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View Diary: Trashing experience and skill is just one more weapon in the war on workers (184 comments)

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  •  I've SO been there... (4+ / 0-)
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    Philpm, Dirtandiron, schnecke21, BusyinCA

    About a month after 9/11 I was part of a 30% downsizing at the publishing company I served as a Senior Art Director. At the time I was 42 and 21 years into my career as a Creative Professional and Designer. In the following years I was told by several staffing professionals that I was effectively unemployable in my field. "Too old. Too Qualified. To expensive." I have since hung my shingle as a freelancer and have scraped by a modest living. But now at 53, I don't foresee EVER again earning what I was in 2001. My wife and I are looking into selling our home mortgage, and leaving the NYC region for less costly environs.

    I would protest that I had a great book, lots of experience and a broad skill set and a proven track record. I was told that none of that mattered, "they don't want you." It was explained to me that as a grown person with a wife, mortgage, children, I was far more expensive than what publishers and agencies wanted to pay for their creatives. They much preferred to hire kids as junior designers directly out of school and pay them nearly nothing with no benefits. As young people with no dependents and few commitments (excepting massive student loans), they were perceived as more willing to work much longer hours with no overtime compensation, as opposed to older workers, who have apparently unreasonable desires to go home at saner hours to be with their spouses and families.

    Note that Commercial Art and Graphic Design is a notoriously non-unionized field, despite efforts of organizations such as the Graphic Artists Guild. In the intervening decade since 2001, work conditions have further deteriorated, with the slack economy giving employers unprecedented unearned leverage versus workers. People with jobs now cling to awful workplace situations with white knuckles out of fear of a devastating, potentially career-ending, lengthy unemployment. Furthermore, now the leading entry level design position in the NYC tri-state region is unpaid intern.

    What we're seeing now is this same sort of attack on workers now spread across the entire national workplace.

    What th' heck do I know, I work for a living...

    by SamuraiArtGuy on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 10:45:17 AM PDT

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