[Baypiggies] Ageism rehashed

jim jim at systemateka.com
Tue Feb 1 21:26:26 CET 2011

    some (long) time ago i was a hiring manager and not 
much experienced. i occasionally got feedback (and not 
kindly) as to my intrusive, illegal questions. i believe 
the criticisms were right, though they did not address 
my motives: to find out about the person, i.e. 
    it's a difficult problem: something like 30% of new 
hires turn out badly (for a variety of reasons, but one 
big one is mismatch to the job tasks). 
    it sounds like you might have encountered someone 
who was trying to apply a formula (such as "we don' 
want no old people") rather than discover how to match 
you to their tasks. 
    none-the-less i write this to suggest taking it easy, 
don't get worked up, even if this was blatant 
discrimination you should consider the possible 
backfiring effects of expressing indignity ("do you know, 
that glen guy never even went to high school" or worse). 

On Tue, 2011-02-01 at 11:39 -0800, Glen Jarvis wrote:
> Roderick,
>     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.
> Cheers,
> Glen
> 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?
>                 Rob
>         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,
>         Glen
> -- 
> Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which
> matter least.
> -- Goethe 
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