My 50th birthday was a few weeks ago. My office-mates brought in a cake and decorated the conference room. That’s the problem. They put up black balloons and there were a bunch of “over the hill” items. I was the only one who did not think this was hilarious. I was a good sport and did not complain or stomp off. All of my co-workers are much younger than me. I think this is age harassment. What do you think?
— Newly 50
Dear Newly 50:
I think you need to get a sense of humor. No one likes a cranky, over-the-hill old coot.
— Evil Skippy (Who’s Older Than You)
If this birthday party is the only instance of “age harassment”, you do need to laugh it off and move on. If the age jokes continue, ask your co-workers nicely to stop because the expiration date on that line of humor has expired. Most people should knock it off at that point. If you work with someone who is not “most people” and your nice request is not effective, tell that person again to stop and that you will report the matter if it ever happens again. If the dolt still does not stop, report him or her. I doubt it will come to that.