We Can’t Ask You About Your Age, But We Can Count Your Wrinkles.

July 23, 2021

We Can’t Ask You About Your Age, But We Can Count Your Wrinkles.

May 29, 2023

Okay, let’s be clear—ageism is real and serious. And there are relatively-toothless age discrimination laws in the United States. So, it may feel in bad taste to share this New Yorker magazine humorous questionnaire, but, hey, sometimes levity is a welcome way to highlight a problem.

That said, according to this questionnaire, here are a few of the questions that an older worker might have to answer:

1. Where were you when J.F.K. died?

2. What kind of phone did you have as a teenager?

(a) Cell
(b) Trimline push button
(c) Rotary

If you answered (c), stop filling out this questionnaire immediately. We’ll be in touch.

3. If you decide to relive your high-school-athletics glory days by fielding for the company softball team without stretching first, will you need:

(a) Possible medical attention
(b) A Motrin day off
(c) A resulting surgery that pushes the limits of our company’s feeble health care plan

4. Is "Slack" your preferred business-communication platform or an abridged way to describe the Zeitgeist attitude of your twenties?

5. When paying for business lunches, are you willing to use your A.A.R.P. discount?

6. Describe a significant challenge you’ve had to overcome and how an episode of "Oprah" helped you resolve it. (essay)

I would add the following four questions:

7. Which do you use more in your writing at work: "cursive" or "cursor?"

8. Does "duck and cover" have any relationship to a "nuclear family?"

9. Was John-Boy Walton gay? (Extra points: what were the names of the actors of Grandma and Grandpa Walton who were, in fact, gay in real life?)

10. Which Martha do you most relate to and why: Martha Graham, Martha Stewart, Martha Quinn, or Martha Washington?

What humorous questions might you ask to ferret out someone’s age in a job interview?

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