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12 Things to Never Say to Younger and Older Coworkers

Nina Kim | Excelle

With the downturn in the US economy, workplaces are becoming more and more diverse age-wise. Older workers are working alongside younger workers as people at every stage in their career are getting laid off.

With this generational gap among workers widening, there’s a lot of potential for miscommunication or differing perspectives. Though many people will absolutely deny that they have any pre-conceived notions about certain people, let’s face it — stereotypes are a reality in our culture whether we like it or not.

To ease relations between older and younger workers, Excelle has come up with six things never to say to an older coworker and six things to never say to a younger coworker. Some of these may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised to hear how many people have actually been asked these types of questions. So whatever you do, don’t say these 12 things!

First Thing Not to Say >>

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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 2 years ago


    Whats up with the male pronouns?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 3 years ago


    I'm one of those "older workers" who has never had a problem until my present job. I went back to school in my 40's and enjoyed every minute of the interaction with the young people. In this job, my boss could be my daughter - age wise. She constantly talks down to me and is very disrespectful. She seems to forget what is on my resume and the experiences I've had. She has no clue how to talk to people and only cares about herself. It amazes me that she is in that position. I do not believe that upper management knows how she treats "her people", and people are afraid to say something for fear they will lose their job. How sad is that?? I sure hope the economy turns around soon.

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    about 3 years ago


    For goodness sake, people, stop having such a thin skin...age is nothing but a number!

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    DON'T assume that just b/c I LOOK young I live at home or that I haven't had more than my share of crappy job and life experiences

  • Daphne_and_grace_001_max50


    over 3 years ago


    this article is geared towards the "older" portion of the audience. I notice plenty of advice in dealing with the "things to never say" to an older employee, but no advice on what to do/say to the comments made you younger employees. I find that insulting and a bit ageist.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    You were hired and paid to do your job. Younger or older does not have to do with your responsibilities. Maturity and professionalism are the key words. I work in an environment that is so amazing and actually entertaining. I have co workers who are doing pedicures, manicures, crossword puzzles, reading magazines, arts and crafts and text messaging. Other co workers have paperwork up to the ceiling. Maturity, supervision and procedures lacking. Have a boss but need a babysitter

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    over 3 years ago


    I work with a young lady who is lazy and unprofessional in every way,never on time, never completes her projects ,takes extended lunch breaks, completed projects are not accurate,dresses poorly.It's tolerated I think because her mom works for the company also.But I have had young interns who were respectful,diligent,with awesome work ethics.

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    over 3 years ago


    Wow! Melissa1125 you sure have a bad attitude and repeatedly calling your co-workers and staff idiots tells me this is comes screaming through in your work. Take a good hard look at yourself, see yourself as they do and then ask yourself if you would want to work with/for a person like you. I sure wouldn't and I'd be in HR with a list of grievances in a heartbeat if you treated me the way you treat these people. You're not so great you can't be replaced, but you can replace your arrogance with understanding.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    too bad the idiots who NEED to read this, won't. where i work, i hired a young lady for my assistant position. of course, hiring her, i knew that i am 16 years older than her. some of the idiots who work in the company immediately started talking to her - chatting her up to nose in her business. i would frequently have to retrieve her from their gossip group sessions. i found out that those idiots were calling me her "momma." when i would page for her to call me in the office because i could not find her at her desk, those IDIOTS - did i mention they are idiots?? - would say, 'uh oh - momma's calling, you better get back to your desk." i was incensed. when i reported those comments to MY supervisor, she blew it off!! saying oh - they were just joking in good fun and i shouldn't take it personally. well, i let her know that even if she didn't take it seriously, i certainly did, and if i heard of it again, then someone was going to have a bad day. i do not appreciate the unprofessionalism period. and when the person in charge doesn't care, then there is really nothing standing in the way of the idiots on site saying whatever they want.

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