Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Ageism in the workplace

Carolyn Hax on

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I've been at my job for 14 years. We started a new, huge project so there are some new hires and new structuring. We are divided into four groups of about 10, each with a team leader, and there is one person who leads the team leaders.

This person used to be my direct boss and we had a great working relationship.

I've been on my team for about three weeks and I'm having a hard time with my team leader, who is just out of business school and is the same age as my kids. She doesn't do anything specifically insulting or difficult, I just have a really hard time taking a 25-year-old seriously at work.

I went to my old boss and asked to be switched to a different team, and he told me no. He also said there is no reason not to listen to my team leader.

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I like my actual work and my co-workers, so I want to stay here, but it's difficult for me. How do I take my team leader seriously so I can continue to work here?

-- Having a Really Hard Time

According to what you wrote, at least, there is in fact no reason not to listen to your team leader. So quit indulging these hard feelings before they cost you your job.

Imagine how you'd feel if she asked to have you transferred out because she doesn't like working with someone her mother's age.

...continued

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