Whew. WordPress blocked me from my own blog and it took some effort to get it back. Weird.
The job market for middle-aged people absolutely stinks. And the “at-will” employment clause that so many states have adopted is a boon for employers but no so much for employees. Just this week I was called into the owner’s office and told I was being let go. No explanation other than the lame “we’re going in a new direction” excuse. To say I was devastated was an understatement.
The owners of this small company had praised everything I did for them, seemed to be excited about the experience I brought to the table, and generally were very supportive. There were no warnings, no reprimands, no indication that my work was unsatisfactory. Then, BOOM, I’m handed my final paycheck and out the door.
Yes I cried. I’m allowed when that kind of stuff happens.
To top it off, they professed to be “good Christians” which always makes me suspicious. That whole “do unto others” clause didn’t seem to be in their thoughts when kicking someone out the door. And to top it off they posted a want ad for exactly what I was doing but when I point-blank asked what was wrong with my work I got no answer. They could have at least said they were looking for someone with different qualifications, which I would have understood and been a valid reason. But no, it was a lame excuse and some paperwork.
At least at the last job I was let go from I KNEW the General Manager didn’t like anything I did. He told me often enough. He complained about everything I did and constantly compared me to the previous person who held the job – who according to others was not as good as the GM made him out to be. I maintained the same profit margin but it was a horrible place to work and I honestly was glad to be let go.
So now it’s back to spamming out resumes, hoping for a response, and crossing my fingers that the date I graduated college won’t cause the reviewers to flip out. There is an assumption that if you’re my age (50+) and don’t have a job then there is something wrong with you. It’s as if the crash economy has nothing to do with the lack of jobs, the number of people who lost good-paying jobs, and the overall difficulty getting a job. It’s a very poor system and so many are caught in it.
I’m apparently too old to work, but I’m too young to retire. Where is there a place for a worker like me? Why don’t employers value experience? Why are jobs, and employers, so horrible to employees. We have an economy that is a race to the bottom and then businesses wonder why they are losing profits.
To echo the 80s – It’s the economy, stupid.