We’ve arrived in Weirton, WV, home of the Arcelor Mittal steel mill. More in the hours and days to come, but if you’re in the Weirton area, please get in touch!
I completely empathize with everyone here and have read story after story wondering how our country has disintegrated into something as bad as all the movies showing conditions centuries ago when royalty or the wealthy purged and burned villages, stole their belongings and left them to starve if they left them alive at all. I am so sorry for each of you and the heartbreak, loneliness (as our families and younger friends do not understand or don't want to think about it because they could face it soon enough) and anger you all feel. Since 2008 when my financial advisor said "You know, you could retire now" my life as I know it would never be the same. I had a net worth of almost $800,000, did it completely on my own by age 51, never married, no inheritances. Just working and saving. I lived well but wasn't reckless, didn't even do the regular manicures my friends were doing, cleaned my own house, didn't eat out much other than when on the road for work, did most of the work myself on houses I fixed up. I can't believe every single day how I've ended up. I took care of my parents when they were dying of cancer which I will never regret but at the same time it allowed my sisters to keep their jobs while I drove across three states back and forth for many months each and stayed for weeks at a time. I never loved my job but liked the rewards, the people for the most part so when I had a chance to do something I loved for 6 years I took it in the music industry. Didn't make squat but the perks were fantastic and I love live music so it was perfect. Little did I know that along with the crash in 2008 eliminating my ability to live on interest (I owned my house outright by then and have purchased a few since then with cash) that there would be no paying jobs for "seniors" and with savings disappearing, no way to get money out of your house with the new mortgage regulations so I'm trapped with enough savings to last until the end of the year barring any emergencies and will have to sell my home, my last bastion of pride and my favorite (although far less expensive than most) to survive. People don't understand, they don't get it, they keep suggesting getting a job at Lowes, Home Depot, the library...do they not understand that even without a mortgage and having moved to what was supposed to be a less expensive city, that you can't support yourself on those wages? That I'd have to work two full time jobs to get by, have no time to do anything but sleep, lose all contact with friends and probably not make it anyway because of disorders and arthritis in my back? Standing on concrete, which is pretty much gauranteed with any retail job, for 8-9 hours/day is not easy for anyone but for older people with back, knee, hip issues, it can be impossible. I tried it, ached so bad I'd go to sleep with tears in my eyes and guess what? I got fired! The day after a good reveiw with my manager. The owner doesn't like older women on his sales floor, had already fired two before me in the first and second month, I was the third. It was against everything they told us in training but the owner used the last week (not months) of numbers to say I wasn't making my numbers as the reason. If I had money I might have fought it but there was such a culture of "youth vs elderly" in that company after hearing what others had gone through who fought it I decided against it. I've tried starting my own companies but they take money, two of the manufactures kept changing the policies and margins to where it didn't make sense to continue and I have nothing left. I am in the midst of a Kickstarter to raise funds for a benevolent business badly needed in our community and after two of four weeks am 6% into it even after tons of pre-promotion plus television and print media coverage. The city needs the service because they won't fund it, not the elected officials or the citizens even after I had thousands supporting me verbally. I feel like I've tried everything and each attempt cost me thousands that I wish I had now. Everything is stacked against us. What is the U.S. going to do with millions of seniors, even young seniors living on the streets? If Trump wins they'll probably dig trenches, line us up and shoot us while telling the world we were lazy users of the system when every one of us wanted to work and to support ourselves. I don't know how we unite when the powers that be have all the money, make all the rules and in this state change them every week to take more and more money and options away from us. At this very moment my stomach is turning and I have tears in my eyes. I have two weeks of my Kickstarter left so have to show a happy face, positive attitude and it's taking every ounce of energy that I no longer have. Like someone said, it's really hard to not show depression and anger in an every day conversation let alone an interview or new venture promotion. I sit stunned, numb every night wondering how this could be happening to me, an over achiever, worldwide award winner at a major international corporation and top of the sales force at other companies. I feel like you do - I don't belong here!!! The anger alone is destroying me. If I didn't have pets I would move abroad but which country? What would I do there? I know that I have given up on this country. I don't believe in God. God hasn't helped people who needed help far more than I do since the beginning of time. If starving and abused babies and animals get no help from an "all powerful" "all knowing" "all merciful" being why anyone believes has always been beyond me so please no one offer prayers. Taking care of each other like we would want to be taken care of is the only law we need, that good old golden rule and that has been forgotten by this world. I hope the person threatening suicide has not taken that step but I understand him/her if he/she did.
- posted May 28, 2016
How true.....been their !
It's frustrating to see that the older you get in life, the harder life gets! I always thought it would be the other way around.
- posted May 15, 2016
I hope your situation is better; I understand the depression that comes with lack of work and being unemployed; 2 years for me now. I noticed that I was going on interviews but people can read the depression; anger within us. So, I gave up. When I did that and went on interviews; I was getting offers and offers and offers. I just want to let you know that when you are ready and let the anger go; and the depression you will see things will change for you. I've been where you have been and felt the same way. Don't give up; do something different to be productive; it will help. I will pray for you; now that its election year; I believe things will get better so please hang in there!
- posted May 10, 2016
The marketplace has become global. I hate to sound negative, but we have to find a WAY to help ourselves. I get the feeling the worst of this job tsunami is yet to come.
- posted May 10, 2016
Janet - with all respect...and I know that you comment is supportive. My heartburn (and I suppose that could be described as "pain" ;) is with the fact that these conditions have persisted since 2007 (nearly 10 years), with no end in site. We hash...and rehash our common experience; akin to indefinite and eternal grieving. Sites such as this have uncovered the injustice; but why do we the people not have the collective backbone to do something about it. When I say DO SOMETHING...it is not in the form of comparing notes, submitting petitions, or anything disruptive or illegal. Why is it in the history of the US there has never been collective organizing of the unemployed. Why are we the only group, lacking the initiative to do so...perhaps (me included) deserve to be trampled by the hoards.
- posted May 8, 2016
I hear and feel your pain. Ageism is real.
- posted May 7, 2016
As an electronics engineer in the UK, I was in a fairly comfortable job and was laid off in 2014, since then I have struggled to maintain any kind of permanent work, and I have been contracting in a few jobs, but had not much luck in general in gaining any lasting employment,. Maybe I have to face that I am simply too old (at 53) this seems to be my perception. Now this is going to sound maybe "crazy or nuts" but a while ago I was crying on a daily basis and burying myself in bed all day, trying to sleep off redundancy and unemployment, and I had written a story about killing myself, this was read and acted upon by the local police and they came and checked on me, so at least I know that I was kind of cared about and did matter, but at the same time I felt awful that I had got this low. I wonder if anyone else has felt this way, but always try to pick yourself up off the floor, take it from me, there is always someone who cares,, and you are worth it, I know I'll succeed eventually, have got myself hitched with a zero hours casual minimum wage job which is next to useless, so I am going to rack my gray matter to think of how best to re invent myself and get out of the age rut.
- posted May 5, 2016
@Keith: Since you like to volunteer, have you looked into volunteermatch.org? It has both in-person and virtual volunteering. I know you said you like to get out of the house (and certainly be of use). Maybe it would have a volunteer opportunity for you that would be a good match for your skill set, rather than a place just trying to find some work/any work for you. There are literally thousands of opportunities listed. Good luck!
- posted May 4, 2016
I have a problem with a different but probably not so uncommon twist. I am in mid fifties, never married nor had a family. I have had good paying jobs along the way, though several periods of unemployment as I am in boom and bust industry. Now mid fifties, finding it harder than ever to find a job (I assume because of age but also unwilling to relocate as I have two elderly parents in area who count on me). The good part is because i have never had a family, I have all the money I will never need and would not need to work for money. But still, a person this age still needs to get something to get up for and feel one is contributing on. I have tried volunteering, but its like when I go to a group, they work hard to find something for me to do for them. Sometimes I think it would be better if I needed the money as it would force me to go out and get anything for work. I am so bored, cannot get out of bed, feel useless, go through periods where I need a six pack every night so I can have a few hours of feeling good.
- posted May 3, 2016
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