Jokes about older colleague's incompetence
"I was queuing to go through airport security at an airport. The security guard did the obligatory routine of asking whether I had any liquids in my bag... I said “no, I do have a water bottle in my bag though, but it is empty”. I continued to say that I didn’t want the security guard who does the screening of the bags 'to get caught out'. The guard laughed and said “oh well, I better tell him that then because he is getting on a bit, he's a bit old”.
I think this is ageism because the security guard was making the assumption that the other guard might be caught out, because he was getting older and therefore, incompetent at his job.
I felt like I had to laugh because the security guard was trying to make a joke, but really inside I felt this guy was making an assumption based on age, and I thought – I wonder whether he would like someone younger making the same joke about him when he is older!
It makes me think how important it is to get rid of ageism and age-based assumptions, and how damaging these can be as we get older."
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