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I have a question I'd like to post here for the olders and bolders of this site:  Does it bother you when you are submitting applications and that question about graduation year appears? Or if there is a request for a recent photo to be submitted?

This I have been running across a great deal lately and it gets me down a bit as it seems like the ageism from the world beyond the parks is starting to creep into the parks, too.  I can remember a time when things like age did not count, and when I could pretty much pick where I wanted to work and rest easily knowing that more than likely I could get hired and also for the non-management job I wanted.  Boy are those days over for me it seems like!

Part of this may be that I tend to seek tipped positions which are more competitive to get and so places can be picky these days.  But it generally seems to me to be harder to get even this kind of work.  Case in point - there is an employer here that I will not single out that requires a resume for a dishwashing position and requests a portfolio of past accomplishments for said dishwashing job.  That to me is just insane.  Wow.  I still don't know what to make of that.

Just curious if others are running across this and if so, how do you handle it?  46Rob

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How exactly would you detect age discrimination? After all, they're not going to say, "We didn't hire you because you're too old." You know the drill--they just say that "we hired someone we felt was more qualified/better suited for the position" or some such tommyrot. For that matter, for all you know, they didn't consider your age at all when sifting through the candidates for the job. No way to tell.

What many of the employers want young people for is the abusive positions--72-hr work weeks (split shifts), subminimum wage (tipped positions, huge food and housing charges), and most of all, virtual serfdom (no money to save up or to use to go home). What they want older people for is positions of responsibility or that require some actual skills (not jobs like making beds or sandwiches).

I've found that being middle-aged hasn't impacted my job offers at all. I'm not quite in the prune-in-an-RV category yet, and I don't compete for those jobs anyway (and I never would, since most employers--unbelievably-charge RVers the same or more for a place to park their rigs as they do for regular housing; I would never let myself be cheated like that). If you have work experience, life experience, at least one arm and two fingers, and can follow simple directions and operate a stapler without injuring yourself, you should have no problem finding a job. The truth is that you are a more desirable employee than that kid from Bulgaria, even if they CAN kick him around, underpay him, and mistreat him.

Check with some of the major employers after the season starts and staff starts to melt away. If you can wait that long, after Memorial Day and again after the Fourth of July, there will be a mass exodus of employees and if you're lucky, something cushy might become available right when the employer is desperate.


Great post

Your as young as you feel...(well I'm 52 and I'm not about to let it get me down and you shouldn't either. Experience will always pave the road when the youth is spinning it's wheel's. I work in the food service industry and the age thing is always present. Whenever I start letting it get to me I just look back at where I've been and what I've done to get where I am and I tell myself.."dues paid" smile and continue to show everyone what old school work ethic's are about.

Hmmmm...I don't remember seeing this one Rob when you first posted it.  Maybe it seems like ageism is creeping in more because we are just noticing it.  It might have been always there....where it is.

I have never known any place to actually bother to check high school I have always wondered why they ask anything about it other than "it's always been there."  I have had one place ask me to list any extra-curricular activities.  i have not minded putting in that year...I don't think they even really look at that.  Just see it's not marked as a did not graduate and glance by what is there.

I have been asked for a photo at a couple of places.  They have been places that are non-wavering in their appearance guidelines, though.  They are not looking at your age, just looking for those forehead tattoos and Duck Dynasty beards.

If there is anything that bothers me in an application, I just usually move on to a different employer.  This winter...and I was looking in the "real world" was asked on one of how I paid or am paying for college.  And I have been asked to give references for seven years of work and with this kind of work that's just too much of a bother.

The "high school graduation year" makes it pretty easy to determine a person' s age.

The resumes are to let them see if you have experience, where the experience is, and if you are a job hopper?  It gets really busy and the dish job is not just for the newbie anymore in some places.  They also want people who can do other things like prep etc.

If they are asking for a photo, that is against the rules and may be considered illegal - especially if the job is for anything but entertainment positions.  Check it out... as to the age you graduated from High School or College - be proud of your age; you are wiser, probably alot healthier, and have great job ethics because of all those years on you.  Walk tall, proud - you have earned the right to be as old as you are because of your birthdate. 

Since one of the questions an interviewer may not ask is age related, the photo tells them your age.  Of course, if they start counting my grey hairs for my age, I'm sure they wouldn't hire a two hundred year old Administrative Assistant anywhere... lol. 


Age is just a number and if you live a life without worrying about age you are all good. I work at Big Sky in Montana and there are about 140 lift operators and I might be the 4th or 5th oldest guy out of that 140 and I can keep up with most of them when it comes to work and snow work. I might take a few breaks to catch my breath but I think age is just a number. I young at 41 but sometimes I do feel my age once in awhile.

Most people think I am 25 or so and I hope they keep thinking that because if that is the case they will never judge me by my age. Just do things to make yourself feel good and you will never think about age and the best thing about seasonal work is that you can apply for what you want to do and you do not ever have to settle for something that you don't want to do unless you are desperate.

I ski 100+ days in the winter and hike 300+ miles per summer and that is what keeps me young at heart.

I do think age has to do with it.  I quit putting my age on my cover letters, they just simply say I'm retired.  I also discovered this last week-end that I probably shouldn't include a resume as it reflects how extensive my management background is.  I've had more than one perspecitive employer comment that "with my experience and background they are reluctant to place me in an entry level position".  One today asked my age, quickly added that I am only 2 years older than her,  and said housing would be an issue because it's dorm style and I would have to room with college kids.  While I don't especially WANT to room with college kids, I would.  All I want is a seasonal job so that I can see the country and make some extra money to supplement my Social Security.  I'm not old, I'm not crippled, my mind is sharp...

No one should be asking your age, especially pre-hire. Once hired, sure, it makes sense for placing one in housing. Generally they can match you up with someone similar. I'm sure that they have more than one Older and Bolder working for them. ;-)

Kari, honestly she told me that she has another "mature" woman working in the position I was applying for and she has her own room.  When I asked about housekeeping, that's when she asked about my age.  She prefaced it with "I see that you are retired, do you mind if I ask how old you are?"  She let me know all the housekeeping staff are college age and that "I don't know about you, but I would kill someone if I had to share a room with college age kids".  That was the most blunt anyone has been, but several have suggested their only housing is filled with college age kids and "I'd have to figure out where to put you" and then nothing.

She still shouldn't have asked your age. It's against the law. "Can you lift items weighing a certain weight?" is okay. They should be asking, once you've seen the job description, whether you can do it with or without accommodation?



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