Post # 1
I’m 20 going on 21 and growing more and more annoyed with people significantly older than me (say over 40) talking to me like I’m 5, like I don’t speak English, or like I’m mentally handicapped.
I participate in a group where I’m sometimes in charge of controlling the PowerPoint presentations. Last time I did this, a middle-aged man approached me when I was done and asked if I could email him the presentation. I politely asked which one because there had been about 10 different presentations. He replied in a very rude and condescending tone, “The one we just did.” So I didn’t react and went to the computer to send it to him, but he said (again in a condescending tone), “Well, I guess I’ll just have to ask [person who created the presentation] about it.” Five seconds later he asked someone else (another middle-aged man) to do it for him.
Now maybe this had nothing to do with my age and maybe he is just a rude person or just dislikes me for some other reason, but I feel like there are a lot of people who talk down to me or assume things about me because of my age–like that I sleep until noon every day, or that I don’t know how to check my oil, or that I don’t know what a VHS is. People who know me well usually think I am very smart and responsible, but others seem to think that all young people these days spend all their time texting, partying, and playing video games.
Usually I just brush it off, but sometimes it gets to me, especially when it’s someone who is nice to everyone EXCEPT me.
Any other young Bees feel this way? Anyone have a story similar to mine?
Post # 3
- Wedding: June 2009 - Mountain Meadow/Mansion
I am quite a bit older than you at 32, but I’m fairly young to be a principal, particularly in Denver (it doesn’t help that I look younger). It is super frustrating (I’ve had people tell me they’ve been teaching longer than I’ve been alive). I really do try to just ignore the comments and work to prove the haters wrong by being the best at my job I can be.
I’ve also found that sometimes these types of comments (such as those you are experiencing) come from insecurity.
Best of luck! Before we know it, we’ll be in our forties (me sooner, of course) and longing for the days we were “young” 😉
Post # 4
Sometimes, frankly, this is sexism. Older guys almost never accept that younger women can manage technology, or cars, or anything else like that. I am 31 with multiple advanced degrees. I still get people in professional situations who give me the, “oh honey, you can’t possibly know how to send a presentation to me” routine. It’s not your age alone. It’s being younger and a woman, nine times out of ten. I have a super ethnic name, which also doesn’t help. A lot of people presume I don’t speak English. And it was a billion times worse when I was more religious and wore modest clothes. Then I was brainwashed, stupid, and didn’t speak English. Fun!
Don’t let the bastards get you down, honestly.
Post # 5
People used to give me a hard time at work because of my age (I’m 23 and am an infant room teacher in a VERY expensive Early Childhood Education center, where most of the parents are twice my age).
Eventually I magaged to bring up that I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with most of them, and they finally calmed down. But I hated having to justify my career to them!
Post # 6
@MrsT2009: @mistress_anne: @MissZeppelin:
these types of comments (such as those you are experiencing) come from insecurity
this is sexism
I think these two hit the nail on the head!
Post # 7
i know how you feel. I’m 21 with a bachelors degree and 9 months left in my masters. I work a “grown up” job and I get my share of skill doubt due to age. Drives me mad.
Post # 8
I’m 30, but I’ve had this happen to me. It’s really annoying, and I know I should not let it get to me but it still bugs me.
I was doing a training for an organization I’ve been involved in for 7 years. Not trying to toot my own horn, but it’s one of my areas of study in graduate school, I’ve presented on it at national conferences, and I’ve received awards from the organization. Am I an expert? Nope, but I know how to do the job. So, in the middle of training, we were doing role-plays (I mostly just helped lead, and take notes). This woman was older than me (not drastically; I’d guess mid-40s), and made some comments that were NOT okay. I tried to politely give her some feedback (everyone else was receptive to it), and she got snippy. I tried to move things along, and she started in with “What makes you an expert?” and I tried to explain that I don’t view myself as an expert in the field, but I know the job and my bosses trust me to train them. She continued to ask (note that everyone else pretty much had their jaws open at this point). I tried to tell her she can pose that question to the bosses, but for now we are going to move on. She stopped me AGAIN, and I told her we could discuss this in the hallway, but I’ve been doing this for 7+ years and this is one of the areas I study, MOVING ON. And AGAIN, she bugs me and I lost it and said, “Well, I’ve received several awards from thsi organization, I’ve been asked to speak at a trial, I’ve spoken at two national conferences on this topic, led a study on this… and I’m going to sto there, b/c my experience is not extremely relevent” And she kept trying to talk, and right then one of the bosses came in to check on things (when we do role plays, they regularly check in on teh different groups). I basically said that they should talk in the hallway. With the door shut, we heard yelling :O Boss told me later on that the woman thought I was too youong to be in charge of her (which is funny b/c my boss is younger than me).
Post # 9
I agree that I think it’s sexism as well. But also some ageism thrown in there too.
I work in a very male dominant field and we had a customer come into the office the other day. He asked me a super simple question, but because he didn’t like my answer, he assumed that I didn’t know what I was talking about and went to ask someone else. What did that someone else do? He brought the customer back into my office, and I repeated the same exact information that I gave him the first time. If I had any leeway to help him, it was gone.
I had another man come into my office– I was not sure what he wanted at first. Also in my office were an older male customer, an older male employee, and an older male vendor having a conversation. Because I was likely the best person to help him and I wasn’t in the middle of anything important, I asked if I could help him. He says, “I want to talk to one of them,” and basically made it crystal clear that he didn’t want my help because I am not an older man. Um, ok. So he starts talking to first our vendor (couldn’t help him because he doesn’t work for us), then our customer (still couldn’t help him of course because he doesn’t work for us) and then the other employee (who ALSO couldn’t help him because he doesn’t really do office work). I was the one who could help him. Like I thought! And as it turns out, he was looking for a job! And I believe the best thing to do when you’re looking for a job is to insult one of the people who can help you– NOT! Needless to say, he did not get a job with us.
I don’t know why people do this, but I hope that when I am older and established in my career and social relationships, I remember not to do this to other people. It doesn’t feel good.
Post # 10
@mistress_anne: Interesting, I hadn’t thought about the fact that it may be sexism. I’ll keep that in mind.
I agree that a lot of these comments people make probably come from their own insecurity. I think it’s sad that insecurity can make people so rude.
Post # 11
I get that from 30-somethings. There are just some sad bored people like that I guess. It’s worse when they’re fine to my boyfriend (12 years older than me) but then totally ignore and belittle me.
As for PPT, I do a lot of these presentations too. I don’t know your scenario, but I normally get that tone from people because I’m “only the staff” of the “PPT girl”.
Post # 12
<a>MsLobizon:</a> Wow, how ridiculous. It sounds like maybe she was jealous that you were more successful and/or smarter than she was at that age.
<a>ladyartichoke:</a> My Boyfriend or Best Friend is only 4 years older than me and people talk to him like he’s intelligent and then turn around and talk to me like I’m a child. It is very annoying. In this group I’m in, I’m one of the youngest people there (almost everyone is over 30, and more than half are over 40) and I’m not in a leadership position, so I think people see me as “just the powerpoint girl” and not really a useful part of the group. And of course, with powerpoint, most people only notice you when you do something wrong.
Post # 13
This seems like a place where I can ask this age-reaction related question and get objective views. Was I off-base with my reaction to the post (#14) in this thread: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/today-is-my-anniversary-vent#axzz2X6j5CrYO
It just rubbed me wrong in so many ways.
Post # 14
@MissZeppelin: I feel ya! I’m 23 and I’ve worked since I was pretty young. My step-dad owns a company that I’ve done a lot of work for and I deal with a ton of people ALL the time who brush me off because I am a young woman in a man’s field. I deal with it more because its an an industry based business (big diesel trucks) and most people in the field are 40+ and male. But I’m pretty sure if I looked older than 12 (okay, 18 but you know what I mean) I think it would be a different story.
Even in the regular world where men don’t make up 95% of the work force, its rampant! I worked at a retail establishment for almost 4 years and just say I knew my stuff. I grew up with two dad’s and trucks and farms and I’m not incapable at all. Learning how the store ran was no biggy, and I was the go to girl for my bosses because they knew that I knew. The staff basically consisted of the bosses and the half a dozen middle aged women who work there and the other half a dozen others who suffled through like a revolving door. Apparently there is something about a capable twenty year old who’s allowed to tell you what to do that makes people just run for the door. I literally scared the incapable staff away one by one. Anyone who you want to have around realizes that just because you’re 20 doesn’t mean you’re stupid and the ones that feel that you can’t possibly be useful because you’re not as grown as they think you should be, well we don’t have use for them anyways. One time, a middle aged lady threatened to quit if he didn’t “do something about me” and he said he liked me like I am and accepted her 2 weeks notice (Worst two weeks ever!!) But that just goes to show, there are people who realize we are more than our age! And often, they’re the oones who put groceries on the table 😉
Your bosses know you know your stuff, blast the middle aged folk who judge! Someday you’ll be signing their pay cheques and they won’t be rude to you then 😉
Post # 15
@Everdeen: I don’t think you were off-base at all. I really hate it when people say things like, “He’s a teenager, what do you expect?” as if all teenagers are immature and stupid. And if ALL teenagers were immature, that would mean they didn’t have a choice but to be immature, wouldn’t it? There are 15-year-olds with the maturity level of 50-year-olds and vice versa. People who put others down based solely on young age just sound like they think being older makes them superior.
@lalalyanne: I agree, it seems like people feel threatened by capable young people. I am just now remembering stories my mom has told me about bosses who were snotty to her for no reason when she was in her early 20s.
Post # 16
@MissZeppelin: Oh thank goodness. Having no support in that thread may me feel like I was crazy.
It also implies that people just magically hit 25 and all of a sudden are mature. No! People have to make mistakes and learn from them. Telling the OP to get over it because he is “young” just means that he won’t know what he did wrong and will continue with that behaviour. How do people think we get immature 30 year olds?