Another busy and exciting week is behind us! I remember when I was a teenager—or at least I think I do, that’s going back a few decades—days, weeks, and months seemed to drag on forever. If you were like me, you wished you were 16, so you could drive; then wished you were 18, so you’d be done with high school and on to college; then wished you were 21, so you could get into a bar (legally). My father used to say, “wish in one hand, and…” well, ummm, maybe I better not repeat that one. Anyway, my point is that the days, weeks, and months that dragged on forever when I was young are going by at warp speed today! Why? Because I’m “older,” 56 to be exact.
Like any stage in life, there’s good, bad, and sometimes some ugly that goes along with it. (Warning, the following may be offensive and may not be appropriate for “younger” readers.) When I was in my 20s, my wife called me a dumb-ass, now I’m a wise-ass. I’ve gotten wiser, that’s good! Back then, I ran three miles after work to relax. Yesterday, I cursed at my Fitbit because I’m positive I walked more than 5,000 steps. That’s bad.
Now, the ugly. Ageism. Described as the last acceptable bias in the workplace, “age discrimination remains a significant and costly problem for workers, their families, and our economy,” according to a recent report from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).
A few months ago, I was interviewed for an article, Workplace Age Discrimination Still Flourishes in America, which was recently published online by AARP. I highly recommend every adult—regardless of how young or old they are—read this exceptional article. (No, not just because I’m quoted under the heading The Company Perspective on Age Bias, and again in the article’s second-to-last paragraph.) Like so many other forms of bias, ageism is generally unconscious. Often, it’s expressed in the form of a joke, a well-intentioned but poorly worded comment or statement, or an assumption. Also, ageism isn’t just hurtful and inappropriate, it’s illegal under federal (and often state) law.
It’s time, once and for all, to eliminate the last acceptable workplace bias.
Thanks for spending a small part of your day with me, and have a great weekend!
If the link above doesn’t work, go to https://www.aarp.org/work/working-at-50-plus/info-2019/age-discrimination-in-america.html.
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