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Dealing with age issues and being older than work colleagues

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I know I have been inactive for several months and I just cannot seem to get my act together but I am doing the best I can for myself. Bit by bit everything will come into place no matter how long it takes.

An issue I am facing these days is my age and comparisons to others, especially those younger than me. I would rather blog about this here rather than on facebook since people know me personally there.

The best news is that I started a maternity replacement contract in January which was supposed to last until June when the person would be returning to the office. What ended up happening was that to everyone's surprise right before her return she discovered that she was pregnant again. To make a long story short they offered me the job to replace her for her second maternity leave when she will be leaving again in October or November.

Off course I am really happy about that and it will be great to have a job for the next year or so depending on how long she decides to stay off. I definitely have no complaints about that. Also I have been doing additional tasks and I want to prove to them that I can do the job no matter what so that they will continue to be happy with me.

What is bugging me though is that my colleague took over the Admin Manager position after he retired in July and she is really young. I am happy for her because I know that she went to a good business school here in Montreal and she worked really hard to get to where she is at. What I find difficult is that she is now my supervisor and much younger than me so that I have to report to and follow someone who is young enough to be my daughter.

At least she is married with a small daughter so she has responsibilities at home and is not just some kid. I don't even know if she is even 30 years old and with my being 53 that would make her young enough to be my daughter! As if that is not bad enough I had the misfortune of finding out that I am older than her mother! Yipes!!!!

This type of thing is something that I have been dealing with in my various jobs since the age of 41 over the past 12 years. I find it humiliating because I feel that I should be the one instructing them and telling them that 'they can't just do this without investigating the situation' and not a kid telling a middle aged woman that especially when they are right.

At least when I worked at the hospital my supervisors were younger but one of them was in her mid 40's and the CFO was turning 51 so their first digits were a 4 and a 5 which made them only a bit younger and at least they are true adults who understand what getting older is. So it does not bother me if a younger supervisor is over 40 years of age.

At another company when I was in my late 40's the supervisor was in his early 30's which made him a lot younger but I was not the only one in the department who was older than him. About half the department was older so it made me feel better knowing I was not the only one. Also he treated us as his equals and with respect so it was easier for me to deal with.

I realize this is not anyone else's problem but mine. There is nothing I can do about their ages since that is something that none of us can change. I need to accept this especially since others in that situation do not seem to care even those who are twice the age of their supervisors. I also realize that it happens to a lot of people in my generation and that I am not alone.

Have any of you dealt with this? I am talking more about those of you who have office clerk positions and not those who are high level since it should not be a big deal to them since they have done so well. I would like to hear from you and how you have dealt with this type of issue.

Thanks for listening to my rant.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TEMPEST272002
    I also had a boss who was 27 when I was 41. She was young & single and reminded me of my son's friends. Yup, sometimes hard to swallow. I didn't always trust her judgment because she didn't have that much experience with the world! The way I dealt with it was to purposely look for the qualities in her I admires and to think about the situations when she handled things skillfully. When I disagreed with her, I would try to be respectful and suggest "have you considered X?" and then listen to her answers before suggesting my own. I eventually left that job, not because of my young supervisor, but because the bad decisions of her supervisor (who is 60!) made that affected my job.

    It's hard when you find you aren't at the place you think you "should" be. But "should" is a deceptive word that has nothing to do with how the world actually works. But you know that, right?

    Anyhow, my sympathies for your frustration. You'll find your way through it, I am sure.
    2495 days ago
  • ALIHIKES
    I am nearing retirement, and I am at the point where all my colleagues are younger than I am. But my immediate supervisor is the same age. He ALSO is looking at retirement, and I was shocked when I heard who they were considering for promotion. Nice young woman, BUT she doesn't have the knowledge base to do the job.
    2499 days ago
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