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Should job-hogging over-50s all resign?
Old 04-27-2012, 03:59 AM   #1
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Should job-hogging over-50s all resign?

This is worth reading. Lucy Kellaway is the author of the hugely funny book "Who Moved My Blackberry?" (a spoof on corporate BS, UK-style) and what she writes is generally very close to my heart.

The World Economic Forum asked people to come up with ideas to reduce youth unemployment and this is her answer.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing, BigNick. Some of the comments make interesting reading also...
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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The intersection of public policy proposals and individual lives is always interesting ground.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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I guess the word I'd use to describe this piece is "provocative". Are all the "job seeking" *under* 50s ready to pay the taxes that will be required to support all those over 50 who are not yet financially capable of funding their own retirements? At least in the UK individuals don't have to worry so much about the health insurance beast.

Give me enough to live on, adjusted for inflation, with health insurance at age 50 and you wouldn't have to push me out the door. I'd be waiting at the door, counting down the years, months and days until I could kick it down.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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I'm reading 2030, a novel by Albert Brooks. It's a fun read, and one of the themes is the rebellion of young people against the "olds," who saddled them with debt and now live too long.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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I'm reading 2030, a novel by Albert Brooks. It's a fun read, and one of the themes is the rebellion of young people against the "olds," who saddled them with debt and now live too long.
Just checked it out yesterday. The book jacet sounds pretty good, and Albert Brooks has an excellently off-center sense of humor. Looking forward to reading it.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Rather than a workplace "Carousel" I prefer the best qualified person for the job, regardless of age. Management, if good, will be able to make such choices.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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You have to admit that it's a problem when folks who should be retiring are staying on longer to rebuild portfolios, thereby precluding those 5-10 years younger than them moving up in the ranks and making room for still younger folks at lower levels. Thus, it could be perceived as hypocritical for 50+ year-old folks to lecture those who are unemployed or underemployed that they just need to work harder, work smarter, move to where the jobs are, etc... when their jobs were much easier to come by 20+ years earlier. This is why some folks don't have as much sympathy as they could when an employer decides to replace one older worker with two younger workers whose salary, benefits, etc... combined do not exceed that of the older worker's.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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The job belongs to the company, not the worker. And there's no fixed number of jobs--or of workers. Any company that keeps older workers in jobs that could be better performed by a younger worker deserve to lose out to companies which use talent/skills more efficiently. And companies that pay more/less than needed to get that talent/skill (regardless of the age of the job holder) deserve to be crushed by companies who pay appropriate compensation.
So, older workers shouldn't resign, but they should be prepared to fight every day for "their" job--because it's only loaned to them.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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You have to admit that it's a problem when folks who should be retiring are staying on longer to rebuild portfolios,
And who is deciding when one 'should' retire

If some 50+ person is just hanging on, IMHO, it is probably because he has seen what happened to his 50+ buddies who could not hang on: Unemployed, facing age discrimination, and using up their precious retirement savings just to stay alive.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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This is why some folks don't have as much sympathy as they could when an employer decides to replace one older worker with two younger workers whose salary, benefits, etc... combined do not exceed that of the older worker's.

Are you saying there is a lack of sympathy for the older worker who is replaced by someone younger earning half as much because he/she lost his/her job?

Or, are you saying there is a lack of sympathy for the younger worker who replaced the older worker but is only paid half as much as the older worker was?
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #12
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I vote for the young folks on this issue. Age 55 is too young but I saw way too many 68-75 year olds in my Mega-Corp hanging on because they just liked coming to work, or had expensive toys that needed upkeep. Contribution was minimal, pay was high and unwarranted.

In meetings you could smell the resentment of the 30-45 year old crowd. Don't blame them a bit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #13
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"In meetings you could smell the resentment"

That's the company's fault. People are opportunistic and will feather their own nests. Management's job is to prevent that. If older workers produce, it's different. Age should have no bearing if production/value is present.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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"In meetings you could smell the resentment"

That's the company's fault. People are opportunistic and will feather their own nests. Management's job is to prevent that. If older workers produce, it's different. Age should have no bearing if production/value is present.
Absolutely agree, but I was the 55 year old, and my cronies were the 60 year olds, but the crowd I am talking about (68-70) were cronies of the VPs, COO, CEO, CPO, etc.

Who is gonna lay off the CEO's old chum/classmate (worthless they may be) from the UCLA class of 1946?

Ugh, old memories. Laying off 40 year olds with families and mortgages in 1991 so that some old greedy slug can fly his twin engine Cessna every Tues and Thurs and pay for fuel with his paycheck.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:05 PM   #15
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Yeah, cronyism, I hate it too. Another destructive human trait.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #16
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Of course, based upon what my 20-something children and 30-something children of friends have told me, we could just as easily have a topic called "Should lazy, irresponsible, goofs be complaining because they don't have all the stuff it took their elders 40 years to earn?"

It is the individual, not the age, race, nationality, etc. And, we already know that.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Grinch View Post
You have to admit that it's a problem when folks who should be retiring are staying on longer to rebuild portfolios, thereby precluding those 5-10 years younger than them moving up in the ranks and making room for still younger folks at lower levels. Thus, it could be perceived as hypocritical for 50+ year-old folks to lecture those who are unemployed or underemployed that they just need to work harder, work smarter, move to where the jobs are, etc... when their jobs were much easier to come by 20+ years earlier. This is why some folks don't have as much sympathy as they could when an employer decides to replace one older worker with two younger workers whose salary, benefits, etc... combined do not exceed that of the older worker's.
Actually, when I and many other boomers were first getting started finding jobs back in the 70s and 80s, they were pretty hard to come by too (at least good ones were). I don't remember very many of the greatest generation stepping down so we could get started. Cycles happen.

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I vote for the young folks on this issue. Age 55 is too young but I saw way too many 68-75 year olds in my Mega-Corp hanging on because they just liked coming to work, or had expensive toys that needed upkeep. Contribution was minimal, pay was high and unwarranted.

In meetings you could smell the resentment of the 30-45 year old crowd. Don't blame them a bit.
I worked in a Fortune 15 company, and dealt with numerous other megacorps as well as gov't agencies. I can't remember ever seeing a post 70 y.o. working, at least in a non-C or V job. And really, almost none of those. I don't have any stats, but I suspect you're looking at a fraction of 1% of the total employees in a given company who are holding on and taking up jobs. Unless maybe you work for AARP?
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:29 PM   #18
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I don't have any stats, but I suspect you're looking at a fraction of 1% of the total employees in a given company who are holding on and taking up jobs.
Sure, but isn't it fun to have someone to hate?

Grace Slick was wrong, we don't need someone to love, what we really need is someone to hate.

Ha
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