Friday, July 15, 2016

Do I look uncertain?

I am 54 years old.

In less than two months the magic number will be 55.

Same as the speed limit.

Anything over that isn't safe.

Or maybe less than that.

With people being pulled over (and worse) for driving, apparently with over the safe limit of melanin if we are to go by the data, I feel like a right twat griping about this, but...

It was more than five years ago that I started to get the questions when I went on job interviews.  Once it was pretty direct, from a young man, he was maybe 30 or so, at a medical publisher:

"I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I have to ask this.  You've been around the block once or twice and I just have to know if you're going to have any problems taking direction from someone so much younger than you."

I didn't point out that his line of questioning was actually in violation of the law.  It seemed beside the point at that juncture.  I answered that I was happy to work for anyone that I believed could teach me something, and that if someone his age could advance that quickly in his career, then he could teach me a thing or two.  He seemed pleased, but not convinced with the answer.

The question has come back to me again and again over the last few years and it's really not encouraging.

Too old to work and too young to retire?  I've read about this phenomenon.

Don't get it twisted.  I can fully acknowledge that by my early 40s I'd torpedoed my career in a dozen different ways, but at the same time, I am hearing the question, posed in a variety of different ways, at 8 out of 10 interviews.  As soon as it comes up, I know the conversation is, for all intents and purposes, over.  I'm keeping a scorecard.

So what's an old guy to do?

Do I look uncertain?  Fucking hell, I guess I do.

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