The old dude stepped up to the young kid and asked him what he needed.
“My back is still messed up. Can you help me with taking the trash out?”
“Wait! I can help you; I just can’t do it myself. My back’s still hurting from what I did a few days ago.”
“No problem. I got it.”
The old dude pulls the industrial-sized, cylindrical waste container on its caster wheels towards the back of the kitchen and out into the dense, swamp-like summer air, footing it towards the dumpster.
He finally arrives to the massive waste Goliath almost as tall as he is. With an effortless lifting motion, he wields the considerable weight up, over and past the rim of the dumpster lip, ejecting the garbage can’s contents in one fluid motion. The wheels release from the plastic bucket and crash to the ground before he pulls the bucket back down and on top of the caster wheels. He fits the container snugly on the caster ring attachment and drags the empty garbage receptacle back inside to the kitchen.
“Thanks man!” says the kid.
“No problem,” says the old dude.
Old dudes are not to be underestimated. They are reliable, consistent and know that at the first instance of being unable to keep up with youngsters, they will have to endure a reference to their age; it’s sometimes heard, more often it’s not.
So old dudes trudge on, continuing to do things that even youngsters sometimes are not able to do.
Age discrimination is a subtle thing but it’s very real.
The economy has made it so there are more old dudes competing for jobs with young people—jobs they thought they’d never have to be doing in the first place. It’s a rough world out there and old dudes know it. They feel pain and have aches but know it’s best not to show them. It is ironic that young dudes who injure themselves on jobs and defer to the physical prowess of old dudes, many times do not see doctors either—even if it’s an injury that occurred on the job.
Young and old are concerned for their jobs and although not looked down upon as much as older workers, young dudes realize they could lose a job for filing a worker’s compensation claim (even if they know they are legally entitled to do so). Filing a worker’s compensation claim is often done as a last resort if at all. For better or worse, workers know filing them is not very conducive to job security.
Old dudes who have to work physical jobs don’t feel they’ve been given a rough shake. They perform as good as or better than their younger counterparts. If the old dude was someone who had a good work ethic to begin with and hasn’t been beaten down too badly by life, he is still able to bring the wood as an older dude.
Old dudes have nothing left to prove but they perform as if they do. That is where the real value of the older worker lies. They know they are being watched, waiting for just the least little bit of an indication they are no longer able to perform like their younger counterparts.
That is the ultimate motivation for older workers. They have to stave off age discrimination daily no matter the job—physical, mental or a combination of both.
The saying goes that nothing beats experience. Old dudes have buckets of experience. That experience is written all over their faces, their movements, their actions and their words. Old dudes in the workforce are a symbol of strength, value, durability and confidence.
“Hey Bob! You need some help finishing this post?”
“Nope. I got it.”