Time Laid Off in America

        We don’t get fired here. We on occasion get sent out to pasture and we get canned more often than escorted off the premises.  We do get pink slips, furloughed and at times outsourced. Aha yes, the language of unemployment here in the states is unique in the fact that it all says the same thing; no paycheck means opportunity.

         In a recent article for Alter Net, Barbara Ehrenreich  tells us that when you get the boot, you don’t loose your job, you get a chance to find another. And besides your new job starts the second you loose this one, meaning finding work can be a real job. Pay sucks, but it does pay, given the fact most get severance and unemployment benefits, which for some are fairly decent. Plus thanks to the powers of big government many now get the opportunity to keep insurances if they can afford them. Sorry if you didn’t have  insurance before, you are not getting it now! Neither fact softens the blow of knowing that you are going to be cutting back on spending for a good while!  If you happen to be a boomer, prepare for that little bit, being a little bit longer than the rest of the recently unemployed. Five to six weeks longer as a matter of fact.

             If the media reports that boomers spend an extra few weeks longer than their younger counterparts looking for work has you scratching your heads and wondering why, you are not alone. Are they taller or shorter, fatter or dumber or smarter or just crankier? No doubt all of the above, but what they are more than anything else is opinionated. In this day and age where you are not even allowed to ask age on an employment application, age still manages to creep into the picture. Despite the fact that this group of hardcore employees who never really took to carrying the signs, “will work for food,” and who have found themselves employed pretty steadily over the last thirty or so years are generally better acclimated then their younger competition for work, time seems to be playing a cruel trick. This was the group that couldn’t get a job thirty years ago because they had no experience, only now comes to find out that now they have too much! 

             Now employers, according to the media are looking for the younger worker. Shall we say more malleable souls who do what they are told and bring with them less baggage to the workplace? To any who feel this way, I offer a hearty John Pinnette, and say, “Nay-Nay!”

            Any employer who has hired anyone younger than thirty and I feel extremely endeared to those hiring below the twenty-five year old level, knows as well as I do, that employment is more than just a job. But for this younger group, it’s a social thang. As when told of a schedule the younger employees address that as something not laid in stone, but more as a guideline of when they should report for work. Younger employees are socially adjusted to appointing how their peers feel about their work. “Dude, he shouldn’t talk to you like that! Yeah man your right, I’m out-ta here!” Younger employees are more likely to have young children, and in this day and age, children come first over job any day. “Tommy has I cold, I won’t be in!”

            Not that the boomer generation is cold and callous about family issues or care less about grandchildren, but this generation that grew up with three hundred pound TV’s on a TV stand that could get knocked over by windy tossed curtains; that had no seat belts and more than once was told to, “Quit your crying, don’t be a sissy!” appears to have reached middle and late middle age a tad tougher than those entering the job market today. The irony of it all is that because they are tougher they will be able to handle waiting a bit longer for the phone to ring even  if it only provides more time for their next opportunity to arise!


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