Saturday, March 10, 2012

What's Too Old?

Well, it's me again. I don't have enough time to add to this blog every day, but I will make time in the future. Something happened Tuesday, March 6, 2012 that I think is applicable to everyone who has been around for a while. I was discriminated against based on my age.
I don't know if I have mentioned it but I have returned to school to learn how to make movies. I am attending the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The classes have been very useful and the school does make every effort to help you prepare for the work force. Of course, I retired ten (10) years ago so that has really been relatively unimportant to me. However, since I am a disabled veteran and have a somewhat extensive professional background, when I was invited to a meet the Centrial Intelligence Agency (CIA) meeting I went. That was my first mistake.
When the two CIA personnel arrived, a man whose only name was Mark and a young lady whose only name was Kim, I asked if my age would be a problem. Mark said age would not be an issue and asked me about my background. When I mentioned military service he kind of snorted and said that was irrelevant, which I found insulting. I am a 100% disabled veteran and I can assure you my military service was not irrelevant and should have been a plus for a government agency like the CIA.
Next, the room was too small for all of the people that showed up and they were initially unable to show their video. While they were waiting for the University tech folks to get things going I went up to Mark and asked him a couple of questions. I noticed that the two were making individual appointments with people and I asked for an appointment. Mark told me they were not making appointments, even though he had just  made one and had the list of open times in his hand. I responded that I had just seen him make an appointment and he assured me that I had not. Clearly he did not want anything to do with me even though he knew nothing of my background and based on the ages of those in the room my qualifications were far greater than anyone else in the room. Finally, in the face of such a negative attitude from this man I left.
I went to the University Provost office and filed a complaint regarding what had happened and it was referred to Dr. George Barton head of the University Career Center. He sent me an email asking what had happened and I responded with what I have laid out here. When I told him that Mark had informed me that individual appointments were not being made, Dr. Barton informed me that Mark and Kim had been the entire next day having individual appointments with people from that original meeting. At this point in time it is clear to me that I was lied to by Mark for reasons unknown. I might also point out as a disabled veteran I have a 10  preference for any government job I apply for. However, apparently the CIA marches to a different drummer and has no use for those who have served their country.
After I explained everything to Dr. Barton he asked if I minded if he contacted the CIA about what happened. I told him that was fine. So there you have it - at 59 I am too old to serve my country once again. That being the case, how old are the Repulican nominees? How old is Vice President Biden, or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or for that matter President Obama? At what point does age and experience cease being relevant? Why would the CIA rather hire pretty college girls (besides the obvious reason) and wide eyed naive students who believe they can single handedly save the world rather than someone who has more experience than most of them have years?
I had believed, based on everything the University has said up to this point, that qualifications were the basis for these meetings now I see that it is not the case and am saddened by that knowledge. I am also baffled that the CIA treats this country's veterans in such an off handed disrespectful manner. Mark could have told me that I was too old, or too tall or he didn't like me, which was clear from the beginning. He did not have to lie to me about the individual appointments. So much for equal opportunity and all of President Obama's rhetoric about supporting the veteran.


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  3. Technically you didn't apply for a job with the CIA, you only requested an appointment which as a business does not have to be offered to anyone regardless of background. A key component to this story is left out and that's Mark's side of it. Different things could have motivated his choice to not set up an appointment with you (i.e. a pest during the presentation, being over qualified for an entry level job, or displaying inability to take negative criticism). It's a real cheap cop out to say that someone else got an appointment because they were pretty, did you ever think maybe they deserved it? Regardless of your age and experience, maybe they showed they can easily take direction and are actually studying something relevant to becoming a agent for the CIA.

  4. I recognize that you are speaking from what you believe is a reasonable point of view, however, you were not there and did not hear the offhanded way in which Mark responded to me. His later statement to me was that he did not realize I wanted an appointment. I admire your desire to stick up for him and put me in my place, but make sure that you have all of the facts before you speak. I reported facts, appointments were given to more young ladies than to older men. It may be hard to accept but facts are facts. I later received that meeting and we talked for an hour and a half. It still does not overcome the fact that at the initial meeting his actions were less than welcoming to me. As for the young ladies getting appointments because they deserved them, let us compare background and qualifications and decide who has more to offer this country. That is not to take any thing away from the young ladies but time in service and experience does, or should, have weight in such selections. I would also suggest that you not make judgements without all of the facts. As for such appointments not being offered to anyone, I would point out that in private business this is true, but in government service and when dealing with a disabled veteran, your blanket statement is not true. Again, check your facts.