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Get Older, Be Despised - New Yorker article
Old 11-25-2017, 08:14 AM   #1
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Get Older, Be Despised - New Yorker article

There is suddenly much talk of age discrimination in the workplace, but ageism has a much broader reach. When you were younger, you might have ignored older people (as they ignored you), but did you ever imagine the entire second half of your life would be subject to society's scorn and derision - even from your age mates?

Is there anything we can do to make things better? The author seems to think not.

The article (link below) makes two main points

*Ageism is the only form of discrimination that people indulge in, while knowing that they will eventually be part of the mistreated group. At the heart of ageism is denial. "If I ignore old people, I won't become one."

*Disdain for older persons as "undesirable others" has always been present in human society, contrary to popular belief that aged people used to be respected. A recent increase in anti-old-person attitudes can be traced to a) the notion, common in the tech industry, that people over 45 "have no new ideas" and are useless, and b) longer lifespans leading to greater numbers of old people in the population.

Ageists encourage older persons to keep out of sight - including by shutting them out of the workplace. Ageists call elders by insulting names (coot, codger, fart)

Could you be an ageist? .

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...never-gets-old
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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Is this a USA phenomena?
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
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I'd really have to have a huge chip on my shoulder, to believe that I was being mistreated because of my age.

Quite the contrary; I enjoy the senior discounts that I get, and strangers who would never open the door for me when I was young and pretty, do so now. We are old enough that we are "Sir" and "Ma'am" to younger people who have been raised that way.

And as for me, I like and prefer to be around others my age or at least over 50, because we have experiences in common. But it is also fun to be around younger people sometimes.

It's amazing to me what topics are written about in various articles, when so-called journalists get desperate to come up with something to talk about. The New Yorker seems to be especially vulnerable to this sort of desperation IMO.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:47 AM   #4
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I think it's certainly different in some other cultures (i.e. Japan, with an actual day of celebration of the elders). And some European ones where the whole family live together, the elders keeping their place as family leaders.

But in the US, particularly in the Tech/Corporate sector, this article rang true for me. Age and rank was also a big factor (ie, if you weren't VP by 45, and a white male, it wasn't going to happen). I learned to stop saying how long I'd been with MC years ago, after I said out loud "20 years". My then-boss looked surprised and I could see him instantly calculate my age, and realize I was actually older than him...
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:59 AM   #5
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But in the US, particularly in the Tech/Corporate sector, this article rang true for me. Age and rank was also a big factor (ie, if you weren't VP by 45, and a white male, it wasn't going to happen).
Oh yes, it is definitely well known that there is a problem for older people in the workplace. So many even get terminated for flimsy reasons once they pass 50 or so. This is nothing new, and has been the case for decades AFAIK. Most of us were certainly planning our career path with this in mind at least 20-30 years ago.

But I haven't seen any age discrimination at all, since I retired. I guess older people are more likely to be subjected to "the knockout game" by thugs, but that is about it.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:24 AM   #6
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Naah...I was despised long before I was old.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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I find that when the young-uns use snap and instagram, they often use language I do not understand. I just skip it and assume it is the generation gap.

I went to a 100th anniversary party for megacorp with a buddy. We sat with some 20-something current employees and they spoke a language we no longer recognized. My buddy and I discussed it afterwards and we marveling at how 25 years had created such a gulf.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:45 AM   #8
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I made mention in a meeting that 2017 marked my 30 year anniversary in my career field. A young wippersnaper asked me why I was not retired. 2021 is right around the corner.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:53 AM   #9
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:53 AM   #10
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In my business, between 35-55 is the sweet spot for technical knowledge, experience and leadership.

I do few things to give the appearance of staying in this band. Partial hair dye is the most obvious, but not yet guessed.

Unfortunately, I was 'outed' this year when the corporate succession planning identified me as eligible for retirement. (55). Up until then, my boss thought he was older than me..
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:01 AM   #11
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At thanksgiving dinner a cousin was telling a story that happened the day before... He and another car were approaching the same (only) parking spot in the lot... There was a bit of a standoff as they both faced each other waiting to see who would turn in and who would wave the other in. My cousin was waved in. He rolled down his window to thank the other guy and the other guy (in his 30's) said " I always try to respect my elders."

My cousin was less than amused... Now mind you - he's almost 60 - has long grey hair in a pony tail (think willy nelson type looks)... He was lamenting, as he told the story, "when did I become an elder?". His mother (my aunt), age 82, looks at him and said - "Oh hush - take advantage of all the opportunities you can - it's the only upside to getting older.

So... Like w2r, I'll take advantage of senior discounts and young whippersnappers calling me ma'am. If youngsters want to ignore me - that's their issue. I don't ignore those older than me - instead I seek out opportunities... I volunteer (with my sons) providing tech support at my step mom's assisted living community. I just spent a few days hanging with my aunt. Those that choose to ignore older folks are missing out on wisdom, humor, and wit that often comes with age.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:11 AM   #12
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OMG it's over for me.

I'm 61 and retired.

And, I drive a Buick.

I wear the SAME OUTFIT (clean of course!) out shopping each week in the small town where I live, and NO ONE NOTICES. I have decided I could go naked to the store and no one would notice. I am tall, not overweight, and have nice hair, but still, no one looks twice.

I don't care. I'm just so glad I lived below my means and saved and could retire so I could be left alone. And I DO mean alone. There's too much silliness and meanness out there today.

Would rather be home with my cats.

And, my brown furniture.

And my bedroom teevee is going to be TWENTY EIGHT years old in January. It still works. All I use it for is the stock ticker and reruns of "Law and Order" in the middle of the night, episodes of which are the same vintage.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:14 AM   #13
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Naah...I was despised long before I was old.
Yes. It actually works from both ends. As a young person it was "eff you, kid" and similar regard.

I have been despised for a number of reasons at various points in life. At least as an older person they cannot harm me as much or as easily as they were able to earlier. However, as I get increasingly feeble with age, they will be able to bring out the poker again and get a rise out of any pain they might be able to cause or prolong.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:17 AM   #14
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I'll take advantage of senior discounts and young whippersnappers calling me ma'am.
Remembering my encounter with sciatica I trucked along (just in case) a small (possibly hawthorn) walking cane that I picked up at a thrift store in England this Spring........since I was hauling the rolling bag and DW had free hands she usually carried the cane...(I had no need of it the entire trip).

Offers of transport at airports, advance boarding on the train home in Canada.....so, I'm wondering....what perks could I get if I bring along a portable iron lung?
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:19 AM   #15
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Maybe I was an exception, or just oblivious?

I felt respected when I was the youngest person in the company. And I felt respected when I was the oldest.

I always worked in tech companies, usually in smaller startups, sometimes in megacorps.

Maybe I just chose employers wisely? Maybe you command respect individually, without regard for your age?
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:24 AM   #16
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I've always been tempted to bring an aircast along to the airport but not enough guts so far.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:26 AM   #17
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I'm wearing my shirts untucked. I think I'm with it now.

Megacorp doesn't care about my age. They just want to get rid of me for:
- My wage
- My medical claims

Just so happens that means I'm one of the few left age 55 or older. I don't know how I haven't been laid off yet, since watching all my co-workers go down. Ah... must be the untucked shirts!
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:32 AM   #18
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I never took it as despised, the word that comes to my mind is “invisible.” The older we get, the less we’re noticed - seems that’s both good and bad.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:38 AM   #19
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...so, I'm wondering....what perks could I get if I bring along a portable iron lung?
I think you could get an upgrade to Business class! It's worth a shot. Just list Mrs Nemo as a Caregiver/Aide/Emotional Support and she will be up front with you.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:41 AM   #20
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To carry from another thread, as we get older, we become smelly, and perhaps that's why they disdain us.

Well, I will try to be not too smelly, but other than that, I don't care. Inside, I know I am smarter and richer than these darn kids. That's enough.
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