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blas
10-08-2006, 07:05 AM
Hey guys, great to post again, I miss you all horribly!

Anyways, I posted a while back about some older people at my job who were making things miserable for me. Well, it's gotten worse.

A couple of weeks ago, some older ladies got together, and the leader of the pack must have some form of a modern Hitler charisma when it comes to speaking and riling up a crowd, because she did just that, and got them all against me. When I wasn't around, they all went and complained about me being lazy, only doing easy tasks, and leaving more difficult tasks for others. In my defense, it's total BULLSHIT, I don't care how immature that sounds, it's bullshit. Plain and simple.

What happened between this particular woman and I goes back to this summer. To add specific detail, she is NOT my superior, she has the same title as I do, and she has been there NO LONGER than I have. She is exactly twice my age, and she is one of those leader types of people. She has a superiority complex, she thinks she is better than everyone else, and she will only do something that will benefit herself. Many times I have seen her at work picking and choosing simple tasks, because they will make her look more productive, and ignoring priorities, but I keep my mouth shut because I am NOT a tattletale and I was pretty certain that high school ended for me in 2005, and her in......like...85?? To put it simply, she's a big bully.

Ever since what happened (a simple MISSCOMMUNICATION, which she interrpreted as me doing something out of spite) she watches me like a hawk, every move I make, every second I am there. It makes me incredibly nervous.

After I was TOLD by someone else a few days later that this had happened and everyone was gossiping about me (the person that told me also believes it's bullshit), I did something about it. I went to my superior and told my story, no swearing, no dramatics, and made a crystal clear point.

Nothing has happened YET..but this is my question, to everyone out there who is older than me...

WHY are older people out there to get me? (I should also mention that I have spoken to several people my own age from my department and other departments around the factory, and this is NOT just a personal thing with me, they have also been victims of this older person bullshit).

I just want to go to work, do my job, help others out, and go home. It's a TEAM effort where I work, and I do not pick and choose to benefit myself like others do. I am sick and tired of being treated like a lazy child, when I am an adult just like them. I may be many years younger, but I am an adult, whether they like it or not, and I deserve just as much respect as any older person in there does. I have never done anything to warrant being treated like an invalid or a child. I am sick of this.

Not all teenagers and young adults are lazy and worthless. Infact, some of the most hardworking people there are in my age group, as I stated in my other post. Tell me, fellow CSers, what is it that makes them so jealous and want to get us fired? I NEED THIS JOB. I cannot live where I live or pay for anything without this job! I am very quiet and kind when I am at work, I am not rude to anyone, and I certainly don't act like I am superior; it's THEM who act superior.

I feel terrible and scared that one of them is going to get me fired and I will have nothing.

purplecat41877
10-08-2006, 07:21 AM
I work with a couple people who seem to think that being an adult means you can do whatever you want but it doesn't work like that. I hope the supervisor lectures your coworker about the importance of respect for others. It sounded like you acted like an adult when you went to your supervisor which is great.

By the way, great to see you back on the boards.:)

Gurndigarn
10-08-2006, 03:08 PM
What happened between this particular woman and I goes back to this summer. To add specific detail, she is NOT my superior, she has the same title as I do, and she has been there NO LONGER than I have. She is exactly twice my age, and she is one of those leader types of people. She has a superiority complex, she thinks she is better than everyone else, and she will only do something that will benefit herself.

<snip>

WHY are older people out there to get me? (I should also mention that I have spoken to several people my own age from my department and other departments around the factory, and this is NOT just a personal thing with me, they have also been victims of this older person bullshit).

I think you have two questions here: "why is this happening to me", and "why does this happen in general". In your case, it sounds like you just found someone with a bit of an ego, a bit of lazyness, or both. It sounds like you did the right thing. You didn't just jump off and whine to the boss at the first sign of a possible problem; you did go to the boss when it was apparent that there was a problem that wasn't going to go away on its own. You didn't yell, scream or do any of the other things that makes a boss pull his hair out over.

Now, whether or not anything will come of this is another question. Probably something will happen... but what and when may not end up being your ideal. Good luck here, we hope the best for you.

As for the "why does this happen in general", there are a bunch of reasons. Some older people think that age automatically generates respect. Which is wrong. Wisdom, experience, work ethic, and so forth generate respect. Age hopefully gives you more of all of the above... but I've met a bunch of old lazy fools in my days.

Other people feel threatened by younger, more active people, and try to intimidate them to keep up a sense of superiority. This tactic usually self-destructs as they get older, and the circle of "younger, more active" people starts to include the thirty- and forty- ages. And I suspect this one might show up in your job more, because I suspect it's a job that gets a higher percentage of older people, so younger people doing the job are a bit out of the ordinary.

Some people just have a basic bully mentality, and age is one area they can pick on. Again, it tends to get tougher for them as they get older.

Errr... this sort of grew past the "quick response" I was planning. But in short, there are lots of reasons people do the things they do, and people will often do the same things for widely different reasons.

Good luck with the problem. And if you can do so, try to save a bit of money, and don't run up unneccessary debts... just in case.

Becks
10-08-2006, 03:35 PM
Some people just have a basic bully mentality

Not only that, this woman probably has low self-esteem, and/or sees her job on the line.

Who knows?

Oh, and Blas? Nice to see ya again. Been a while.

Rubystars
10-08-2006, 06:07 PM
Sometimes it's not easy for the older people either. I've been older than most of the people I work with for every job I've had.

The first job I had was at Kroger, as a cashier, and I watched as sackers that were around 16 or 17 goofed off and would play with the shopping carts. One day I saw this one kid grab a shopping cart, and ride on it as he spun it around in a circle. He came within inches of knocking down a holiday display. I told him "You need to stop acting like that! You almost knocked down the display!" He looked at me like I was the one acting wrong and said "You're not my boss!" I was 24, he was around 16. He went to the boss and said I was being mean to him. The bosses told me that I should just let them act that way. When I told them that he almost knocked down a display, they basically said "Let him do it."

Anyway, after that most of the younger people I've worked with have been goof offs and haven't wanted to lift a finger to do much of anything, leaving most of the work to me.

It's possible that the older ladies you work with are just used to this being true of younger people and mistakenly assume you're the same way. It's not right and it's not fair to you, but hopefully this gives a little perspective on the situation.

You did the right thing by reporting the harassment.

blas
10-09-2006, 04:29 PM
I guess the real question I was trying to ask, rather than sounding so whiney in my "Why is this happening?", well, the better question is just this:

Why do all these older people expect, no, scratch that, DEMAND respect, when they insist on treating younger people like garbage? My parents always told me, "You have to give respect to earn respect." I may be quiet and timid at work (so as to not cause any scenes or get myself fired over these morons), but NONE of these older people are giving me any reason to respect them. By resorting to adolescent tactics (aka, ganging up on people, picking someone "weak" and trying to bring it out, attempting to SABOTAGE someone they gave a grudge against), these older folks are no better than the mean popular kids at every high school on this planet.

Surely these older folks remember growing up in the 50s, 60s and 70s (and a few in the early 80s). Clothes, cars, and other material stuff has changed, but times have not changed. Teenagers are all stereotyped as "lazy, incompetent, drug dependent losers". Surely these older folks remember being labeled that by those older than them when they were around my age. That has not changed.

Oh well.....I'm not going to stoop to their level. All I am going to say is someone must be extremely pathetic and hopeless if they are going to resort to torturing and harassing a 19 year old to make them feel better about themselves.

Gurndigarn
10-09-2006, 05:59 PM
Surely these older folks remember growing up in the 50s, 60s and 70s (and a few in the early 80s). Clothes, cars, and other material stuff has changed, but times have not changed. Teenagers are all stereotyped as "lazy, incompetent, drug dependent losers". Surely these older folks remember being labeled that by those older than them when they were around my age. That has not changed.

Well, there are two answers to that. First, people haven't changed. Surely you've seen some of the people who went to school with you who followed stereotypes or passed quick summary judgement, right? Well, they grow up. But they don't always change. So instead of "Never trust anyone over thirty", it becomes "Never trust anyone under thirty".

Second, yeah, they remember being young. But time has a way of changing the focus of those memories. For example, I remember being interested in hot girls in high school. But as time goes on, the thoughts of physicalilty with a high-school girl take on more of an "ewwwww!" aspect-- for me as well as them.

ArenaBoy
10-09-2006, 06:22 PM
Blas, I've been down that same road not only from older workers but from older customers as well. A few older folks usually take the high road and remember that the younger generation is going through the same crap the older generation do and realize that just because they're young doesn't mean they'll screw up. Then there are the ones who are just trying to make life miserable because they had the same treatment. Sadly enough, Gurn is right about how some people don't mature, there are guys I've dealt with who are in their 40s acting like they're 17. It proves that the world is just messed up sadly.

Luna
10-09-2006, 07:30 PM
I've had similar experiences in the workplace with older workers. They are threatened by a young, knowlegeable person. Instead of being a good human, and perhaps sharing work experiences from both sides and creating a nice team oriented enviornment - these people will do anything they can to get you out.

I think deep inside, they are just as scared of losing their jobs b/c not many companies hire older folk. Yes it's against the law to discriminate against age - but we all know that companies do what they want anyway.

Now I'm not saying what they are doing is right, of course. Perhaps going up to the woman with a couple of trusted witnesses at your back and telling her "Look . I'm here to earn a paycheck. I'm not here to steal your job or get you fired - I'm just trying to make a living. I'd appreciate if you'd have some respect, lay off and leave me be."

Heck, tape record the conversation and hold the recorder right out in front of you as you tell her this so anything she comes back with you can go to the boss with, plus your witnesses will be there.

Good luck to you.

Melxb
10-10-2006, 01:25 AM
Blas, I totally understand what you're going through. I'm in my late 20's now, but when I was in my early 20's I started working in an office that had the same sort of atmosphere that you've described at your workplace.
I was by far the youngest person working in my department at the time. Everyone there were oldtimers who were hired in the late 60's or early 70's. Not everyone practiced age discrimination (because that's exactly what was going on), but the few that resented me only because I was younger made life very difficult for me.
The leader of the pack, so to speak, was my direct supervisor. She really went out of her way to try to make me look incompetent and it always backfired on her. She was in charge of training me on new systems within our department, but after a while IT would just let me know the updates, because my supervisor could barely turn on her computer. She checked her email once a week, and she the secretary for the Big Boss in my office!
She really resented me because I was younger and I knew what I was doing. There was no love lost between us.
She was also the office's biggest gossip. If she knew anything personal about you, you'd bet your ass everyone in the office would know about it by lunchtime. It was an intolerable work situation for a while, but at the time I was in grad school and this job was really really easy and got me benefits. I could handle the snide comments knowing that I'd get medical insurance.
When she retired I planned her retirement party within the department personally. I wanted to make sure it was official and she'd never come back.
I'm sorry you have to go through this. Some people, whatever age, think that people who are young or older than them are just incompetent because of their age. They are incredibly insecure and jelous. Since those people can't do their jobs, they want the powers that be to look elsewhere besides their own productivity. I suspect that's what's going on in your case. I'll bet that if they put your work stats up next to hers, she'd be embarrassed that a youngin' who's been there much shorter time than she has is doing her work faster and better.
Keep your chin up and if the harrassment continues, and your direct supervisor does nothing about it, keep going up the chain of command until someone does something.
Take care.