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Old 02-22-2017, 07:17 PM
 
4,312 posts, read 1,288,917 times
Reputation: 3393

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I am 64 and I retired last summer, after getting fired for being "too slow." (I worked in a field known for age discrimination, information technology).

I didn't work for 3 months, was getting unemployment insurance plus SS, so I had plenty of money. It was great, I loved not working, because I have hobbies and interests.

Then in October 2016 I was offered a job, and they let me work part time, and they let me work from home. It seemed like the job of my dreams. Also a chance to get some very good experience.

The IT department is very small, just the manager, me, and one other programmer. They both seem to be very inexperienced, and they were thrilled to have me, since I work fast and get things done. They are both very young.

I was thrilled to be working for them, because there was a lot to be done and I like to work!

However things started to change when we started using a technology the other programmer has a little experience with. I had no experience with it, but plenty of experience with similar things.

Since then, the other programmer is considered the great expert who knows everything. The manager believes everything this guy says, and does not believe me at all.

Several things happened where the manager accused me of doing something wrong when I knew I didn't.

However, the situation is so ideal, I decided to do my absolute very best to do whatever they say and not have any disagreements.

Then today, the manager got an error and said it was my fault. It was not my fault, I know I had not done anything wrong. He would not believe me. The other programmer was telling him I did something wrong.

Neither of these guys is qualified to know what the problem was. I know what the problem was, and the manager would not believe me.

So I feel like I have to quit, even though I don't want to. I love not working, but I want to make a little money and this job was perfect for that. I gave them a terrific deal, a very low rate, because that's all I need.

I am afraid of the stock market, so it's hard to generate income. I don't want to spend any of my savings, although it would probably last the rest of my life if I spent 10 or 20 thousand a year. But I don't want to.

I've had many bad experiences in IT. I always loved the work, but I started when I was over 45, and there was always at least one young person who decided I was an idiot.

I WANT to keep this job, because it means I don't have to invest money, and I don't have to spend any of my savings. Between the little money I make at this job and SS, I feel rich! (although I am not, I just don't spend a lot).

If I quit this job, I will have to be careful with money, find ways to generate income, or find some other kind of part time work.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:02 PM
 
26,032 posts, read 33,040,777 times
Reputation: 32280
I don't understand how an IT person can NOT know how to find out exactly what caused the error. How can your boss be in charge if he is really that poor in skills?
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:36 PM
 
2,980 posts, read 2,709,789 times
Reputation: 5631
Why don't you quit this job and get another IT job? Another IT job may not be the ideal situation in that you may have to work longer hours and harder, but at least you won't have to put up with a boss who doesn't believe you. That is far from being the ideal situation.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:10 PM
 
4,312 posts, read 1,288,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I don't understand how an IT person can NOT know how to find out exactly what caused the error. How can your boss be in charge if he is really that poor in skills?
It is very common for IT managers to not know very much. It is their job to tell people what to do, not necessarily be able to do it themselves. Some of them know a lot, others don't. This one doesn't.

The problem is that this manager seems to believe everything the other programmer says. And doesn't seem to believe anything I say. The other programmer has very limited experience.

I have had many bad experiences in IT, and I know other old people who had similar bad experiences. I don't know if it's age discrimination but it could be.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:11 PM
 
4,312 posts, read 1,288,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james777 View Post
Why don't you quit this job and get another IT job? Another IT job may not be the ideal situation in that you may have to work longer hours and harder, but at least you won't have to put up with a boss who doesn't believe you. That is far from being the ideal situation.
I am not at all interested in working longer hours and harder. I am much too old for that, have done that all my life.

And I don't even know if anyone would hire me, since I am 64. I was lucky to get this job, especially since they let me work part time.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,452 posts, read 3,673,115 times
Reputation: 4835
Businesses have so many 'Legacy Systems' deeply ingrained in the operations of the business that I think you will find it far easier to find part-time IT work than you expect. The new grads will have been trained on the new systems, but these legacy systems may not even be taught in school anymore.

I see some of the same thing in engineering. All modern day control systems for HVAC systems are electronic but many older systems are still out there operating with pneumatic controls. At 61 years of age I know how to design and maintain these old pneumatic control systems which are rare but still in existence.

In structural engineering it is the guys even older than me who have the code books detailing the strength capacities of the building framing systems used to construct old buildings. Who are you going to trust? The guy who has worked with concrete filled cast iron pipes as structural columns, or the new grad who once saw a single picture of these in a text book?

Shoot! You may even be able to command a premium for your services because your knowledge base is becoming so rare.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,855,118 times
Reputation: 6379
First off I will agree with you that you will probably not find it easy to find an IT job out there at your age. I don't know how you handled your boss. Different things come from how people handle the dialog. I will not presume or assume anything. I will say that based on what you have said I would be gone. But I am thinking it from my perspective not yours.

Since you have not decided to pull the plug there yet I suggest you just move on and not dwell on the accusation and just do the work. I also agree that managers in any industry are not always the expert on the work they supervise. Been there and got that T-shirt. So my suggestion is as long as you want to work and you can avoid or ignore those in the office by all means work. However if you get another accusation like that I would pull the plug with no fan fare. Just pick up what is mine and walk out the door never to return.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:41 AM
 
4,312 posts, read 1,288,917 times
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This was not the first accusation, and I only worked there for 4 months. I tried VERY hard to overlook these things, and to keep my ego out of it. I LOVED working at home and being part time!

I was hired to work on their old legacy system, which the manager and the programmer could not understand. I had some experience with that old system, but ANY good programmer could have understood it. They could not.

Then we started moving from the old system to a new one. The other programmer had some experience with the new one, so that made him the "great expert."

Neither of them understand general programming concepts, or how to trouble-shoot.

Yesterday something didn't work, and the other programmer assumed it was something I did wrong. It wasn't. Of course the manager believed him and accused me.

I have been REALLY TRYING not to get angry. I just said "You don't believe me, and that is a problem. You assume he is always right and I am always wrong."

Then the manager gave an example of another thing he thought I did wrong. It was a really unimportant thing that caused no problems and was easily fixed. An example of not perfectly following the conventions of the new technology.

These guys (and others like them I have worked with) are VERY into following conventions. I have tried and tried, over the years, to follow whatever conventions they want, however stupid.
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Old 02-23-2017, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,855,118 times
Reputation: 6379
I think you have your own answer. You don't need the aggravation.
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,652 posts, read 40,020,325 times
Reputation: 23806
It's almost as tough to 'train a boss' as it is to find a job you really like.

If possible,
  1. set the emotions aside,
  2. do your job as best you can.
  3. Don't get steam rolled, but don't make a fuss.
  4. Consider a tactful way that you will get the ultimate 'dig' and the boss will grow to understand your value
  5. as a remote worker, there is No way you can compete with someone who has the bosses ear all day, everyday, AND no need for you to try.
  6. Defuse this 'competition thing', you have no need or desire to compete / take-away 'bonehead's role. The company is paying the guy's wages, and they will be the one that suffers. Set it aside.
  7. Clearly differentiate your tasks
  8. Be a NO BS and NO pandering kinda coworker (especially remotely)
My 'millennial' kids have a way different attitude / work ethic / work life / career plan that our generation. They DO NOT take work very serious, and one actually chronicles work drama, and assigns characters and stage names to the 'actors' at work. He is in a very serious and intensive financial management role, but 'work' is just not worth 'dying-on-the-sword'. It is just a tool to earn dough to use to make our lives more enjoyable.

Determine where your time is best spent. If you like your hours / work / results, you can overlook bonehead, and not let him get under your skin. Keep yourself valuable, as your boss likely doesn't enjoy having his 'cry-baby' whimpering around the office all day.

Just do your job and keep it out of emotional level. You have BTDT, and no need to subject yourself to the trivial issues of office drama or politics. Let them roll off you and never stick.
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