Friday, 13 September 2013

The Frustrations of 'Youth'

Today I went for an interview. At a college. And was mistaken for a student on 3 occasions, including by one of the panel. I was dressed in business type clothes and had a visitors badge around my neck. Gaaaaaaaah.
 One of the people in question I was trying to ask where the reception was. He was speaking to another member of staff when I approached, he put his hand up to me wihtout actually looking at me and said 'wait'.  He then continued to talk for a good 60 seconds without any further reference to the fact I was still waiting for help. When I was finally given permission to speak he asked if I was a prospective student.  I could hardly even answer I was that shocked by his behaviour.  But when I said no, I wasn't a student, he didn't even look embarrassed.
Then another member of staff agreed to show me where reception was.  She had also mistaken me for a student and proceeded to tell me that I should maybe try to make myself look older as I might have more chance of getting the job!?!? There are no words.  Oh go on, i'll bite.. Actually, love,  I'm academically qualified for the job I'm being interviewed for and have a lots of experience in that field.  Why do I need to look older? If I approached you and said "aww it's a shame you look like an old bat.  Maybe you should have had some botox before you came, you might have had more chance of getting the job", that wouldn't have gone down so well, would it.

Being mistaken for a teenager is something that happens I'd say at least once a week and it gets right on my goat. Especially while I've been planning my wedding, suppliers are always surprised that I'm the bride and I feel that I don't get taken seriously. Honestly, I don't think I even look that young and I always wear make up. When I went to try on wedding dresses a couple of weeks ago the lady was shocked I was the bride and said I looked about 18/19. I'm 25.  People seem to direct answers to my Fiance or mum as well, even if it's me who asked the question.

I have a professional job and I behave in a professional manner and yet I feel patronised and spoken down to when I meet people for the first time. 
I went to a case conference this week on behalf of one of my students, with the police, social services and all manner of different agencies were there. When I arrived I was mistaken for the girl herself, despite having a staff badge around my neck! And I'm not far off 10 years older than her.  Come oooooon!!!

I assume people don't do it on purpose, perhaps I look quite young and I'm only 5'1, I just wish people would use their brains a little. Preferably if they do make the mistake then not trying to make it into a massive LOL at my expense would be super too.
It's just so flipping frustrating and it's difficult to be taken seriously professionally when everyone's like aww look at the little 18 year old making suggestions, bless! 

I guess in the grand scheme of things there are worse things in the world but it is annoying when it's something you have no control over.

My response to these idiots?  Polite but unamused. Every time.

Have any of you experienced this kind of thing? How do you react in these situations?

Hope you enjoyed reading and didn't mind my rant too much :)



  1. Oh Suzy, I feel your frustration! I'm 19, just under 5ft2, and skinny, and I actually got asked if I wanted a child's ticket on a bus the other week!

    I've got a job interview at a serious company next week, but I'm worried that I won't be taken seriously because I look about twelve (it's strange, I have an adult figure and mature face, yet people always try to check my ID to see if it's genuine!), even if I do pass the test I have to take for it!

    In the Summer I went to a bloggers meet with girls ranging from ages 15-20's and no-one could believe that I was 19! Even the 15/16year olds looked older than I do!

    Sorry to rant on your rant, haha, I just get so annoyed because of this too - my mum has the same problem, she's barely 5ft! x

  2. Totally get you. I'm 20 and always mistaken for younger. I had to show my I.D to buy paracetamol in a shop last week, and you only need to be 16 in there! I always worry that I won't get taken seriously.
    It's more frustrating when I'm stood with my 17 year old brother as people just automatically assume he's older.