Tag Archives: Age Discrimination

In A Super Negative World, Challenge Yourself to Stay Positive

10 Sep


Today’s guest post was written by Colleen Garvin. She’s really quite wonderful and her message is a great one: all this negativity….it’s killing us. So let’s try to look on the bright side. Let’s try to be optimistic, and make a difference at work. Because doing anything other than that, is kind of terrible. Enjoy!


“I’ve been here for a decade”

“We’ve tried that before”

 “Oh just wait, you’ll become jaded”

“That’s cute… how optimistic you are..”

“That’s what we did and it didn’t work so we can’t try that again”

 “That’s the future, that’s not now”

 “We don’t want to be overly ambitious”


“Push through it!”

“Don’t give in to the drama”

“Work your ass off and you will see results”

“If you don’t like something, change it!”

“If it didn’t work before, learn from the mistake and take a new approach”

 “Everything can be improved, including yourself”

Welcome to the professional world of an individual born in the late 80’s!

1988 to be exact. I am one of those people who was definitely over extended in my collegiate career and wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I graduated in 4 years exactly after being in charge of two major college groups and was immediately placed in a corporate position. I was given more projects than my pay grade simply because I wanted them; I asked for them. The worst thing you can do is bore me.

You know what I wasn’t expecting on those collegiate evenings? A slew of negativity that would come from “experienced” workers. The quotes provided are real, legitimate things coworkers have said to me in meetings, one-on-one meetings, via email and on the phone over the past 3 years. I think there needs to be the same button that you have in Taboo, when you say the “no-no” words on the topic card? Someone says something to the effect of “we tried that before” and they should get buzzed. Unless you are going to say “we tried that before, here were our barriers, here is my idea how to move past them and make this approach successful”… save it! You are not adding anything to the table except negativity. Take your negativity and get to walking.

Don’t you remember your very first day at your “grown up job”? You were excited and optimistic.

You didn’t know about the drama…you didn’t know that your coworkers would end up acting as mature as second graders.

It’s important.. correction… IMPERATIVE…to foster that newness… that bright-eyed-bushy-tailed feeling from the day you had your I.D. badge picture taken.

It’s easier said than done. The more you’re exposed to negativity, the more your optimism shield may start to disintegrate.

There’s one thing to really keep in mind: you’re allowed to have a bad day.  Unless you’re a super hero, you’re not going to save the world every single day. However, you’ll have moments of greatness that’ll get you through the other times where yes, you indeed need to spend 4 hours [insert mind numbing topic here].

Regardless of how terrible your situation, challenge yourself to stay positive.

When someone starts to complain about corporate life or about, in my world, doctors, listen… but don’t commiserate with them. Let them vent, some people (including you) need that occasionally. The tactic that works better than simply adding to the list of “things at work that piss me off,” is to listen, empathize and maybe offer some advice. That way your coworker is able to let out their frustrations as well as find some clarity.

Never let anyone tell you to not be ambitious, always be ambitious. If you fail, you learn. If you do fail, try to figure out why something failed and maybe come up with a few ideas to make it better the next time.

If not, 20 years from now you’ll be sitting in a board room and a 20 something with a fresh I.D. badge will start to say that they want to start a project and your response will be… “We tried that before.”

Then, your 20 something self will want to kick you in the ass.

So what’s the point here?

Foster the newness and continue on the road of optimism. Your optimistic, 40-something year old self will appreciate that you started practicing that a long time ago.

Colleen Garvin is a 25 year old manager, working at a Children’s Hospital in Quality Improvement. Her coworkers like to remind her that they have children her age and older! She’s learned that age discrimination is definitely something most recent-grads will face…but she’s certainly dealing with it well. Follow her on Twitter @ColGarv.

Yes, I’m Young. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

29 Feb

I almost threw my stapler at some lady’s forehead today. But then I thought about how annoying it would be to have to go down to HR and explain this,  so I didn’t. No…It was probably more because I like getting paid. $$$ =

Ok but really, this lady…

I was minding my own business at my desk and apparently a former employee of the department walked in and everyone went crazy. I don’t get what was so special about this chick. She was being very rude actually, completely ignoring me. Then someone had the sense to introduce us. She looked at me, grilled  me up and down, and then decided to bring up the age thing. Ughhh the age thing. Why do people feel the need to point it out? Gen Y is always being called out on their age and quite frankly, it’s annoying.

So she says, “Oh, how cute, I’ve been working here longer than you’ve been alive.”  

Really?!? Is that necessary?!?!

When I meet an older worker do I say, “Oh, how cute,  you’ve been using Botox longer than I’ve been alive”?

NO. I DON’T. Because it’s RUDE.  Yes, I’m young. Get over it please.

A Bit About Me, Just Your Typical Generation Y Girl

24 Jan

I learned at a very young age that life is a lot more difficult than we expect it to be, than what we are taught. For years we dread going to class and look forward to the day that we can be considered working adults. We’re taught or seem to believe that after we graduate from college everything will make sense, that things will be better. But for me, that’s not exactly what happened. Definitely not. Instead, I found myself questioning everything about my life. What I was doing. What I wanted.

So here I am today, 21 years old and lost. I don’t know a lot of things. But I do know that I like to talk, and that I like to write and I like to bitch about things that upset me (I call this being opinionated). I’ve only been in the workforce for a short time but let me just say that in that short time, I have witnessed some pretty terrible things. I’ve dealt with unethical management, poor leaders, age and gender discrimination, as well as a lovely case of sexual harassment. I’ve messed up a lot, made lots of mistakes. But I’m really thankful for them, all of them. I’ve learned a lot.

So to any HR people that read this and think that I’m just some annoying brat with lots of free time on her hands, read what I have to say before you decide that I’m clueless. Pay attention to the things that I have witnessed and the insight I have on the future of the workforce before you dismiss my thoughts due to the fact that I have not yet reached my 30th birthday. In case you haven’t noticed, there are some pretty incompetent people running even HR teams that are perhaps more than three times my age.

My wish is that this blog serves as a forum for young GenYers, many that are either working for the first time or soon to be transitioning from college to working life.  For those of you just entering the workforce, I hope you can learn something from my past experiences and that you can also help me communicate with those in leadership positions today. It’s my mission to let them know what we want and what we need from our work environment.

How do we want our futures to be? What makes us happy about going to work? What pisses us off? That’s what this is for.

I’m just a young girl trying to find my way through life, and my career is a huge part of that. I know that I’m not alone in this. So for all of you that are experiencing what-the- fuck-do-I-want-to-do-with-my-life/what-the-hell-did-I-get-myself-into moments, I hope this helps. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and welcome to Gen Y Girl.

– Kayla

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