I worked for a leading college that is part of an Ivy League university for 12 years in a Director-level position. If I could have stayed in that job for 3 more years, I could have retired with full medical benefits for life that same year, and I could have finished my doctorate exempt from paying tuition. At the time I was laid off in May 2009, I asked them to at least find me a full time job as a secretary so that I could become vested and I was told by people I worked with for more than a decade, “We aren’t responsible for finding you a job.” I then asked if they would just allow me 12 free credits to complete my doctoral studies, which would cost them nothing in cash outlay, but would cost me tens of thousands of dollars, and they would not do it. I got the same terms of severance as people who were working there for only two or three years. No consideration for my seniority status or my many years of service to the college. I am finishing my doctorate this year (fingers crossed) in debt, still unemployed for more than 18 months and hoping that it will open doors for me to a new career. In a way, being unemployed allowed me to work full time on writing my dissertation, but so far, my Ivy League master’s degree has not helped me get another job. I wonder whether being over 50 with a doctorate will help. (Oh, yes, I also had a wine importing business on the side that was growing but not profitable. I was told that if I did not shut that business down I could not collect unemployment. So I had to give up that business as well, since it was so costly and I couldn’t finance it without a full-time job).
Archive for December, 2010
At 60 years old and unemployed for almost 2 years the future is not looking good.
My only hope is now to find any paying job.
Hi. My name is Scot. I’m 50 years-old. I’m blessed to be a father and a husband.
I entered the Navy right out of high school. I served my country for 5 years. When I got out in 1983, there were no jobs waiting for me. After a series of minimum-wage jobs, I went back to school: a 5-month paralegal certificate program at Monmouth College, in 1984. I finished the program, went into debt because of it. However, no one would hire me because I was a guy. Potential lawyers told me so. So in the fall of 1985 I decided to attend college at Point Park College in Pittsburgh. Since I was from New Jersey attending a Pennsylvania school, neither would finance what was needed for me to stay in school. So I had to leave after a semester. I ended up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and in a few years, after bouncing from one temp job to another, I began stringing for local newspapers. I was able to make it a full-time job. By 2004 I was able to get myself back into a position to go back to college, and I did. I graduated in May, 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in English despite having a wife who had a craniotomy between my last two semesters and two children. Great! I have a degree! No newspapers will look at my resume. After 7 months of looking, only one place – the state of Pennsylvania – offered me a job as a welfare worker. I took it, and was proud of it. I attended training from Jan. to March of 2010. The weekend before I was to return to my regular office, I suffered a minor stroke (TIA). There were no long-lasting effects. Still, that did not stop them from bullying me in front of clients and co-workers before out-right firing me in June.
I feel hopeless. I feel useless. I feel angry: Here I am, having improved myself, to make myself worthy, and, because of my age, no one is willing to hire me. My American dream is shattered, as it was shattered for my father in 1984 when he lost his factory job after 17 years. I feel scared: How do I support my children? How will I pay $48k in student loans? Why I should be forced to “retire” (not like I have any pension) at age 50 when I have at least 20 years of work still in me? How many more Christmases will my wife and I have to go without buying each other gifts? None of this was my fault, I did my best, yet I am bearing the consequence of this.
I was working as an Alltel Technical Support Representative when I received a job offer for the ISJ Hospital as an Insurance Clerk. I took this job because Alltel was being taken over by Verizon and I was not sure our call center would survive the merger. I worked at the hospital for around six months before being laid off due to low patient volume. I attended school pursing a Certificate in Non-profit Leadership in the mean time and returned to the job on a temporary basis from January to June. I pursued and finished my internship at the same time. I am now looking for job while volunteering at the Blue Earth County Historical Society.
First off, I want to thank IAM for putting this together. My grandfather was an IAM member for 50yrs. (I still carry his IAM gold card with me at all times) & my step father is a proud IAM member for over 20 yrs. IAM has done a lot for my family & I am so happy to hear that they have stepped up!!
My 99er story: My fiance & I were both laid off in Michigan on Nov. 17, 2008. Our unemployment has been gone for nearly 2 months now, no income at all, and down to our last borrowed couple hundred dollars in the bank. We have lost everything. I am writing you from our small 15ft camper that has been our home now for nearly 3 months.
3 years ago, I was living a comfortable life. Had a job I enjoyed as a Senior Office Manager and my fiance thrived as a Project Manager for a small non-profit. We made a good salaries, not extravagant or anything, but we were able to pay bills on time, eat healthy food, build savings & retirements, and after 4 years together, we were finally starting to plan a wedding and a family. We were living the American dream. We did was was expected of us. We are both 35 yrs old. We waited to marry & have a family until we had a secured income & could afford anything we would ever need without any assistance. Just when it seemed everything was falling into place, the floor fell out from under us. But we didn’t loose hope. At first, I wasn’t worried about it at all. We are qualified, intelligent, optimistic, hard working, etc. etc. We should have no problem finding another job. We tried to find work in Michigan for a few months, but could no longer pay the rent on our large rental home (that we were planning to buy). So, we moved to Illinois to live with my sister in her 3 BR trailer, and look for work in the St. Louis area. After nearly a year of looking for work with no results, I was starting to get worried. Neither one of us could find work. I thought for sure ONE of us could find something. But we have heard every reason in the book as to why we are not “qualified” for whatever position is available. We are over-qualified, under-qualified, not enough education, not bilingual, or you just don’t hear anything at all. We decided to become more mobile, so we could expand our search nation-wide. We sold our cars and bought a truck and a 1979 15ft camper. We thought, at least if we have this..we would never be homeless. We tried our luck in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Illinois..all places we have friends or family to help us get on our feet. Still no luck. It has now been over two years. We have sent out over 1,000 resumes a piece, in 6 states, applied to every large retail chain, hotel, grocery store, fast-food restaurant, followed every lead, we have worked every connection we have, asked every relative, borrowed, sacrificed, lost. I am starting to loose hope. After two years of relentless job searching we have only even landed a handful of interviews a piece. We just don’t know what to do or where to go from here. We have used our last bit of money to pay rent to park and live in our camper and keep our cell phones on in hopes of the call that could be “The One”. We are willing to relocate to any state, all we want is a job. We are not asking for a handout, or even any monetary assistance, just a job. We are running out of everything, We only shower every other day to conserve our soap & shampoo. I don’t wear make-up very often, I save it for that interview that may land me that job. My clothes are falling apart, I fear if I do land a job I won’t have any clothes to wear to it. We wear our clothes at least 3 times before we wash them, laundromats are expensive. Costs us $10 to do all of our laundry, and we just can’t afford that. We have no gas to put in the tank, so we have to do the majority of our job searching on our laptop. For dinner, we usually make hamburger patties (no bun, can’t afford bread) & share a package of Ramen noodles. We just went through our 3rd Christmas of not being able to afford gifts & not being able to travel to be with family. I dream of the days that I had disposable income to buy things like 1200 thread count sheets, Betsey Johnson handbags, Doc Martin shoes, dinners out at least 2-3 times a week, weekend trips, vacations, etc. I used to be part of the economy, now I can barely buy food. We were barely getting by on our unemployment, but now that that is gone, I just don’t know what we will do. My family & friends are not in a position to help, even though they try desperately. I am not the only long term unemployed in my family. Our steel town has been devastated by this recession. I just don’t know what else we can do. We cannot afford to live any more.
Is this what our country has come to? Talented, experienced, capable Americans reduced to living in campers (if they’re lucky), and begging for minimum wage jobs? We are told by our fellow Americans that we are lazy & should be ashamed to call ourselves Americans because we were laid off & can’t find work. Yet the same Americans that tell me I am lazy are the same ones rallying for a tax break for the wealthy, it just makes no sense. We are not the “lazy unemployed” that are described in the media & the white house. We are hard working Americans that if given a chance will (& have) worked our fingers to the bone to take care of ourselves and our families. We are not unwilling, just unlucky. Most Americans don’t even realize how close to this situation they really are. Never, in a million years, would I have thought I would be homeless. But it is becoming a reality. The unemployment crisis is taking an undocumentable toll. It goes much deeper than just not working. The emotional and mental toll is really indescribable. We can’t participate in life. We are pinned to our confided spaces, bound by our poverty. We need to put a real face on this crisis. We are regular everyday people, your neighbors. We are not the enemy. We did not ask for this. We are just asking for help to get us through these historically hard times. We need extensions for our unemployment. It was our last lifeline. Without that, we are doomed. Please don’t let us be forgotten.
In 2002 I left my union job of 17 years, due to being victim of sexual harassment from a male supervisor. I the past 12 years I could not find employment at the wages I was making back then. I went from $16.00 per hour driving a forklift down to minimum wage as a grounds keeper.
I am an unemployed elementary school teaching going on two years. It’s frustrating to either be “over” qualified for lower paying jobs and “not” qualified for industries others than education. I seem to be stuck. I have a bachelors degree in business, but that hasn’t seemed to help to work in industries other than education even though I used to work in finance. I guess 15 years is too long for in their eyes for me to go back into that line of business no matter how much I have tried. Never in a million years would I have thought that I wouldn’t be able to support myself and my daughter. It’s embarrassing and scary at the same time. God please help me!
I was laid off Nov 2008 – 2yrs ago (99 Group — Previously worked for 40yrs) I couldn’t find a job so I went to school for revamping my resume, still no job. I spent all my savings, sold all I had, bartered for a mobile home trading all my jewelry – lost MH due to scam. I moved onto a remote area (snows here), with my two little dogs into an abandoned house that was gutted, broken out windows, no running water, no sanitation….. now I have to lose all means to find a job – phone, car insurance, car gas, any means to heat the one room I stay safe in. PLEASE HELP!
What I would like to say is I am having a hard time looking for a decent job since July of 2007, let alone going to LaborReady and trying to do business yourself. I have 2 cochlear implants in both ears and I filed last August of 2010 for SSDI with Binder and Binder because of my hearing and anxiety, depression, and chest pain caused by stress.. How can you people do this to long term decent unemployed who are willing to do the work!? I need help!!!
This is more of a blog than story, catching some news today, dec.17th, of course the unemployment benefits were extended, unfortunately the majority of the unemployed have or soon exhausting all benefits and job creation isn’t keeping up with the workers needing employment,if calculated job creation is far in the negative in proportion to job losses. Question is will extending the bush tax rates for the rich create jobs,in the U.S. The republicans say 1 million to one, one half million, a little more than 100k each month. The rich have had the same tax rates for the last ten years and i as a maintenance contractor have watched the businesses fold here in michigain at an astounding rate and move over-seas in the midst of all the financial favors given to the corporations and rich by the republican,and some democrats. So why should i believe them now, nobody should. The rich protecting the rich, job creation if any will not be in the united states, business as usual. only now in a society where 70% of our gdp depends on consumers buying cheap plastic throw away items from communist countries with zero human rights we have 30 million less consumers contributing. The extra 13 months of unemployment is a scam to pacify the serfs, the workers lost big on this bill. God bless the democrats that didn’t compromise their core beliefs for the entitlements of the super wealthy. Shame on the rest that did. Unemployed people from all over the nation need to converge from all directions on washington dc and become the rainbow coalition demographically diverse unemployed workers of america. or RCDDUWA.You get the point, time to act now together or waste away later alone.The battle cry needs to be “remember valley forge, they were real americans and so are we, endure and prevail.”