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4 May 2010

This morning I participated in a training session for a new program we’re trying out at work.  I was with one of my supervisors and two training/sales associates representing the product.

The training went smoothly, though I did notice that the representatives, one in particular, commented a few times about how “quick” I was.  My typing, my ability to grasp the not-complicated-at-all mechanics of using the new program, my ability to carry on a conversation about the product.

I thought it was flattering at first and a bit like these people were very easy to impress.  Then it became a bit grating, a bit condescending, like… why would you expect less?

And then it was clear.  At the end of the meeting, the chattier representative turned to me and asked, “So, are you permanent? Or are you interning?”  Ahhh.  So I laughed a bit, smiled, and said, “No, I’m permanent.”  To which he replied with an enthusiastic, ‘Oh!  Good for you!”

I’ve been told by my mom’s friends that I look quite young, and at my sister’s boyfriend’s a few months ago his grandfather’s girlfriend asked if I would be graduating from high school this year.

I can’t explain it, but the assumptions about my age and what those assumptions mean to the people assuming about what I can accomplish really irk me.  Like, really.

Why did that guy today not think that I was a PhD?  I could have one in two more years if I’d stayed in school and completed it at an average pace.  Or why didn’t he think that I oversee my whole department?

Or maybe it has to do with the way I was introduced, as Support Staff in the Admin portion of the office?  Does he assume that because I do an administrative job that I must not be smart enough to do another?

Either way, it’s crap.  Here’s to recognizing that you must look past someone’s {apparent} age and familiarize yourself with her abilities on a more substantial level.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 May 2010 11:28 am

    Boy, do I hear you! I have exactly the same problem which has resulted in many mistakes by other people and one never to be forgotten argument with a letting agency because I refused to give my parents as guarantors on a lease. It was only when I mentioned I’d lived abroad for 2 years and was 27 that they changed their minds, they thought I was barely 21! 7 years later and nothing much changes, I can still pass for mid-twenties and I hate it, absolutely hate it. No one takes you seriously when they think you’re young!

  2. 4 May 2010 6:05 pm

    Oh goodness…. I just don’t know what to say…. what is wrong with people?

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