Age bias

I am 73. In one of the stores I work in,there is a woman who makes comments related to my age. I work too slowly and keep her from doing her job, the store has a doorbell that needs to be rung to gain entrance before the store opens and I rang the doorbell too long; why was I so stupid not to know that one needed for safety sake to stay behind the yellow line; do I have a hearing problem and today she promised to call my company if I asked her the same question which I was asking over and over again when the fact of the matter is I only asked her that question twice in a year's time. At least twice she has talked to me as if I were a child of 3 or 4. She has also yelled at me and been very disrespectful. The company I work for wants someone to show up weekly. I am doing this job because the person who would replace me lives 3 hours away an I am close by and if I do not go she wuld be forced to go. I called my supervisor and told her what was going on. She is the person who would replace me if I leave or am fired. Another comment this woman has made is that I am too old to be working and keeping a younger person from having a job. The job that I have does not pay much but the pay is weekly which is nice. Again, I really do not care if I am reported and it might be a relief if I were fired. If I were a store employee, I could make a case for age discrimination but as a vender going into a store I cannot file a complaint. My question is has anyone else ever ran into age discrimination when working at a store and if so what if anything did you do about it. I intend to avoid this person. Eventually if she ever gets to be my age, she will probably find herself treated in the same way that she treats me.

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Ask her straight out what her problem is. You may be able to clear the air. If not, let her know that she may not abuse you and that you will have a conversation with her supervisor if she continues. You really have little to lose.
It sounds like a bad manager and I'm sure you are not the only person she treats poorly. It will catch up to her and she will eventually be gone. i would figure out her day off and visit the store on that day. I think managers who are bad at their job take it out vendors and use us as an excuse even though we are there to help.

Former mystery shopper, current merchandiser.
I would not tolerate that for a second! Neither you nor anyone else should be treated like that for any reason. If your supervisor doesn't contact the store and speak about this woman, then I would give it up.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
Oh, what a hag. That repeated behavior is UNACCEPTABLE. Please stand up for yourself and tell her that that abuse will no longer be tolerated. I would possibly, accidentally, have my phone on record the next time I made a visit.
She sounds like somebody who has some serious issues and is looking to take them out on somebody. What did your supervisor say when you reported the issue?

This is classic workplace bullying and you do not need to put up with it. YOUR job should not be at stake. The bully's job should be. I agree with the above comments that confronting the woman (professionally) is a necessary step.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Is there any way to capture what she is saying to you on audio? You could play it back to your supervisor and to hers.
If anyone records audio and they are in a two-party consent state, they could end up in a whole heap of legal trouble, In those states, recording audio without the consent of both parties is a criminal offense.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Is there any way to capture what she is saying to you on audio? You could play it back to your supervisor and to hers.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I would be careful about saying anything else to this person. They already have misrepresented your previous job-related question. Imagine what they might do if you said anything about their treatment of you? I would pursue this as much as possible with your supervisor and-- if such a thing is possible-- with an advocate for senior workers. In the United States, it is illegal to discriminate against persons aged 40 and older. You did not mention where you were when this happened, but if this happened in the US, you can pursue legal action.

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein
Yes, we know this. That's why I asked in she could in a question instead of saying, "You should".

@myst4au wrote:

If anyone records audio and they are in a two-party consent state, they could end up in a whole heap of legal trouble, In those states, recording audio without the consent of both parties is a criminal offense.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Is there any way to capture what she is saying to you on audio? You could play it back to your supervisor and to hers.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2019 09:37AM by JASFLALMT.
This may actually go into the area of criminal law. It may be Breach of the Peace; a misdeameanor, at least in the state of VA. Are there witnesses? Talk to a magistrate. Signed, Night Owl at 7:04 pm There are also No-contact orders.
Thank you for all of the replies. My supervisor suggested avoiding her. This is in a big box store that seems to want its vendors to come in, go to the product and then leave which I really try and do. The store management seems to be paranoid concerning possible theft and I have been told that if I am found in any part of the store where they feel I should not be I will be asked to leave or to quote "thrown out.." My supervisor, who lives around 3 hours from the store, is the one who would be replacing me if I should be thrown out or reported. I also know that when I was exposed to a serious illness, and therefore unable to do my job, my supervisor was asked by her supervisor to drive over 3 hours to the store on a Friday night. I went to the store the next week early. If I do run into the woman again, I am going to ask her what her problem is with me. In the past, I have discovered, that when a supervisor has a problem with a person and the problem is constant, the reasons lie in other causes than the person's performance. My last supervisor,whom I had once supervised blamed me for her personal problems and for the fact that she was not promoted for 12 years. Then, when I became a subject of my company's write them up for the purpose of termination project which I had once been a part of, I quit. My former supervisor wanted to know if I had quit because of her. Actually, I left because my physical workplace wa making me ill. Actually, if you want to be a supervisor the best way to talk to a person is to take him or her one side.
No job is worth the stress that can make you physically ill. I hope that everything works out and that she leaves you alone.
It's not your problem if you quit and your supervisor has to drive in 3 hours to cover the work. You need to get out of there if nothing is worked out between you and the person harassing you.
I would stand up to her. If you like the job and like your supervisor don't let some ass*&^ ruin it for you. Speak up !!
I feel your pain...lol. I had something similar, but probably not age related although I am 71. A manager complained about boxes (I'm a merchandiser for a card company) in his back room. I nicely explained to him what they were and why they had not been set up yet. It was in January and the boxes were special displays and back stock that were to go up a couple weeks before Valentine's Day. He called me a liar. I left the store and called my supervisor before leaving. Fortunately he supported me when I requested to not service that store any more. I have not been back and am glad I never went back.
Sorry to hear you were harrassed over age....I think 71 is young and quite able to keep working, especially in this industry. There will always be meanies out there, to cause anyone pain and try and build themselves up. Thank goodness I have never run into this and I am 82. I feel 99% of everyone is amazed at my age...she needs a shot of empathy.

Live consciously....
Sorry to hear about the manager. I am glad your supervisor supported you. I am finding that there are certain jobs I no longer do as they require lifting that I am unable to do. Also I have walked away from a couple of companies one of whom made me drive 40 miles to take a picture and the other company thought I had done something I hadn't. Other companies are available to take their place. At almost 74 I am glad that I am able to work and the exercise seems to keep my weight under control. I have gone from 165 to 129 without dieting since 2016 or so. As for the woman whom I first wrote about, I say hello to her and she ignores me which is fine. I still do not understand why some of the jobs that we are assigned are not done by the store employees. Anyone can put labels on products.
I'd guess that confronting this person isn't going to change anything. Sometimes the only thing you can do is smile, work fast and get out. Complaining to her boss will probably just get her angrier since she will then be called to the carpet "because of you". I'd suggest you let your supervisor take over the job for a while. Once your supervisor gets fed up, I'd guess she'll say something to their management and then you can take over again.
There is always one bad apple in the bunch, I'd walk away with my head head held high, she'll age and be a bitter old lady in the true sense.....age is a good thing, look at the alternative.

Live consciously....
@Monk-N-Nut wrote:

Oh, what a hag. That repeated behavior is UNACCEPTABLE. Please stand up for yourself and tell her that that abuse will no longer be tolerated. I would possibly, accidentally, have my phone on record the next time I made a visit.

Yep. The Patriot Act makes most states legal for one party consent recordings. In other words, you'd have to look it up, but one-party consent means only one person has to know the conversation is being recorded. I'd definitely record the conversations. Save them. Don't do it stupidly like I did when I was having a problem... Mark them when you save them, with date, time the statement was made, and I'd keep a list of what the statement was. Make sure it's easy to find, instead of having to go through hours of audio. Delete the ones where she doesn't say anything. You don't have to use this, but this way, if you go to her boss, or HR, and file a complaint and they say something to her, when she says, "Oh, I never said anything of that sort. They must be hard of hearing and misheard me," you have the proof RIGHT THERE.

Build your case. I'm not positive that you don't have a lawsuit. I *know* there's anti-age discrimination for employees. I can't imagine that there is not some sort of law against discrimination of contractors, or well, you might even not be considered an employee in which case you might be considered the public. And I'm fairly sure that there's laws out there or ways to address that too. If you PM me, I'll help you track down laws. I am not an attorney but I used to work as a legal secretary, so I have some experience.

You might start with talking to the ACLU or ... I'm drawing a blank at the moment,.. the people who made the ADA. I don't think they would be able to assist you directly because the last I checked age wasn't a disability, but they might very well know who to talk to.

Probably the best place to start, though, is recording her for proof, and then presenting it to your boss, who can listen to it, and then taking it up with her boss/HR if needed. One party consent states allow recordings to be used in civil matters, but not criminal. These recordings could also be used in court if it got that far.
Also wanted to add, that in "all party" consent states, and in one-party consent states, that often, the law only applies when the parties can expect that their conversation is private. If it's done on the sales floor where there are customers, or other people present, there's no expectation of privacy, but again, this would apply to each state individually. Also, you only have to notify someone that they're being recorded. You can always say something like, "Just to let you know, I'm recording this so I can play it back later and remind myself of the methods." Or, you can make a joke and say, "haha, just to let you know, I'm going to record our convos from this place forward."

Also, if it's done in an area where there is known surveillance, like on camera, that may also alter the consent that they're being recorded.

Here's a link to recording laws. Each state has it's own version, but this lists them all, I believe. [www.justia.com]

I mean, there are other tactics, as well. You could appeal to her sense of worth. Say something like, "You know, I feel like my questions frustrate you, and that my age bothers you because you don't believe that I can do something to your standards. I feel that your standards are impeccable, and that you have a dedication to making sure things are right. I could move more quickly, and I could refrain from asking a question, but I want to be sure that I do things accurately, and that I'm meeting your expectations, because I admire your dedication and precision." Doesn't really matter if it's true or not, it might turn the tables. You might get a "Oh, well, I don't really expect them to be perfect. Thank you for your efforts." And they might back off. Of course, you also risk getting a crappy reply, and risk a hit to your self-esteem or a complete opposite and nasty remark. I mean, it's sort of like putting yourself out there when you ask for a date. But it might be the easy way to resolve it. Often when someone acts that way it's because their self-esteem or self-confidence is crap. I've used the technique numerous times. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But sometimes these people just need to feel like they've got support. Also, give a random compliment, but mean it. "Hey, that color looks really good on you." Notice if they got a hair cut. "I like the different hair cut, or the style."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2020 03:02PM by naivasna.
Well, the company just fired me and many other people. For me, this has been a weekly job which paid something but not too much. However,people could make a fairly good living from this. I hope the other people who were laid off with me are ok. We were also sent links to apply for unemployment. If you are any type of independent contractor apply for unemployment. I would like to thank everyone for their imput and also to say that things were much better in the store recently.
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