Voice from the Middle

“Yea, my mom says that”

50I went out last night with two of my co-workers who are really my friends. We’ve worked together for about three years and have gone out drinking, talked honestly, and experienced a lot of each others personal lives through those years. It may have been an off night, but they really didn’t ask me anything about my life or bring me into the conversation and I noticed.

Most of my professional years, I’ve worked exclusively with younger team members.  This is probably due to the fact I work in marketing/communications/graphic design and the fact I have not risen to the executive offices.  It never has been as issue before because I really enjoy Generation X and Millennials.

I’ve probably enjoyed working with Generation Xers so much because I’m so immature. lol. Not immature in responsibility, rather, immature in remaining always curious; loving new music well beyond when I should; and loving technology.

But, I’ve recently noticed as I am in my 50s, that I am dismissed. Dismissed for knowing things, dismissed as being able to contribute to a topic, dismissed in so many ways I can’t even list. My sister talks about this too. She is a grade school teacher and there was a time the younger teachers asked for her opinion, but no longer. I don’t care if anyone asks me my opinion but I would like to be included in chit chat and camaraderie.

I essentially have 20 more years of work left. So I need to get busy accepting that I can no longer contribute or be one of the group? It seems absurd.  I must mull this over. What are your experiences?

Getting back to going out with my friends. (Or at least I thought they were.) I’ve always been friends with my co-workers before, but now that I am 50, it stops? It’s hurtful. The reason has something to do with the look in their eye when I say something and their response is, “Yea, my mom says that.”

Maybe it’s time to rethink my job — 20 years is a long time.

— Namaste




For most of

– Namaste

By Debra Happe

Debra Happe is a writer and marketing professional based in Des Moines, Iowa. Debra does business, magazine, and freelance copywriting work. Specialties include science-based, environmental, and technological. Connect on LinkedIn for professional inquiries.

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