Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bob just wants to work

The familiar sights and sounds greet Bob, as he walks to the cafeteria for the big meeting. For twenty-seven years, he has walked this well-worn path. Past the time clock and rest rooms, past the parts storage racks and the maintenance cage, he walks. He was a young man when he took this walk for the first time. He had just finished high school. The plant paid good money at the time. He never thought about the future. He just kept going to work every day.

Things were different today. There was an air of unreality, like a dream, in each step. There were no smiles or laughter, no slaps on the back or horseplay from friends. This was a day he thought would never come. Today was the day; the company was closing the plant. They were moving to China.

All the rumors said that the meeting would help everyone, “transition”. Bob couldn’t imagine what this was about. Words like resume and cover letters were completely foreign to him. He had left his youth somewhere on that well-worn path to the cafeteria. Now at age 46, some college guy is telling him to “market himself”. Bob just wants to work and get paid. He wonders why something so simple is now suddenly so hard.


Blogger enigma4ever said...

yup...so real for so many....and no one is talking about it...Love your blog will hang out for a bit..

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Bulldog said...

That's the way it goes for a lot of old-timers. My dad had a similar issue with finding work after he was laid off. I think he was 52 at the time. Over 30 years experience as a machinist and then couldn't find work because no one wanted to hire an old guy that would have been retiring before too long. As it turned out, he scrimped along for two years while his SS disability was pending. He finally got it, but not after falling on really hard times.
As illegal as it is to discriminate because of age, it's still done fairly regular. All they have to say is things like over-qualified, under-qualified, or whatever. If the Bob in your post is real, I wish him all the luck in the world in finding another job.

5:23 AM  

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