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A few weeks ago I applied for a low-level entry customer service position in a large online firm. I was contacted quickly, proceeded to jump thru every hoop set before me, including passing a final skills test. At every step I was told I did great, they even gave me a tour of the place, all glowing warm smiles. But mere minutes after I handed over a photo ID the smiles abruptly vanished. Within 48 hours this was in my spam box from a no-reply address:
Thank you for taking time to apply for the [Customer Service] position. We appreciate your interest and the opportunity to review your background, qualifications, and eligibility. .... While your skills are impressive and you have met the basic requirements of the position, we will be moving forward with other candidates ...
The sender is widely considered to be a pretty good company. But it's useful for illustration: No matter who the prospective employer may be, regardless of the qualifications and experience of the prospective employee, the same scenario plays out day after day all over corporate America. To use a metaphor, it's almost as though there's an economic equivalent of the no-fly list for anyone beyond a certain age.

What we're talking about here is age discrimination and by some accounts, it's rampant in America today. But we're told discrimination is very hard to prove. One might think it's almost impossible to stop. In fact, too often, people who don't know anything about it will be happy to tell you there's nothing to be done. That nonsense. There are easy, low-risk steps you can take. Join me below and we'll talk about some of them.

There's a reason we have anti-slavery or child labor laws in the U.S. It's not because people can be counted on to do the right thing. It's because people can be invariably counted on to do horrific things, including enslaving other human beings or handcuffing children to work stations for 12 hours a day. But what's going on in the job market now is far less overt, far more subtle:

Companies don’t like to talk about it, but some job seekers, lawyers, researchers and people who help the unemployed say age discrimination in hiring exists. The Age Discrimination and Employment Act protects workers 40 and older, and forbids treating a job applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age. But proving age discrimination is difficult, said Robert Canino, an attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Dallas.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2009 raised the burden of proof in age discrimination lawsuits. Now, a person must show that age was the determining factor leading to an employer’s action, not just a contributing factor. Still, age discrimination complaints related to hiring, firing and promotions increased 45 percent in the last 15 years, according to the EEOC. “What we do know from talking to people is that hiring discrimination is really rampant out there,” said Laurie McCann, a senior attorney for AARP.

This is rarely policy per se, it's probably not even done consciously in many cases. It happens when the 20-year-old assistant manager at the fast food joint doesn't quite know what to make of the 45-year-old candidate applying for the advertised cashier job. It happens when the 31-year-old software engineer feels irrational dislike for the 55-year-old veteran standing in the reception room awaiting an interview. It happens when a company is buried in resumes after posting a job, and is looking desperately for any reason to reduce their workload to something manageable. Your degrees, certifications, or experience may help you survive those initial cuts. But there may come a point when your file comes up in front of a hiring manager staffing a team, they see your photo or DoB, and hand the file back to the recruiter saying "Get rid of this guy." These are all examples of potential age discrimination.

There are three angles of attack on this. The first is to educate job screeners on both ethics and the law. Not only is age discrimination illegal, it's utterly counterproductive. I was in on plenty of hiring decisions in the past when I lived in Florida. Time after time, retirees, folks in their 60s, 70s, even their 80s, on Social Security and Medicare, were as good of a gamble as any other demographic. Age discrimination can also kill. I know of at least two middle-aged, talented, degreed, experienced people who were laid off and could not find work, who eventually died as a result of easily treated medical conditions. They didn't even know they had those problems, they hadn't been able to afford a doctor in years.

While we're on this topic, it does no good when close friends and family shame the unemployed. A minor imperfection is not open season to blame the person who got laid off and can't find work. I remember one case where the reason a person could not find a job—and ultimately died—somehow became their failure to have their priorities straight. That postmortem diagnosis was hung on the flimsiest evidence: The deceased had purportedly once said they wanted to get some used ski boots during the period they were looking for work. They never got any boots, they just mentioned one time to one friend they saw some advertised online.

What Was He Doing Wasting Time Looking At Ski Boots On Craigslist! Aha! That Explains Everything!

The second option is to use existing laws to file a complaint. Even in Texas of all places, where I live in near poverty thanks to underemployment and the inability to find a job that pays a living wage, we have the Texas Workforce Commission. Most states have similar orgs. In addition there is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Complaints like this don't always get filed away. They can generate investigations and lead to mediation or arbitration, where the employer has to appear, turn over internal documents, and answer questions under oath. I'm told this can be damn satisfying. Especially when the employer, who previously clammed up and wouldn't answer anything, sits there sputtering under repeated questioning, unable to back up any rationale for why that person was not hired beyond "We just didn't think he was right for this job ... that we hired three dozen other people for who all happened to be under the age of 35."

When you are unemployed or underemployed, your friends and family will often tell you to "keep trying, don't give up." The same applies to going after an employer who may have violated your rights. Keep trying, don't give up. It may not help you get that job (although it might, or it might help you win a judgement) but one complaint can mean everyone who comes along after you will have a fairer shot. Sooner or later, that person might even be you. Plus, you have no way to know how many complaints have been filed against that same company, or one person acting on that company's behalf. You could be the first or the hundredth, the latter looks terrible to investigators. It looks terrible to the company. If there is a bad apple, this how they are identified and removed.

Lastly, there are private practice lawyers who specialize in discrimination suits. Call a bunch of them. Share your experience on social media, see if there is someone who is interested in pursuing it for you, or others who have experienced it at that same employer. You would be amazed how fast those dominoes can start to tumble, indeed, how fast a company will throw it's own personnel under the bus, as the number of complaints and the evidence grows.

A few points to keep in mind:

  • Senior management for most companies is looking for the most qualified people they can get for the pay offered, they don't usually give a shit how old you are. This kind of thing usually happens at the one-to-one, mid-management level far below them.
  • It is rare for someone to be genuinely dropped from consideration because they are "overqualified." If it does happens to you or you see it happen to others, I've been told by experts it might well be an instance of discrimination.
  • There are not many jobs where being under age 40 is legally justified. Writing code, driving a delivery truck, making sandwiches, talking to customers on the phone, etc., are not generally among them.

It's reasonable that the company's management has to be aware a problem really exists if they are going to address it. We have to be willing to step up and use the tools that those before us fought for and in some cases even died for. And in the rare case where it is systemic, if age discrimination or any kind of discrimination really can be shown to be policy or culture, spoken or unspoken, the only way we stop it is to expose it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ahh (168+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, JML9999, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, rodentrancher, this just in, terrybuck, Infected Zebra, vilegrrl, nzanne, Gooserock, Regina in a Sears Kit House, kathny, wxorknot, randallt, BlueDragon, Youffraita, Horace Boothroyd III, Mary Mike, Pandora, ozsea1, paradox, TFinSF, bgblcklab1, leu2500, Polly Syllabic, SteelerGrrl, Ohkwai, Vacationland, bernardpliers, anodnhajo, Bill in Portland Maine, Pat K California, kbman, GrannyOPhilly, annan, Lady Libertine, Aunt Pat, Lilyvt, billlaurelMD, howabout, Siri, eeff, micsimov, OpherGopher, Shrew in Shrewsbury, Cedwyn, Tinfoil Hat, Frederick Clarkson, NMRed, Senor Unoball, Brooke In Seattle, lunachickie, createpeace, blueoregon, Involuntary Exile, LinSea, Texknight, reginahny, LarisaW, northerntier, Cartoon Messiah, Sylv, shortgirl, pittie70, Beezzley, Hirodog, belinda ridgewood, oneworld, countwebb, susans, Eyesbright, alice kleeman, Kokomo for Obama, sidnora, True North, Ekaterin, SoCalJayhawk, pdxteacher, karmsy, JamieG from Md, 4Freedom, orlbucfan, JeffW, PatConnors, nomandates, Alumbrados, jadt65, quill, crash bang boom, Showman, janetsal, Tonga 23, MartyM, VTCC73, jck, slowbutsure, CA Nana, hilltopper, ichibon, thomask, greycat, coral, wasatch, Dube, Capt Crunch, Debs2, akmk, Joe Bacon, commonmass, boadicea, hnichols, historys mysteries, lenzy1000, Jollie Ollie Orange, lostinamerica, Rick B, Brian B, 1BQ, Laura Wnderer, PJEvans, Wee Mama, GeorgeXVIII, Blue Bronc, mommyof3, Diana in NoVa, Uosdwis, Papuska, revsue, SME in Seattle, Cameron Hoppe, ibinreno, BusyinCA, lotlizard, Alice Venturi, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, elmo, schnecke21, qofdisks, LABobsterofAnaheim, Sandia Blanca, eztempo, SuWho, Lahdee, Sark Svemes, greengemini, ladybug53, Marihilda, oortdust, CenFlaDem, RiveroftheWest, OldSoldier99, terabytes, kaliope, FindingMyVoice, Sassy, Midwest Meg, Late Spring, devtob, Gemina13, fumie, Calamity Jean, radical simplicity, ChemBob, elfling, PSzymeczek, OnePingOnly, Charles CurtisStanley, Chi

    tech support/customer service in the 21sy century, where too often corporate Big-dogs making six figures, who couldn't trouble shoot a tin-can and string to save their lives, get paid by Alpha-dog making seven figures for cooking up sneaky ways to save the billion-dollar company more zillions, which often involves us having to tell the customer "no", and then letting that same customer rates our service.

  •  Welcome to the trash heap (94+ / 0-)

    This has been going on for quite some time. I've heard every excuse except the truth: Overqualified, Not a good fit, We found someone else.....
    Look, I don't care if I'm overqualified, I need a job, yes, I'll jettison my years of experience and sweep floors, the alternative is homelessness.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:39:12 AM PDT

  •  Young pups James Bond Style (12+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:39:44 AM PDT

  •  I consider myself fortunate (23+ / 0-)

    to be 'self' employed (though underpaid). Otherwise, I can guarantee you my juniors would trounce me everyday on necessary internet skills.

    I'd always consider older people, especially for customer service.

    "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

    by nzanne on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:39:50 AM PDT

  •  Do you look way younger than you are? I am (10+ / 0-)

    confused how the ID was the very first indicator of your approximate, in general, age.

  •  Part of this is fueled by our for profit health (56+ / 0-)

    care model.

    You see they arbararily charge more for older humans so employers as a cost cutting measure don't hire after a certain age range and also do everything in their power to drive away older workers currently employed.

  •  Age discrimination is one of the remaining (41+ / 0-)

    "accepted" discriminations--along with mental illness and weight.

    And yes, very hard to prove. At a company I used to work for, rumors circulated about "The List." That is, management had allegedly ranked all of the employees by pay rate for each position and started firing from the top down and replacing them with "young and enthusiastic" folks from the VP's former company--but note that the higher paid employees also had the longest tenure, thus older, especially as they started work during the time the company had a more generous raise policy. :(

    Of course, no one could prove "The List" existed. But every few weeks or so, older employees would disappear--no announcement, except for hushed whispers--and replacements would show up in their desks. It felt like living in a Stephen King short story.

    One time they even neglected to tell the employee herself--a woman came in to work on Monday to find her replacement working at her desk!

    (No, I won't name the company. But management has changed--good riddance--and this is no longer going on, as far as I know. I left some years back.)

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:46:31 AM PDT

    •  When (29+ / 0-)

      people hear these stories, human nature is such that they tend to try to find reasons dismiss it happening to them. One of the most common being they are a senior employee with some pull and some skills. If you have been with your company more than five years and you are making over 70k you are indeed where the savings are to be had. If you are making above 80k, the line to replace you for half that would fill the front room.

      Your company probably already has a spreadsheet with your name in a cell and the savings a possible replacement salary would bring all neatly totaled up and available for CEOs and their toadies to review. That's if they replace you at all, and don't just load your work onto current employees.

      •  Not that I recommend it, (7+ / 0-)

        but I've seen people resort to all kinds of sabotage in attempts to make themselves "fireproof" (indispensable). These behaviors ranged from being extremely closemouthed about how they had their data organized to outright hiding the physical materials that were necessary to doing their job. Also, sadly, working longer hours and harder than anyone else in the company. None of those strategies worked; all those people lost their jobs (though none of them were replaced by someone younger and cheaper - the company we worked for was failing).

        The only person I've ever seen who actually did render herself fireproof did it by getting so close to the company owners that she eventually knew every bit of dirt on them (and there was some). IOW, she blackmailed them.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:16:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Becoming fireproof works with your immediate (6+ / 0-)

          supervisors--but not with the higher-ups. Then you become numbers on a spreadsheet to be "right-sourced" when the time comes.

          On the other hand, sometimes your immediate supervisor has more power with you under her or his wing, and will go to greater lengths to protect you. Sometimes.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:20:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This was at a very small company. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pale Jenova, RiveroftheWest, karmsy

            The only one of those three people who didn't report directly to the owners was the materials-hider, who reported to me. And to tell the truth, she was not a great worker in a number of other ways. I didn't set her up to get laid off, but I didn't try very hard to protect her, either. The data-hoarder, OTOH, was a great worker in every other way.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:58:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  PS (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pale Jenova, qofdisks, RiveroftheWest

            and the blackmailer?

            She used to go out at lunchtime and get smashed, then come back and pass out at her desk for the rest of the day.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:00:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That could prove dangerous (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, karmsy

              Unless she has a real load of dirt--if her boss called her bluff (and probably should have, with her actions), and she tried to go public--drunks don't sound credible, except maybe to other drunks.

              Anyway, I hope you escaped that hostile environment.

              And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

              by Pale Jenova on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:05:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  She had plenty on him. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                qofdisks, RiveroftheWest

                He was running his business in very unethical ways, so much so that a few of us who held on until the very end had a secret meeting with the (by-then-departed) business manager to find out whether there was any way the owner could loot our 401ks. Because he would have if he could have.

                He was a horrible person, probably a sociopath, who actually got pleasure out of screwing his suppliers, employees and customers. He did really slimy stuff and forced some of his employees to do slimy stuff for him (not me, i'm happy to say). It was only a matter of time before such a house of cards would come down.

                Not only did I escape that specific environment, but after that company closed I left the field altogether. There were fewer and fewer jobs available due to off shoring, and most of the places that were surviving were also pretty awful. It was typically a pretty abusive industry, and it got worse as the pool of business dried up.

                "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                by sidnora on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:15:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  If you believe your company has a spreadsheet (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, karmsy

        with "the savings a possible replacement salary would bring neatly totaled up and available for CEOs..." and those persons are disproportionately over 40, you should hire an attorney and subpoena that list.  

        When a mid-sized or larger company engages in a non-voluntary lay off a significant number of employees at one time, they have to be able to prove that the layoff is statistically not based on protected classes - gender, age, race, etc.  

        If the layoff is voluntary - they offer "packages" to induce employees to choose to resign in exchange for cash and prizes, then they can disproportionately accept the resignations of those employees who are generally over 40 and have the highest wages and experience.

        In my view, most age discrimination happens in discrete events - usually because an individual manager chooses to discriminate by establishing a pattern of hiring a less qualified person who is younger or by establishing a pattern of promoting a less qualified person who is younger or by establishing a pattern of paying more to a less qualified person who is younger - or, under 40, the legal threshold.

        The problem with any discrimination case is that you have to also prove that a Less Qualified person who did not meet minimum qualifications was hired who was not in your protected class.  If you have two persons who are equally qualified and who both meet the hiring qualifications then there is no legal requirement that the person with the BEST qualifications is hired, whether that person is older, female, black, or disabled.  

        As I recollect, of the protected classes, age discrimination cases were the most successful, race and gender the least, even as fewer age discrimination cases were filed (abt 23K in 2012, v 26K for disability, 30K for sex, 33.5K for race).  However, the charge most likely to be successful is for retaliation by employers for filing charges (any protected class).

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:28:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Been saying this for years... (8+ / 0-)

      I work in a professional field where unemployment is low and if you have a decent background, you can find a decent job in most low to mid-level positions in a matter of weeks.

      However, the only people you see sitting on the "beach" is folks over 50. Matter of fact, unless you have a highly sought after niche or are extremely well-connected, many of us are pretty much done if we lose a job over that age.

      Many recruiters and others try to explain this away by saying that older candidates want too much. Nothing can be further from the truth. I've seen jobs posted on well-known job sites that ask candidates for years of very specific industry experience, education, professional credentials, years of management, but the advertised compensation is not much more as what many folks are making their first year out of college in my field. One job site in particular, shows how many people have applied and their years of experience. Despite a higher level job that should be paying 2-3 times the advertised compensation in my field, many dozens of highly experienced older candidates still apply.

      Age discrimination is so intense that employers would clearly hire an younger candidate that meets their basic profile versus taking someone that has much more demonstrated value...simply because an assumed chronological number. Why anyone would pass on something with more value for the same cost is mind-boggling. But some of us older candidates have sent out hundreds of resumes or applied via employer websites (that often force one to reveal implied age via year of graduation, etc) to positions where we meet every requirement plus more, and never hear anything back.

      Also, many contingency and retained recruiters will never offer an employer a candidate that has a little gray in their hair unless, again, the candidate is one of the few in their field with highy specific backgrounds.

      Age discrimination is widely accepted, encouraged, and openly discussed in some circles.  It's time that experienced older workers fight for their rights similar to the past and ongoing movements we've seen for minorities, women, and the LGBT community.  Sadly, most older people prefer to stay in the shadows and not rock the boat for fear of becoming unemployable.

      Unfortunately, in today's workpace, many of us older canidates are already unemployable and destined to a future of poverty despite experince, education, and once semi-affluent lifestyles.

      "Self-respect is the keystone of democracy"

      by neverontheright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:37:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It comes in many forms, too, some of it (11+ / 0-)

    unintentional.

    In software development, my primary field of endeavor,  old folks like me just "seem" different, even if we do the same things with the same technologies.  In this era of agile methodologies, pair programming, and intimate teams, we don't sound the same or look the same as the people that the managers (themselves many years younger than we are) are used to hiring.

    It's a tricky thing.  I tend to do much better dealing with more corporate environments or getting work for myself and dealing directly with the clients, where my experience and mileage is reassuring rather than alien.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:47:55 AM PDT

    •  Intentional (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, karmsy

      Most age discrimination is intentional, just like that against women.  There are assumptions made about the suitability for the position, increase experience of the worker, leading to reduce ability to manipulate the employee, and even family responsibilities.

      What it comes down to are the unofficial assumed duties of the firm.  Are employees expected to hang after work, is there an culture of hook up to build rapport, is someone doing work all day considered inferior to someone who takes regular breaks to socialize?  Most discrimination I see comes from these 'cultural' expectations.

      •  We have different meanings for intentional. (0+ / 0-)

        Intentional, perhaps, in that the expectations are not accidental.  Not intentional in the sense that they exist for the purpose of discrimination.  Discrimination is a side effect.

        That is no more acceptable than it is in the case of race, gender, or religious discrimination, but the difference matters in the way you approach it.

        I believe young managers who have told me that anybody who can do the work can get the job.  More accurately, I believe that they mean it when they say it. It's harder to assess people who act differently from the others on your team, and old people tend to have different cultural influences, like, dislikes, priorities, etc than young people.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:35:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is almost gibberish: (0+ / 0-)

          "Not intentional in the sense that they exist for the purpose of discrimination."

          So you are saying that the expectations exist for the purpose of discrimination?  Well, that is intentional discrimination.  And that is illegal for the protected classes of employees.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:34:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am a 58 year old Software Engineer. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, RiveroftheWest, karmsy

      I am actually the only full-time developer at my company. I have a to-do list that will keep me employed for at least a couple of years.

      My 2 best friends in the industry are both in my age group and have steady work.

      I'm not pointing this out to try and cast doubt on the age-discrimination problem, but to encourage over 50's to keep trying. There are ethical companies out there who will value your skills and give you the opportunity to prove yourself.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:12:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm 60 and have been working more often than (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikePhoenix, True North, karmsy

        not. There are opportunities out there, but I know too many people who have been cast aside and then have far more trouble finding work than they should.

        It's good that there are people who understand what we can bring to the table, but it doesn't excuse those who shoo us away for a touch of gray.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:36:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for this :) nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikePhoenix

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:07:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think you should out the company (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, Hirodog, Dube
  •  Age isn't put on resumes here in Britain (15+ / 0-)

    because culling resumes/CVs with ages on them can be grounds for a discrimination lawsuit. The same goes for gender and marital status.

    Even references are withheld - 'available on request' are the words to put in that space.

    •  We don't put age on resumes (17+ / 0-)

      here in the US either, but that doesn't stop hiring managers from discriminating ... they look for the year one graduated from college (or, as you would say, university).

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:07:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My (8+ / 0-)

        understanding is an employer has to ask for a photo ID and either a SS card or a certified birth certificate before they can officially accept your signed I-9.

        •  I'd give them my SS card. It doesn't have my DOB (3+ / 0-)

          Just my name and number.  That's all they need. Why on earth would they need a birth certificate? And they certainly don't need to see a driver's license unless you were hired to drive.

          "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

          by Involuntary Exile on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:33:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The I-9 form requires 2 forms of ID (5+ / 0-)

            Typically, people use their SS card and their driver's license.  

            The SS card is pretty standard.  The second form of ID can be one of many things but I can't think of even one that doesn't show date of birth.

            It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

            by Eyesbright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:48:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  However ... (14+ / 0-)

              The I-9 isn't supposed to be filled out until after you're actually hired!

              If an employer tried to renege at that point, i.e. to withdraw an offer of employment, chances of proving age discrimination increase exponentially.

              I know first-hand of employers who, while you're waiting for an interview, hand you a sheaf of forms to fill out, including the I-9 and even insurance enrollment forms.  It is illegal to ask for your date of birth in any way until after you're hired. and both of those forms will do exactly that.

              This is why an employment application will include language that asks "if hired, can you provide proof of right to work in the USA?"  That question is perfectly legal.

              Typically, what's happened is that low level HR staff have put together a package of all the forms that are needed to set up an employee file.  No one bothers to mention (or even be aware, usually) that some of those forms are premature and illegal to require from someone who is only at the stage of applying for the job.

              Note to anyone who encounters this dilemma:
              don't fill out any form that includes date of birth.  When you're handing in the forms you have completed (one will probably be an application for employment and that's the one you should concentrate on), if you're questioned about the un-completed forms, simply smile and say "I'll do those later."

              I"ve been interrupted several times while writing this, so it's taken longer than it should.  If someone else has already brought up these points, that's all to the good because it bears repeating.

              It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

              by Eyesbright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:18:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Your SS number can indicate approximately (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lenzy1000

              how old you are. I've been around awhile and my number is low compared to those issued more recently.

              It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

              by auapplemac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:18:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, Social Security assigns numbers (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JeffW

                according to a formula that does not give lower numbers to earlier applicants.  If your number is lower than others', it's a coincidence.  

                "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

                by Calamity Jean on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:51:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You must complete an form I9 (0+ / 0-)

            to work in the US.  I9s require a photo id (acceptable forms are described on the DOJ form) for proof of identity, and another ID (described on the reverse of the form I9) that proves you are a citizen or a non-citizen with a permit to work.  

            If you have never been asked for these two forms of ID or one passport (which established both) then your employer(s) are out of compliance with the Dept of Homeland Security and the Dept of Justice and should be fined and have their ability to hire suspended, pending an investigation.  That's the law.

            The only exemption that exists is for employees hired before 1987 by their employer (and never changed jobs) when the law went into effect and who are grandfathered.

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:38:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  We have to supply proof (0+ / 0-)

          that we're legally allowed to work in the UK. Birth certificate, passport, naturalisation papers, things like that.

        •  A passport does double duty! (0+ / 0-)

          It counts as both identification and proof of citizenship.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:40:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You should only complete an I9 once you are hired (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          True North

          I believe this is in the DOJ regulations regarding the use of I9s.  

          I9s cannot be used as a screening device except for the purpose they were created, to ensure that you are legally allowed to work in the US.

          If an I9 is used for the purpose you describe and you can prove it, you can report it to Homeland Security (DOJ I9 is now administered under HLS) and file a complaint with EEOC.

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:32:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Credit/Background Check (2+ / 0-)

            Many employers require a credit check or background check.  I'm pretty sure that you need a DOB do to either.  I had to go through this just to get an opportunity to train with Kaplan Test Prep.  

            Then, after four weeks of training, I wasn't hired because, "you don't seem like you're honestly enthusiastic when [the trainer posing as a student] gets the answers right."

            Is there any job where shit-eating enthusiasm isn't a prerequisite?

            One man gathers what another man spills

            by John Chapman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:16:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The comment refers to the claim of an I9 (0+ / 0-)

              required before hiring which is in clear violation of the I9 use under DOJ/HLS regulations, you can read that comment I responded to by selecting "Parent".

              Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be required to submit to a credit report as a condition of final offer, but only after a conditional offer is made.  

              That you submitted to a Consumer Credit Check (which includes financials and other background) or use of DOB for alleged I9 purposes before a hire offer (conditional or otherwise) was made is not a function of either the I9 or the FCRA.  

              You appear to have had a conditional hire, since few businesses bother to pay for four weeks of training for every prospective candidate.  

              People here cite laws and regulations as if they are responsible for the violations that happen by unscrupulous employers.

              And yes, the form you had to sign to authorize use of a credit report under the FCRA requires your DOB, and SSN, as well as your name and any aliases.  As does the CORI check and the SORI check.  

              This diary is about age discrimination, as I read it.  

              And as my friends who work as actuaries tell me, there is at least one job where enthusiasm of any kind is not a preferred expression.  Fortunately or unfortunately I have had neither the inclination or the skill nor the level of boredom to consider that career path.

              "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:29:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I understood you were talking about I9s (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                But I was suggesting that employers could use the background check as a way to screen potential employees by age.

                Also, I'm fairly certain that credit reports are required not simply of conditional hires (although it my situation that probably was the case).  I have helped low-income individuals who have no money and are being told that they can't fill certain jobs with their poor credit score.

                This article suggests that voluntarily submitted credit reports are being used as a screening tactic. Smart applicants should probably cross off their SSN and DOB.

                One man gathers what another man spills

                by John Chapman on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:32:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  In many other countries, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cameron Hoppe

        a CV / resume will include a photo.  That's an absolute no-no here in the US because of all the possibilities of discrimination that makes possible (age, gender, race, etc.).

        It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

        by Eyesbright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:21:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i have been using a cv w/ photo for years (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          in the u.s. and internationally...no one has complained, including myself

          Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

          by memofromturner on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 01:32:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Frankly (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uncle Moji

            (and this applies only to the US, where I am) when I was doing hiring, your CV/resume would have gone to the bottom of the stack because you're doing something that someone who was looking for an excuse to sue for discrimination would do.  It also marks you as someone who knows little or nothing about US hiring laws.  All in all, you are not doing yourself any favors and may be doing yourself harm that you'll never even know about.

            Based on your statement "no one has complained, including myself," it seems likely that you're relatively young (at the very least, under 50), white and male - and horrendously insensitive to the plight of the people this diary is about.

            I hope you remember your statement 10 - 20 years from now (perhaps sooner) whenever you finally get to experience all this personally.  I expect you'll find yourself in the "I never thought it would happen to me" situation that is so common to egotists who thought they were immune because they're just so wonderful, etc.

            It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

            by Eyesbright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:03:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  get off your fucking high horse, bud (0+ / 0-)

              i was born during eisenhower's first term and have a 40 year old son, so do the math, genius

              you are bone ignorant to be talking smack to someone you don't know, so double check yourself before your own sense of self-importance gets away from you... have a nice day

              Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

              by memofromturner on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:38:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You're right (at least a little), I'm wrong (at (0+ / 0-)

                least a little).

                I could have said what I wanted to say without the extraneous comments.  That was wrong and dumb.
                The primary thing that set me off is your callousness in a diary that has so many people who are hurting.

                I don't do pie so I'll ignore your insults.  I'm finished with this.

                It's not a question of whether our founding fathers are rolling in their graves but rather of how many RPM they're clocking.

                by Eyesbright on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:47:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  there are myraid ways around that (3+ / 0-)

      such as we see here, with the drivers' license.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not done here either, for the same reason. (4+ / 0-)

      That's probably why DarkSyde's application wasn't rejected until the company found out how old he was.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:31:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Legal assistant (21+ / 0-)

    A dear friend is going through just this very problem. She is in her late fifties, smart, sharp, educated, and very experienced in the legal arena. She lost her unemployment last month and is literally waiting for the phone to be cut off and the car repossessed. The landlord may give her another month but she's not certain of that.

    If she loses the house, that's one thing, but without a phone, email address and a car, she will be in real trouble. Can't find a job if you don't have a way to be contacted and can't get to a job even if she found one.

    She finally had an interview on Thursday. There were five other applicants. The job starts tomorrow and they haven't called back.


    Libertarianism is something that most people grow out of, not unlike, say, hay fever or asthma. Bob Johnson

    by randallt on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:51:45 AM PDT

  •  Not wanting in the least to threadjack (34+ / 0-)

    but seeing a LOT of this lately and wondering the cause of it:

    A minor imperfection is not open season to blame the person who got laid off and can't find work. I remember one case where the reason a person could not find a job—and ultimately died—somehow became their failure to have their priorities straight. That postmortem diagnosis was hung on the flimsiest evidence: The deceased had purportedly once said they wanted to get some used ski boots during the period they were looking for work. They never got any boots, they just mentioned one time to one friend they saw some advertised online.

    What Was He Doing Wasting Time Looking At Ski Boots On Craigslist! Aha! That Explains Everything!

    What is this "blame the victim" mentality that is so prevalent these days? Is it a sense of scarcity felt by the blamer? Is it fear of "there by the grace of God go I"? Is it an attempt to rationalize someones hard times because they don't know who/what to blame it on so it's easier and and requires less thought to blame the sufferor?  I just don't understand the growing meanness that is showing in people.
    •  I believe it's rooted in Calvinism. (12+ / 0-)

      Republicans: if they only had a heart.

      by leu2500 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:54:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whether it's historically rooted in Calvinism (18+ / 0-)

        or not, there is a distinct parallel there.

        I am lucky (or unlucky) enough to be a largely self-employed consultant (I also teach at local U as an adjunct, but the real money comes from consulting).

        I spend a couple of hours a day (say, one in the morning and one in the evening) with my kids. I read the paper when I can. I make it a policy not to work a full 7 days in a row (i.e. I take one day a week and try to at least do a half-day of "family" stuff). I also blog, though my blogging is irregular.

        These things have lost me contracts, because they make me "less serious and dependable."

        If I can't demonstrate that I spend every waking moment frantically working for a paycheck, then I am likely to be a bad worker. There is no regard for the rest of life.

        A worker is a worker, and is only measured on those grounds. A good worker is "99% productive," i.e., has nothing in life apart from work, sleep, and bathroom breaks. Everything is measured in those terms. Someone that is more productive than anyone else at the company is still a bad worker if they are only 80% productive—i.e. if 20% of their life is spent actually, you know, living.

        It's not about how much you do for the company. It's about how much you don't do that you "could" be doing if only you'd stop playing with those damned kids.

        -9.63, 0.00
        "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

        by nobody at all on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  our priorities (13+ / 0-)

          are so out of whack as a country.  People measure their value in dollars.  Working 50-60 hours a week is considered as much a point of pride as competing in a triathlon.

          Other countries realize there's more to life than getting rich.  Job security, time spent with family, a social safety net provide much greater satisfaction in the long run than the endless treadmill on which most Americans live their lives.

          There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

          by puzzled on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:44:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but who's going to pay for job security (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            (which can lead to some non productive workers) and social safety nets.

            It takes taxes for the later and lowering the company's profits which can lead to outsourcing, layoffs, etc.

            There's got to be a balance between the company's needs and those of the workers.

            It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:25:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Even in other countries pressure is mounting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            on more relaxed lifestyles and social safety net. Look at Europe and the pressure for a more "flexible" workforce.

            Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

            by coral on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:08:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I (12+ / 0-)

      don't think you have to worry about threadjacking when it's in the post.

      You have asked a profound question with disparate psychological and social overtones. The answers are far beyond the scope of this comment. And I don't think anyone is immune to it, there is a definitely a blame the victim mentality at work and it gets worse as the times do.

      I experience it myself, a commercial came on showing starving children in Africa asking for help and the two thoughts that entered my mind were 1) this is a scam, my money won't help them it'll just pay an actor and trustees fat salaries, and 2) they live in a desert, if they survive they'll just have kids who also live in a desert. I.e., blame them.

    •  blame. I find myself constantly asking people (17+ / 0-)

      why they need to determine blame in a given situation.

      I wish I could recall the details of a conversation I had last week where a person was recounting a story and kept referring to who was to blame. It wasn't a scenario where assigning blame would lead to anything constructive. Every time she mentioned 'blame', I repeated, "why does there have to be someone to blame?" It took about 5 times before she acknowledged what I was suggesting. When it had sunk in, she stopped dead in conversational track. As though she didn't know how to proceed without the blame package slung over her shoulder.

      I certainly understand that when a situation calls for someone to be held accountable in a meaningful way, we need to make that judgment. But, most often, what I experience is finger pointing for the purpose of nothing by shaming and/or avoidance of something. And it is so embedded in our culture to victim-blame. Some sort of way of proclaiming that the things which are good in our life are because we have done everything right and deserve them and people who struggle must deserve what they got because they must have done something wrong.

      I can remember seeing the world this way when I was in my 20s. A little real life experience, though, and I had those lenses ripped off.

      Building Community. Creating Jobs. Donating Art to Community Organizations. Support the Katalogue

      by UnaSpenser on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:11:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why blame? (7+ / 0-)

        I agree with what everyone else observed about this.

        People get scared, and we get scared about a lot of things.

        People who are afraid of losing their jobs, and then not being able to find another one, want to believe that, if you just do the job hunting right, you'll land on your feet.

        Women who fear being sexually assaulted may cling to the idea that it is women in short skirts who are at risk. Don't wear clothes like that and you'll be safe.

        If someone repeatedly raises blame arguments in a conversation about employment, my guess is that the person is sick with anxiety about being laid off and never getting another job.

    •  not all blaming the victim, (11+ / 0-)

      but in this instance, i do believe it's about not wanting to allow that the same thing could happen to them.  so people glom onto looking for ski boots online as a "reason" for their colleague's bad circumstances.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:18:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rationalizing why it can't happen to them (22+ / 0-)

      If they can successfully shift blame onto the victim, they can continue deluding themselves into believing they're secure.

      "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities" - Adam Smith

      by Jesse Douglas on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:19:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some can be the cause of their problems. Do we (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArchTeryx

        still look upon them as victims. Not every victim finds himself in that position due to someone else's action or that of "society."

        There are times when some blame can be placed on the victim who constantly makes bad choices and expects a different outcome or gets angry at the world for his/her situation.

        If they don't learn from their experience, what then?

        Suppose there's this wealthy kid who gets a pretty good education and job or profession. Now he starts to drink more than socially and becomes an alcoholic or does hard drugs. He goes into rehab (parents can afford it), but when he comes out, goes back to the same habits. How would we feel about this person?

        Do we consider him a victim or has he just given the middle finger to the rest of the world?

        Suppose someone is lazy and does not want to work  or at least not very hard  (believe me, there are people like that) and expects the rest of us to somehow support her through the safety nets that are available or mooches off his friends and family? How do we think about her?

        Yes, they do need help, but if someone rejects that help, what then?

        Do we pay for their lifestyle? Do we put a roof over their head? If I decide I really don't want to work, will you give me a pension so I can sit under a tree the rest of my life?

        How does society do with these people? Anyone have an answer?

        PS: Just to get back to the subject presented by the diary, I want to add that age discrimination (along with the others) is not acceptable.

        It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:54:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Better that a dozen of those are supported... (4+ / 0-)

          ...then one honest (unemployed) worker starves for lack of a safety net.

          Of course, the right thinks exactly the opposite: better starve a hundred workers to make sure that one moocher gets just what's coming to them.

        •  Here's the thing though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pandora, Freakinout daily

          The percentage of people like that (whose economic situation can be attributed to purely personal issues) doesn't really change that much over time; such people have always been with us. But lots more people have been experiencing economic hardship now than in the past, and it strains credulity to believe that a large portion of the population has gone down the tubes in recent years (during the Great Depression there was actually some ridiculous speculation about "delayed activation of genes for mental retardation"; the fact that the same people who were "unemployable by virtue of personal characteristics" were working, and doing well at it, after WWII started seemed not to register on such speculators).

          Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

          by ebohlman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:22:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Following up with a thought I forgot to include (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pandora

            We're all prone to taking a mental shortcut called the availability heuristic, in which we judge how likely something is to happen based on how easily we can imagine it happening. It's fairly easy to imagine someone who's out of work because, say, he can't show up sober, easier than imagining someone out of work because of greater economic conditions that require years of study to understand. Therefore, we can fall into the trap of thinking they account for most of the unemployed.

            The "51% rule" of stereotypes is bunk. It is not necessary that the majority of a particular group have some trait in order for that trait to become a group stereotype; usually all that's necessary is that the incidence of that trait be higher, even very slightly so, in the group than in the general population (in rare circumstances, the association of the trait with the group is truly non-existent, as in Jews murdering Christian children for their blood or gay men molesting boys to produce a new generation of gay men).

            The problem is that the availability heuristic isn't the only way we fail to deal with probabilities appropriately; part of the reason statistics is considered such a difficult and dreaded academic subject is that doing well in it requires unlearning a lot of "things we know that ain't so". If we learn, for example, that African-American teenagers get in serious trouble with the law at twice the rate of white teenagers, we're very likely to come off with the impression that most African-American teenagers have been or will be in serious trouble with the law. But at the time I came up with this example, the actual rates were 5% for white teenagers and 10% for black teenagers (complication: at the time the public perception was that two-thirds of white teenagers had been in serious trouble with the law).

            Personally, as a physician, I would be very concerned at a child becoming febrile after having ingested bleach or had it shot up his rectum—Orac (Respectful Insolence)

            by ebohlman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:39:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  It's a combination, depending on the person (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandora, unclebucky, pdxteacher, jck, Sailorben

      who's casting blame, of all the things you mention.  Every time in history - at least U.S. history - that the economy is distressed, two things happen:  Immigrants and minorities are blamed for lack of opportunities in the general population (and subsequent dependence on family or government programs), and those without income and connections are blamed for their own misery.  It's much easier to blame the powerless - and less risky -  than to hold the powerful accountable.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:46:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Saw a program the other day about a divorced (0+ / 0-)

        women with an older teenage daughter. They lived in a nice house with nice furniture. The mother owned it, but still was paying the mortgage.

        She heard she might be laid off and was distraught, because she had no savings. Why? Because she had a spending problem or should I say a buying problem.

        Her daughter confronted her about her spending sprees, but at this point it was too late.

        Now the daughter was worried about moving, leaving her neighborhood and friends as well as all the other new problems she would have to face.

        I don't know the outcome, but at some point the reason for their problems is staring at them from their mirror.

        It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:05:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This, in case you weren't paying attention, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          was a thread about an awful job market and economy that fails many, many people. Why are you trying to make it about "personal accountability"?

          No tip for this thread-jack.

          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

          by karmsy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:47:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Denial it could happen to you (8+ / 0-)

      Blaming the victim is a defense mechanism against the feeling of vulnerability to similar fate.

      I think it's happening more often now because of the squeezing of the middle class, stagnant wages, and high unemployment and underemployment.

      If we can find a reason that the victim is to blame we can fool ourselves into believing it won't happen to us.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:07:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blame-the-victim (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandora, RiveroftheWest

      is all about the blamer's personal anxiety and sense of scarcity. It's how they keep knowledge of the awful impersonality of fate at bay.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:43:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teamwork (9+ / 0-)

    Wouldn't it be interesting if two applicants, one younger, one older, but with very, very similar qualifications, applied for the same jobs within a couple of days of one another, tracked the companies' responses, and published them?  

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:53:26 AM PDT

    •  Well, here's the thing (5+ / 0-)

      there's still a gazillion other things to be used by employers in instances like that.

      A good one that springs to mind is "geographical location". I live out in the "countryside" as  it were. I was once turned down for a position because I lived further away than the other qualified applicant (who was, coincidentally, half my age).

      And it wasn't like it was one of those jobs where emergencies arise and one has to live within close proximity to the workplace to solve a major problem. But that's what they claimed.

      How do you prove that as the basis for discrimination? I lived farther away! Therefore, all my other qualifications were worthless.

       

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even "progressive" educational institutions do it (27+ / 0-)

    My then 57-year old wife's position with the University of Michigan was eliminated three years ago, and was told her status was such that she'd get first crack at any available jobs for which she was qualified. She proceeded to apply for dozens of positions within UM, including many whose qualifications were basically that you needed to walk upright and have opposable thumbs, but was able to land only a few interviews, and not a single job offer. In some instances the same department that declined to even interview her would again be posting the same position several months later, which I suspect was due to the fact that the 24-year old they'd hired was more interested in texting than doing the job and was fired, or just quit. She eventually got a job outside the university, and the whole experience left her justifiably very bitter towards the school that her degree is from. In the time since, several other older employees from her original dept. have been laid off, while the head of the dept. has hired several younger "managers" with various titles, all of whom are making in excess of $70K, and some considerably more than that. In other words, age discrimination is alive and well in Ann Arbor.

    •  Glad you brought this up (8+ / 0-)

      Age discrimination is a huge factor in career mobility. A friend of mine who's 60 just wants a change, and has been trying to transfer within her corporation for over a year. She has no problem getting interviews, and several hiring managers have been impressed enough to make her a finalist.

      But she never gets the job. A week or more goes by, and she gets a Dear John form email, and if she's lucky the hiring manager will privately admit to whatever bullshit got her voted off the island (one said she wasn't excellent enough.)

      She's all but given up, which is a crying shame because she would be an asset to any team.

       I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by SteelerGrrl on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i was just saying to my wife,"i'm glad this isn't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cameron Hoppe

      pervasive in our field" - which is education...i'm 57 and i haven't come up against age discrimination yet, thankfully...i've landed teaching positions at 3 notable universities in the last couple of years on the basis of my cv and strong interviews (the first 2 weren't my style, and i moved on after a semester)...

      in my current program, we have teachers from mid-twenties to mid-sixties, and it's great...it probably helps that the people making the hiring decisions are both in their 60s

      Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

      by memofromturner on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 01:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmm, your experience is curious (0+ / 0-)

        Firstly, if you are in higher ed, you know that a great number of positions came open with the huge wave of retirements by professors who were hired en masse in the 1960s to teach the coming waves of baby boomers in the United States.

        If you are still looking for teaching positions in the last few years at the age of 57, you don't have tenure and are not tenure track.  

        If you move on after a semester, mid-academic year, you are probably not considered a major academic asset.  

        As you may know, if you work in higher ed, the biggest folly now is the hiring of non-tenure track "temps" who get few of the benefits or wages of "regular" professors and are used to reduce labor costs for the institution.  The biggest criticism by students who pay hefty tuition at "notable universities" is that they pay to be taught be "real" professors and not by itinerant adjuncts or temp instructors or grad students.  

        I know you said up thread that you have had no complaints getting jobs by submitting your cv with picture, but the jobs you are apparently applying for are not, what in the academic field, would be considered the competitive jobs.

        If your job choice and career path and wages and employment at will works for you in your life, you get to move where you want, and stay or go as you choose, then that's great - but I do not think you can extrapolate your experience as an example of anything but your personal experience.  

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 02:54:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  gosh, thanks for the chuckles! (0+ / 0-)
          If you are still looking for teaching positions in the last few years at the age of 57, you don't have tenure and are not tenure track.
          what? you don't say, mr. holmes! my wife and i have both been lucky and adventurous enough to have lived and worked abroad for most of the last 20 years, so tenure has never been high on my personal bucket list
          but the jobs you are apparently applying for are not, what in the academic field, would be considered the competitive jobs.
          again my dear mr. holmes, the jobs i am applying for (and getting!) are certainly competitive in their own measly, insignificant, non-tenure bearing way, and i'm quite proud to have won any and all of them!
          I do not think you can extrapolate your experience as an example of anything but your personal experience.
          my original post was concerned with the welcome lack of ageist discrimination in my field, as i have experienced it personally...not hard to understand is it, mr. holmes?

          Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

          by memofromturner on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:53:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You work in a field that is a temp field (0+ / 0-)

            that you have not experienced age discrimination is not a function of the lack of age discrimination in higher education but that you choose to work in an area in that field that is not competitive.

            It doesn't take a rocket scientist (or a fictional character) to figure this out, you are just making pronouncements about a field I happen to have worked in and know, full well, is not immune to age or any other time of discrimination in jobs that are actually competitive.  

            You didn't "win" a plum job, you chose a job most would find a poor consolation prize.  That you believe they are particularly competitive in academia is peculiar. But if that makes you feel fabulous and special, and uniquely talented, that's great!  Rock on!  

            If you want to deny age discrimination in the field of higher ed, you need a better sample that just your own experience to qualify as any kind of applied academic rigor.

            But chuckles, that's just the facts, do you? understand?

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:41:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you are not only a pompous, wannabe elitist (0+ / 0-)

              and an incredible ass, but you are not particularly bright...your attempts at insulting me are quite pathetic but provide a telling glimpse of your values

              no matter - according to a constipated "academic" like yourself, a larry summers, for example, is far superior to a person like yourself (don't suggest you could "compete" w/ larry), you are superior to me because i'm just a glorified temp (although you don't know me, nor what i do), and i, even though i'm distinctly second-class in your rarified circles, am far superior to the salvadoran guy who works at the carwash on the corner, because that guy really can't compete for the good jobs...

              i think any rational person reading this exchange would agree you lost this argument with your first ridiculous response

              Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

              by memofromturner on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:45:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I hired an older man a couple of years ago (12+ / 0-)

    The one concern that was raised with me when I was preparing to do so was that the last salary he had made - like many out there, he had been laid off while making an excellent salary, and, likely to do with the combination of his age and race (black), he hadn't been able to get steady work for several years since and was resorting to applying for entry-level positions like the one for which I ultimately hired him.  I knew his story and assured my manager that after so long unemployed, yes, he was willing to work for the entry-level salary that was so below his past one.

    The other finalist for the position was another older man with much the same story.  I picked the other finalist because he had more recent experience in the industry, and told the rejected applicant that.  But he probably believes that it was his age, since he doesn't know the other guy.  I suppose I could have sent a picture or something.  But you know, even though it wasn't true in this specific instance, I'm sure it had been true in any number of other occasions.  That's why I didn't bother...it would really have been just to make myself look better.  So what if I didn't discriminate?  How much would that really have comforted him?  The end result is still the same, he didn't get a job he needed.

    •  It's good you told him (3+ / 0-)

      Black Knight, it was good that you gave serious thought to how you wanted to handle the rejection.

      I think that telling him your real reason is about much more than just trying to make yourself look better.

      It's true, he has probably often been rejected because of his age, which I'm sure he's aware of.

      So it is progress to move on to being seriously considered, without discrimination because of age, even if he lost out on the merits of recent experience.

      Maybe it gave him more hope and confidence going into the next interview.

  •  I Have An "Overqualified" Cover Letter (6+ / 0-)

    I have  my own little business but I'm also looking for some contract work, hoping that a contract tech writer won't be too big a threat to middle managers.

    I ran this past a recruiter and he thought it was OK

    Dear Hiring Manager:

    I am applying for the "xxxxxxx" position in xxxxx.  My goal is a local technical writing and editing position near my residence.  Like many of my peers, my combination of experience and education has left me overqualified for the corporate job market, and I'm not interested in more high-tech startups. Salary is not an issue, and I hope you will take my application seriously.

    •  At (7+ / 0-)

      this point I have half a dozen basic resumes which can be tweaked quickly for a specific job, I have a basic one or two of them usually already stored on most large company's websites around town in the event a job pops up while I'm out and about and only have a phone to respond.

    •  Let me know how that works out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers

      I am in the odd position of being simultaneously overqualified and underqualified.

      In school, I had some internships, but they didn't lead to full time employment.  Then, the first full time job I got after school didn't work out. A colleague changed a document I was working on without telling me and without noting it on the document.  I complained and I was immediately fired.  Then, I got a full-time job that was tolerable, but the company closed a year later.

      At this point, I can't even get a list of internships (my school won't share them with me because I'm a graduate) but companies won't hire anyone without 3-5 years of experience.  Plus, I worked in another career before I went back to school, so that probably scares off some employers.

      Oh, and I have aspergers syndrome.  It's really hard for me to read social situations and long interviews make me want to chew off my arm.

      One man gathers what another man spills

      by John Chapman on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:22:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm in more than good shape for my age but I (14+ / 0-)

    can't hide those wrinkles and (slightly) saggy jaws anymore, even though I've got some muscles and energy and the whole bit.  I notice as I've gotten older I'm treated differently than I was, especially by younger people. I've experienced, albeit to a lesser extent,
    that phenomenon that minorities experience daily: invisibility.

    My older sister talk about this all the time. If there's a family get-together the young people tend to ignore the older set
    as if they're not "interesting" any longer or have anything to say. I make it a point to hang in there with young people and try to communicate with them and try to stay out of being
    "avuncular" or "parental." But my overtures have their limits.

    This tendency to discount older people easily translates into hiring. Go into the techie-style companies any you'll notice wall-to-wall young people, peers all, grateful to hang out with the "with-it," hip set. An older person can look like a square peg in a round hole no matter how much they "keep up with things."

     

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:56:35 AM PDT

  •  It's not just the culture (23+ / 0-)

    of individual firms, it's a universal discrimination against aging.  (Look at how frequently, unquestioningly and breezily older people are routinely demonized as a group right at this blog.)  Our social culture teaches us, young good, old bad, and then we're supposed to be surprised when our society implements that as a rule?

    I'm in my late 50s, and because I've been hit with a disabling illness, I'm now out of the workforce.  $1300 a month on SSDI makes me one of the lucky ones. I see so many of my peers devastated by the recession, they're never going to go back to work for more than  part-time, minimum-wage again; if anyone's even willing to give them that.  I can easily name a dozen people my age, still a decade from Social Security, that I have no idea how they'll survive that long, and how tiny their SS will be by the time they reach that age.  Devastation of a generation, one that the well-employed upper-middle-class 20 and 30 somethings here routinely denounce as greedy pigs.  Right.  We know who it is doing the hiring.  And writing people out of society and life altogether.  But being an age-hater is perfectly okay!  (We can ignore the feature of aging that everyone's doing it.)

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:59:42 AM PDT

    •  Notice how older people are hard to even find (11+ / 0-)

      in many of the more upscale parts of big cities. They've been squeezed out by high rents and shopping costs. Not that affordable rents are easy to find in less "desirable" neighborhoods. We are a society that looks poorly upon the "undesirable", be it due to age, class or appearance.

      Upscale homogeneity is what today's US is all about.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:13:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We haven't transitioned yet to the fact that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        (1) people are living longer and (2) they are living independently.

        When I was growing up, my grandparents lived with one of their married children. They did not qualify for SS, because it wasn't available while they were working or the women were stay-at-home moms.

        That seldom happens anymore.

        It’s the Supreme Court, stupid! Followed by: It's always the Supreme Court! Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:22:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dagnabbit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, unclebucky, 4Freedom

    You drove me to post Bon Qui Qui again. Sa-currity, complicated order!

     I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.     -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by SteelerGrrl on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

  •  Darksyde."There are easy, low-risk steps"... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, RiveroftheWest, Calamity Jean

    ...and undoubtedly the easiest & lowest risk for getting the over 40s hired would be to have an extremely competitive market for hiring, IMO.

    Of great importance to the over 40 jobless, that which is what is at issue here, is to gain employment, No?

  •  OTOH: there are some places of employment (4+ / 0-)

    that seem to prefer those of us ...with, ahem, experience.  I have noted that the social service (think low paying) fields sometimes are in this category.

    Dollarocracy is not Democracy

    by leema on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:07:27 AM PDT

  •  With No Job Growth It's A Zero Sum Game (9+ / 0-)

    When the money flows, everyone is fat and happy and generous.  When times are tight the knives come out and the witch hunts begin.  Many of the people that are in that >$150,000 management class have no identifiable function except creating turnover to make their position more secure.  because in this job market they know that if their position disappeared, they would fall straight to the bottom.

  •  In my own personal experience (15+ / 0-)

    I find that most of the people who like to condemn others as being lazy no good layabout moochers and "taker" are themselves usually pretty lazy and the recipients of government aid--quite often illegitimately, via cheating on their taxes and scamming the system and others.

    Honest, hard-working people usually have better things to do than obsess over the alleged moral failings of others.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:09:33 AM PDT

  •  The one teeny-tiny "niche"... (13+ / 0-)

    ...that has provided me a smidgen of income this past year was a data conversion project. Apparently the source was "so old" that newbies couldn't understand it and tossed hands in the air in frustration. Said newbies were trying to persuade the client to forget their old data and start over. Otherwise I have received more "a wonderful resume, however" replies in the past 15 months than I care to count. Best wishes to all who are encountering the age discrimination barrier, which can be couched in nearly unfightable vague terms: "overqualified", "skills mismatch" and others.

  •  i get hot under the collar (17+ / 0-)

    when it's assumed that because i'm older (53), i can't handle the current technologies.

    what they fail to realize was that when i was their age, computers were actually hard to use and required knowing codes to get things done.  today's computers and other tech gadgets are a lot more intuitive than what we had back in the 80s-and even the 90s.

    i'd like to see some of the 20-somethings managing those businesses try working in a late-80s version on microsoft word for a PC.  i don't think a lot of them have even seen a DOS screen before.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:12:46 AM PDT

  •  easy to just say (4+ / 0-)

    candidate had poor personal hygiene. pretty unprovable-you can't really demand the employer provide a sample of your stinkyness.

  •  You know the boomer generation is quite (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoregon, desert rain

    large. Perhaps people 40 and over should start boycotting companies who do this. Spend our income elsewhere.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:16:32 AM PDT

  •  I was in my forties when I had a back injury (20+ / 0-)

    that did not heal right. I could no longer do the physically demanding job that I had been doing.

    So I did what a responsible person should do and took classes in order to get a degree in social work.

    I was certified by the state when I was 50. I then applied to different counties and was told I was on their lists to hire.

    Nothing happened, and I now live on SSI.

    I want to work and contribute, but I guess I am too old.

    A social worker asked me recently what I could do. I replied, "Your job."

    Thank you for bringing attention to this.

  •  I've been there too, I think, I'm 49. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karmsy, Tonga 23, jck, RiveroftheWest

    Thanks for the diary.

    "Truth catches up with you in here. It's the truth that's gonna make you hurt." - Piper Chapman

    by blueoregon on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22:16 AM PDT

  •  Age discrimination is due to multiple factors (8+ / 0-)

    Older employees may be worth more because they most likely have a lot of experience in something.

    They remember how working is supposed to be, they didn't grow up in unpaid internships, and part time, uninsured, no benefits, tightrope walks.

    They might have better negotiating skills.

    They might be more resourceful in protecting their interests in the job, understanding labor laws or at least knowing where to look to find answers.

    Less easy to intimidate.

    You add on the belief that they might also have more health care costs and that's it.

    But that being said, I don't feel sorry for businesses at all. I am tired of their parasitic "We don't pay taxes BS" while we pay employees shit and don't offer or rescind retirement and other benefits.

    Companies look at American communities the way ticks look at a dog.

    American workers look at jobs as a way to not only make money, but to create a social ecosystem that is self supportive and self perpetuating.

    These two "visions" are at odds with each other.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:22:46 AM PDT

    •  The (17+ / 0-)

      most aggressive, ruthless practices win in a Darwinian business biome, that's why gov has to intervene to create a level playing field. Business owners and decisions makers not only won't often intervene in the trend toward poorer and poorer pay and benefits, the ones that do can end putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

      You end up with guys like JP Morgan or Carnegie, you can go to papers of that era and see them being awarded and praised lavishly for their generosity giving to a charity or cause, and in the same papers find examples of their brutal business practices killing and maiming workers and throwing them into the street. Morgan bought as many politicians as he could, and he succeeded for quite a while. If not for the Great Depression, and the worker's rights movement that came out of it, we might never have had a middle class.

      •  Throwing pennies at the the destitute in order to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, karmsy, Calamity Jean

        assuage their guilt for creating them in the first place?

        Talk about, playing Jesus to the lepers in your head.

        Sadly it's typical teabagger mentality. They never learned the notion that you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, and he can feed himself. But only if you don't block access to the beach.

        Giving a poor person a pittance one time gift is as meaningless as pissing on their shoes. Temporary "help" that maybe lasts a day or week if that, and then it's "Break over, everyone back on their head."

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:52:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There was some movement (4+ / 0-)

        towards government policies that would encourage the development of a middle class after the Gilded Age, and before the Great Depression. It was the Progressive Movement of the early 20th century that really got things started in the right direction. The writings and photographs of people like Jacob Riis and Upton Sinclair went a long way towards shocking ordinary Americans about the sufferings of the poor and, Teddy Roosevelt made the connection to monopoly business practices explicit. The organized labor movement was also winning battles (and they were often bloody) more and more by the end of the 19th century.

        Here's a very useful timeline of American labor history.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:46:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely (11+ / 0-)

    I am a woman of a certain age with a lot of experience.  Our office hired two younger women because we were expanding.  They both were hired with the same title as me but both are being paid more.  After 1.5 years my role is still one of mentor and defacto supervisor and have more responsibilities, yet I still remain the lowest paid person in the office.  .  

  •  Age discrimination GOT me my current job (9+ / 0-)

    Now, here's a story....

    Almost 5 years ago when I was looking for a position, I applied and eventually got the job I now have.

    But I only got it because of age discrimination ... against somebody else!

    I heard the story quite after the fact. Here's what happened.

    Another guy, Steve, had applied for the position. Now, Steve had worked for many years at this company, but had left for other jobs for several years. Those jobs ended, and he thought he would come back to his old company.

    One of the guys he had worked with for many years was now the department manager. He and Steve were old friends, and he was the one who had recruited Steve to return to the fold.

    Steve thought he was in like Flynn. And he was. The department head made an initial offer, contingent on HR approval, and that offer was accepted.

    Until the HR department realized that he was in his upper 50s and would likely be retiring soon. They vetoed the hiring.

    So, the job came open again and I was hired.

    However, the manager or somebody relayed this story to Steve and, of course, he rightfully came unglued! He threatened to sue this company up one side and down the other for this blatant discrimination.

    To prevent this lawsuit and to cover their asses, the company conveniently found Steve another position, where he stayed for about 4 years. He did retire last spring.

  •  Yup.... (11+ / 0-)

    Age discrimination very definitely exists.
    I'm reminded of an interview I went on several years ago.  I had been doing a specific type of work and was very well regarded by my employer, but I had to move.  In my new city, I applied at a company doing exactly the type of work I was great at, with letters of recommendation as well as excellent references to back me up.
    I got an interview.  
    Great!
    My interview went exceptionally well, I was a perfect match for the job.
    Wonderful, yes?
    No.
    I was interviewed by a young man who looked at me when we were introduced as though I had three heads.  You see, I have white hair, and have had since I was in my early thirties.  (I think nothing of it, it's how I've aways looked, but recently, I've had friends tell me I should 'color' it if I want another job.) This young man looked at me and if there was a scroll across his forehead, it would have read....old, old, old, OLD.
    In less time than it took me to get home, I received an e-mail rejection stating they had found someone better qualified.  No, they hadn't.  I was perfectly qualified.  They (or perhaps just the young man) wanted someone young.
    I wish that was the only time something like this has happened but it isn't.  And I hate it.
    And btw....about the job I was perfectly suited for?  Within a matter of time they were looking for someone else.  Guess that 'someone else, better qualified' really wasn't.  Oh, well.  Their loss.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:26:57 AM PDT

  •  Age discrimination is rampant. (6+ / 0-)

    It's also very hard to prove.

    My wife worked in HR for years, the latest stint for a county government here. When she took applications for a job opening she would arrange them in the order she perceived as the best qualified on top, on down, then hand them off to the county commissioners.

    Inevitably the older applicants got tossed into the trash.

    She asked one of the commissioners one day about an applicant she thought was particularly well qualified for a job but who had not been asked in for an interview.

    "Oh, he's too old,' the commissioner blurted out, then catching herself, added, 'I know I'm not supposed to say that because it's not politically correct and all, but he's too old.'

    Proving age discrimination is all but impossible. Litigation is all but impossible--you have to find an attorney who will take it on a percentage of a possible settlement. Unless you have glaring proof, like the instance cited above, you have to prove a pattern of discrimination in addition to individual discrimination.

    And once you file a suit, you're toast. No one wants to hire someone who's involved in age/sex/racial discrimination litigation.  

    When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

    by wheeldog on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:27:43 AM PDT

    •  Sorry to hear this story (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      It is, as you and this thread suggests, far too common.

      We have to create a culture of calling it out, standing up for victims and letting people know that it is not ok.  This post is an important step.

      Of course, discrimination happens not only in hiring. For example, I knew a waiter who was just over 40  -- when age discrimination laws kick in under federal law. He was good at his job but when a new manager came along he started being discriminated against in favor of much younger, new hires, who he was also required to train.  When he learned that the manager intended to fire him, it took invoking the law and threatening to go to the head honcho to preserve his job.  It worked.  

      I think that for many of us, knowing the law and what recourse is available can be helpful not only in standing up for our own rights when we can, but standing up for the rights of others. We don't all need to be lawyers to have some idea of where we stand.

      I don't know if other states have this, but MA has a state agency that handles a wide range of discrimination matters -- including age.  The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing the 1967 law against age discrimination.  There are further protections if an employer is receiving federal financial assistance.

    •  Revenge? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      I'm wondering if there are ways to screw them, not sue them, if that is the gist of the story.

      "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

      by Uosdwis on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 01:35:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even armed with all this info (18+ / 0-)

    there is nothing some of us can do.

    We've ruined our credit, or alienated our references, or lost our permanent residences, or developed health conditions that are obvious to the naked eye.

    We can't get past the gatekeepers even if we ARE under 40.

    They use every excuse they can find to keep from hiring some of us, no matter how much education or experience we have, and, as you note, in spite of it. I do wish our politicians would stop telling everyone that a college education is the end-all, be-all to a successful life. They never take age discrimination into account for why so many older workers suddenly lost their jobs. No, they just try to make us feel worthless, as if our skills evaporated overnight.

    I do appreciate your nod to the shaming we get. I barely speak to my birth family because they just can't understand why I -- the first one to go to college, despite being the youngest -- aren't set for life in some fancy job.

    I often feel like the factory workers whose jobs were sent south, then overseas, and they've never done anything else and there's no money to train for something else anyway. And if you do manage to build a new career, The Powers That Be will just find a way to outsource that job too.

    I am mired in despair over this, and I fear I am not alone in this country. I can't imagine what some people are going to do. Oh, and I live in Texas, so I can't get health care either, even though my income is and has been for years ZERO, thanks to that idiot Rick Perry turning down the Medicaid expansion.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:30:28 AM PDT

  •  The H-1B, L-1, J-1, F-1, O-1, and B-1 visas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pdxteacher, lenzy1000, bgblcklab1

    offer the employer an unlimited supply of foreign scabs to fill jobs. The unlimited number of mostly east asian workers means that age discrimination is a huge problem.

    And the Senate Immigration bill doubles, even triples, the number of H-1Bs.

    It makes the number of green cards unlimited.

    I am a little amazed that no one has brought this up.

    We do NOT want a new immigration vehicle to bring in hundreds of thousands of new workers. We do not have jobs for US workers.

  •  One caveat... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, Tonga 23, RiveroftheWest
    It is rare for someone to be genuinely dropped from consideration because they are "overqualified."
    While I'm incredibly sympathetic to job hunters with less desirable demographics (I've been one myself before, and would be one again if I were to be laid off now), I can assure you there are scenarios where people are disqualified for being overqualified. It happens in my company (a consulting firm) all the time.

    A side effect of the long recession and shitty job market has been a wave of highly educated, very skilled and experienced people applying for any job, even explicitly entry-level jobs.

    I know,why, because I've done it myself, and run into the same roadblocks. Try getting someone to let you interview for an entry-level administrative position when your last two jobs were "data analyst" and "coordinator of a research center at Harvard" ---yet those were just about the only jobs available, since so few people were hiring. I ended up temping for almost a year (at a blazing $13/hour) until I could find a position (skilled administrative, making almost $15K less than before); seven years later, I'm still not making what I did as an analyst, though I like the work more.

    Still, I can understand why many employers (mine included) are reluctant to interview people with a Doctorate or 20+ years of experience in management-level jobs for an entry-level, low-salary position involving simple, repetitive tasks (like data entry and transcription), assisting people who might have been their teaching assistants in another life.

    And yet we routinely get CVs from those folks (as well as people with advanced degrees in completely unrelated disciplines like Law or Civil Engineering), assuring us that they'd be happy to do the work, or making erroneous assumptions that their skills in their chosen fields would translate directly to our position. While the individual might be happy just to have a job in the short-term, most would (rightly so) expect to "move up" to a job better fitting their skill set and level of education in fairly short order...except we're a small, lean organization without a lot of room for vertical movement, and what we need is an entry-level person to do the grunt work for a couple of years, learn the business and evolve into a mid- and later senior-level researcher using our particular methodology.

    Very senior/experienced/skilled folks (especially those in our field, research and program evaluation) historically haven't lasted long doing grunt work and generally do have well-established lives that require more than an entry-level salary to sustain in the longer-term, so the scenario devolves into job dissatisfaction/frustration pretty quickly.

    It's harder to train and retain staff who aren't being challenged, or who will have little opportunity for advancement, at least in the immediate future.  And so, to save ourselves the effort of training and getting a new staffer up to speed doing basic stuff, only to lose them as soon as a position better fitting their skills comes along we do try to stick with truly entry-level folks for entry-level jobs. If they are otherwise overqualified but have some other factor going on (such as a mid-career professional returning to the workforce after an absence, or a career switcher), we do consider them, however.

    "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

    by Vacationland on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:39:10 AM PDT

    •  It (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karmsy, Aquarius40, RiveroftheWest

      may happen, but you should probably let your coworkers know, 1) it's stupid to pass an great qualifications and your coworkers will probably never again get a shot at the kind of employees they have a shot now because of the great recession, and 2) let  them know it may not be legal.

      If you have a business with more than whatever the min is, 15 to 50 employees I think, and  two theoretically identical candidates in all respects, with the sole exception that one is a few years older and has one notch of a higher degree, if you classify the latter as overqualified and hire the former, you have just opened yourself up to a potentially expensive, EOA lawsuit.

      •  We have fewer than 50 employees (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        So small that we don't even have an official HR department. We're also well versed in federal regs (we evaluate federal and state agency programs), so are careful to evaluate candidates based on their qualifications to do the work...and part of that, unfortunately for a lot of candidates, is "best fit for the job."

        If the job is explicitly entry-level, requiring a BA in a related field and 0-3 years experience doing similar work, and one applicant fits that description, and the other applicant has a JD and 20 years of experience in a different field, they are not "theoretically identical"---for a lot of reasons, the second applicant is not a match for the work being offered.

        It's not about age. Employers are not required to hire the person with the most qualifications overall, but rather the person with the best qualifications for that particular job. The job doesn't need someone with a Juris Doctorate, or years of experience in litigation, for example. If we had two candidates, both with a BA in the field and 0-3 years of experience doing this kind of work, and one is 23 and one is 53, and they wrote equally compelling cover letters, they'd both get a call-back -- those candidates are theoretically identical. The 53 year-old might have 20+ years of experience doing other things, but that does not disqualify them, nor does their age.

        Everyone our firm hires is very qualified; it's a matter of matching the person to the position. If anything, our workforce skews older than average. Since our work is about 95% dependent on our bidding for contracts and obtaining grants, that dictates what qualifications and specific experience our staff must have, and how much they can be paid. As I said, I'm sympathetic, but I wouldn't work for a company that discriminates on the basis of age. Fortunately I don't have to.

        "The truth can't hurt you, it's just like the dark. It scares you witless but in time you see things clear and stark." - Elvis Costello

        by Vacationland on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:23:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But I can see both sides of the coin (6+ / 0-)

        Nothing is scarier than job hunting IMO.  I found myself aged out and dumped from an almost entry level position that had great benefits and used to be a great office.

        As it turns out my employers had the expectation that you should move up or out and I was told that moving up would require me going back to school (I have an BA, from a very well regarded Univ.) and the best I could expect after all that money and effort would be maybe a $5,000 bump in pay.  I should have bailed far sooner but I wasn't smart enough to see the handwriting on the wall.

        I was hired into another crap entry level job in a completely different sector, that rapidly was evolving from a clerk type position to one requiring financial analyst type skills.  Fortunately I was able to grow into what the client needed and thrived.  Unfortunately however some of the folks hired as clerks could not evolve and failed.

        So as it became obvious that the positions needed higher caliber folks, they attempted to hire them.  But many of the better hires did not stick around because if you were good enough to be good at the job, you were good enough to find better.  Me? I also tried to find better but was stymied because I was "overqualified" for the rapidly disappearing entry level slots but apparently not credentialed enough to jump to the next level.

        For me a miracle happened.  That position led to a dream job where the hiring managers criteria weighted my actual job performance higher than outside candidates with postgraduate degrees.  

        Our job market is horribly and cruelly broken.  Imperfect people need not apply and too perfect people need not apply because you will cause trouble.  I live in fear that anyone of us can be thrown the wolves once we age out, so I've been crazy mad about having enough saved for retirement and rainy days.  My current job is very likely secure and not subject to this BS but I'm realizing that my siblings are at high risk and if I can I might need to be their last resort safety nets.

        •  Why we need a labor movement (10+ / 0-)

          that advocates for labor in general, not just for specific unions. We also need a political party that focuses on labor and working people--and labor law (enforcement as well as enactment).

          As an example: the utter exploitation of interns and internships that has expanded exponentially in the last decade or so.

          Another: the number of people working as contract workers with no benefits and absolutely no job security and no promise of work beyond a very short-term horizon (6 months, a year...or less).

          Unionization of specific work places won't address these problems. We need nationwide worker protections and employment policy.

          Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

          by coral on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:42:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  DS, I've said this in a few comments (4+ / 0-)

        I think you've been missing: AWESOME work. I am loving your diaries recently. This one, I wish I could tip and rec 1,000 times. The one on the history of the combustion engine, I thought, "I wish I had written that."

        Keep  your heart up, friend. I'll try to do the same. We'll get through this.

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:40:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Potential indicators of age discrimination (6+ / 0-)

    have become so common that it is almost impossible to prove. Some companies won't give any credence at all to a college degree that is more than 15 years old (even though the curriculum was likely tougher then than now). Sometimes the fact that someone is looking for a job after age 40 is taken to mean that they "lack direction and/or ambition." Another one is that older people are "too set in their ways" to effectively learn the job. All pretty blatant examples of age discrimination, yet all considered perfectly acceptable ways to narrow the applicant pool in corpoate America.

    "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities" - Adam Smith

    by Jesse Douglas on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:39:49 AM PDT

    •  Older degrees are often better! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cameron Hoppe, RiveroftheWest

      I have nothing but personal experience to go by when I tell folks younger than I what courses were required by my "cakewalk" degree they gasp.  I've seen pups with "business" degrees that seem dumber than a box of rocks.

      But it isn't old versus young, because I know plenty of dumb older folks and whip smart younger folks where I work.  The smart pups curiously enough though all seem to have like me degrees from old school traditional state universities.  Imagine that.

    •  I once had a recruiter ask me why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      I spent 10 years in the restaurant industry before getting an advanced degree.  I had to choke back laughter!  Instead I told him my financial and family circumstances made it impossible to do sooner.  Then I asked him at what age people should quit learning new things and quit trying to find challenging work.  I pretty much knew right then that that job wasn't going to happen, but I didn't want work for anybody who would make a rude ignoramous like that their gatekeeper.

      I appreciate your low standards ;)

      by Cameron Hoppe on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:42:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pretty much the same for me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cameron Hoppe

        Got my Bachelor's in 1999, worked for over a decade, then went back and completed my Master's last year. I played the real world vs. academia card whenever asked, figuring that the majority of people who couldn't understand why I went the route I did would be the types to distrust higher learning anyway.

        "The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities" - Adam Smith

        by Jesse Douglas on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:50:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I had worked at convenience stores for years. (7+ / 0-)

    It used to be the ultimate candidate for a c-store employee was the following:

    "anorexic, non-smoking, non-drinking, friendless, retired, with no children"

    That way they figured they'd get people who wouldn't be on the phone all the time, wouldn't be visiting with friends, and wouldn't steal the cigarettes and beer and snack foods.

    But when I started looking for work at the age of 52, I quickly found out that older wasn't better. It was a strain for young 20-something managers to even look at me, let alone hire me. One rather misinformed young assistant manager even bluntly told me "you're too old". I just smiled and told her she probably shouldn't have said that, and told her why.

    Well, I was eligible for SS Disability and about six months later, I applied for it and have been on disability ever since. But honestly, I'd much rather be working.

  •  Jeebus this is depressing (16+ / 0-)

    I'm 35.  Does that mean that in 5 years I shouldn't quit my job unless I have another one already lined up?

    First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

    by Cream Puff on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:42:31 AM PDT

  •  Have hired many in cust svc and 50+ awesome (11+ / 0-)

    I have been a hiring manager in several jobs for tech and customer support roles, have hired people of various ethnic backgrounds, genders, orientations, etc., ages 20 through 70, and have had fantastic, awesome, superb experiences with workers 50+. I have found they require less handholding and coaching than workers in the younger age range, they bring initiative and resilience to the table, and are often steady, dedicated, patient, and calming with upset customers in a way that more extended-play life experience subtly enables. While making gross demographic generalizations, I will venture to say I have personally found this positive quality of maturity to be most present in women 40+ and men 50+ (men take longer to learn patience, empathy, etc., perhaps?). Such traits can be found or coached in various workers of various ages, and I believe a team benefits strongly from diversity across many factors (demographics, thinking style, strengths, style), but this is my first-hand hiring and managing experience.  

    •  You sound like a "keeper" (7+ / 0-)

      as a manager for recognizing gifts mature workers bring to the table.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:35:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  diversity in communication style too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janetsal, Calamity Jean

      I meant to also say (in last sentence above): diversity in communication style is good to have on a support team (within a swath of positive, respectful, helpful, great listening ability), since a team gets benefit from each others' tricks and tips and varied approaches. This too, has a subtle vector of diversity across the age groups, and can be a good source of positive intra-team influence and better customer understanding and empathy.

    •  Great, but.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Em

      Why isn't there some way, yet, to FIND PEOPLE LIKE YOU? Do you mention this on LinkedIn? Where is the website where people can register that a company/HR person blatantly or subtly rejected them because of age discrimination?

      "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

      by Uosdwis on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 01:41:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Em

      Em, your comment reminded me so much of Judi Dench's character getting a job in Jaipur, advising the call center employees on how to relate to older customers. Her character had all of that : patience, empathy, initiative, etc.

  •  We don't like older people in this country (12+ / 0-)

    Lots of younger folks blame us boomers for every ill in the world and not solving all the world's problems, as if any one generation has ever been able to do so.

    Older workers are thought of as slow or unable to pick up new skills. They are said to raise the company's health care costs.

    Now in my time I've seen pretty much the opposite. The past 3 jobs I've worked it was the younger folks who were lazier, called in sick more often, and were more interested in gossip than working. Over-generalization? Maybe, but it's what I've seen.

    The MBS Syndrome also has taken its toll. The 90's and 2000's saw tons of fresh faces straight out of MBA school with no practical experience. And they got hired in middle management where they started making decisions on how the company could save money. Now knowing nothing about the company they worked for didn't matter, it was all about counting beans and seeing where they could cut. So older folks with more experience were/are usually the ones to go. They call us "dead wood."

    Another reason for hiring younger is that they are malleable. With no experience they can be "trained" to do things the company way, even if it isn't the right way, even ways that worked before. And eager to make a buck, they will do whatever they are told. Institutional memory means nothing anymore.

    I've been out of real work (meaning a good job) since my mom entered a nursing home. No matter how well my skill set fits a company I never even get an email, let alone a phone call. I've taken dates off my resume, tried writing pithy letters, and more. But with all my experience it isn't hard to figure out I am over 20.

    And also sad is that those doing the hiring are probably 30, if that. They don't want to hire their mother or father - egads and ick! Old people!

    And, as you point out, we're not yet to retirement age. The GOP fuckers who want to raise the retirement age don't get that we can't find a job now - how are we going to last if they raise the age to 70?

    It's not going to change. Like in Dickens, they just want us to die and decrease the surplus population.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:55:21 AM PDT

    •  The Powers That Be can't even wait (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW
      Like in Dickens, they just want us to die and decrease the surplus population.  
      for climate change to do their murdering for them.  

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:16:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have 2 kids in their 20s (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Willinois, RiveroftheWest

    Both have degrees and both are totally underemployed and have had times of unemployment that I just didn't have when I was their age.

    Here are the numbers:
    http://www.bls.gov/...
    http://www.bls.gov/...

    Statistically it looks like age discrimination happens more to those under 40 than over.

    There's another report I saw a while back that gave unemployment numbers by educational attainment that covered the worst part of the recessions (Can't find it now, sorry but will keep looking.) Again, MY age group (older adult, over 40), with a degree, came through this recession with very few scratches compared to my kids' age group with degrees. It was ridiculous...like .5% vs 16% (when I compared myself to my kids.)

    Yes, age discrimination happens and it's always personal. I remember applying for a job just like DS did, in my 40s then, went through 3 interviews and then got rejected. I REALLY wanted that job. However, all my co-workers looked like they were 12 years old. Yes, I think I was discriminated against.

    But I still wish my kids could find good jobs that could support them fully and that promised advancement. They've both been out of school for several years and it's terrible out there for them.

    Sorry you didn't get the job you wanted. It happens...but it happens more to those who are younger than those who are older these days, if the numbers are to be believed.

    •  you need to think carefully about the dynamics of (3+ / 0-)

      the system. 20-somethings got brutally hammered in this economic collapse because they didn't already have jobs. the vast majority of people who had jobs in 2008 did not lose them -- after all, 10% unemployment is a cataclysm. if 50-somethings are twice as likely to be let go in a cost-cutting exercise, and 20-somethings are twice as likely to be hired into new positions, the 20-somethings are still going to experience higher overall unemployment than the 50-somethings. it's all about where they're starting from.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:52:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My daughter, 4 years out of college (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Calamity Jean

      Has been lucky. She's worked steadily in her industry since graduation. But she has friends from school (a highly competitive liberal arts college) who are STILL working unpaid internships, trying to break in.

      It's a very tough, cold, cruel world out there, even for some of the most fortunate among us.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:49:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Recently a big box sporting goods (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, jck, Calamity Jean

    store opened in the area and we went to see what they had. I could not help but notice that every employee we saw, and there were many, appeared to be in their early twenties with perfect hair and skin and thin. It was surreal. I bought a couple of small items and had to ask for a bag to put it in. My husband was going to try some shoes on but they were too engaged in their own conversation to help us. Have not gone back.

    •  I foresee a short (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      future for that store. That kind of help won't bring people back. (My pet peeves include loud music that seems intended to bring in younger people - but drives away people who want to keep the hearing they still have.)

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:39:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am not usually this pessimistic,... (6+ / 0-)

    ...but on this topic, it's true and you are pretty much screwed with no recourse. Even if you had the money, found a decent lawyer and sued, your chances of winning are almost nil unless you have a recorded conversation specifically denying you employment due to age. If you had that, you MIGHT stand a chance.

    Unless you have a solid network of people to in your industry to help you, if you are over 50, you are cooked. This is one major reason I favor single payer and strengthening SS, not reducing benefits or raising the age of eligibility.

    The age raising ideas are a total joke, with not a goddamned one of the people calling that a "sensible" idea addressing the absolute reality that there are NO jobs for 50 and over people.

    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

    by pajoly on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:17:41 AM PDT

  •  I wish I could tip and recommend this diary (14+ / 0-)

    1,000 times, DS, and especially for this remark right here:

    To use a metaphor, it's almost as though there's an economic equivalent of the no-fly list for anyone beyond a certain age.
    You know the worst part of unemployment? Beyond the stupid advice clueless family and friends dump on you? It's the incredible isolation. It is hard to make use of your social networks, it's hard for you to make headway on any other personal goal at all when your employment picture, through no fault of your own, is so counter to what you'd wanted for yourself and what you deserve. And people regard you with contempt for "not doing everything." Like that unemployed guy who wanted to buy used ski boots on craigslist, and was held up to general ridicule. In my case, heh, it's because my "standards are too high" that I'm still barely able to piece together survival jobs, if that, three years after earning my teacher certification. If I were just willing to drive an hour each way, and make beds all day for $10 an hour, everything would be just ducky?

    I appreciate the fighting tone of this diary, very much. I like the idea of calling up some of these people on age discrimination, even if it seems futile, for the reasons you state. It'll make it easier for the next person after you.

    Keep your heart up, DS. I'll try to do the same. In general, I've really been enjoying your writing.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:21:51 AM PDT

  •  You are bright and talented, DS. Your writing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, Calamity Jean

    and observations are valued by me and many.

    I hope a good employer sees the value of your abilities and hires you soon. It is very troubling that our society has been degraded to the point where so many capable people like yourself can't find good employment.

    It's a cultural shift that is undermining individuals, families and our society. The greed of the few has limited options like good jobs for too many.

     

    Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government. ~ Edward Bernays

    by 4Freedom on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:32:12 AM PDT

  •  Hiring isn't about age, it's about sex appeal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akmk, Cameron Hoppe

    and the fragmentation of our communities.

    All the rules about hiring, the legal requirements, the logical business profit and loss equations are pretty much rolled over by the human drive for sex.   Our society has become hypersexualized,  and sex appeal is the true coin of the realm.

    There are too many people who have fallen out of the structured community systems that used to make use of the less competitive people's talents for the benefit of everybody (think tribal).  

    Until we can rebuild some forms of community that support humane ideals,  it's only going to get worse.  

  •  I was 28 the last time was unemployed... (5+ / 0-)

    ...and I was 1 month away from my UI extension ending. I ended up retiring early from that job. The early retirement rule predates the union, and is meant to allow younger enginers, etc., to move up. In my case, the City of Chicago would have been happy for me to stay long beyond 55, as I was a very productive engineer. They've also written all of the lower-level positions out of the budget: nobody to train to replace me. Eighteen months after I retired, my position was written out of the budget. My only recourse, if I were looking for work, would be to apply to a consulting firm. I've worked for three consulting firms in my working years, and disliked their attitude towards customers. And they'd probably want a younger person, too, since they only hire "rain-makers", i.e., former higher-ups, from public ranks.

    I guess I should be thankful that we're getting by, and I'm glad to be out of all that. I just wish that there had been one older engineer I could have shown where everything was that would have carried on when I left, if not a young one. There were neither.

    Drive carefully out there...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 11:42:20 AM PDT

  •  Not to rain on the parade... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I'd like to give some food for thought. I say these things as someone who knows very well that age discrimination in the workplace exists, and my comments are meant to be constructive.

    First, this...

    Thank you for taking time to apply for the [Customer Service] position. We appreciate your interest and the opportunity to review your background, qualifications, and eligibility. .... While your skills are impressive and you have met the basic requirements of the position, we will be moving forward with other candidates ...
    ...is actually fairly boiler plate for any rejection letter where the candidate was heavily considered, and rightly so. Even highly specialized job postings get hundreds of applicants for one position these days, and there will always be more than one of them who are qualified (or overqualified) to do the job and perform well in an interview. The last sentence in your quote is nothing more than laying out that fact. So without knowing more details about your interview, it's hard to read the above and immediately see ageism as the primary reasoning.

    Second, lots of people in the comments thread seem to be blaming the visa system for the problem of ageism (and any number of other jobs-related woes). The moral rationalization sounds incredibly close to "I was born in America, so I should be entitled to an American job before some [insert ethnic epithet] foreigner." While understandable, this attitude is completely counterproductive.

    I'm usually a pretty harsh critic of capitalism, but if there's one thing it has done to save our American hides in the last decade, it has been the fact that despite massive erosion to our investments in education, the world's most talented people (including a great many in the U.S.) still come here to get educated and get a job. This has allowed us to retain our position atop an increasingly global economy, and along with it the quality of life we are accustomed to.

    I actually am very afraid of the day when our country's net influx of intellect ceases, either because we decide to turn off the spigot (as some here are suggesting) or people realize they can get just as good (or better) training and jobs elsewhere. Let's not accelerate the latter by doing the former.

    •  There's only one poster pointing at Visas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janetsal

      I think you're being unfair on that point, only one person has fingered our visa system as the culprit and they were warned about threadjacking so I think your painting the rest of the responses with too broad a brush.

    •  when "we" can't participate in the economy, (4+ / 0-)

      why should "we" be interested in whether it is competing well with some other plutcrats' economies?

      in the long run, the united states cannot "compete" with other nations for economic supremacy. the chinese and the indians outnumber us more than 5 to 1. the fantasy that we can is actually chauvinism -- ie., arrogant bigotry -- pure and simple.

      the entire concept of economies competing with one another is exactly as broken as all other ascpects of concept of free market competition: human wellbeing is not part of the equation.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:00:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel your frustration. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA, True North, DarkSyde

    About 10 yrs ago when I was looking for a job (and not mooching off the government like the Republicans say us liberals do). I applied for a customer service position with a company that published phone books. At that point I had nearly 10 years of customer service experience, working for several companies at which I earned many awards and recognitions for my work (employee of the month, 100% scores on most QA monitoring, etc.). So I went through the interview and took the tour and sat with an employee on the floor and listened in to a few calls. Then I was called back a week or so later to take the employment test with about 10 other people.

    We watched two short videos containing different scripted situations in which employees were interacting with customers. And then for each situation we were asked how we would handle the situation and given three options on the written test. Now, keep in mind that none of the companies presented to us in the test were represented by a phone book company, thus nothing involved anything an employee of the phone book company would encounter. The person who administered the test admitted that the test was developed by a third party company, and that she and several other members of management had taken the test and either performed poorly or failed it.

    So, drawing on my prior experience (several of the situations involved a cable TV company, and I had  worked for a local cable provider in customer service for 4 years) I answered the questions to the best of my ability based on my previous experience.

    A week later I received a call from the company, and was told that they decided to hire someone with better customer service experience!  Talk about a WTF moment.

    The problem with such tests as I was given is that in most cases there is no "right answer" because different companies will have different polices. Example: one of the situations involved a cable tech visiting a home on a scheduled service call. As he is leaving, a neighbor walks over and asks the tech to take a look at his cable because he frequently loses reception. The tech has  a few options: (1) go look at the neighbor's cable even though he has another scheduled visit to go to; (2) tell the customer he does not have time and for the customer to call the cable co. and set up an appointment; or (3) tell the customer he will have someone call the customer when he gets back to work at the end of the day.  So the thing is, how the tech handles it depends on company policy.

  •  DS, this is a very good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PJEvans, Calamity Jean

    with a very interesting comment thread. I am a long-time resident Floridian. Florida is a right-to-work (what right?) state. Both age and sex discrimination run rampant here. It has been that way for decades, believe me. I walked in those oppressed shoes for 30+ years.  

    A rare medical fate knocked me permanently out of the work force. I'm on SSDI and Medicare. I'm glad, too.

    You are an excellent writer as well as a top-notch human being. Hang in there as you have plenty of company watching out for you!

    Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

    by orlbucfan on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:02:31 PM PDT

  •  What can be done? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Calamity Jean

    I felt very saddened as I read these comments from people who have been turned down for jobs because of age.

    Is there any way for older workers to band together, without necessarily having to start up new companies?

    I am in something of the same situation as many who have commented: older person, not ready to retire. I just completed a professional editing certificate program at a local university. I have prior experience, but not in a job with the official title of editor.

    Fortunately, in my city we have an association of freelance editors, which runs a website where we can provide information about our services. Potential clients follow up directly with the editor.

    This system appears to work quite well for freelance editors.

    Is there something similar that might help people with expertise in other fields to connect with the companies that need work done, but don't have staff to do it? Something more like a cooperative or an association than a temp service?

  •  New Costco (3+ / 0-)

    opening here in New Orleans. I really want to work for them. In the customer service job I had while "exiled" to Atlanta, I won an award for best Guest Services Team Leader at the big red bullseye.  So far, no results. Hoping. Seventy and super skilled. Worked for 23 years at U.S. Postal Service, the last 13 as supervisor of distribution operations.  Sure, I've got my pension, but rising cost of living expenses make it hard to live on it. I'm trying to figure out how to make myself so supremely employable by them that they find me irresistible.

  •  I have been pointedly turned down for a position (5+ / 0-)

    in my profession because I was "overqualified". I was told flat-out that the committee in charge of hiring felt uncomfortable with me because they thought I would leave the minute something better came along. I don't know if it's illegal, but I told the person contacting me that given that I had been unemployed for two years, that it was unethical. She was a Methodist minister.

    One good piece of advice is this: never include the dates you received your educational credentials on your resume. It's a dead giveaway of age, and people (including me) used to do that when I was younger, but no longer do. Some people only state the number of years, not the dates, that they performed jobs for each company they've worked for. I understand that is considered a professional approach to resume writing.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:27:08 PM PDT

  •  not all companies (0+ / 0-)

    are that narrow-minded.
    Utility companies, because so many people work at them for decades, may be more open to hiring people who aren't right out of college. (When the managers have thirty or forty years of experience, the pressure isn't there, or is at least much less.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:34:17 PM PDT

  •  Your comment on "overqualified" is familiar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, True North

    I got very tired of talking to 35 year-old hiring managers who would tell me I was a great candidate but I was considered "overqualified." When my Reserve retirement started at age 60 I did actually retire. Two years of reading the history I never had time for and I was bored. So back to work??

    Then I got an AAS in information technology (web and database programming) and found no one was hiring programmers over age 40 for some reason [H1b visas I think. They can get an upper 10% foreigner right out of school (paid for by the country that trained him), use them a decade and replace them with another H1b person. With the U.S. experience they are very hirable in their home country.]

    Now I am studying social work. The pay is low enough that they have trouble getting qualified people - I hope.

    The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 12:48:15 PM PDT

  •  Who hires experienced older workers (4+ / 0-)

    Other experienced older workers. At least in my situation.

    I applied for a job at a local bank as an administrative assistant and the corporate recruiter pulled my resume for another job at the corporate office. It was a 80-mile round trip commute but beat unemployment. It pays significantly less than my prior job, but I get a paycheck twice a month and while the health care plan is expensive it's better than going naked.

    This bank is in CA only, with a small corporate office run by about 500 people - supporting bank operations, including IT. The average age is between 40-45 and but there are many over 50 and plenty under 30. Of that 500? - 300+ are women. The men there behave differently than any I've seen working for other companies with 5,000+ employees. It is a very nurturing culture to work in. I'm glad to have found it. If there is a project going on - people will stay over if necessary - but if there isn't - and you've worked 8 hours - then you get to leave. There are no medals for working 9-12 hour days. This bank did not do sub-prime.

    So - this kind of operation won't be true for a Chase or a BofA but hopefully, there are local small banks out there for old IT or office support people.

     

    •  Alas those admin positions are disappearing (3+ / 0-)

      It's wonderful that you've found your own little niche that is running counter to the trends!  I hope you can ride that gig till retirement.

      Crackerjack assistants are worth their weight in gold, so much so that I've observed that this was a viable path for older workers for some time.  Sadly though this last recession has shrunk the market for assistants as mid level management is shrunk and what is left is now expected to do without admin help.

      Frankly I'm wondering what the heck we expect workers who aren't good at math or computers to do for a living as we downsize so many formerly lucrative career paths.

    •  Dube, I work for BofA right now. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, DarkSyde

      Culture varies of course from business unit to business unit.  But for the most part the company offers great flexibility for life management for many positions.  There are some management and customer service positions where this isn't the case.  The pay is good but not fabulous.  The benefits are the best I've ever seen.  I wouldn't call it nurturing, but the goals are almost always reasonable and at least where I'm at people know where they stand.  Just saying you can't always guess what's inside the box before you open it.

      I appreciate your low standards ;)

      by Cameron Hoppe on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:58:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Age discrimination will reduce your SS payment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    once you retire which will affect you the rest of your life.

    Is SS doing anything about that lasting effect of age discrimination?

  •  Been There - Rejected Too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akeitz, Cameron Hoppe, True North

    One thing about my life is that I am disabled, 100% disabled to be exact.  VA disability rating is 80%.  For a number of years I was in a state disability to regain being able to work program.  As a shining success of not being brain disabled, just  PTSD, just physically disabled, I was considered ready to go.  

    The state had a working agreement with a satellite media company (big name) to provide jobs to those in my category of life.  With a guaranty of almost everyone being hired.  Fine with me, I figured a year there and I would be back in the work place, at a real job.

    I, and several others, go through the interview process to be the friendly American voices you get when you call in to complain about not being able to see more than pixels.

    There was also a public cattle call going on, hundreds showed up, probably 10% of them made it through the first round of paperwork to be able to interview.

    I spend the entire day there.  Three rounds of interviews. Higher and higher the level of person doing the interview.  Finally we, the winners, are waiting for our final interview.  I am left in the lobby as everyone else leaves, that includes the workers and interviewers.  Only two people are left.  I ask what am I supposed to do, my interview time was an hour ago.  They tell me to wait.  Then someone comes out and says I need to call Monday, this being Friday.  I call Monday.  "Oh didn't they tell you." "What?" "Oh you were rejected."  "Why?" " I am not sure."

    So after thinking the place really smelled bad, I visit my social worker.  I am informed that not only was I too friendly, I was not technically qualified.  What a place, don't be friendly answering the phone, and the only challenge to answer the phone is to push a button, then the software answers are what you tell the person on the other side.

    As for technically qualified.  I not only worked with the very equipment on the ground, I worked with and was on the design end of some that was far from the ground.

    So being friendly and knowing too much is why Oh, at the very end is when they got my driver's license, which contained my age.

  •  the message at the beginning (0+ / 0-)

    says nothing about age discrimination. i'm 26, have 3 degrees including master's in fields they keep telling me they are screaming for precious qualified applicants, and there just are no qualified people. i'm vastly overqualified for everything I apply for, and get that message 10 times a day. I think they put very little effort into looking at employees, just use personal connections and headhunting, and most of the time they don't even look at your resume, and sometimes nobody else's either. I think they literally try to avoid paying for your plane ticket to the interview. They make moral judgments about overqualification on your resume when that should wait for the interview. I think it's just incompetence, laziness, and corruption among HR people much more than any discrimination. Retards saying garbage like, "he's not dedicated if he doesn't show up in person," or "he never calls," when it's always a CS rep anyway, when he lives across the country, and BS like that. I can't go around delivering resumes in person. I have to do it online. I have no choice.

    as far as government jobs, I get messages all the time saying they didn't even look at my resume because they already have veterans preference eligibles at the highest qualification. i'm often applying for stuff requiring a masters degree. and they tell me this on internships too. they make it sound like there are 30 million disabled veterans with doctorates in history, engineering, and math, who are still in school and willing to intern for free. the disabled vet bump is extremely severe, it's 15 points on a scale of 90. i get that the VA should be that way, but to be honest I don't think the other departments should. and of course I never get contacted until six months after I sent it in, which is kind of annoying, you know. do your damn job. my experience has really disillusioned me to the world of work in general, because it's obvious that no one has any professionalism. even if the workload is a nightmare, you could still get the job done promptly.

    engineering job postings from usajobs.gov betray a lack of knowledge about how engineering education works. they think you can get an EIT certification without a degree when the degree is a requirement, and call the degree a degree in professional engineering, when no such thing exists. they equate an EIT to a GED. they think you can get a PE just after you graduate, and you can't. They ask for a certificate number on your EIT, there is no such thing. they ask for five years of experience, and then say, oh, a bachelor's degree or EIT certification would be nice. that's obviously contradictory. the software they want was never even mentioned, let alone used, in my curriculum.

    also for historian jobs they expect you to have this weird graduate education in museum studies that i'm pretty sure doesn't even exist. I went to a large land grant university and majored in history, and none of that stuff was offered.

    the other thing I would say against age discrimination in govt jobs is the questionnaires always format the skills in terms of on the job, screwing recent graduates who haven't had a job. they have to leave things they know from school blank because it wasn't on a job, thus kids with masters get scores in the 70s while GED people get scores in the 90s for the same job, and then they wonder why their workforce is stupid.

    i'm still waiting on a job with the BLS where I literally checked every single competency on the questionnaire, wrote a letter when It wasn't required, emailed the guy and got a retarded dodgy response referring me back to the job announcement, had all the ksa stuff checked out by my reference so my questionnaire wouldn't be downcurved, and now it's 30 days past the hiring date already and they won't update my status. i'm pretty sure i'm not getting an interview for something I literally aced the questionnaire on. if i'm not going to get an interview on a max score, what the hell am I supposed to do? Take my parent's hail check and day trade options until I hit 25k?

    there is another job i'm not getting for a social scientist at department of transportation, where they want knowledge of math software and it requires EIT certification. I have those exact three things because I have a history degree, an engineering degree, and a graduate math degree, and I would have an extremely hard time believing a thousand other people do.

    yes, if you are over 50 and lose your job, you are screwed, especially if you have health issues. and it's incredibly unfair. my mom had 25 years of experience in insurance and retired early. then my dad went to jail and we went bankrupt and she tried to get a job again, it took her nine months and she got a horrible call-in job at the welfare department, the same job she got in college in the 70s. but from my point of view, recent grads aren't getting those jobs either. the "young people have an advantage" thing only applies to hot white chicks. yes, they all get jobs immediately and complain when it takes a month. no other young people do. I know two different guys with law degrees who are now cooks in a bar in their mid 30s. I don't know any male under 50 who got their first real job from a competitive interview process. Everyone at school worked for their dad. it's very frightening.

  •  Finally Found Work, but No Thanks to... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BusyinCA, greengemini, True North

    ... the hundreds of employers (if not thousands) who looked at my resume, added up the years of experience or saw the word Vietnam and sent it to the circular file or the digital trash bin!

    After three-and-a-half long years and the worst experience of my life I actually start work on September 3rd!  I am totally excited about that and looking forward to the future!

    Thanks for your thoughts on age discrimination.  As you noted, no one has said to me "We're not hiring you because you are too old" but given my breadth of experience the fact that until recently I was not landing more interviews and be tied directly, I think, to my age albeit also abetted by the growing length of my lay-off.

    I think it IS tough, if not next to impossible to prove age discrimination without some comments, written or verbal, from the interviewer(s) that can at least lead to that conclusion in a stretch.  But I do like the idea of assuming, when turned down for a qualified position to which they hire a 30-something (no offense to 30-somethings, I was one myself once!), that there was such discrimination and filing a complaint, or at least sending an "I will be consulting my attorney..." letter to get more information.  Those kind of actions do make HR people and hiring authorities think!  If I were to do it over again, I would keep a log and seek to find out who WAS hired for the position and maybe their demographics (thank you linked in and facebook).

    But it should also be noted that this has been a time where there are a LOT of qualified people looking for very few jobs.  When I hear that a nonprofit received 150-200 resumes for one position, I know the job of finding just a handful of people to interview is a tough one!  And I know there were jobs that I WOULD have gotten in a normal economy that I did not get because someone with more experience or a more focused background was also applying... often several someones! Sigh

    So I will start my new job with excitement, although I will have no health benefits for six months, only 3 sick days instead of 10 and only a week of vacation instead of two.  But I HAVE A JOB and I am hopeful I can facilitate some changes in personnel policies once I am on board!

    So do keep looking and keep the faith.  But speak out and don't be afraid to be proactive and ask folks why you were not considered.  At least it makes them think!  
     

    •  Another thing, it seems, to leave off your resume: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      When and where you served in the military.

      I suspect you're proud to have gone through the Vietnam experience -- and thanks for serving, BTW -- but I would leave any of that information off my resume if I were you. I would just list that you served, in whatever branch, and maybe, maybe your rank when discharged. (And I'm thinking 'maybe' because rank might even serve as a means for the company to do a little age discrimination.)

      I didn't serve so that section of any employment application has always been simple for me. Does it typically ask about your discharge date? If so, that would be as bad as requiring you providing the date of graduation from college. Don't give them ANY ammunition they can use against you.

  •  I lived through that scenario (3+ / 0-)

    about a week and a half ago, with a very similar email response. Since I'm in Austin, it well could have been the same place. I've never been so disappointed in not getting a job I didn't particularly want. The first two people I dealt with seemed approving, even enthusiastic, about my chances. But the day after the in-person interview, I got that email.

    I've done customer service before; it bores the hell out me, though I was good at it. But we need the money, so I keep trying for anything/everything out there.

    I've had the (young) job counselors at the University of Texas ask me ingenuously if I really believed there was an age discrimination problem out in the big, wide world. Gosh, they hadn't seen anything like that, they told me. I told them to just wait until they were 59 and see how many job offers they didn't get. They just looked puzzled, the poor things.

    I don't know what we, as a country and as a generation, are going to do. But whatever it is we do, I suspect that it will be: A) something outside the box, and B) not something the government comes up with, though they may support it, in time. Until then, we tighten our belts and seethe in a vast sauce of anger and frustration. Not precisely how I expected to spend my later decades.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 03:23:46 PM PDT

  •  I'm pretty sure this happened to me. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, True North

    I was up for a remote freelance gig with an e-commerce/content company and nearly got it. Even though I didn't get it, I was told to keep applying and was encouraged by their HR people on several occasions when I inquired about positions they advertised.

    I finally came in for an interview for a permanent, not quite full-time editorial position (they're big on that) that I thought I was perfect for. Had good interviews, I thought, but wound up not making that cut. Considering the competition, I could see how that could happen -- though the pay was unspectacular.

    However, the difference was that after I had come in, and they finally saw my ID/etc., I never received a single response again from their HR department again. Had I made such a bad impression because I wasn't good at stating my qualifications or what have you, or was it that nearly everyone I saw at the company appeared to under 30 and I was in a whole 'nother middle-aged ballpark?

    The thought of filing a complaint with the company never seriously crossed my mind because all I really have is a strong suspicion. Could I possibly have legal/factual grounds that make a complaint worthwhile at this late date? (It was about 2 years ago.)

    The good news is that I was later hired, alongside a very talented 20 something, by a really smart small company where I'm now a happy full timer.

    (My apologies if this has been covered above. Don't have a lot of time today to read all the comments.)

    Now residing in Van Nuys, but "LaBobsterofVanNuys" isn't funny and besides, Van Nuys is really part of Los Angeles

    by LABobsterofAnaheim on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 04:18:52 PM PDT

  •  Best of luck to you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    You certainly will need it,anyone in this position.  I'm 60 years old and actually have a software development job with a large corporation that is certainly far from my ideal place to work but hell, I'm making a great living.

    Although my skills more than justify my salary, I'll never be able to forget the amazing set of circumstances that enabled me to escape unemployment and age discrimination when I was laid off about 10 years ago.  Basically an idiot hired me not for my main skill set (Java development) but because I knew some other little language he insisted on using even though Java was the obvious choice.  It turned out that everyone hated this guy, he was gone within a week, and the project continued without him in Java.  Java skills were deemed dime-a dozen, easily obtainable in India at half the cost.  I owe my career to this fool.  Otherwise,God knows what I'd be doing today.

    In other words, I'm lucky and I know it.

    Other lucky folk don't know it.  I'm still pissed off at a bit I heard on "progressive talker" Stephanie Miller's show a couple weeks ago.   Some guy called up wanting to argue against immigration reform on the basis of unemployment.  He said the real rate is 15% because they don't count those who've stopped looking, something we all know to be true.  Stephanie and her "mooks" just wanted to sneer at the guy because he wasn't progressive on immigration so they said, snottily as hell, "the rate is 7% but WHATEVER...".  The caller then tried to talk about age discrimination, to which she replied that SHE was over 40 and SHE had a job.

    Jesus H. Christ!  When progressives talk like this I despair of our country.  There was a way to disagree with this caller without going full stupid on him.

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 05:03:29 PM PDT

  •  I've never been asked for ID until I was hired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    and filling out the tax paperwork.

    It's fortunate because I look at least a decade younger than I am.

    Employers are Not allowed to ask about age, at least in my state but my bet is everywhere. Seems asking for your ID before you are hired is their ploy to find out your age.

    Guess you look kinda young too, diarist.

    Another ploy of course is to ask the year you got your Bachelor's degree (or graduated high school). My (twin) sister lucks out over me there because she got her BS at 30.

  •  Thanks for diary. Added tag: age discrimination. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest
  •  I've given up the fight. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Nobody cares. I'm going to freeload as long as I can then probably spend the rest of my days living on the streets.

    "Know that it is easier to get into something than it is to get out of it." - Donald Rumsfeld

    by teej on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:45:51 PM PDT

  •  same thing happened to me.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    at CA (computer associates) but it wasn't age it was my weight.  I interviewed with many people over 3 day and as I was leaving the boss I would be working for was talking salary and when I could start.  But it took weeks to hear back from them and then they said no.  My last interview was with the personnel person and he was the only one not pleasant and he asked questions that really skirted legality about my health and family status.  I can only think the reason  I was not hired was because they thought I would be a drag on the health insurance premiums.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:53:45 PM PDT

  •  Canada expediting skilled trades: does age count? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    I came across an article about a new program of Canada Immigration, which plans to expedite applications from people with skilled trades.

    This program is for permanent residence in Canada, not temporary foreign worker jobs. And CIC says it does intend to move fast on these applications. (The provinces are bugging the feds about it.)

    There's a shortage in Canada, which is due in part to the tar sands projects in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They pay a whopping great amount, so they attract many workers, creating shortages elsewhere.

    BUT, on the other hand, the warmest parts of Canada aren't in Alberta and Saskatchewan, so the money might be less, but the winters mild(er).

    I was thinking about this diary when I read the article. I checked out the website to see it they posted age limits. Is this another Young Pups situation? But, alas, I didn't see any information about age limits. I bet that it will also be hard for someone 60+ to get accepted here.

    However, Pres. Obama says that there are plenty of people in the U.S. who could be put to work on infrastructure jobs, so maybe the Canadian program would be of interest.

    Anybody who knows any skilled tradespeople who need a job and might be interested in living in Canada should mention this program to them.

    There's a list online of the tradespeople Canada is trying to attract.

    •  Not to worry... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, RiveroftheWest

      If the Canadians are able to staff all those positions and pump out all those tar sands, the winters in Alberta and Saskatchewan will be warming up. :^(

      •  True enough (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        The predictions are global warming might make Alberta's climate a lot milder.

        Unfortunately, a fair amount of Alberta's water comes from the melting glaciers, so the faster they melt, the sooner the province will be relying on rain and snowmelt.

        Of course, Alberta wastes a ton of water now on the oil biz.

        I plan to be gone from Alberta and its dicey future-water problems long before that happens, and off to British Columbia, to an area where a whole lot more water falls right out of the skies. (Some B.C. regions depend on the melting glacier, too.)

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