Ageism at Work

Although I love my new job, one thing that annoys me every day is older members of the workforce looking down on me. When I commented on how hard it is to get an entry level job these days I was met with “I appreciate that but I’m 62 and struggled to find a job.” I wonder if it has dawned on this lady that she can retire tomorrow, while I still have over 40 years to work and if graduates can’t get onto the career ladder then the future is fucked.

I’ve also been met with “You’re young, why are you always tired?” The main reason for my constant fatigue is anxiety and when I explain this I’m then asked what I have to be anxious about. You wouldn’t ask someone why they have cancer, or why they have a heart condition, so why ask someone why they have a mental health condition?

Another thing that I’ve been doing wrong is stopping work 5 minutes before I leave, apparently this isn’t acceptable and I need to “Get my head in gear” when I’ve worked like a mad woman for the previous 7 and a half hours and the person who told me this was sitting on her phone all packed up and ready to go long before I stopped working.

I honestly think a lot of this behaviour comes from jealousy. I am a 23 year old girl in the same role as a 62 year old lady, and receiving the same pay (although currently paying less tax so actually earning more). There is a lot of reluctance to change I hear multiple times a day “Well we used to do it like this…” and “That’s not how we used to do it…” and you can tell that these people have lived for a long time in the same pattern and aren’t embracing the changes they way they should be in the new exciting work environment we are currently in. A lot of people are being made redundant in  the company because of the new team that I am incredibly lucky to be a part of, and I know that being adverse to change is the quickest way to make everything fail and ruin everything.

I know this doesn’t make much sense but I’m so frustrated with older members of my team. I’m meant to ask them for help, but its clear when I ask a question that they don’t want to talk to me so now I don’t ask because they genuinely scare me. I know that once I’ve been trained up properly and have working experience of the job things will get a lot better and certain team members will see that I was hired for a reason and I have real potential for driving the team forward, but this can only be done when people almost 3 times my age stop acting like toddlers.

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