back to article Google age discrimination case: Supervisor called me 'grandpa', engineer claims

Google has been hit by another age discrimination lawsuit, just two months after the search giant settled a previous case brought by over 200 people. In his complaint, Rodney Broome accuses Google of age discrimination, harassment based on age, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and non-payment of …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

    And he's still working there ?

    This whole thing sounds like a personal issue between Mendez and Broome. Mendez obviously had it out for Broome and wanted to take him down.

    As a manager, Mendez is not fit for purpose and should be fired. Either an employee is performant or he is to be trained, humiliation is not part of managerial functions.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

      If he's found guilty, absolutely. If there are corroborating statements to that effect from others who have witnessed such behaviour, absolutely.

    2. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

      one quick search > Ignacio Mendez legolabs > pops up his linkedin

      I agree with Pascal on this sounding personal, sometimes people just don't get along with each other.

      TBH. If someone tried to annoy/belittle me by calling me grandpa I'd be tempted to throw back a NSFW reference about their grandma.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

        Or ask if they need their diaper changed every 5 minutes.

      2. Chris King

        Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

        Someone referred to me in a similar vein, I could see other people in the tea room shaking their heads and face-palming as he said it.

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

        "No son, it wasn't your _grand_mother I fucked."

        1. skershaw54

          Re: "Mendez boasted of his criminal connections"

          or...

          "Maybe I did fark your grandmother. What's her name?"

  2. myhandler

    Performant? Que?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ahh...

      That's some of us screwed then... We've been working to the BOFH guide book for years after all.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Ahh...

        With the bulk discount for quicklime and earnings from running a carpet disposal business the BOFH guide costs me only time to implement.

        icon because this it the interwebs and too many people believe what they read.

        1. John 104

          Re: Ahh...

          Are you implying that the BOFH memoirs are falsified? I always thought they were just ruminations of a retired engineer. World Crushed.

          1. Rol

            Re: Ahh...

            Plausible deniability! The must have tool in any serial killers kit.

            Of course it's all fantasy.

            Seeing as the icon I want is missing, I'm left with having to describe it - a winking smiley face.

        2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Ahh...

          "too many people believe what they real"

          I rely on the troll icon so yes I am one of those people.

    2. mikeymac

      Sales guys always use that word, and it doesn't mean what they think it means. :D

      A performant is an actor. Drives me nuts!

      1. iron Silver badge

        Sorry Mikey but you're wrong. According to the OED not only is performant a word it does not mean what you think it means and its been around for roughly 200 years (as a noun).

        performant

        /pəˈfɔːmənt/

        adjective: performant

        functioning well or as expected.

        "a highly performant database which is easy to use"

        noun: performant; plural noun: performants

        a person who performs a duty or ceremony.

        Origin

        early 19th century (as noun): from perform + -ant; the adjective dates from the 1980s.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "A performant is an actor."

        A very small actor.

    3. TheProf
      Headmaster

      Performant? Que?

      "It's a perfectly cromulent word"

  3. Julz Silver badge
    Pint

    Ageism

    In my experience, IT companies as a whole have, over the years, turned into some of the most ageist institutions I have had the misfortune to experience. And it's not just ageism, the level of intolerance of anyone not fitting a narrow range of attitudes and of not embracing wholeheartedly and with reverence the latest new thing, is stunning.

    Back in the seventies and eighties, I worked in companies that had a wide range of ages, genders (yes, I mean that) and attitudes. The first to drop off where the women, who seemed to disappear during the eighties. Next to go was the tolerance of attitudes and approaches to work. Everything got very serious in the nineties and the fun went out of work. This was closely followed by having to embrace the one right language/framework/methodology (take your pick of buzzword) or you were being awkward. And lately it is age. If you are not young, impressionable and easy to manipulate, your not wanted. Somehow, especially in software, having years of experience of doing things in other ways is no longer an advantage but somehow an impediment.

    I'm sure this is not unique to the IT industry, but I think, like it does in many other ways, the IT industry tends to be at the forefront of new trends and ways of being. This doesn't bode well for companies and society as a whole.

    Going to the pub from work also disappeared at some point in the nineties which I think you would all agree, was a crying shame.

    We need more tolerance for difference and a whole lot more fun at work. Have a beer on me.

    1. baud

      Re: Ageism

      I'm not in the UK, but I feel I'm lucky to be in an office of multinational company with a wider range of ages, sex and attitudes than the average, it seems. I just hope the PHBs above us won't ruin (which they seem sometime set to do).

    2. Drew Scriver

      Re: Ageism

      One of the companies I worked at decided at some point that they had to hire "millennials". Not for their depth of knowledge, experience, maturity, or commitment, but because they were "millennials".

      The dress code was updated and we had an all-staff meeting to impress upon us the incredible wisdom of this new strategy and how we better embrace it wholeheartedly. Oh, and how much we were going to learn from them!

      Soon after, the half-shaved heads, earrings, tat sleeves, and beards started popping up left and right. Not too early, mind you, because millennials apparently work on their own time. So we moved the early meetings to times that would be more suitable to these "bright young individuals".

      We worked diligently to train them and bring them up to speed on basic IT-concepts like redundancy, resiliency, coding efficiency, multi-tier concepts, and latency.

      Long-term business strategies were abandoned in favor of "hip", "modern", and "nimble". We were a content-driven media company, but it was decided that "people don't read anymore" and the articles were cut down to just a few paragraphs that contained little to no substance.

      Not long after that we became familiar with the concept of "ghosting" when the new blood decided that 'tenure' of a year or more was "tying them down too much". They simply accepted a new job somewhere else but never told their manager, or simply sent a text message. Apparently the intensity of formally resigning was more than their delicate free spirits can handle.

      To date, the company still hasn't figured out what went wrong.

      Curiously, my current (Fortune 500) employer has banned "panel interviews" because it's just "too confrontational" for millennials and snowflakes. Never mind that they're likely to have to participate in high-sev incident calls with hundreds of people on the call - including executives.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that this is the first time in human history that mature, skilled, experienced staff have been compelled to sit at the feet of the youngsters "to learn from them" how to best to our jobs.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Ageism

        Great post. Yeah the curse of Millenials. I left one company because my new 'still wet behind the ears and straight out of public school and uni' decided that he knew best how to develop the software we'd been building for the past five years.

        As he was the MD's grandson.... dissent was not on the cards so one by one all the skilled developers left leaving him to carry the can.

        The company didn't last very long after I left. Sad really because we had a good product that was reliable and selling well.

      2. Chris King

        Re: Ageism

        "Apparently the intensity of formally resigning was more than their delicate free spirits can handle".

        You can have some fun with references in that situation...

        "Millennial Mickey started with us on <x> but we couldn't find him after <y> - thank you SO much for finding him, that's such a weight off my mind !"

      3. Erik4872

        Re: Ageism

        "To date, the company still hasn't figured out what went wrong."

        Companies of any size don't do anything their management consultants don't tell them to. The whole "give us millions of dollars and we'll turn you into Facebook" digital transformation consulting package is being peddled around to companies who are scared of startups taking their market share. It's the lazy way out just telling companies to hire only millenials because they're digital natives...people forget that digital natives may be good tech users, but tech builders? Mileage may vary.

        The company I work for bought the digital transformation package from their white shoe consultants of choice. One twist that I think is going to help them is this...we tend to be older due to hard-earned industry experience. They seem to be at least giving the older folks a chance and skilling them up rather than firing them and just hiring the first guy with an ironic beard.

        You'll get good and bad people of any age. Firing anyone who has tribal knowledge is in vogue, but let's see what happens when the 25 year old unquestioningly working 90+ hours a week wants to settle down and have a life outside of work.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Ageism

          "people forget that digital natives may be good tech users"

          Oh lord tea everywhere, I'll believe it when I see it.

      4. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: Ageism

        Not just in IT. After I took early retirement at 55½ to nurse my wife through her terminal illness, I had a nervous breakdown, followed by 2½ years of psychiatric treatment (CBT). As part of my rehabilitation, I was advised to get a job to get me out of the house and back into society. I was offered a simple little job, delivering medication from the local pharmacy to housebound patients (AKA Drug Runner). When that pharmacy chain was taken over by a foreign company, the attitude changed, and I could sense that I was no longer welcome amongst the "Bright Young Things" that were now in charge. Things came to a head when I was approaching 68 years old, and someone accused me of nicking £50 from their elderly relative when I last made a delivery to her. As it happened, I could prove that I hadn't, so the accusation was withdrawn by the original accuser, but the company still went ahead with my dismissal, as they said that they could no longer trust me, after nearly ten years of faithful service. I tried to reason with them, but they were adamant that they would not re-employ me, so I took them to a wrongful dismissal tribunal, but unfortunately, missed the 3 month deadline by 3 days (I was under the impression that the deadline was 6 months, I was wrong).

        The company has continued to impose harsher and harsher conditions on their staff, a relative of mine who works there (and who got me the job in the first place) says she can't wait to reach her retirement age and get the hell out from under.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ageism

        It’s very clear that companies ought to hang onto Gen X workers, and take steps to ensure that post-Millennials are raised with social skills and a work ethic, then start hiring them when Gen X retires.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ageism

        I'm sorry, you lost me there:

        "Soon after, the half-shaved heads, earrings, tat sleeves, and beards started popping up left and right."

        What does fashion choices have to do with "millenials"? Beards have even been the symbol of those experienced, super-knowledgeable IT types for most of my career. And earrings, FFS? You're just now discovering earrings?!

        "Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that this is the first time in human history that mature, skilled, experienced staff have been compelled to sit at the feet of the youngsters "to learn from them" how to best to our jobs."

        This sentence alone shows that you've not even lived through the 60s/70s. Or actually, any other technological transition. What do you think happened when young motorcar drivers replaces those old farts with their horsecarts?

        Complaining like that about people who happen to be younger and more employable than you (since they can change job so easily), you really sound like a snowflake. A jealous, bitter one, at that.

      7. Imhotep Silver badge

        Re: Ageism

        "we became familiar with the concept of "ghosting"

        We've become familiar with this too, but on the hiring side. You interview, extend an offer for the position this bright young thing was just so excited about, and then - crickets. No response, ever. Emails and phone calls go unanswered. Their recruiter says they've dropped off the face of the earth.

        Once, and I chalk it up as being odd. Twice, and you wonder what the heck is going on.

        1. Grooke

          Re: Ageism

          I suppose this started shortly after companies decided they no longer had to inform candidates when they didn't get the job.

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Ageism

      Friend of mine in his 50s had an interview with a tech firm in Palo Alto. When the receptionist realized he was there to interview, she said "Hm, we don't see a lot of grayheads around here."

      He didn't get the job, of course.

      1. sed gawk

        Re: Ageism

        I was running technical interviews for SW engineering candidates a few years back.

        Interviewing 3-5 people a day 5 days a week for nearly three months.

        This guy, flew through the screen, so much so, I stopped wasting his time with the questions.

        Invite him in for the f2f. Upon meeting him, he's an older gent, mid 50s to early 60's.

        He is as good in person as on the phone, I thank him for his time.

        I tell the boss, "Hire him, *today*. He won't be available for long".

        Boss wastes a week "concerns about his age", finally condescending to offer the best candidate by a country mile. Who predictably is now working for someone less short sighted.

        Idiots.

      2. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Ageism

        It astonishes me how people dismiss others of a certain age and above. If the person has the skills you need, EMPLOY THEM. For God's sake!

        1. sed gawk

          Re: Ageism

          This guy, was so far in front of the pack it was educational speaking to him.

          Thoughtful pragmatic answers. Clean code samples.

          It's a travesty when you let that talent walk out of the door, I must admit it really soured me on the company.

      3. PM from Hell

        Re: Ageism

        |I had s similar experience after being headhunted by the services director of a consultancy company.

        Having had several telephone calls with him I was invited down to London for an interview with the board.

        It turned out on the day that there was a meeting with a 'HR Specialist' prior to the interview. I had a conversation with someone who seemed to know nothing about the industry, had no common cultural touch points but was obsessed with web and social media initiatives (I was being recruited as a senior large systems integration consultant). I never got to the interview as the HR Flak decided I didn't have the required 'spark' to fit in with the company culture.

    4. Zonker Zoggs

      Re: Ageism

      Yikes. Its like all the stereotypes are true.

      In my experience, likewise. Very cavalier about time keeping, communication and other professional courtesies.

      Walking around like they rent the place.

    5. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: Ageism

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jun/06/tech-bros-ceo-hollywood-supervillains

      I am honesty scared idiots at the tech industry are taking villains from movies as role models.

      1. I3N
        Angel

        Globex Corporation

        Yeah, but working for Hank Scorpio looked to be cool ... even though it was only the Denver Broncos ....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ageism

        > ... the tech industry are taking villains from movies as role models.

        Yeah. I've been looking around for inactive volcanic islands to purchase, for building my get away / lair, but they all seem taken already. :(

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Ageism

          Want an Island? Last I heard, Red Rock was still for sale. Look for it a couple hundred yards south of the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, about 10 kilometers north-east of the rather exclusive Tiberon. I have absolutely no idea why none of the rich buggers from SillyConValley have purchased it as an exclusive retreat, gawd/ess knows they have the loot to work around it's issues ...

          http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=37.929237&lon=-122.431040&z=11&m=w

          https://www.google.com/maps/@37.93097,-122.4274993,15z

          Just 40ish miles SouthEast across the water to what's left of Palo Alto Harbo(u)r, can do that in under half an hour in a fast boat.

          No, I'm not joking, and no, I don't have a stake in it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ageism

            Thanks. Unfortunately that's in the US. Not a jurisdiction safe to set foot in.

            1. Imhotep Silver badge

              Re: Ageism

              "Thanks. Unfortunately that's in the US. Not a jurisdiction safe to set foot in."

              Our crime is driving out the criminals. All part of our cunning plan.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ageism

                In my case, I work with encryption on popular OSS projects.

                Don't really want to be "encouraged" to backdoor things for our users, thus no visiting the US (among others).

                > Our crime is driving out the criminals.

                Sure, feel free to redefine "criminals" to be anyone who won't play ball with an authoritarian regime. Won't be the first time. ;)

    6. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: Ageism

      with reverence the latest new thing, is stunning.

      Yes, the whole 'ooh shiny!', 'I can cobble two lines of Java together, so I can design infrastructure too' Devops movement.

      That's why IT is starting to suck and why we have things like Systemd.

    7. I3N
      Childcatcher

      Notice what's missing ....

      Once they cleared the forest of the old growth, they could get away with this ...

      "Raytheon is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status"

      1. I3N
        Angel

        Re: Notice what's missing ....

        Does Raytheon read The Register, noticed today that age has been stuck in between race and color ...

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ageism

      'And lately it is age. If you are not young, impressionable and easy to manipulate, your not wanted.'

      Some people just think being 'the boss' means that everyone should agree with them or they are out the door. Seems to be the reason for the probationary period in my neck of the woods.

    9. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Ageism

      If this person's supervisor was harassing him about age, gender or physical capabilities then this should have been escalated to HR. Companies in California have innumerable ways of getting rid of people they don't want without crossing any legal boundaries. I've witnessed this earlier this year with a colleague -- old(ish), slow(ish) and out the door with little or no notice, no Golden Handshake and, surprisingly, no Mother Of All Age Discrimination Lawsuit. I guess someone had done their legal homework.

      There is a popular myth that older people don't 'do' computers. Its true that we don't tend to be enthusiasts, waiting with baited breath for the latest iPhone release or Windows update, but there's a good reason for that. A lot of modern software is, not to put too fine a point on it, crap. Its all bells, whistles, bulk and bugs. Since my generation is the one that pretty much developed the technologies that are used so freely we often understand only too well what's going on and why. We probably have quite a lot we can contribute but its tedious working in an environment populated by superbeings that know everything, find everything really simple, are full of wonderful ideas but somehow despite all this seem to take ages to ship any product (and what does get shipped is always shy of many of the promised features ... but just wait for the next release, its going to be fantastic).

      (...and why does IT seem to have this problem really badly? Its really easy to BS when you don't have the Laws of Physics breathing down your neck. Programmers don't acknowledge constraints, both personal and physical. Engineers have to work with them all the time.)

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ageism

      I've observed much of this. It's true that there were more women around when I started in 1980 and I have seen the fads come and go. In the last twenty years or so, I have worked on the continent, with people from different parts of Europe. In Germany, the sexism, ageism, politics and slavish following of IT fashion was worse than in the UK. With an intra-governmental organisation in France, I have found the atmosphere more relaxed and without ageism or sexism in evidence. It may be partly due to the manner in which such public sector organisations are required to hire staff and procure goods or services (including contractors) but the local management attitudes clearly play a significant part in shaping the working culture/environment.

    11. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Ageism

      "We need more tolerance for difference and a whole lot more fun at work."

      I was doing some work in a council office today. Open plan area, and a discussion was happening over at one of the group desks. This was part of the IT help desk service. A bunch of crusty old wrinklys 5 minutes from retirement, male and female, discussing some of the finer points of Active Directory and why some particular user was having problems logging in.

      Another company I deal with, their field engineers seem to have an average age in the high 40's, early 50's.

      The problem is widespread, but apparently not universal. Councils and government departments are usually well on top of any possible discrimination and people working there do tend to stick around a lot longer then in the commercial world, so that might be skewing the stats too.

    12. Trapper John

      Re: Ageism

      This is where we learn that "diversity" does include a 250 lb. male identifying as a ballerina, and who should be a part of the workplace, but a sixty- or seventy-something white male can go pound the pavement.

  4. baud
    Mushroom

    The Reg has asked Google for comment and will update when we hear back.

    When hell freeze over, you mean, considering how often Google deign to answer.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This nothing new, other companies done that in the last 20 years or more.

    I have seen this before but in car garages and so on. That google actually hired a person like that to supervised is beyond me. That kind of attitude does not belong in a company like Google. A Bratty-Punk-Bully with delusions of grandeur. Someone that is so scare to grow old that don't want to have elders around him. Why is this kind of person working at Googles? I guess that the working atmosphere have changed this much through the years. I guess Google has sunk this low. Oh, maybe Google put that particular character there to make sure the elder gentleman quit. I have also seen other companies do that to get older workers to quit. If the suggestion come from the top to terrorize this worker then Google should pay through the nose.

    1. Fatman
      Unhappy

      Re: This nothing new, other companies done that in the last 20 years or more.

      <quote>Oh, maybe Google put that particular character there to make sure the elder gentleman quit. I have also seen other companies do that to get older workers to quit.</quote>

      I have seen that tactic used to drive slackers and fuckoffs out of a company. I believe it is called "light a fire under their ass", and see how fast they jump. It may be a lesser than optimal implementation of the "Resigned for personal reasons" method of cleaning house, but it is effective.

      1. Tom Paine

        Re: This nothing new, other companies done that in the last 20 years or more.

        slackers and fuckoffs

        ...or anyone else that a particular PHB or rockstar bro takes a dislike to, whatever the grounds may be. Which is why we have laws about constructive dismissal, discrimination and so on.

        Having recently turned 50 I'm painfully aware that I'm very, very old to be in IT but not management -- to the extent that I've started teaching myself some basic carpentry and DiY skillz in the hopes of having some sort of income when the inevitable happens and I stop getting invited to interview for a new job. (Current place is a hellmouth, I'm only hanging on because it's in the City, Brexit's frozen the jobs market, and I've been here long enough to get paltry but non-zero payoff if they want to make me redundant when the business ups and moves to Paris.)

        1. Rol

          Re: This nothing new, other companies done that in the last 20 years or more.

          When they finally get around to inviting you to your last meeting, don't forget to take your clown with you.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49708570

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This nothing new, other companies done that in the last 20 years or more.

          Having recently turned 50 I'm painfully aware that I'm very, very old to be in IT but not management -- to the extent that I've started teaching myself some basic carpentry and DiY skillz in the hopes of having some sort of income when the inevitable happens and I stop getting invited to interview for a new job. (Current place is a hellmouth, I'm only hanging on because it's in the City, Brexit's frozen the jobs market, and I've been here long enough to get paltry but non-zero payoff if they want to make me redundant when the business ups and moves to Paris.)

          Been there, done that, got the T-shirt .... and I'm not 50 (yet)

          I've parlayed my knowledge of electronics and love of all things noisy into a nice little business building synthesisers. I still keep my hand in doing some development work for an old colleague and friend who I actually trust (and, better, trusts _me_) and I'm doing pretty well for myself so far.

          Having gone through a year of unemployment and the inevitable round of interiews, broken promises and bullshit excuses for not getting the job despite having all the experience and then some I've decided that the recruitment companies and their ilk can go fuck themselves - I'm finally in a position where I can work on my terms, not those of some complete asshat in middle management.

          And y'know what? Not only am I much better off financially (obviously YMMV a lot with this) but I'm a lot happier as well. SWMBO went through a similar palaver, although her field is museums rather than IT, and I'm trying to get her to put her crafting skills to a similar use. If you've got a skill, why not try and make some money with it?

          My only regret is that I didn't do this 20 years ago ...

        3. DiViDeD

          Re: very old to be in IT but not management

          Well, at 63 I'm way past your 'Very, very old' stage, and have just started a new contract, which takes me up to Feb 2020, just in time for our upcoming "we're off to Europe and we'll be back when the money runs out" 9-12 month sabbatical. I'm not aware of losing a contract through age (but then, 'not a good fit' or 'not exactly what we were looking for' could mean 'too old, grandad'), and I fully expect to jump right back on the horse after the trip.

          That said, in the past 5-10 years, almost every manager I've worked under or with has been way younger than me - often half my age or less.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: very old to be in IT but not management

            but then, 'not a good fit' or 'not exactly what we were looking for' could mean 'too old, grandad'

            Or 'too expensive' (you want experience? Well that don't come cheap ...)

            Or 'you're more experienced than any of us and that scares us shitless'.

            "Not a good fit" I can understand - it's something I get a lot because I have this annoying tendency to think for myself, but the "not exactly what we're looking for" always makes me laugh - if you put a list of $TECH_DU_JOUR on your job requirements then that's never going to happen, particularly if you're asking for x years of experience in a technology that has been around for y years (where x << y - yes, I've had this and yes, it makes your hiring manager look like a complete idiot)

            Finally, even if they can't deduce my age from my experience (finished my first degree in 1992, PhD in 1996 - work it out) it's always fun telling the slave traders that I'm quite happy doing what I'm doing, thank you so very much. They seem to have a hard time with this.

            I can't really call myself a 'greyhair' 'cos to do that I'd need, y'know, actual hair.

            Ditto for 'greybeard' - having more hair on my chin than the top of my head is just plain embarrassing ;-)

            I really should compile all the bullshit excuses I've had into a book - never mind a sabbatical, I could probably afford to retire on the proceeds.

  6. HmYiss

    Soon google will reach it's final form..

    ..and only those with blonde hair, blue eyes and all the correct aspects will be tolerated.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Soon google will reach it's final form..

      and only those with dyed hair, mismatched color contacts and all the body ink and piercings will be tolerated.

      FTFY.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an "elderly" chap in technology, I am finding that the PHB's and PHC's (pointy hair is both a boss and customer issue) that control a lot of the purchasing decisions are also getting, shall we say, rather elderly. And it is thankfully understood in this company that while an intelligent sales person can also learn enough tech to be able to interface with the clients (while calling on the geek squad for those really techie questions), it is very hard to find young technical people who are also good at the human/human communication interface. they'd much rather hide in the background. Perhaps that is why HAL, et AL, is losing market share. When it comes to 20-30 somethings vs the 60+ somethings that actually control the dosh, the 60+ have all the control.

    Having said this, I have had little success in finding work outside where I am at now due to the fact that the attitude of most hiring departments and managers that don't deal directly with their customers seem to consider maintaining customers something like the music industry or physics researchers - if you haven't made a name for yourself by the time you are 25, you are never going to be successful.

  8. Stevie

    Bah!

    An industry-wide phenomenon that is embedded in almost all the young people I come into contact with in my enterprise. If there is a problem they automatically assume the old bloke can't possibly understand the higher principles involved in , say, volume management or database index trades-off. Presumably they believe the fundamental laws of physics changed in 1995, or worse still are under the impression that computers are difficult to understand.

    Bless them.

    1. sed gawk

      Re: Bah!

      The demonstration, that you understand, what is happening behind the scenes, and treat that knowledge as table stakes, strikes fear into the ignorant. Knowledge is optional. Discouraged as legacy thinking, compounded by lack of respect for evidence.

      Disagreements no longer result in exchanges of code to run, demonstrating ones idea, and allowing for correction. Instead, one opines, from a position of sheer ignorance.

      Today, you hire a pro[1], to read your AWS bill, otherwise the kids bankrupt you. (k8s) cough.

      [1] https://twitter.com/QuinnyPig/status/1173367909369802752

  9. Johnny Canuck

    "calling him "grandpa","

    Umm...at 72 he probably is a "grandpa". I'm 10 years younger and have been a grandpa for 15 years now.

    1. eldakka Silver badge
      WTF?

      He may be 'a' grandpa, but he isn't his grandpa.

      Do you call all your colleagues you work with who have children mum or dad?

      Calling someone who isn't your grandpa or who isn't a good friend where it might be an in-joke or part of friendly banter, 'grandpa', is an intentional insult.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Is it an insult if it doesn't hit the target?

        Is it an insult if he is, in fact, a grandpa? I certainly don't take it as such. In fact, it rather deflates the whippersnappers when I push my bifocals down my nose, stare at them and growl "Yes, I AM a Grandfather. Want to make something of it?" I've had a couple of the little brats physically run away from me after that line. One called security. The cameras were consulted. A laugh was had by all (except the brat, who was fired).

  10. __god__

    If he is 72 now and started in 2007 he must have been 60 years old or so when he was hired.

    While not condoning the actions of his supervisor who sounds like a right dickhead, hiring somebody into a technical role at 60 hardly smacks of institutionalized age discrimination..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      He's not accusing Google of institutional ageism. He's saying he was abused because of his age by his supervisor, a Google employee and despite HR warning the supervisor, it didn't get any better. HR, or the supervisors boss should have taken further action, but they apparently didn't.

  11. joeW

    In this thread - lots of old people simultaneously decrying ageist attitudes while making derogatory blanket statements about their younger colleagues.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Yeah, I'm older and I have made whippersnapper cracks.

      I tend to lump the youngsters who fit the mold "millennials" into one group and the others who have a work ethic and thick skin into another. I am fortunate enough to know several late teens to early 30s "kids" who are completely the opposite of "millennial".

      :shrug: I guess we are all human. Some of us are bigger knobs than others, no matter the age.

      1. joeW

        Ah, I see. I do something similar, I classify old folks into "those who use Millennial correctly, to describe someone born between 1982 and 1999",and "those who use it as a blanket term for young people they don't like".

        Incidentally, some of the people at the upper age range of Millennial would have kids of their own in Uni at this stage.

    2. DiViDeD

      ..old people simultaneously decrying ageist attitudes while making derogatory blanket statements about their younger colleagues

      And yet you say that as if it's a bad thing!

  12. dliebster73

    I had the pleasure of interviewing as a 50 year old in Los Angeles last year. Phone interviews and tech screenings would go great, once they saw my grey hair in person for the on site interview, ghosting was the norm. I dyed my hair brown and landed a job the very next interview. Apparently a small investment in dye can reap dividends :)

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Errrm, if a company can't guess at least your approximate age from your resume's educational and work history sections (spent 4 years at university, worked here for 5 years, there for 3, there for 10...), and have to rely on visual queues, I'd question the competence of the organisation...

      (of course, if they cared about your age over your relevant experience, education and proven skillset, I'd also question their competence).

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        I'd question the competence of the organisation...

        Unfortunately people still need to pay their rent.

        Another reason I am heavily in favour of UBI, it means you no longer have to work for incompetent idiots to keep a roof over your head. It'll raise the overall competency, while the incompetent idiots will no longer be able to rely on competent hires to keep their castle afloat.

      2. TimTheEngineer

        When you find yourself involuntarily launched into the market a few months after your 60th birthday in what could best be described as a "grey hair short back and sides" and start learning the whole new world of what a CV is supposed to look like, with your personal branding (WTF ?) etc. etc., and the strong advice from the "professional resume writer" that you "dispose of a few decades worth of experience" ... they're all insane, if you ask me. You end up dreaming of having a rational conversation about a solid piece of work with a functional manager with opposable thumbs.

        Oh, did I say that out loud.

        (FWIW it took eight months to find something)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had the pleasure of dabbling in the shark infested pool named "need a new job" a couple or 3 years ago. No interviews at all untill I ommited my pre 1992 experience.

    Interviews suddenly became "chats" when I presented my self and they noticed my grey hair.

    Funny old thing that. No new job offers either.

  14. jake Silver badge

    Daft thing is that being called a grandpa ISN'T an insult!

    Just ask one!

    Here, let me show you some pictures of the little one(s) ... :-)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Daft thing is that being called a grandpa ISN'T an insult!

      It depends on how the comment is made. It's quite easy to say an innocuous word with all the force and dripping sarcasm to make it sound like the recipient is just a turd on the sole of your boot. Bullies in particular seem to be very good at that so when it comes to a complaint, well "I was only joking", "how is Grandpa an insult?" etc. so a verbal or written transcript can male it seem like the victim is complaining over nothing.

  15. Neal L

    I had the misfortune of working at a place where my boss was a racist and an ageist. It was horrible. He had someone come in for an interview but because he was in his late 50s he was deemed too old to hire. Of course, some other excuse was probably used not to hire him but that's what I heard him say. So glad I'm not there anymore.

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