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Regular Contributor




55 Unemployed and faking normal.





Regular Contributor

We need a voice, to advocate for workers who are 50 and over. Our elected officials need to assoiciate a face with this problem. Age Discrimination affects your family. When I unjustifiably lost my job three years ago and exhausted my unemployment, my 2 year Suzie Ormon emergency savings account,my 401K beecame my income. My 87 years old mother had to step in to help me pay my mortgage.She keep hoping that I will be up and running one day,but the reality of me returing to a job similiar to the one I held is not positive. I have submitted over 2 thousand CVs and have been interviewing every week by phone or face to face. I get NO CALL BACKS. The process is a real beat down. 


Last week I was turned down for a $15 dollar and hour customer service job located 30 miles one way from my home. The recruiter told me "I would be bored and would quit for a higher paying position." She's right , I definitely would continue to look for a job comparable to my experience level but I right now I have nothing . I NEED RESOURCES NOW!. WE NEED RESOURCES NOW! We need tougher laws that will protect employess who are over 50. We need to hold the EEOC and our Elected Officials more accountable.


There is saftey in numbers. I live in Chicago and jobs in my city are all about who you know. My problem is I have always received job offers based on my experience and my ability to interview well. I never was in a position to call my friend who work in City Hall or my friend who work for the State of Illinois. Networking is a joke, most people who are over 50 and are still fortunate to have there 6 figure job won't offer much help because of fear or they are in denial. This problem is real and everyone over 50 should have a back up plan. 

Learn a trade,start your own business or start a new career. Corporate America could care less that I am 5 years from receiving the minimum of my retirement benefits. 


Through my journey of trying to return to the work place at 57 years old , I have met a lot people in my neighboor hood who are in the same situation as I am,"Unemployed Over 50 And Faking The Normal". I was surprised and out raqgged that this country would coldly allow age discrimination to be non-event.

I have met several out of work 50 year olds who are single parents with children in college and are foreclousing on their home. I have met 50 year old un employed people who are forced to go on social security disability because they have been unable to find work for years and they need a source of income. 

Or what about the 56 year old woman who suddenly lost her job and is working as a Crossing Guard and Halmark Greeting Cards living with her daughter in a one bedroom apartment because she can not afford nor do she qualify for a Senior Apartment. The University of Chicago laid off a entire department of 50 and over employees six years ago ,to this very day the employees have not found comparable employment , most of them are working in small retail stores. Just as of last week a 56 year old Director of Saftey for Sherman Williams Paint Company was forced to resign after 20 years of service after reporting a Osha Saftey Violation .  I have at least 30 stories of finacial hardship that Age Discrimination has cause but everyone seems to take the attitude "they have been doing this for years" or "they did it to me , Im glad I am retired" . Why is this acceptable?

I have met with my Alderman in my community askig that she support me by using her voice to communicate the affect of Age Discrimination in her  community. I have also met with my Illinois Senator and brought members of my family to the meeting so he can see how many are affected by AGE DISCRIMINATION. My senator aggreed that it is a old and increasing problem ,larger than Washington will acknowledge. He asked me to organize a meeting of 10 to 30 individuals who are willing to discuss how AGE DISCRIMINATION have affected their life. He has also ask that we bring some sugguestions as to what we would like Washington to do about this problem. I am currently in the process of planning the meeting. I have also written letters to my Illinois Congressman and Senators. I have asked everyone I know who were affected by Age Discrimination to call our senators and congressman and ask for tougher laws Against Age Discrimination and programs that will help bridge middle age workers in to retirement.  


It's a long haul but this must stop NOW. I want to decide when I stop working. I know I am sharp and I have a lot to offer . They have mess with the wrong one.
















Periodic Contributor

Disability is not an option to people looking for work unless one actually has a disability that is covered.

The person who was fired for making a report regarding unsafe conditions has legal recourse under existing laws. 

Online applications often include the year one graduated from high school, even though there are regulations right now prohibiting age determiners. 

I don't think we need a "face", we need the existing laws enforced. 

I am thinking the EEOC has had funds cut to the bone. When making an appointment for a phone interview, the soonest was three months away. 

So, imho, existing laws need enforcement. 


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Periodic Contributor

It sure is. I have to work, can't seem to get taken seriously for something that would use my vast amount of education and skills, so guess what, I actually worked at a McDonald's for two years. Was called "old" to my face, made fun of by groups of college-aged kids. I was better at so many tasks, was lied to (not given what they call "review" for the lousy raises every six months, on and on). Currently work as a dishwasher at a restaurant part-time, screamed at etc. Asked "why do you let it bother you" when I told a manager. Finally asked for a reasonable accommodation due to my anxiety and depression (in writing), got the paperwork shoved back at me, interrupted in my second sentence by "are you sure you're not being paranoid", then, the worst "of course he (one of the screamers) is going to be faster than "a woman your age" (I actually am quite fast, organized, have studied assembly design, time and motion, process assessment, on and on). She kept saying "a woman your age", and equating it with poor performance. Really hit me like a truck at the time. Front Porch rockers-their customer base is overwhelmingly "old people" like me. I got tough, keep looking for a place that isn't hell. You are signed "55 unemployed and faking normal", just wanted to let you know it's NOT YOU, IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, AND YOU ARE RIGHT THAT IT SEEMS ACCEPTABLE. Good news, was told by one of my co-workers to "F off" the other night and it didn't bother me a bit! (I sometimes think the young are really afraid of us, we can read face clocks, know then to use "whom", have manners, are quick enough to figure so much out due to EXPERIENCE BABY!


I feel I was a victim of age discrimination on a recent job interview, I am 51 years old and look every minute of it. I interviewed on 2/25 with a company in Philadelphia. I met with 2 people, first went fine. Second, the man sat with me for about 5 minutes or so and said "we're looking for a certain experience range and you're at the high end of it, I'll just leave it at that" and got up and walked out. My resume shows 20 years of work experience, which he had access to prior to my arrival. While there, I noticed 4-5 other current employees (other than the 2 I met with and one other) who all appeared to be mid 20s to early 30s. 


Prior to that, I had gone to another interview a couple of months back, everyone I encountered appeared young enough to be my kid, including the person I interviewed with. SUrprisingly I didn't get that job either. I got a rejection email stating that they "found a candidate that more closely fits their requirements". This was in December.... As of last week they are still advertising the position.

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