Aug 27, 201512:04 PMThe Gray Area
with Donna Gray
How old is too old?
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This past weekend, I shopped in a big-box store. The salesperson who helped me was a friend from my past. Since this person was a former professional in the business world, I asked about the transition to working in a retail environment and was surprised and disappointed to hear about how this person was “downsized” out of a very important and responsible position, especially when told that the replacement in this position was younger and less experienced.
I’ve noticed that, especially during holiday time, older, “wiser” folks are working in these kinds of retail positions. They’re genuinely focusing on making customers happy. They’re not there to be just a “warm body” at the register. They actually seem glad to be able to help customers find what they want and need.
Since the discussion with my friend, I’ve been wondering about the older/wiser folks who have performed well but are being phased out of positions to make way for younger workers, who may be just as qualified but start their work journey at a lesser rate of pay.
Jacquelyn James, in a blog for HuffingtonPost.com, dispels the myth “that senior citizens are just too old for the workplace.” She says, “Older workers aren’t risks or burdens to organizations. They are, in fact, a benefit.” She reports that, “Numerous studies have shown that older workers are the most satisfied with their jobs and the most engaged of all age groups, which any manager can tell you leads to higher levels of presenteeism and productivity.”