure they are taken care of right up to the end. I have generally found this to be true all over the world, with the US being the only glaring exception. In the US there is a race to push my generation out to pasture as quickly as possible. Consequently I say, “Why Don’t You Just Take Me Out Behind the Barn and Shoot Me”? It might just be an easier end!
Posted By October 17, 2013
So heartfelt and well written! As a slightly younger whippersnapper in my early 30s, I have to say I’ve had huge problems finding work in my field because of job security and never ending tenure of more ‘senior’ workers (pardon the pun!)are still working. Maybe it’s a geographic thing – I’m in Canada and I was looking at the public service. I think what ultimately matters most is the worker’s skills, aptitude, and attitude – do they add value to the company, not do the cost the company more or less. There are a million more considerations than just salary when you consider how much an employee costs a company – and how much they earn for the company. All that being said, the days of being a “company” man are long gone and all workers, no matter what their age or how long they’ve worked in one job, need to now consider the workplace one where flexibility matters more than loyalty. For what it’s worth – I’d chase someone with your social media skills down any day!
Thank you kindly for your thoughts. I agree that there are reverse discrimination events in all fields. I guess this one just hit me more, since I am aging! I appreciate your comment and taking the time to respond! Gracias mi amiga!
Ageism is a bad deal no matter how you slice it. We experience it all the time with our children, especially while traveling. People treat them as though they are lesser citizens simply because of their age and don’t give them a chance. It’s frustrating for us, as I am sure it is for you. It is said that the way a society treats the “least” among them i.e. the young, the old, the sick, etc…shows their values. That says something bad about us I’m afraid.
It is very sad that discrimination exists in any age group or segment of society. Thank you kindly for taking the time to share your feelings.
Did he say the word ‘manage’? People aren’t ‘managed’ regardless of age. Ignorance often accompanies discrimination. Don’t let him infuriate you. Rather, pray for his enlightenment. 🙂
Yes he used that word in the Title and then again in the post! Thank you for stopping and stating your views!
I think I took the Landshark picture!
You may have. I am not sure who it was. I just know everybody tried to buy my hat and the Jimmy Buffett concert was fantastic. I apologize for not giving you photographic “credit”.
I’m afraid this isn’t an evolution that’s been going on only in the US. It’s disgusting. Especially because there are tons of, let’s say, 55+ people that still love their job and that want to continue working.
I’ve seen the ‘degree over experience’ (I mean, what the hell) evolution when my father left the company he had worked for for 30 years. My dad never finished his studies, but got a job in an IT company where he could start at the bottom. He worked his way up until he was managing people in several countries, even in several continents. Making million-dollar decisions was part of his job.
Because of personal reasons he decided to leave after having worked there for 30 years. He was 50n I believe, at the time. Not very long after he’d quit his job he got a call from the VDAB (a Belgian general service that tries to collect as many job offers as possible to display on their website, but that also offers job coaching, trainings etc). You know what they told him? That he had to come in for some IT courses because, as a 50+ person with no degree, he was a ‘risk case’ in today’s economy.
Can you imagine how furious my dad got?
The same, by the way, when he started applying for other jobs. His 30 years of experience didn’t matter, because he didn’t have that stupid piece of paper.
I completely understand how your father felt and understand his fury. Hopefully he has moved past this, as I have tried to do with my travel blog and found a new outlet for his obvious intelligence! I know he and I grew up at the same time and it wasn’t a prerequisite at that time to obtain a degree. I am appalled that over night it seems it has been added to all job descriptions. It is my belief that it’s a masked way to expedite the shedding of experienced older managers, who are paid for their year’s of service and ability. Thank you so much for stopping and leaving your opinion. I value your thoughts!
I’m shaking my damn head at this!! I can see why you’d get irritated at some young dumb-ass who thinks they know all the answers because they spent time a class room, and are now “educated.”
What I find so appalling is that this nation is a nation of so-called “individualist” who think every one should fend for themselves, yet they don’t blink an eye when companies raid pension funds, and bankers/investors eff up 401k plans, and IRAs. So, what do they expect people to live on? I have friends who lost thousands of dollars out of their “retirement” fund when the economy started going in the crapper. So…”they” decimate our savings, let the insurance companies deny healthcare, it would seem that “they’re” really trying to kill off the so-called older people.
Personally, I can tell you that I don’t even really respect the word of these “adults in training.” If you’re 25 with an opinion, just stand their, look pretty, and keep it to yourself. Get some sweat on your brow and some real experience then I might value your opinion.
I remember thinking I had all the answers at 22, then 28, then 35, then 40, now at 49 I know I don’t really know anything, and I have a lot of experience. 😉 I call that wisdom from experience that these youngins don’t have nor know anything about. Otherwise they would know that old doesn’t equal weak in mind, body, or spirit.
Now you’ve got me on a rant. And, I know I just generalized a whole generation. But, hell…young people generalize “older” people all the time. So there!! LOL
I love you and your thoughts. I am so really glad that I met you at #TBEX and have developed a friendship with you. You have said it much better than I could ever capture in writing. Thank you for taking the time to air your thoughts on this subject and for placing your opinions on this blog post! Hope you are having a blast in Europe!
That is so terrible to read about. I’m very sorry for anyone who was ever been treated this way. I love the way you tied it up with our economic downturn, as I believe that a lack of respect for those that came before is a deep cause of the breakdown of infrastructure.
It hit me as I wrote the post, that there may be a definite parallel. Thank you kindly mi amigo for acknowledging this portion of my post! Be safe my friend!
Oh I feel for you. This sort of ageism happens to the young too. I remember working for McDonalds at 15 until 20. When I hit 20 my hours dwindled to nearly 2 hours a week because the 15 yr old could do the same job for less… Of course it’s not nearly the same as the business world, but made me think of that.
We really learnt a lot in SE Asia about the generation above us and have so much more regard for them. I hope to teach my kids the true respect of their elders that is sadly becoming a rare thing instead of the norm.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your perspectives. I am glad to hear that you will share this point of view with your “kids” and am confident that you will. I agree that discrimination occurs all age groups, but sadly the more “mature” groups are having this occur in an escalating fashion and more than other groups. It would be great if somewhere along the line it would cease to exist and all parents could take your approach! Thanks.
Well said, unfortunately I think it’s a sign of the times. Younger people will do the same work at lesser pay, although I personally believe that the youth of today don’t care us much as past generations. Companies are willing to save money by hiring someone with inferior skills. The world is going to sh%t.
Well said my friend! Couldn’t have said it better! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
We’ve got a saying downunder (that I hope won’t offend anyone) ‘Better to be an old fart than a young dickhead’!!!! A young guide on a snorkelling tour advised (quite seriously) that people over 50 needed to be a bit careful when entering the water in case it was too cold or the effort of swimming too strenuous!!! We decided to be amused rather than incensed … a degree doesn’t come with an automatic anti-ignorance or common sense upgrade!!
Red Nomad OZ,
It is hard to offend me. I think your comment is great. It would have been rather hard for me not to take a swing at the young guide, if I had been in your position! Thank you for stopping by and be safe in your travels !!!
Millennials are a horrible generation. I am a Millennial but much prefer the culture of older generations. Millennials have known nothing but prosperity and politically correct platitudes. My Millennial friends graduated from University with degrees and expected jobs to just appear in front of them and have sat in front of the unemployment line for years now, carried by their older generation parents whom they likely have no respect for, because they – the Millenials – know best!
I understand your point of view, but I have three sons who are all Millennials. All three have always worked and have no issue with obtaining a job. All three have worked since they were a minimum of 16, along with going to school. My oldest has a BA and a Masters and his only issue is the ridiculous school loans he has to repay. Apparently I am lucky, as they were actually doing their own laundry, cleaning their own bathrooms, etc after about 12. They have learned responsibility and obligations from their parents who led by example.
I do personally have issues with PC “platitudes” we have in our society these days. I think the pendulum has swung way to far in the other direction. I applaud your basic philosophy and agree that the majority of this generation expects something for nothing and has an immediate gratification perception of life. I am fortunate that my sons are all productive members of society and not sitting home waiting on someone to just hand them a job. The truth is there are many jobs available, but most of them are below the majority of the Millenials dignity to accept. I appreciate your contribution and apologize for being so verbose!