I dedicate this to all people everywhere who feel younger than what their birth certificate says. Live Beyond! It’s just a number!
I was walking down Mission Street to the Post Office. On the sidewalk, two 20-somethings, dressed for business, were standing beside a table, asking people if they would be interested in a new carpool service. I always like to take the opportunity to investigate as it could lead to a freebie or a chance to photographed and put on their marketing materials, so I caught the young woman’s eye with a look that communicated, “Yes, I may be interested!’. She took a solid look at me, and quickly averted her eyes to someone more palatable. Did I have leftover egg yolk on my chin? Did I forget to brush my hair? Flummoxed, I walked on. On the way back, I saw them still stopping people to tell them about the new service. This time I aimed my sights on the nice, young man. Surely he would be won over by my winsome smile and ask my thoughts. But as I approached, he looked right past me! I know it was not my hair (or teeth for that matter because I mirror-checked for any breakfast leftovers at the post office). Then it hit me. There was definitely something wrong with me…I was too OLD! I was a victim of Ageism! I did not fit the demographic they were looking for to ride in their wanky little carpool. I wanted to get in that punk kid’s face, take him by the scruff of the neck and say, “Hey, I can carpool too! In fact I have 20 YEARS of car pool experience under my belt!” And then slap him upside the head! But I didn’t want to cause a scene. That wasn’t the media attention I was looking for.
I thought about this discrimination all day. San Francisco is the City of the Young. Silicon Valley has moved its way into these city high rises and are filling them to the brim with 20 and 30 year olds, making the old all but invisible. The lines at lunch are qued up with those my own kid’s age. At my church in the City there are 1,884 young adults and 13 of us who are empty nesters. This is the Culture of Youth.
Even though I’m older, I don’t feel old. But, I thought, if I were to apply for a job in one of these lofts or gleaming towers, would they even give my resume a first look? Just because of my birth year, I bet I would not even be considered.
Well I’m here to rise up against that! I think I could work for any of these companies! I think an older worker can be just as good if not better worker than a 24-year-old-recently-out-of-college upstart! And I have research to back me up! AARP, US News and Business Insider agree that hiring an older worker can be beneficial. All good stuff! But I went a little further and have come up with my own reasons to hire an aging employee.
So here are my top 10 Reasons why hiring an older adult (me) would be advantageous to your company (Yes, I’m thinking of you Drew Houston, Ben Silberman and Kevin System!) I won’t be the one to code for you or run the numbers, but I’d make a heck of an EA! (Yes, I can Acronymn-ize with the best of them…LOL, BRB, ROFL, FTUW, YMCA—need I go on??!)
Top Ten Reasons I’d be a Great Executive Assistant:
1. I can negotiate. I bought a house that wasn’t for sale. I nabbed a reservation for 4 at Kokkari Saturday night,…the Night Before I wanted it! Unheard of! And, I got a store to use a coupon, PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE! Bam!
2. I won’t be PMS’ing around the office. Your chocolate will be safe. (Besides I bring my own stash of chocolate. And I share.)
3. I won’t be menopausing either. So you won’t have to crank up the air con. Dollars saved!
4. I will remind you pick up your laundry, eat your greens and get more sleep. And you’ll be better for it.
5. I’ve changed a poopy diaper, fed a crying kid peas and corrected spelling homework all while at the same time packing healthy lunch boxes, emptying the dishwasher and ordering balloons for next weeks birthday party. Let’s see a 24 year old do that!
6. Even though I was around when we had to walk to the TV and turn a knob to change channels, make phone calls using a phone with a rotary dial that was attached to a wall, and use carbon paper if we wanted a copy of the letter we were typing…on a typewriter, I’ve kept up with the computer age. I’m technically savvy. I, Snapchat, FB, Tweet, Stumble, Digg it, and Pin It. I catch up on the news on reddit, the Skimm and BuzzFeed. I’ve Kickstarted a few campaigns and all my Email Campaigns are through Constant Contact. YouTube Red streams all my music favs. An i-watch is on my Christmas list. I blog and vlog and I have more followers on Instagram than your current EA!
7. I will not need a maternity leave. I won’t get pregnant; those tubes have been tied!
8. I have no need to climb the corporate ladder. I really just want a cool place to work. I’ll be loyal. I have no need to grow my carreer so I won’t be easily wooed by those head hunters offering me a better job with a better salary. (And really? Who’s going to be offering that to me anyway?!? This old worker is safe with you!)
9. I’ll let you take advantage of my Senior Discount. I can get deals on hotels and travel. You just have to take me with you! And the restaurant discounts are amazing. I can take the whole office to Chile’s on Senior Tuesdays! We can Uber there!
10. I’ve got a mean serve in ping pong.
So would you hire a person of my age and maturity? I think the answer is clear!
And besides, while I won’t be PMS’ing, I may be in early stages of dementia, so if you have to fire me because I just didn’t work out, I’ll probably not remember I even had the job! A win win!