I’m booked for next week, to be in southern California for a visit that was originally going to be in mid-March. The change is for two reasons. My son will be back in San Diego on Monday, so I will be rolling into town on Sunday night, and be at pierside when his ship docks. As for the rest of the time, I will see what his schedule is first, and contact Xanga friends on Monday evening.
The second reason is, my brother from Georgia will be in Tucson in mid-March. So, my visit there will be moved up from April, to the time originally set for SoCal.
All this brings me back, however obliquely, to what I have done for a living for the past thirty-five years, and why my current work situation is so sketchy. Simply put, the American hiring ethic is based on fear.
Hiring managers and supervisors, in schools, human service agencies and even volunteer agencies like the American Red Cross, are operating on a fear mode- afraid of hiring, or accepting as a volunteer: Anyone who has not worked full-time in one place, for at least five years, regardless of the reason; anyone who has had a difference of opinion with a supervisor or interagency co-worker; anyone who has had, and worked through, financial difficulties.
Fear rules, and achievement is blown off, overlooked, discounted- unless it has bee.n sustained, in one place, for five years or more. The President is concerned about the long-term unemployed, especially us older workers, and why aren’t we more actively seeking re-employment. Here it is-Straight-up: Public school systems, Magellan Health Services and your partner agencies in”promoting mental health”, County, state and tribal social service agencies- STOP THE BS AND START HELPING THE SITUATION, INSTEAD OF BEING A HINDRANCE. Stop the shame games of accenting money, politics and personality where the focus ought to be on helping troubled people getting healed. Stop claiming older workers who have done more lucrative jobs in their younger days are “overqualified” and therefore ineligible for the jobs you have available- jobs these older workers are perfectly willing and able to do.
American Red Cross- Shame on you for suggesting that someone like me, who spent years caring for his dying wife, is UNQUALIFIED to even take CLASSES in serving on a Disaster Response Team.
For the record, I have a current State of Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card. I have never been accused of, nor have I indulged in, crimes against persons, of any age. I have, instead, been sober for the past 31 years, counseled over 2,000 people while serving as a school counselor and mentored at least three hundred others. I have worked hard at every job I’ve been given, where the expectations have been clear and the rules have not shifted randomly, due to fear or gamesmanship.
I am one older worker. I am the tip of a very large iceberg. We,as a group, do not like being discounted, ignored or disparaged. We do not enjoy working in dribs and drabs.
(I’m aware that posting stuff like this on Facebook is counterintuitive, and may not work to my advantage. It’s more important for me to speak up. I served my nation. I loved and cared for my wife. I faithfully raised a productive young man. I have loved and cared for thousands of children and teens, as if they were my own. I will not shut up and go away.