Ginny Hogan’s forthcoming book, “Toxic Femininity in the Workplace,” is due out in the fall of 2019, you can pre-order it here.
Point: I’m a 22-Year-Old Scared Of Hiring a 45-Year-Old
Ok, listen, I know ageism is a real thing. Look, I’m a 22-year-old white man, and I can’t get 24-year-old women to go out with me! They don’t even swipe right on my Tinder! That must be an age thing — how could it be anything else? There’s literally no other reason these ladies wouldn’t go out with me. Anyway, like all stereotypes, ageism is rooted in real things. I run my own startup, obviously, and when I see a resume for someone whose 45, I get a little nervous.
Well, you might wonder how I know this dude is 45. He graduated college in 2003. Oh, wait, does that actually make him 37? Wow that’s still seriously old. But let’s just assume he’s 45 like I originally thought. That means he’s over twice my age. That means in the time it’s taken me to accumulate all this knowledge that I have — and trust me, I have a lot of knowledge — he’s had the same amount of time to lose all that knowledge. I’m not saying this guy was never smart, I’m just saying, no one stays smart for 23 years. So if he was smart when he was 22, which is the peak age of intelligence, as evidenced by me, he’s lost a lot of it by now.
There are also the physical concerns. We don’t offer healthcare, obviously, but we do offer a sick ping pong table. What if this 45-year-old throws out his back playing ping-pong, though? Then he doesn’t have health insurance, and that stress will probably give him a heart attack. That’s just not something I’m willing to deal with. It would be a huge issue, for me. I can’t put that burden on him and more specifically myself, so I need to be wary when I make a hiring decision.
Also, this dude probably has kids? Um, child neglect much? Who applies to work at a startup when they have kids unless they literally hate their kids. Look, I don’t want to be the guy responsible for some crying preteen thinking her dad doesn’t love her. It’d just be socially irresponsible for me to hire this man. Yes, I know I could ask him if he has kids, but that’s illegal, ok? I’m just trying to do the right thing.
Is he qualified for the job? I don’t know — qualified is a nebulous term. What does that even mean? Seriously, though, what does qualified mean? We didn’t lay out any qualifications for this position, we just wanted someone who fit in with the vibe here.
Counterpoint: I’m a 45-year-old, and I Can’t Believe I’m Begging This 22-year-old For A Job
I don’t know how I got here. I kept my skills sharp, I did, I did everything they told me to do in school. I became an engineer because my father said it was the best way to guarantee job security down the line. And what happened? I ended up working in tech startups, and now I’m a 45-year-old man begging 22-year-olds for jobs.
The tech industry glorifies youth, and I’m tired of it. Sure, the money has been good, but it comes at the expense of constantly kissing ass to a 22-year-old. He doesn’t know anything about how the world works! He just vaguely physically resembles Mark Zuckerberg, so he got a lot of venture capital funding. I could do a much better job running a company, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve run several successful companies before. Still, this 22-year-old didn’t seem to care about that part of my work experience because it happened before the year 2008.
This really is an all-time low. Gathering references to make myself look good in front of a 22-year-old — I can’t imagine anything worse. This is more embarrassing than the time I took Lisa back even though she admitted she cheated on me. And yes, that’s Lisa the early version of the Mac, not Lisa a lady. As I mentioned, I am pretty old. But even at the age of 45, I still have no pride. At least, not enough pride to not beg this 22-year-old for a job. Well, I have to put dinner on the table somehow, because I am a responsible adult, unlike literally everyone else at this office.
I’m not even 45. I’m only 37. Everyone just calls me 45 because I’m the oldest person here by at least a decade.