Skip to comments.About being laid off and unwanted when you're 59
Posted on 04/23/2006 7:49:45 AM PDT by SmithL
One of my readers is an underemployed 59-year-old man from among us here in the South Suburbs. Call him Harry. He works in information technology. Slowly and wearily, he says: "Once you get past 50, I swear, it gets tough, it gets really tough."
For instance, Harry applied for a job with a city of Chicago department that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He got an offer for some contract work. There were no benefits, but it was a paying job.
A woman from the city called him one Monday morning and wanted to know if he could start at midnight. Harry said he'd like to give his current employer a week's notice. That wasn't good enough. The job was gone. The caller told him: "This is a brave new world. Learn to live with it."
(Excerpt) Read more at starnewspapers.com ...
Welcome to my world. In fact, most of my friends of the same age have been laid off. One was fired after telling her boss that she planned to retire in two years.
That is the point. No employer is going to be liable for benefits to an older person.
The medical/insurance unholy alliance is at work again. Markets can't provide solutions when they are warped to distortion by ill conceived regulations; but "black-markets" will arise...
I know a 60 year old man who worked for Astro cap for about twenty years untill he was laid off. Today he stands at a plunge grinder for ten hours a day at $8 an hour.
But, this is the "live for the now" society where many spend every penny rather than save for the day when they get laid off.
You tell 'em!
Today, it really starts getting tough at 40. There recently was a FReeper who offered this advice: "Young workers should find a good job and start saving their money so that by the time they turn 40, they will be in a position to start their own business.
What a crap thing to do, if you expect two weeks notice from your employees be damn sure to grant two weeks to people you hire..
I guess it depends on where you work. We beg nurses to continue working. By law you can't be discriminated by age unless it affects your job. Personally, though I frown on hiring anyone thst tells me they can start tomorrow and does not care about giving their old boss a resignation period. If they will up and quit on her then they will do the same to me when something better comes along.
You tell 'em too!!!
Sadly morons don't learn from history, their mistakes, and the mistakes that they see their friends make. Then they go out and don't save for retirement, expecting the govt. to take money away from others and give it to them when they want it. Although Harry doesn't seem to fit the moron definition perfectly, he didn't bother saving for retirement.
I am closing in on 50 years. I saw the hand writing on the wall a few years ago. I quit smoking and got in shape just in case I need to look for a new job.
Actually by 45-50 I plan on going into teaching its always been a dream of mine and if I get into it early enough 45 I can do it for 20 years and get some kind of pension in addition to my savings now as an Engineer..
It's tough, that's sure. But to borrow a phrase from Michael Medved, "I am not a victim!"
No problemo. Plenty of Reconquistas to take our place without the pesky matching funds and health benefits packages to bother employers bottom line.../S/
I read nothing of the sort in this article about Harry. You are just using him to express a point of view even though there is a vacuum of fact.
That Harry is 59 and would like to continue to work is laudable. I'd guess he has a 401k somewhere he'd like to continue to contribute to, though I have no facts to support the guess.
The one fact is, we tech oldsters do have to face the fact that there is a pasture and we will be put out in it if it is the will of the boss. You bring up proper points, but I'm not sure they apply to Harry.
Not everyone is as fortunate and perfect as you seem to be.
....so, how does that make him different than 95% of the rest of the IT workforce? He has a job, with benefits, no less, what's he complaining about?
The article fails to mention that the IT job market is pretty good right now. It ain't 1999, but that type of a roaring job market likely won't happen again in my lifetime.
Sometimes things happen in life to deplete those savings, sometimes things happen that make savings impossible. An illness in the family that far exceeds insurance coverage, a family tragedy that sees you taking on the children of another family member. Not everyone can live well planned lives.
I'm 51 and even though I have job security (if there is such a thing) I want to teach too but I've always wanted my own business. In July I'm opening a career school. I plan to continue working at my job for two more years, at least part time but I'm not ready to slow down or retire. I just want more freedom to set my schedule to do more stuff I want. It's as an opportunity . The kids are grown. My bills are minimal. The time is right. The only draw back is not losing my health insurance.
There are a number of doctors who have tried to be sensitive to the situation. They simply won't let you in the door if you have insurance.
But if you walk in and pay cash they will treat you and do it for a very reasonable price.
The reason being that the cost of them processing and submitting insurance claims is probably their second highest expense, passed only by medical malpractice insurance.
What, it's not an Ozzie & Harriet world anymore?
Why aren't I told about these things?
Just wondering if Immigration has job openings? Seems they sure could need assistance.
By 59 he should have saved enough so that he could retire.
By 59 he should have developed a useful skill that employers would want and be willing to pay for.
Too bad, so sad.
Thank you Hillary.
Why do you say that? I meant it. (in a good way)
And by law you can't move to this country illegally and work.
A while back, I heard Howard Ruff on one of the radio call-ins. A fellow called in to ask a question, his basic position was that he wanted to know what to do to be able to retire.
The guy was 46 years old, and had been able to save 3 or 4 thousand dollars.
He night be able to retire if he like goes to India and sells his kidney!
He might have to sell 'em both!
If you read **and** understood what you read you would see that I was talking about people in general - where a "vacuum of fact" doesn't apply. There are no FR rules that say one can only post regarding the exact person, exact facts in the article, and article itself and NOT post in regard to the general concept. It is possible to discuss general issues.
Nobody said that Harry wanting to continue working was not laudable. You are simply going through contortions to try to make what I said apply to Harry when I was talking in general - as my post obviously shows ("they").
This story is just another in a long line of stories written to elicit sympathy, empathy and identification from the reader, where the writer begins his story with a character, real or composite and then builds his case around that character's circumstance; I have been looking for a fitting term for such style and am about ready to settle on, "exemplar exploitation."
To my way of thinking, such writing is lazy, demeaning both to the writer and his hapless reader and good only as filler for unsold ad space.
Thank you for the compliment but you don't know me, nor do you know my financial circumstances.
Read up on Japanese gardening, hire a few legals and go to it.
Try being 38 and returning to work after a prolonged mental illness (not related to psychosis or anything that would cause one to go on a Post Office-like rampage). I couldn't get my foot back in the door, despite a Master's Degree and 20 years of experience in my field.
Had to start my own business in order to get back to work.
You could always take to your bed with your bowls and peas as the antihero outlined in Camus' "The Plague."
The first option is what I am working for. I want to be finaially set to retire at about 55. Any work after that will be gravy. There are a lot of fish that need caught and I want to be the guy that does it while I still know what they are.
My second option is to sell some piece of crap in my cellar on ebay for $ga-gillions. Unfortunately, most of my cellar crap is actually crap.
The aged have power if they choose to use it.
LOL!!! You're the one acting like Hillary. I say to save for retirement and take care of yourself. You mock that. Hillary indeed!!! Why do you believe that one should not save to take care of themselves? Is govt. your answer to all of life's issues? I thought I was on FR yet I get responses right out of DU!!!
Yep the state requiring equal medical coverage to all employees at work again. Its very risky to have an older person who might need a 250,000$ surgery.
We can see in this article what is happening. The employers in fact do want to hire Harry. They are giving him contracts to get around the liability issues the government forces on them.
If the government got rid of the communist requirements... Harry would be hired full time.
Health insurance is overrated and oversold, the three best places in the world to become infected with a disease are a hospital; a doctor's office; and a school.
There are no statistics that show that people who make frequent visits to medical facilities for non-emergency issues live longer or healthier lives than those who shun them.
Actually, at 59 you may have the skills folks want - but not get the credit for having them. Particularly in fields like engineering and IT, you can find plenty of companies who assume anyone over 30 is behind the times on cutting technology.
A friend of mine getting out of the military, after working for years developing cutting edge equipment, repeatedly heard "You're military - you don't know about modern technology".
His qualifications didn't matter. His age and military background did.
I agree with that. I believe that these articles are also attempts at swaying public opinion into believing that the economy is bad and "you're the next one to get laid off" - it's Bush's fault!!!
No but I got caught in between jobs without it and am still paying medical bills from an accident.
Congratulations! Too bad more of the "news" stories aren't about people like you who said stuff-it to failure.