Sixty and I became invisible...

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RayinPenn
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Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:48 am

About six months ago my boss and were transferred to another manager 'Sally'. Sally is located in a nearby state. At the time of our transfer I told my boss that I'd be willing to help with any technology initiatives Sally has. (I'm a techie) Sally stopped by the office about a month or two after we joined newly formed group. She did not introduce herself or stop by - "the day got away from me" is what she said in an email. This past week I heard unofficially that she hired two technology people. It is funny because the particular area of technology she is pursuing I've had success at. It got me to pondering I've been with Sally for 6 months and have never spoken directly to her. I've never attended or know of any staff meetings.

I probably wouldn't have been interested in the job - (my boss is great)but never speaking to me when you have a staff of three including me? Yikes.

I can't help but wonder if being 60 could be the issue... We old guys aren't supposed to be technologically proficient or a perhaps they see me as a retirement time bomb?

I am a bit peeved and disappointed about the situation but wonder should I care? I dropped the old boss a note explained my concerns and asked to return to her organization when our current project is over?
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

alohabear
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby alohabear » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:33 am

Ray,
I'm not going to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, because ultimately you need to do whatever lets you sleep at night. However, as someone who has experienced gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workforce (some of it very recently), my threshold for complaint is that it has to affect my ability to advance or my ability to put food on the table before I will complain. I learned early on in my career that, when it comes to EEO complaints (or even complaining about perceived unequal treatment) the squeaky wheel does NOT get the grease. It gets labeled a troublemaker. So it damned well better be worth the pain I'm going to endure if I complain.

FWIW, I'm sorry you're experiencing this.

Tightwad
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby Tightwad » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:32 am

alohabear wrote:Ray,
I'm not going to tell you what you should or shouldn't do, because ultimately you need to do whatever lets you sleep at night. However, as someone who has experienced gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workforce (some of it very recently), my threshold for complaint is that it has to affect my ability to advance or my ability to put food on the table before I will complain. I learned early on in my career that, when it comes to EEO complaints (or even complaining about perceived unequal treatment) the squeaky wheel does NOT get the grease. It gets labeled a troublemaker. So it damned well better be worth the pain I'm going to endure if I complain.

FWIW, I'm sorry you're experiencing this.

It depends on the company. I have worked for companies that take it seriously & others that use as a reason to get rid of you. Hope it works out for you Ray.

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:48 am

I should point out in the note I dropped the big boss I didn't say anything about my age or make any accusations. Just that I was disappointed and the facts... I try to be like a sailboat..get the job done with little noise, no wake and efficiently.

AB sorry to hear about the sexual harassment and the discrimination; my sister was one of the first women to break into a male dominated field. She helped forge a better working life for many women...apparently there is more to be done.
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

alohabear
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby alohabear » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:36 pm

Sorry, Ray. I didn't mean to hijack your thread. I think your response to the big boss is a good one. That particular job may not have been interesting to you, but it would have given you a chance to showcase your tech skills and could have led to other, more interesting projects. Plus, being dismissed in general is never any fun. So I understand why you're peeved.

If you feel like sharing, let us know what the big boss' response is.

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:56 pm

She is usually very prompt like within An hour or two. Sent it yesterday end have yet to hear back...I fear she saw the potential for an age discrimination complaint and is researching what to do.

Either way my note was factual and merly essentially said help me out.

No worries it will be what it will be.
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

VinTek
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby VinTek » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:12 pm

I think visibility has a lot to do with more than just doing a good job. We're all paid to do a good job (although some are better at it than others). It has to do with the kind of the projects you've worked on, how important those projects are to the organization you work for (in a larger sense, like at a corporate level rather than a departmental level), what role you played in those projects, and how recent those projects have been.

Right now, I'm in the middle of a massive project (with a lot of smaller sub-projects embedded in it). I'm not quite as old as you, Ray, but not too far off either. I've pretty much announced my intention to retire when this project is complete mid-year next year. Right now they're dangling a good bit of money in front of me if I take on another project for them, just long enough to help get them out of the weeds. My estimate is that it would take about a year and a half, but it would also require a relocation for that amount of time. It's tempting because it's a challenge and there's a definite end to it, but what's really pushing me to take it is that it'll give me a sizable permanent bump in the pension, along with being to throw more money into the 401(k) and other investments. Then again, I had enough money to retire before all this and I still do, so do I really want to do this?

On the minus side, working on troubled projects is draining. I'm not up to that kind of thing like I was 30 years ago. I know a lot more than I did then and can be more efficient, but on something like this, brute force labor is important too. It's a lot easier to exhort a team to work 80-hour weeks if they see you working right there alongside them. So I'm on the fence about the whole thing, but I've got some months to decide.

Anyway, my whole point is that in order not to be invisible, you have to make a definite effort to be as visible as possible. Find and propose changes to streamline the way things are currently being done. Write a business case and present an ROI for the projects you propose. You and both work for massive companies. I've never seen a huge company whose processes were so optimized that they couldn't be improved. You've been there a long time, long enough to know where the skeletons are buried. Use that knowledge to make changes for the better.

In short, if you want to stay visible, don't fade into the background. Even if your direct supervisor doesn't know you exist, someone else will.

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:20 pm

Vt read your thoughts and appreciate them...

I am well regarded and thought of as being creative; my last review: "keep doing what you are going" if I were to guess I'd say she (my bosses boss) thought let the old guy do what is doing. Expediency I expect nothing more.

No one likes to be ignored but, on balance I'll walk (maybe hobble a bit) away with more than most can hope for. I've had some friends in there middle fifties downsized - one in particular who missed 1 day in 35 years. His early departure hurt his pension significantly. I wont be an angry old guy - at this point each day is a win win for me.

My plan:
My left knee is worn out - the right not far behind. The Cortisone shots I has a few weeks ago gave some temporary relief. I'll give my knees a try at this new 'lubricant' type treatment. If that doesn't work I'll replace the knee. I'll retire after I am up and around. I have taken perhaps 10 sick days in 32 years (5 days years ago because of a back injury) I paid for disability insurance that whole time. - Time to cash in. I was out in the garden doing some Pre winter clean up today - my knees tell me its time.

There is plenty to keep me busy.

RayinPenn
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

LeRainDrop
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby LeRainDrop » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:51 am

VinTek wrote:I'm not quite as old as you, Ray, but not too far off either.

I'm just going to take a moment to laugh at myself here. Having actively followed these forums for close to two years, until this post, I always envisioned VinTek as a 35-year-old prodigy. He's obviously still quite smart and accomplished, but I'm a bit relieved to find he's had a few more years to gather his wealth and wisdom!

DoingHomework
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby DoingHomework » Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:44 am

Ray, I'm curious, did you contact the new manager directly to express your ideas? Your situation sounds like a problem, but perhaps she does not realize her oversight. She may not have expected to meet with your boss's reports. As a manager with reports at a couple levels under me, I would not be offended if someone contacted me and had something to say. I know not everyone feels that way but it's hard to believe there could be any serious consequences. But that is something you'd be in a better position to determine.

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:29 am

A senior colleague said don't do it- 'the queen doesn't talk to her serfs'. I thought about it and it reminded me that a few years back Sally held a question and answer session- I had a sense that Sally loves to talk about herself. Also, I worked on a project late into the night at a god-awful location for more than a week because her team had been ineffective and it cost us millions. Frankly speaking she simply doesn't impress me as the kind of person, given the choice I would choose to work for.

I didn't ask to get transferred I was simply told it made sense. It did and I hoped it would work out. I hold no ill-will I just want to get away from Sally. I am not 'high maintenance' I just quietly try to steer the ship.

My old bosses boss is far more able, always gives a fair shake and has treated me very well. I'm too old to be the teacher I'd rather go where I was appreciated or at least was visible.
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

VinTek
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby VinTek » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:45 am

Ray,

I think you should do what you think is right for yourself. It's one thing to decide to take your foot off the throttle if your body is telling you it's time. It's an entirely different thing if management can't see the value you still have to offer and shuffles you off into a corner. I wouldn't stand for it, but you have to decide what's right for you. You're secure enough to where you don't have much to lose. Make them hear you.

I'm pretty outspoken about how I think things should be done where I work because there isn't really much they can do to me at this stage in my career. After all, what can they do, lay me off? I'm heading for the exit next year anyway! You're in the same position. You've earned respect, and you should demand it.

Whether actually you go or not is a whole different issue. If I were you, I'd listen to my knees, get'em fixed, and go enjoy the fruits of my labors. But that's your decision to make, not mine. I just think that if you go, it should be on your own terms, not because they made you feel invisible.

LeRainDrop wrote:I'm just going to take a moment to laugh at myself here. Having actively followed these forums for close to two years, until this post, I always envisioned VinTek as a 35-year-old prodigy. He's obviously still quite smart and accomplished, but I'm a bit relieved to find he's had a few more years to gather his wealth and wisdom!

Thanks for the kind words, LRD, but to be truthful, I'm practically a curmudgeon! For example, when I go out to nice restaurant these days, I have to suppress the urge to yell "Eat it! Don't Tweet it!" at the twenty-somethings in there.

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:32 am

AlohaBear,

Had a nice note from the old Boss estentially saying there is a home for me in her organization any time.. She reaffirmed my desire not to have her 'fix it'. I think she understands why I've written 'Sally' off.

RayinPenn
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

bdg
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby bdg » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:33 am

Maybe I missed something in the initial story, but was there something specific that lead you from not being asked about the opportunity to "you're over 60, you don't matter any more"? Reading through, it just seemed like there was a logical jump that was taken that I didn't follow. A lot of times, I find that people focus on what makes them different from others and assume that decisions are made because of that...

I'm not saying that you're wrong by any means Ray and there is obviously more history to this whole situation than what is lined out in this thread... just curious what lead you to that conclusion?

RayinPenn
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Re: Sixty and I became invisible...

Postby RayinPenn » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:22 pm

I have no idea what motivates Sally .. I have never experience being ignored before it was a colleague that suggested that age could be a factor. It really doesn't matter I'll be glad to move back to my old spot...
RayinPenn

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain


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