[Baypiggies] Ageism rehashed

Patty patty at cruzio.com
Tue Feb 1 20:58:51 CET 2011

Hi Glen - This is a fascinating topic you brought up as I am in the intensive job hunt myself.  I completely empathize with your reaction to this phone interview!  I was *sure* this was illegal and I wouldn't blame you if you filed a complaint.  Surely this clouded your opportunity for a job with this company.  That is not fair - wow!

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Glen Jarvis 
  To: baypiggies at python.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 11:39 AM
  Subject: Re: [Baypiggies] Ageism rehashed


      I have had an experience today that I think you can relate to. I'm never been someone who has an issue with ageism because I am still quite young, pass for young, and am quite current with the 'trends' etc...  

      However, I don't think I've ever seen a more blatant violation of ageism today. I had a phone screening with someone who, believe it or not, came from the BayPIGgies list. They asked me blatantly "When did you finish High School." 

      My mouth fell open. I couldn't believe that such a blatant question was asked. Maybe he didn't know. I explained that I could answer that question as it would reveal my age and that, therefore, was not a question he could ask. He never backed down. In fact, he become quite confrontational that I would have an issue with this. I was *amazed.*

      First of all, there is *NOTHING* possibly related to my resume of when I finished High School. Not a single thing - no matter how he tried to justify it. He can't justify "filling in any gaps" as High School was before my five year history on my resume. I did leave IBM to finish a degree at University - that is unusual - and would show a work gap until someone reviewed it. I can easily answer that question and explain. However, he didn't seem interested -- only when I graduated High School.

      I personally have no issue with my age as I'm currently in my programming prime. But, I refused to answer out of principle -- like when someone tries to ask race when they shouldn't.

      Regardless, I'm reeling from the conversation and am thinking of any type of legal sanctions that I could ask for. I need to calm down before I take this too seriously, but I am seriously considering what can be done as it was so blatant and so unapologetic.



  On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 2:52 AM, Glen Jarvis <glen at glenjarvis.com> wrote:

        So, my experience is that those resumes are not tossed automatically.
        However, they must be related to the job in question. I found that the
        quality of the programmer does not decline with age, even well past
        retirement age -- especially if that person is proactive and stays current
        in their field.

      Let me give a specific case. There are 4 applicants for an ENTRY LEVEL Django Python Web job. None of the applicants have any experience in Python Django. Two are just graduating from TopNotchU with Computer Science degrees and two have twenty years experience as programmers in a variety of areas, but none of it with Web applications, and they have made it clear on their cover letter that they will take a pay cut if necessary to meet the salary range of the job.

      How many hiring managers will consider all four applicants equally?


    My personal experience is that they are all considered equally. If it were me, I would consider them all equally.

    I agree that ageism exists, unfortunately, and you will find cases where some people will not treat those individuals equally. That's not generally my experience, however.

    Warmest Regards,


  Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

  -- Goethe 


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