The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 7, 2014

Watercooler: Older worker feels a chill; younger worker may be creating one

Reader 1: It has become painfully clear over the past year that I am being excluded from activities for which I once would have been eagerly sought out as a leader.

I still receive great evaluations. My supervisor says she is pleased with my performance. My friends say to relax and enjoy the cruise up to retirement. My husband says to talk to HR in case this is subtle age discrimination.

A: If you trust your boss, it "can't hurt to have an honest conversation" expressing your concerns, says employment attorney Elaine Fitch, of the Washington law firm Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch. Ask whether there have been complaints — or whether your colleagues are backing off because you're rumored to be retiring soon. If you have no such plans, make that clear to your boss.

With your colleagues, consider actively volunteering your assistance on projects. Keep an ear open for telling responses — "Oh, I heard you were leaving" — so you can correct any misconceptions.

And if you do have a date set for retirement? You might see whether you could stay on as a freelance consultant to ease the transition. Colleagues may be more eager to bring you in on new projects if they know you can see them through to the end.

Reader 2: My manager has asked me to train a new 60-year-old employee in the technology work I do by letting her shadow me and sponge on all I do. I feel humiliated and insulted. The new elderly employee is not as qualified as I am and has no technical certification. Training her in addition to doing my job is a huge stress. Further, I am not paid extra. Other people who could train her are project leads who work with and hired her. I am a single mother with mortgage payments and wonder if my manager is exploiting my situation.

Text Only
  • How to become a leader

    QUESTION: I’ve just been promoted into a leadership role. I’m excited, but also kind of overwhelmed. What do I need to do to be good at my new job?

    July 24, 2014

  • Balancing Act: How much is your time worth? Consider outsourcing some tasks

    Todd Paton has a booming business getting customers noticed on the Web. One tool he uses is generating online press releases to build brand awareness and create links that will send traffic to a customer’s website. But Paton, owner of Paton Internet Marketing, acknowledges that writing the releases is not his strong suit. Rather than spend his time doing it, he hires out the task.

    July 23, 2014

  • The Color of Money: No easy way to get out of debt

    Many people who are deeply in debt are desperate for a quick fix. They ask the question: What can I do to get out of debt?

    July 21, 2014

  • Watercooler: When to speak up if you see problems down the line

    Q: Our organization has hired a new director. I am one of a number of division heads; above us, there's the associate director, and above him is the director. The associate director is feared and disliked for his duplicity and dictatorial nature, though few have come forward because of his vindictiveness.

    July 18, 2014

  • Career Coach: Bringing a purpose-driven spirit to work

    Increasingly, religious beliefs and practices of employees are becoming more evident in the workplace. Religious diversity and concepts of spirituality are more prevalent in organizational settings.

    July 18, 2014

  • Ask the Mompreneur: It’s best to farm out your payroll

    When my husband and I hired our first employee at our Web development company, we had it easy when it came to doing payroll.

    July 17, 2014

  • Protecting against unnecessary losses

    QUESTION: I run a small bar and grill which is open 7 days a week and have to rely on others for some of the shifts. How can I ensure employees have not become my partners?

    July 17, 2014

  • A checklist for keeping you focused at work

    A quick check of Facebook and next thing you know, a half-hour’s passed. Start chatting with a co-worker and suddenly 20 minutes is gone and the report you were supposed to finish by lunch is late.
    Workplace distractions are everywhere, especially in an age of social media and open-plan offices. In the face of so much temptation, accomplishing what you’re paid to do can be tough.

    July 16, 2014

  • It could be time for a career coach

    Need a little help figuring out your next career move?
    If you’re putting in the hours and still not seeing the rewards, feeling undervalued or simply striving to be more successful, it may be time to hire a career coach.

    July 16, 2014

  • Your Office Coach: Turn to boss for help with disgruntled underling

    QUESTION: When I joined this company a few weeks ago, I discovered that the person who previously held my position is now working for me. “Sarah” obviously resents my presence and frequently says I don’t have the authority to manage her, even though I clearly do. Her negativity has made my job much more difficult.

    July 15, 2014

Business Video