To the Editor:
I am extremely disappointed with the lead article "Managers Wanted" and your related column "Store Managers" in SN of April 17. Both the article and editorial were blatantly age-discriminatory.
Your editorial mentioned "youth," "new graduates" and "young people" six times; the lead article 24 times. It is apparent that you and the "experts" quoted in the article are not able to "think out of the box" when it comes to the qualities of store management. Do you think that the only source for new managers is youth fresh out of college? Have you not considered the wealth of talent out there in the "baby-boom" bracket? The percent of population over 50 is growing at a tremendous rate, a fact that supermarket industry marketers have recognized. [Store] personnel folks also need to recognize that fact.
I am 56 years young, and recently moved from Texas to northern Nevada. My desire was to work in supermarket-store management for the remainder of my working career, which should be at least another 10 years. My resume is very impressive, having spent most of the past 33 years very successfully in supermarket management assignments, the last several of which were in a headquarters operations management environment.
I made it clear to the human resources folks that I had no desire to go above store management, because those were my most enjoyable, rewarding assignments. I also made it clear that I had no aversion to working long hours, weekends and holidays, and understood the necessity to train for a period of time as an assistant before store management assignment.
I contacted every supermarket chain [in this area]. Some totally ignored my correspondence, but most sent form letters or post cards with the typical brush off.
It is hard to face, but I now realize that the industry I loved has its head in the sand when it comes to understanding age discrimination and is failing miserably in taking advantage of the huge pool of management talent available in people over 50.