Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

You’re old. Get over it.
EDN ^ | October 25, 2012 | Suzanne Deffree

Posted on 10/26/2012 8:50:06 PM PDT by null and void

We all know it’s out there. Lingering. Waiting to impede. Still, I wasn’t expecting it for at least another five years. I’ve heard it hits women earlier than men, but now, already? And on my birthday, too. Ouch.

When having coffee with a long-time friend, who also happened to be one of my first managers, an open position at her company came up in conversation. She and I have maintained a good relationship since I worked for her back in the 1990s. We make an effort to follow each other’s careers, even though we haven’t worked together in more than 15 years.

She wondered if I knew of anyone for the job and said: “We’re looking for someone just like you, who can do all you can do, except young.”

Excuse me? I pointed out that at just having blown out the candles on my 35th birthday cake, I am young, or at least on the younger side. Certainly not “old.”

Now, I have to admit, I had watched some Matlock that morning, I knew there was a storm coming because of some knee pain, and, yeah, the photo run with this blog was taken many moons ago when I was, by most definitions, young. But old, no -- Not over the hill, not stuck in my ways, not without the spirit and attributes many assign to youth: ability to learn quickly, willingness to experiment with new ideas and to conform with new corporate cultures, freshly educated, and up on the latest processes.

Had I turned 35, 45, 65, or 85, was not the point. These attributes are not defined by one’s age on a driver’s license but by mindset and dedication to one’s career.

My friend’s reply was short but not sweet: “You’re old. Get over it.”

My coffee had turned bitter and so had I. If she wanted someone who could do all I could do, she wanted someone with more than a decade’s worth of experience. You don’t get that in a 20 year old.

Just a few years after I had worked with this woman and in between full time jobs, I worked with a career strategist and wrote resumes for some very experienced people. “Mask their experience level,” I remember being told because, although this was sugarcoated, age discrimination exists. If you list 20 years of experience on a resume, it’s presumed the candidate is either at too high a salary level or out of touch -- just plain old.

In the time since this blog’s headshot was taken, I’ve been honing my craft, solving problems, working with engineers and other editors on a daily basis to grow my experience, and become a more well-informed force than would have been possible when I started my career.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of Mark Zuckerbergs, where the flashiest new idea often comes from someone not old enough to remember the Reagan years, let alone be born before them. These shining stars are allotted tremendous power and influence over industries. I’m scratching my head, gray hairs and all, and wondering why.

Why value the inexperience and ignorance that often accompanies youth? Why not hold higher the experience, knowledge, and sharpened creativity that only comes from decades in a field?

There are plenty of smart young guns out there who deserve respect. We at EDN often make efforts to bring the next generation of engineers along and encourage them to make the commitment to engineering that develops into 20, 30, or more years in a career. But for the current generation of engineers, it’s a disturbing fact that age discrimination undervalues know-how and insults the importance of careers and ingenuity.

Sickeningly, I suspect many reading this have been the victim of age discrimination in some form or another. Even in such a minor brush as experienced over this birthday coffee, age discrimination hinders the ability to share experience and knowledge. Ultimately, that dampens the strength of employees and weakens the field of engineering. 

We’ve had two high-level members of the electronics industry announce plans to retire in recent weeks after long, stellar careers that made massive contributions to electronics: TI’s Gene Frantz, who you can read about here, and Avnet’s Roy Vallee, who we spoke with a few weeks ago.

Vallee pointed out in the interview with EDN that careers are marathons, not sprints. Honor and recognize those who run the marathon over decades, who have proved their strengths and dedication to engineering and design, not just those starting the race.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-141 last
To: HiTech RedNeck
Older folks make wonderful contractors,

Indeed we do.

101 posted on 10/27/2012 9:06:25 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: DeFault User; Kickass Conservative
Yep. No matter how old I get, I always tell myself it beats the hell out of the alternative.

Only if you're going down, not up...

102 posted on 10/27/2012 9:08:12 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 64 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Check your FReepmail.


103 posted on 10/27/2012 9:10:04 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 94 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
well...I’m lucky to simply be here at 55

odds are really high I’ll not last past 70 or so

Chin up, according to the actuary tables you've got another 25 years on the average.

(I'm assuming adding another 5 years of life to what you are expecting is a plus for you...)

104 posted on 10/27/2012 9:16:22 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 76 | View Replies]

To: Persevero
It seems to me there are just as much “older” as “younger” people out there. “Older” can hire “older” if they like. Start their own business if needs be.

Have you tried opening up a business lately?

I have. It is going and this year I might break even. Hire someone? I need to make a profit first.

Past forty in the business world you are old. They want a 20 year-old with a MBA and 30 years experience. < /slight sarcasm>

105 posted on 10/27/2012 9:21:13 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Fate plays chess and you don't find out until too late that he's been using two queens all along)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Neil E. Wright

braggart


106 posted on 10/27/2012 9:25:59 AM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Past forty in the business world you are old. They want a 20 year-old with a MBA and 30 years experience.

It's funny because it is true!

107 posted on 10/27/2012 9:37:00 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 105 | View Replies]

To: null and void; mylife
I will grant you that design tools are just tools. But it's basically a given that an airplane built by BAE will go through many rounds of FEA before anything real even comes close to being produced.

Btw, to mylife — my comments last night were pretty snotty. I was playing the role of uppity punk pretty exuberantly there. That was mostly internet braggadocio but my apologies if any of it crossed the line.

108 posted on 10/27/2012 9:40:18 AM PDT by Yardstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 96 | View Replies]

To: All

Oh! and BTW, what I see everyday is the young bucks roll in driving their BMW’s at 9 AM...9:30.. 10...

The old guys are there at 5:30 AM driving pickem up trucks that they used the night before to make a buck on the side.


109 posted on 10/27/2012 9:42:46 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 107 | View Replies]

To: Yardstick

No worries!


110 posted on 10/27/2012 9:44:09 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 108 | View Replies]

To: Yardstick
I was playing the role of uppity punk pretty exuberantly there.

You did a superb job!

That was mostly internet braggadocio but my apologies if any of it crossed the line.

Of course it was, of course you did.

Not to worry, it was exactly what the thread needed. No harm, no foul, and no offense taken.

(I don't suppose your company is hiring old pharts, are they?)

111 posted on 10/27/2012 9:46:11 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 108 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Agreed. Much worse.


112 posted on 10/27/2012 9:47:51 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (Superciliousness is the essence of Obama)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 91 | View Replies]

To: Yardstick; mylife

Besides, we’ve been that guy...


113 posted on 10/27/2012 9:48:01 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 108 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Believe me! I was that guy! I am that guy in my heart.
I am a proud of independent ops, but sometimes you need a hand, or just a second set of eyes to see where you are stuck.

I loved to put the boss or the instructor on the hot seat.
I loved that, until I became the boss or instructor.

Then I started looking at the notion of team building.
But quite frankly, I don’t have the belly for team building.
I still pop off at people But temper my tongue more nowadays LOL

It is what it is
I’m just an old punk LOL


114 posted on 10/27/2012 10:00:14 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 113 | View Replies]

To: mylife

Oh yeah. Me too.

I’ve managed to force some moderation into my words and actions. Still no luck on moderating my thoughts...


115 posted on 10/27/2012 10:02:57 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 114 | View Replies]

To: null and void

LOL

I am an old submariner and make a conscious effort to soften my words so as not to offend delicate ears, but sometimes things just blurt out.

Just the other week one of my co workers said, “You just dropped the F bomb 7 times in 30 seconds”

I said, Did you get the gist of what I was trying to convey?


116 posted on 10/27/2012 10:10:08 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 115 | View Replies]

To: mylife; null and void

Okay, good! :)


117 posted on 10/27/2012 10:30:54 AM PDT by Yardstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 110 | View Replies]

To: AmericanSamurai
Sorry, but to me your attitude is defeatist to the max. I'm no where near giving up, even though I'm 68. Problem is, my body is trying to give up. It's hard to do one’s best when one is in constant pain.

So, you go ahead and give up. Despite my pain, I'm hanging in there. And heaven help the ignoramus who tells me I'm old and should welcome "glory". You go ahead and welcome it for me. I'll just be hanging around waiting until I don't "want" to be here any more.

(no proselytizing, please). Peace be with you.

118 posted on 10/27/2012 10:40:41 AM PDT by EggsAckley ("There's an Ethiopian in the fuel supply!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 74 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear; null and void

I don’t mean to be overly optimistic. I just don’t like the ‘victim’ sort of tone, you know?


119 posted on 10/27/2012 5:33:21 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 105 | View Replies]

To: Persevero

*shrug* I’ve managed to get 3 interviews...

...in five years.


120 posted on 10/27/2012 6:18:03 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1376 of our ObamaVacation from reality - Obama, a queer and present danger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 119 | View Replies]

To: EggsAckley

No proselytizing? You’re on the wrong site. We’re biased and Pro Christian religion on this site here. This is Free Republic, not moveon.org


121 posted on 10/27/2012 7:13:23 PM PDT by AmericanSamurai
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 118 | View Replies]

To: Mr Ramsbotham
" Helen Thomas is how I know I’ve had enough to drink. "

No, Helen Thomas is how I know when I should know when to stop drinking.. you know ? the 4 beers effect ?.
I put it this way.... no matter how many beers I drink, in no way will she ever look good to me.
122 posted on 10/27/2012 7:27:53 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: melsec

Just keep plumpin’ it up! :D


123 posted on 10/27/2012 8:00:26 PM PDT by bannie ("The gov't that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 57 | View Replies]

To: chessplayer
When I look in the mirror I see myself at 28.
When I see a picture of myself I tear it up!
124 posted on 10/27/2012 8:02:28 PM PDT by MaxMax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: bannie

:)


125 posted on 10/27/2012 10:48:25 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 123 | View Replies]

To: Does so; JRandomFreeper

I tell myself, “Nobody dies of wrinkles”.

___________________________

In one senst this is absolutely true.

But in a broader perspective, I am not so sure! LOL


126 posted on 10/28/2012 9:39:15 PM PDT by Chickensoup (STOP The Great O-ppression)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 73 | View Replies]

To: Chickensoup; HiTech RedNeck; DeFault User; Kickass Conservative; wardaddy; Persevero; ...

Spotted in today’s job search:

Senior Process Engineer - New College Graduate
Maxim Integrated
San Antonio TX

A new twist (of the knife) on the old “We want a 20 year old with 30 year’s experience” chestnut...


127 posted on 11/01/2012 5:38:40 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1381 of the Obama hostage crisis - Barack Hussein Obama an enemy BOTH foreign AND domestic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: null and void

OMG! That’s insane!


128 posted on 11/01/2012 5:40:58 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 127 | View Replies]

To: null and void

“A new twist (of the knife) on the old “We want a 20 year old with 30 year’s experience” chestnut...”

I very much sympathize, my earlier comments were to encourage you not to think like a victim, even if you are one (somewhat), I’d like to see you be able to overcome a bad job market. Just wishing you well. I know “start your own business” is a big deal, but maybe even a small thing on the side would help with income, confidence, contacts, etc.

As for “new college graduate,” one thing I can understand is that they want to pay a starter salary, not an experienced salary.


129 posted on 11/01/2012 5:44:29 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 127 | View Replies]

To: Chickensoup

How about thinned out wrinkled old veins and arteries ?


130 posted on 11/01/2012 5:46:45 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: Chickensoup

One privilege of getting old, you get to make a bucket list.


131 posted on 11/01/2012 5:48:19 PM PDT by American Constitutionalist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: Persevero

I’m 70 and today took on a new client


132 posted on 11/01/2012 5:56:03 PM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 129 | View Replies]

To: Persevero

It’s actually quite amusing, in a few short years I’ve gone from being the young guy that didn’t have the experience they wanted, to being the guy that has the experience they want, but the miles they don’t!

My last two (unpaid) jobs were failed start-ups.

I’ve got the idea I need for another turn in the barrel, but can’t afford the barrel!

If someone out there wants pressure sensors that cost fractions of a cent, send ‘em my way.

I have fully functional prototypes...


133 posted on 11/01/2012 5:59:48 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1381 of the Obama hostage crisis - Barack Hussein Obama an enemy BOTH foreign AND domestic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 129 | View Replies]

To: null and void

134 posted on 11/01/2012 6:07:28 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 127 | View Replies]

To: Persevero
one thing I can understand is that they want to pay a starter salary,

It's not just that. They won't take experience at a starting salary.

Until the economy improves and some HR droids get drop kicked to the sidelines, it will remain the same.

The 'small thing on the side' does help, but you have to be careful going black market.

'Eff 'em. I've reduced the expenses so much that I can pan-handle enough to pay the bills.

/johnny

135 posted on 11/01/2012 6:10:58 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 129 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

I expect things to pick up after the election.


136 posted on 11/01/2012 6:18:19 PM PDT by null and void (Day 1381 of the Obama hostage crisis - Barack Hussein Obama an enemy BOTH foreign AND domestic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 135 | View Replies]

To: bert

“I’m 70 and today took on a new client”

Great news.


137 posted on 11/01/2012 6:59:11 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 132 | View Replies]

To: null and void
I agree, old is a state of mind. If you think you are old, then you're old. On the other if you're 70 you won't do things you did when you're 30.

As Clint Eastwood said in character, "A man has to know his limitations!"

138 posted on 11/01/2012 7:05:12 PM PDT by AU72
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chickensoup

Next time you see her tell her to thank God they aren’t painful...:O) but I can beat that. Did home health care for a gal 94, she wanted to know why she had arthritits...shocked, I told her....for God sake Grace your 94......she was still getting her husbands pension when he worked at Ford decades ago....one day she said, I’ll bet every time they right my check someone at Ford says...for cripes sake why doesn’t this old woman die......she also had a sense of humor. Lived to be 96


139 posted on 11/01/2012 7:27:33 PM PDT by goat granny (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: null and void

She had my interest until she said she was all of 35. After that it read like the shallow piece of fluff it is.


140 posted on 11/01/2012 8:49:18 PM PDT by Melas (u)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void

that’s just stoopit and I’ve never understood the mentality that goes into it.

I’ve seen good, Great and OMG they will suck whatever they do and didn’t seem to make a difference.

What did make a difference was hunger. Whoever wanted it bad enough made it. Some had easier than others.

I will say the difference is learned skills.

In my particular profession, sales, the only people eating every day are those who hunger for some acheivement, whethere it is an external goal such as your quota or you just gotta be at some level of performance or need a certain income.

In sales, as in owning a business, it’s strictly about performance. You can’t hide from it.

You are either meeting the company’s objectives for your job or exceeding them. Everyone else will be making new friends...bottom line.

You can learn the skills to become successful but if you don’t have the desire “You’re Fired” and I’ve been saying that for over 30 years.

Now, in the IT world it’s a bit different. There are skills that only old people have and I ain’t asking some Nintendo/Xbox specialist to do what I need.

See, for me it’s simple: Someone can do your job, heck even I can do your job(I don’t want to). What I am looking for is someone who is an excellent to extraordinary problem solver, period.

I hand you a job or something crops up under your purview you ought to solve it and I shouldn’t be my usual fixerupper type personality.

Kids ain’t there, especially this generation. They think they are special and deserve certain things.

Move back home and let your parents tell you that.

Here, I ask you to do a thing and walk away expecting it to be done, then you better do it and not make me put my thinking cap on and get dirty.

Older people have seen it all and been through the ringer.

They get the job description: Problem Solver.

I’d say this person is narrow minded and don’t know squat.

Older people are easier to work with anyway. They’ll tell you like it is or tell you off(which is fine if they do their job)

I turn 50 next year. I don’t feel like it’s old AT ALL but, I am aware of what people would think as they stared across from me.

Like “Why isn’t he a manager?”....Never wanted to be.

“Why hasn’t ever gone up the ladder” Couldn’t care less.

“This guy could take my job” I’ve heard it before and had to explain if I wanted their job I would have applied for it but, I have never had any thoughts of being a manager or climbing the ladder.

I always wanted to be my own boss and that’s all I ever want to be.

Hence, I have my own businesses, closed one down earlier this year due to a torn rotator cuff but, that’s life and I can do it again next year.

No one ever tells me what to do that is just completely stupid. My customers are my bosses and they have short demands and only care about the result.

Great! The result is all I care about and I get paid plenty to get my customers what they want.

Personally, if someone wanted to be on their own and didn’t to be part of the slave class, working for some friggin moron who could never find his azz with two hands, I think people ought to consider an Amway distributorship or something like that.

Hell, put in a couple of years on a business and you can pretty succesfull without the mind numbing stupidity of a manager who is constantly trying to find relevancy for his existence by robbing....NO, stealing from you, very valuable time and constantly interrupting your life with BS meetings that are always pointless and serve only to make him feel special.

Eff em. Make a life and never take shit from anyone again.

It doesn’t have to be some multimillion dollar a year business, it’s needs to pay the bills and give you joy tending it.


141 posted on 11/02/2012 12:04:17 AM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-141 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson