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On April 24, 2013, at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, I was let go from my job.  I was told it was "not for cause" and I was certainly eligible to apply for other jobs at this employer.  The manager who told me this wasn't happy about it, but what could he do?

I'm afraid.  Really afraid.  What am I going to do?

I am short, fat, female, and 52.  I live in a right to work state (which is why they could terminate me "without cause").

Who is going to hire me?  How am I going to survive?  What kind of stress is this going to put on my marriage?  Will we lose everything we've worked for?

The only good thing is that we don't have children to worry about.

If I was 30 again, or even 40, I think I could face this with a lot more courage.  But, damn, I'm getting old and no one wants to hire an old person.

I keep having visions of a refrigerator box under a bridge.

I remind myself to just breathe.  Somehow, we'll get through, just the way we always have (and we have had some tough times).  But it just seemed easier when I was younger.

Wish me luck!

Originally posted to enufisenuf on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  {{{enufisenuf}}} Wishing you much luck. (25+ / 0-)

    So sorry at this news. Being your age myself and knowing many folks who have lost jobs, prepare to be unemployed for awhile. It just isn't pretty for folks over 50. Freakin sad but true.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:29:24 PM PDT

    •  Boggles the mind that the big bill (16+ / 0-)

      our government is working on is one to bring in millions of more workers to compete with the unemployed.  THE Comprehensive Immigration bill could easily be called the Comprehensive Unemployment of Older Workers Bill.

      Our elected officials can see no connection with the ease of which employers lay off older workers and then turn around in the next breath and claim that they can't find enough workers and need to import more foreign workers.

      Workers become precious to employers only when workers are scarce.

      The tipping point of unemployment has not been reached, because only then will the average person see the obvious connection between high unemployment and the importation of additional workers.

      •  As one of those IT folks who got to train my (0+ / 0-)

        eventual replacements - you know it. It is such f'n BS.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 11:36:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that you can find something soon. (14+ / 0-)

    What kind of work did you do? What are your skills?

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:30:02 PM PDT

  •  You are in a tight spot, but (17+ / 0-)

    I hope that you aren't overwhelmed by fear. It will not help, but only serve to make you feel worse. Easy for me to say, I know. I am really hoping for the very best for you, enuf.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 11:41:04 PM PDT

  •  If you don't mind saying (14+ / 0-)

    what sort of work do you do?  I'm your age and my boss is 65.  I've begun wondering what I'll do when he retires.

    Wishing you good fortune, and soon.

  •  I hear you (32+ / 0-)

    My sister got laid off (release of workers due to lack of work) with notice that she, being among the last of the layoffs, was unlikely to be recalled to work.  She was eligible for unemployment, but that hardly met the bills.

    At the time, after the crash in 2008, she was 57, did factory work manufacturing plastic things like toilet seats, and didn't have a high school diploma (she dropped out because she hated school, could make good money at a factory job in the late 60s, and didn't think about the future).  Yes, she regrets not staying in school for her diploma.

    She applied for job after job after job - even minimim wage clerk jobs and never got a call for an interview.  She knew it was her limited skills, lack of diploma, and mostly, her age.  She was so frantic that she invited her ex-hubby to live with her to split the expenses which were huge since, along with her job, she lost her health insurance.

    There shouldn't be a reason for this;  for desperation so tangible and futures so tied to having and keeping a job that losing it nearly extinguishes our existence.   And what remains of our social safety net for folks who become unemployed is pitifully inadequate.  

    Stories like yours keep falling on the deaf ears of our coin-operated politicians who cater to the needs of those corporate assholes who play with their employees like a spider with flies.  And your story underscores the true horror of life in a Right to Work (for less) state.

    My best wishes that your situation will conclude with a new and, prayers to the Almighty, better job.  

    My sister stayed out of work for a year and a half until she was recalled to her previous job (thanks to a union that insisted that workers be laid off in reverse order of seniority and recalled based on seniority).   I can only hope that you have success.

    Until then, please write to your state representatives, Governor, and Congressional and Senate reps to share your story and ask for their assistance.   They may have something to offer and asking costs you nothing but some time and a postage stamp (yes, handwritten and sent snail mail is less discardable than email or a phone call).

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:37:18 AM PDT

  •  Oh boo. I'm sending hugs and hope you (8+ / 0-)

    find something.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:53:33 AM PDT

  •  Your fear is palpable (13+ / 0-)

    and you've got good reason to feel that way.
    Take a deep breath.
    You've got more to bring to the table than you might imagine.
    I wish you all the best luck and encourage you to reach out by letting us know where you are at and what your skills are.

    3/16/2003 Meet The Press: Dick Cheney re: Iraq: We will be greeted as liberators.

    by cosette on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:39:26 AM PDT

  •  Hang in there! (24+ / 0-)

    Happened to me too, sort of. I was railroaded into an investigation of "professional misconduct". Long story short, they needed to cover the ass of my supervisor, who was a graduate of the school. I quit, rather than let them jerk me around. Maybe a bad thing, as I was not eligible for unemployment. So at least you will have that. Apply today.

    Advice from my students: Dye your hair. Good advice, I looked 15 years younger. (I was 55 and grey when this went down)

    I was out of work for about 4 months, finally taking a job for 7.25/hr 40 minutes from home. I had cash flow, and was almost able to make bills. I worked that job for about 6 months while I looked for something else.
    This is important. They can smell the desperation of unemployment on you, as my brother says. Apply for everything, and take anything offered. Then keep looking for what you want.

    It was easier when we were younger. Used to be, if you looked for a job like you had one, you got one in under a week. Not so now.

    What state are you in, and what skills do you have?

     You might look into home health care. Check your state medicaid wavier program, and find a local facilitator. Pays over 8/hr, up to 10 depending on location, and you are hired directly by the family, with payment by a fiscal agent.

    Also, if there's a call center around, turnover is high. It's shit work, but it's a paycheck.

    Good luck, and keep breathing.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 02:29:40 AM PDT

    •  Excellent suggestions about home health care (16+ / 0-)

      This is a growth field and one in which an older person may seem comforting, experienced and stable to the clients. I know this for a fact because my family uses the services of a home health care company for my mother.

      Sort of along that line - I know there is high need for concierge services for the elderly who want to age in place in their homes. Again, I know this based on my experience with my mother. Really simple stuff like: taking in the paper, checking the mail, putting the trash cans out and taking them back in again, picking up prescriptions, doing the biweekly grocery shopping, taking the dog to the vet, walking the dog, changing light bulbs in ceiling fixtures, taking the car for an inspection, taking someone to their hair appointment - these are the kinds of small things that overwhelm many people and cause them to move into assisted living situations when they could have been fairly easily taken care of by a self-employed entrepreneur.

      Get a business license and look into getting yourself bonded and insured. Get a professional looking flyer and business cards and set up a website offering your services.

      Other suggestions:

      Get a paper route.

      Become a dog walker, pet sitter.

      Write the next Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey, self-publish and make gazillions.

      Go to yard sales, find an unremarkable and dingy bowl that looks like something to keep your paperclips in, discover that it is third century Chinese and sell it at auction for 3.5 million.

      Good luck! I hope that next year you and your husband are toasting each other and saying "Here's to the company that fired me".

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:39:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good ideas! (10+ / 0-)

        I have also made some good money cleaning houses. If you don't break the knicknacks, or steal anything, recommendations fly!

        Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

        by emmasnacker on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:51:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you better be strong enough to lift people (15+ / 0-)

        onto and off of bed and the toilet. it is an extremely physical job.

        •  Not all clients require that level of care (10+ / 0-)

          The company that we use has services divided into 2 categories:  personal care is one and the other one is general assistance.

          The personal care aides do more services like monitoring blood pressure, making sure people take their meds (although they don't administer it) assistance with bathing and toilet, etc. I think all the aides in this category are CNAs.

          The general assistance aides are the ones who can come in and simply do shopping, light housekeeping, cooking, companionship, etc. and they are paid at a lower hourly rate.

          Notice the category "companionship"? That is a big and overlooked area. Sometimes an older person who is lonely and isolated appreciates someone to come in and play gin or cribbage or Scrabble or something. That kind of mental stimulation is every bit as important as the physical assistance.

          Veterans who require Home Health Assistance can apply for special benefits that apply specifically to this kind of situation. It's worth looking into for all veterans - you need documentation from a doctor that the assistance is necessary.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:50:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty sure you need a CNA license (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            and a physical to do the work where you're lifting people.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 09:40:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  a lot of this work is done off the books (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlackSheep1, Sunspots

              by anyone people can find to do the work. it's quite common in these parts for relatives to pay a person to live with someone 24/7. there's an entire underground economy of such arrangements, necessary because our society refuses to meet the needs of its people.

              •  Ok, let me put that another way (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sunspots, leftangler

                one of the hardest concepts to somebody on a CERT team is the notion that sometimes you not only should not go, you DO NOT go, because you risk making yourself a casualty, which is the opposite of helping.

                So if you cannot pass the physical (I can't) and the basic CNA course, you should not, even off the books, be doing the work of a CNA. Not because of risk to the patient but because of risk to the people who will wind up having to rescue  both the patient and you -- and if the family is finding barter-economy ways to augment caregiving, the last thing in the world they need is to be discovered as the reason there are two (or more) people in need of rescue now.

                We all have to behave responsibly. Sometimes step one is to recognize that the first phrase in the Hippocratic Oath ("first, do no harm") INCLUDES the person contemplating how to help, here.

                I remember vividly how embarrassed and angry I was when a TEEX instructor in our CERT class stopped me from helping with a fireman's carry evacuation (of a person in a chair) because the instructor saw my knee not holding up. I, on the other hand, had already sucked down the pain and compensated for the give with balance-and-grip (like I do every day since I was 20 years old and trashed my knees in the Air Force) and thought I'd be fine if we didn't waste around on this lift.

                There were not enough people on the team to carry two people out of the situation.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 10:08:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not here in Va. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

              by emmasnacker on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:28:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Concierge for the elderly (6+ / 0-)

        is an excellent suggestion.  My husband's late aunt lived in her own home until her death at 100.  She was in excellent physical and mental health for her age, but needed some help around her home.  She employed a woman who took her shopping and to the hair dresser, and occasionally ran errands for her. Her helper also did light housekeeping for my husband's aunt.  The helper worked in a minimum of a three hour block which was regularly scheduled and had other similar clients.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:21:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Home Health Care (5+ / 0-)

        Be careful who you work for, and I'm not talking about the patients. If there were ever an industry that needed unionization, it's this one.

        My aunt should be able to enjoy her life without working now that she's 79, but she's working as a health aid in an elder care village. She has been required to do tasks beyond her ability, despite her own physical ailments.

        This from a "Christian" owned business entity.

        •  you're right about being careful (4+ / 0-)

          we had home health care aides for my grandmother. I got to be close to our favorite one. she was our main one- when she needed time off the agency sent different aides to cover. agnes still called every day to check in- I think she wanted to make sure we knew she wanted to come back.

          we talked a lot- she said on one job she went up to bed and found the client's adult son in her bed, so she went downstairs and stayed awake on the sofa all night. she called her boss in the morning.

          I can't imagine how terrified she must have been.

          agnes was wonderful. when my grandmother ended up back at the hospital, she went w/ my grandmother and stayed w/ her in the room during the day. once when I came by to visit w/ the kids, I tried to hand her two folded up $20 bills to help w/ how much she was probably spending on snacks or lunch in the cafeteria, but she wouldn't let me. she said she was packing lunch from my grandma's house, and she didn't want it and she wouldn't take it. she even sat on her hands so I couldn't give it to her! she just kept shaking her head and saying no. after my grandmother passed, agnes did let my mom give her some money.

          some of my relatives got all worked up at the funeral- agnes (she's black, an immigrant from Ghana) sat w/ us, and people thought she was my brother's girlfriend or wife. my brother came home for the funeral- most family hadn't seen him in years.

          most of my family are reasonable people, but some of us are obnoxious racists. it might sound like i'm prejudiced against Italians here, but i'm just saying some of the old Italians in MY family are racist. they think they're being quiet when they say stuff to each other, but everyone hears them. it's almost comical.

          back at the house after we were in the kitchen- almost everyone came back to eat. a song came on the radio- I can't remember which one. agnes said awwwwwwww- your grandmother and I used to dance to this song!

          "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

          by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:53:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Great advice. (8+ / 0-)

      Dye your hair---seriously. My once almost black hair went wacko a few years ago and is now dull and old looking, so I started using a rinse every few weeks, and it's gorgeous. And takes 10-15 years off.

      Walk spritely. I don't care if you have arthritis---I have horrible bursitis in one hip and all manner of problems from old injuries, and I make sure no one can tell by my walk. Makes the cranky bones feel better, too.

      Be aware of the trends in your field (or fields). Etc.

      I'm no spring chicken, and I'm in real danger of becoming unemployed soon---in fact, I'm anticipating it---due to the financial condition of the school that employs me. And I've spent the past few months preparing, making myself as re-employable as possible, even down to stopping contributions to my retirement (a difficult decision, as the school matches my contributions) so I have extra to buy new shoes.

      It's sounds so superficial---and it is---but first impressions are everything in this kind of job market.

      For now, take heart, breathe deeply and remember emma's advice: a paycheck is a paycheck.

      •  Exercise if you can (6+ / 0-)

        that helps both with your general mood as well as with the spring in the step.  Again, first impressions and appearance (not necessarily your face, your body, but your movement and cheeriness) matter a lot.  I am so sorry about your job loss, but good luck!  Things are rough, but there are possibilities.  The assistance thing, for elderly, for the ones who want to stay in their homes, is something that really is growing and might be a good fit for you, particularly as a more mature (i.e. not 21 year old) person.  I certainly would rather deal with a 52 year old (for me or for my parents!) than someone just out of her teen years.

    •  My best friend (8+ / 0-)

      lost three govt. jobs in the space of four years, all as a result of govt. downsizing. In each case, her division or dept was eliminated. She was nearly sixty when the first downsize hit her. She had excellent work record, impeccable credentials, and a great network in her field but so did most of her downsized co-workers. Because she is unmarried and helps support her mother, she had to find a job, any job to keep her income flowing.  Each time, she took a lower paying job, but it was a job.  She is finally in a job she loves, even though her earnings are now considerably lower than when she lost her first job.  The key for her was to stay in the work force.  If at all possible, try to stay in the work force, regardless of the pay or job.  It is much easier to find a job when you are already working.

      It is a difficult time when you suddenly and unexpectedly lose your job.  Try to stay positive.  Good luck.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 06:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm trying to put myself (8+ / 0-)

    in your place.

    I'm 52 also. Employed since I was 16, but never at one place for more than 6 years, which is how long it takes me to get completely bored and cynical and in need of a change.

    I move for jobs. NYC to Jacksonville to Saratoga to Baltimore to Indianapolis.

    I'm feeling my age. Mowing the lawn used to be a nice walk around my property and has become a drudgery sweaty chore that I've contracted out for two years now for $35 a week.

    If I lost my job today, I would not mow lawns for a living. I would probably walk dogs for folks that spend 10 hours a day somewhere away from home. It would provide about 15% of my current income, so I'd be blowing through my retirement savings.

    I would seriously consider austerity and stop paying my bills.

    I would be tempted to grow weed for income, which has stiff penalties in a red state like Indiana, but is the third largest cash crop in this state behind corn and soybeans.

    After the soul searching, I know criminal activity is not for me, I would make finding a job, my job. I would dedicate at least 8 hours a day in the pursuit of gainful employment.

    But before that, like I said, there needs to be soul searching.

    What would I like to do that someone will pay me to do?

    This is your opportunity to reflect on that. What do you like to do? Have you spent your working life doing something you'd rather not do? I have. I drag my ass to work 5 days a week and can't wait to get the hell out of there every day.

    I do it because it pays well, but I often wonder if I've seriously fucked up and spent my life making other people wealthier at a cost to my personal happiness.

    I've never been fired. I can only imagine the feeling of something so damaging to my self worth... that's why this may be an opportunity. A costly one, no doubt, but try and decide what it is you LIKE to do, and see if there's a way to get paid doing that. Follow your bliss.

    Me, I would love to teach. I find nothing more delightful than watching the lights go on when I talk to young people and share what I've learned over a lifetime.

    That's my next career. I need to go back to school, but it's something I think I would really enjoy.

    What can you do, that you like to do, that someone will pay you to do?  There's no market for mattress testers, sadly.

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 03:42:30 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, I always wonder what I'd do too. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm also 52 -- too damn old to get hired into a job with a future and too damn young to retire.

      I'd probably pay off my mortgage (I have enough in the bank to do that, I just never bothered because it seemed crazy to put my money in a wasting asset), live as cheaply as I could, and quickly grab a part-time job, hoping to eventually find full-time work.

      Theoretically, I could make it to retirement that way if I started collecting my pension at 60 (for less money), though I'd be living awfully close to the edge and may have to sell my place to get over the hump.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:30:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have not-for-cause terminations in my state... (6+ / 0-)

    .....and we're not a so-called right-to-work state.

    I don't think one has anything to do with the other though, obviously, that's cold comfort to the one terminated.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 04:22:46 AM PDT

  •  It's terrifying, I know, but a few suggestions (7+ / 0-)

    Start working on a list of resume keywords. You're obviously not going to use old, fat or short so drop those. Make an honest list of positive adjectives: experienced, responsible, attentive to detail.

    I'm 55 now and unemployed since December and had to come up with a brand new resume having lost my older ones through time and computer crashes. It was an exhausting, frustrating  process. I had a couple friends helping review and edit. I've had surprisingly good results with it - 8 interviews off 50 submissions. I can send you a sample/format and offer feedback if you like.

    Other suggestions:
    Keep on a schedule. Get up and dressed. Make breakfast. Take a walk at a designated time. Set appointed times to work on your  job search. Take another walk.

    Stay in touch with your former colleagues, contact old friends and coworkers, let everyone know your looking for a job.

    Schedule in some volunteer work. Many communities have a website to explore options and offer your services.

    Look for free, online training. I took courses in IRS VITA program to be volunteer tax preparer and others to improve keyboard skills. Another form of exercise.

    I know it's exhausting and demoralizing but what are you going to do? We just have to stay positive and keep plugging

    I really do wish you the best and luck is a big part of that but we can't trust to that entirely. It's a lot of work to be unemployed.

    Stay strong and don't despair!

  •  Put yourself away from it (5+ / 0-)

    Make sure that You are here and your identity as a worker is over there. Do not take any crap from yourself. Don't let the first whisper of the first voice say one word about how any part of you is less. You are the same person today as two weeks ago. You are no worse and some better, because now you have faced a dragon.

    Peace I wish you.

    I would also say to go quickly to the nearest Social Security office and be very pleasant. If you are lucky (alas), you will get a person who will help you and explain the options. I would say that this is far better than using the web, especially as the web sites are somewhat intentionally obfuscatory (depending on which red state).

    "...ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be." - Juliana of Norwich

    by The Geogre on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:13:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm in my 50's (10+ / 0-)

    also. A scary time to start over, for sure. I started my own business - home repairs, remods, rock laying, decks, etc. - getting pretty good at walk-in baths, they're getting popular with older folks. You're gonna get lots of well meaning advice that you'll probably get sick of. The only thing that helps me carry on is spiritual in nature, but I wouldn't dare start giving you advice on that front either! But please post often, release your worries to this community - it will be quite therapeutic. Being liberal, we're empathetic to the core. What is empathy but love? So, we all (collectively) love you very much - and we want you to be happy and content. With so much love and positivity focused on you now, how could you fail?
    Now, follow your bliss -  

  •  so sorry. hope it works out for the best. (5+ / 0-)

    I got laid off last month. they said it was for "lack of work." it wasn't- the week before they told us all there was a lock down on schedule requests because we're so busy. they need every driver to report for every shift.

    they laid me off because I asked my boss if we could have the state and federal wage and labor standards posters put up. can you believe they didn't have them?

    then I asked why the company wasn't complying with Connecticut's paid sick leave law. it went into effect in January 2012, and as of January 2013 they were still claiming they got a special waiver from the state. of course the state of Connecticut hasn't granted anyone a "special waiver."

    I had cameras and a gps in my vehicle- i'm sure if they had ever found anything they could use to terminate me they would have used it.

    they put up some posters and about a month before they let me go they announced their new paid sick leave policy. what they were worried about is i'd get a union in there. I never tried, but when people heard I used to work in a union lot they asked about it and I spoke very positively.

    i'm filing a complaint w/ the labor board- not so much about the wrongful termination (although there is that,) but about the paid sick leave policy- they're still not doing it right.

    I have a job lined up for next week- people I met while volunteering on political campaigns want me to work for them full time. we always knew i'd come work there eventually- just didn't know exactly when. they were excited to learn I was available full time now. earlier I worked part time for one of their dad's to help out.

    I think you should tell everyone you know you're looking for work, just in case they hear of anything- a lot of jobs get filled through word of mouth before anyone advertises the job is available. don't just tell friends and family- tell everyone.

    have you filed an unemployment claim yet? make sure you do that! I don't know about your state, but mine offers some companies incentives to hire people who are currently collecting unemployment. my new bosses will get help like that.

    your state's department of labor might have job postings. even if you don't get a job through them, if you keep checking their job postings you can be fulfilling any requirements they have that you're actively seeking work while you collect unemployment.

    good luck! you'll come back and update us all, right?

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 05:42:11 AM PDT

  •  My job was relocated to a right to work state (7+ / 0-)

    and I had until the end of May to find a new one or move with my job.

    I was very fortunate to find a new job within a month. I'm 58 and work in IT. For the first time in my career I was forced to accept a cut in pay, but at least it's a survivable one so I consider myself lucky.

    My best advice to you is not to give up looking. call everyone you know and keep your head up. You didn't get to 52 by not being a worthwhile person. You already know how to make it through tough times. Yes it gets tougher every time, but age brings a tenacity that many foolish people underestimate.

    Best of luck to you.

  •  I was an average height, fat, 52-year-old female (8+ / 0-)

    last fall when I ended up unemployed.  It sucked.  I thought of life under the bridge.

    I made it a point to apply for three jobs every day, more if I could.  (I'm fortunate - I live in a big city, so that was a possibility even if some of them were decidedly sub-optimal.)  I let each and every friend know that I was looking for work, and to tell me if they heard of something even if it seemed far-fetched.  In the interim, I started volunteering in the nearby national park - I'd long toyed with working there and thought it might be a good way to make some connections.  It got me out of the house and circulating with people.  

    I had one interview about a week and a half after I started looking (someone with more background in the industry got it) and then heard from no one else for two months.

    Finally in late January, I saw an opening in my former field.  I sent a resume, they called me for an interview, and now I've been there almost 3 months.  On the night before I started, one of the other places I'd applied to (that I was genuinely interested in) called to see if I could come for an interview that week... too late.  And on my third day of work, the place I'd interviewed with in November called to see if I was still looking - the person they'd hired instead of me didn't work out.

    As a 50+, your 30 or 35 years of working give you experience that is extremely valuable.  You've seen what can go wrong, so you can anticipate and prevent problems.  If something happens, you know how to deal with it.  You've got connections and contacts and resources that are based on real working relationships, not just Google, Yelp and LinkedIn.

    But don't dismiss those entirely.  Join LinkedIn and build up contacts - it's something a lot of companies use to check references.  Use craiglist for job listings.  If you're here in the SF Bay Area, there's also a site called that's for non-profits and the like (lots of volunteer opportunities, of course, but also some paying positions).

    Good luck.  It will be frustrating, but it's not impossible.  Your experience is what makes you valuable - sell that.

  •  1. Apply for the other jobs at that company. (4+ / 0-)

    Unless it's a horrible place to work, why not?  "Not for cause" means it was because of their business reasons, not because of your performance or because you did anything wrong.

    2. Also, look elsewhere!

    3. "Right to Work" is something different. You are probably in a state where the default is "at will". This means that an employer can fire you for any reason, or no reason. Most employees in most states are "at will". The only protection against that is to be covered under a contract, like a union contract.

  •  {{{ enufisenu }}} (3+ / 0-)

    I'm so sorry to hear this.
    keep your chin up !

    Good Luck

  •  52 is not old- don't let ageism get into your head (5+ / 0-)

    Or let it stop you from moving forward! Lots of helpful advice here. I am sorry for your job loss. It sucks. Many of us are a paycheck away from financial crisis.  And these are challenging times to put oneself out in the job market.

    I wish you luck, but most of all I wish you confidence! You have a lot to offer a new potential employer or perhaps your former company. Wisdom and experience along with the skills you've fine tuned over the years are valuable.
    Without knowing details of your past employment- I'm sure you must have transferable sills.
    You are your own best advocate.  I hate the stereotype of "old"  and unemployable.  I do know that ageism exists- but don't feed it!

    I know this is an adjustment time, and I know it's scary. Don't let it paralyze you. Your state most likely has a career center attached to unemployment- lots of free resources. Use it.  You are NOT old!

    There's plenty of women and men- most notable in  politics- well into their 60's and 70's- doing fabulous work.
    Think Hillary or Nancy!
    Find your mojo!!!

    Watch out for the UnderToad ~ The World According To Garp

    by donaurora on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 07:04:16 AM PDT

  •  I'll be out of work for 6 months at the end of (4+ / 0-)

    this week. I'm 53. Once you file for unemployment, check for any government resources that are available. There is help for job searching, placement and training. I even found funding for my mortgage.

    It's OK to indulge yourself a little. Catch up on your sleep and if you have any projects you wanted to finish, now's the time.

    Misery loves company, and there are a lot of us in this situation.

  •  Best of luck to you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StateofEuphoria, indubitably

    This is a repost of a rather lengthy comment I made to another diary. I hope there is something here that can help.

    I was 62 when the ax fell on my job

    I had never been out of work in my life. The company I worked for was bought out and as the CFO I was the first to go.

    I was unemployed for 18 months but I never quit applying for jobs. I sent out dozens of resumes. I'm not trying to hijack your diary, just saying I think I understand your situation.

    Here are the tricks that I tried.

    I tightened up my resume by fudging very slightly on employment dates to eliminate a couple of short term jobs that didn't work out. I obviously didn't mention my graduation date.

    I applied for out of state jobs even though it wasn't really practical to move. On a couple of occasions this got me into a corporate pipeline where I could find out about local jobs with these companies.

    My "job" every day was to hunt for a job. I never gave up.

    I connected on one occasion with an HR manager who was older than the norm and we really hit it off. Unfortunately the company pulled this job and did not fill it but if you make a connection with an older person in the company it can work to your advantage.

    Try to connect with old friends and acquaintances to see if they have any openings or know of openings elsewhere. After I finally landed a job I talked to an old friend and she was surprised to find out I had been out of a job. She said she would have hired me in a heartbeat if she had known.

    I landed the job I have now because my boss was about my age and our personalities really connected. I will be the first to admit it was dumb luck but it was an opportunity I created because I applied to a five word help wanted ad. It took a little convincing to assure him that I was not overqualified and I just came right out and told him not to let pay be an obstacle that I just wanted the job. (Which was true.)

    I'm happy with my new job. I'm making less than I was but receiving a very decent salary. We are not out of the woods because we are deeply in debt and have no savings but at least we can survive.

    I am the worst cynic in the world, definitely not a Pollyanna, but you have to keep your game on. With a little luck you will make a connection with an HR person or interviewer who will see the value in your resume.

    Best of luck.

  •  Thank you, everyone, for all your good wishes! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And thank you for the advice, too. :)

    I have already arranged the haircut, and I will be coloring my hair.  I've purchased new makeup (I've always been one for the "well-scrubbed" look, but I do know how to use makeup!), and I have new shoes to interview in.  Thank heavens it's summer, as I have several dresses that will be okay to interview in.

    I have updated my LinkedIn profile, and I started putting applications out the very next day.  I even created an e-mail account that will be just for job responses so I don't miss one in my regular account.

    I'm still dealing with the "gibbering lizardbrain" phase; fear is still pretty overwhelming.  My insurance is good through May 31, so I'm getting a tooth looked at today that's bothering me.  I have to do it now, because there's no way I will be able to afford COBRA ($444 per month - while I'm unemployed?  SINGLE PAYER NOW!!)

    My skill field is administrative assistant - I know how to keep calendars for executives, organize events, create agendas, take notes, enter time, reconcile purchasing cards, handle a multi-line phone, meet and greet at a front desk, etc.  I have excellent skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and basic skills in Publisher (I just need more experience there).  I even type over 80 words per minute and can transcribe dictation, including medical dictation (I have medical terminology).

    I think I'll go knit for a bit now; it's relaxing and I have lots of yarn! :)

    Thanks again!

  •  Three thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    1) You may have a possible age discrimination claim. I have no idea if you do from the facts given, and I am not about to provide legal advice on the internet even if you did provide that data; still, if you think that it's a possibility, it wouldn't hurt to call the EEOC.
    2) You no doubt have already done this, but just in case, file for unemployment.
    3) No advice here, just my hope you land on your feet and in an even better job!

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