Back to School Offer

Get 20% of Your First Order amount back in Reward Credits!

Get 20% of Your First Orderback in Rewards

All papers examples
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)
HIRE A WRITER!
Paper Types
Disciplines
Get a Free E-Book! ($50 Value)

A Life Summary, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1070

Essay

Abstract

For the purposes of this study, I interviewed a gentleman named James. Sixty-three years of age, James is employed as a server in a popular restaurant, a career he has held his entire working life. In the course of the interview James revealed, often unintentionally, aspects to me of how his current age affects his self-perception. Moreover, there were valuable insights on the changing perceptions of older people in general, particularly in regard to dichotomies within these perceptions, and as both witnessed and exercised by James himself.

The Subject

Sixty-three years of age, James is an affable, seemingly easy-going man. His physical condition is generally better than that of his peers, due to decades of the physical demands of working as a server. This has presented issues of its own and James does suffer from minor ailments brought on by these exertions, but he is otherwise in excellent condition.

He is in the tenth year of his second marriage, the first having been ended in his youth after only three years. James and his wife own two homes and are in the process of arranging a full retirement for him within the next five years. They plan on traveling, taking life easy, and visiting with his wife’s children from her first marriage, to whom James has grown very close.

In broad terms, he is a contented, occasionally irascible man of good humor and substantial levels of energy. Occasionally in our conversation, facets of all of this were substantially exposed, particularly in regard to his concerns about his age and his ability to keep working as his plan demands.

First Stage

We began by discussing that very concern. I inquired if James had confronted any difficulty in continuing his work as a server over the years, and he immediately responded by bemoaning, albeit in a mild way, how only young people are hired these days. It was evident that he felt comfortable enough to do this because he was secure in his job, yet the underlying feeling was a degree of fear; he indicated that, should he lose his current position, the times are such that a man of his age would have great difficulty in finding the same work elsewhere. James voiced a firm conviction that, cliché or otherwise, younger people are getting all the jobs but have no appreciable work ethic to bring to them, nor training or experience.

James’ views are, not surprisingly, echoed in modern hiring practices. Simply put, “The evidence presents a picture of age discrimination against older people in labor markets” (Eberts, Hobbie, 2008, p.56). Equally to be expected is that the field of his work would be particularly discriminatory; popular restaurants are notorious for hiring young and attractive servers, and those of James’ generation have learned that “job-hunting” in the industry is a very risky business for the older server. As James made clear, it would be folly for him to not try to hold onto his position as long as he could.

Second Stage

Wanting to pursue this somewhat, I asked James what he believed his customers’ feeling were in this regard. He was thoughtful and candid. He said that he wanted to say that those he attended to were unconcerned with his age and, moreover, appreciative of the better service he could provide, yet he also knew that these same guests would often prefer a younger and more attractive presence. In reflecting on his attitudes about this, James was baffled, for he admitted that he was unable to merely blame those with the power to hire. He understood, he said, that they were simply catering to the public preferences.

Moving away from his job, I asked James about any obstacles he faced as a sixty-three year-old man due to his age. At this, he was genuinely confused. He could think of no occasion in which his age caused problems, with the exception of minor, age-related aches now and then.

I narrowed my question to social arenas: did he feel in any way that he was viewed differently or disparagingly? To this James revealed an impressive level of thoughtfulness. First, he replied that people of any age tend to socialize with their peers, so bias is not an issue. Then, he reminded me that his work always kept him involved with young people and, as his performance was certainly never below theirs, he allowed no opportunities for discrimination to exist at that level. Moreover, he is quick to remind joking young people of the obvious: “…Age, unlike race or sex, represents a category in which most people from the in-group (the young) will eventually become members of the out-group (older persons)” (Nelson, 2004, p. x).

Most interestingly, James evinced an ideology which has apparently served him throughout his life. He in no way attributes greater virtues to older people than he automatically looks for weaknesses in youth, his general disregard for younger servers notwithstanding. In fact, when pressed, James freely admitted that many people of his age are unable to work well, just as he has been associated with very conscientious younger people. Ultimately, our interview struck James as amusing because he did not consciously perceive of his age either favorably or otherwise. Aches and pains aside, he seemed to feel that life is much the same for him now as it was years ago.

Summary

“Age stereotypes…have existed in America for a very long time…” (Seidman, Rappaport, 1986, p. 116). Yet it may be that, in our concern to avoid discriminatory attitudes and practices, we in fact open the door for them. James’ responses during our interview suggest that there may be resentment on the part of older persons who are, for the best of reasons, identified primarily as such. James’ conception of himself is multi-faceted and relatively ordinary, yet first and foremost it is a conception based upon the identity he has always had. This is a critical consideration. Age occurs to all of us, but the senses of ourselves that carry us through life do not by any means rely upon it as a foundational element. As James sees it, it is merely an added condition to a life composed of much else.

References

Eberts, R. W., and Hobbie, R. (2008). Older and Out of Work: Jobs and Social Insurance for a Changing Economy. Washington, D.C.: WE Upjohn Institute.

Nelson, T. D. (2004.) Ageism: Stereotyping and Prejudice Against Older Persons. Boston, MA: MIT Press.

Seidman, E., and Rappaport, J. (1986.) Redefining Social Problems. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Time is precious

Time is precious

don’t waste it!

Get instant essay
writing help!
Get instant essay writing help!
Plagiarism-free guarantee

Plagiarism-free
guarantee

Privacy guarantee

Privacy
guarantee

Secure checkout

Secure
checkout

Money back guarantee

Money back
guarantee

Related Essay Samples & Examples

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Email and Voicemail Monitoring, Essay Example

When it comes to email and voicemail monitoring, it is important to consider the implications of these actions on behalf of both the employee as [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 340

Essay

Description of Place: A Forest, Essay Example

The logic behind the significance of specific locations to individuals inevitably varies. Some places may hold pertinence since they are the sites of important personal [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 315

Essay

Quality Management System, Essay Example

Customer needs and expectations are the products any customer attaches to a company and knows that he or she will get it when need arises. [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 337

Essay

What Does It Take To Be a Good Parent Assignment, Essay Example

The issue of what does it take to be a good parent is contentious, insofar as the thematic remains susceptible to subjective interpretations. One may [...]

Pages: 1

Words: 330

Essay

Human Rights Violations and the Legal System, Essay Example

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter: UDHR), advanced by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947, was a watershed moment, insofar as with this [...]

Pages: 4

Words: 1122

Essay

The Critical Consulting Firm, Essay Example

Week 5 Issues The CanGo operation provides interesting insights into, unfortunately, how to conduct employee relations poorly. This is obviously not the company’s intent; on [...]

Pages: 5

Words: 1287

Essay

Get a Free E-Book ($50 in value)

Get a Free E-Book

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!

How To Write The Best Essay Ever!