Last Friday, we held a forum that was primarily about TGB reader Joan's brother who had recently been laid off work at age 55, and the awful consequences of losing one's job if you are older than 50.
(If you missed it, Joan's brother responded to your comments and you can read that here.)
Then, over the weekend, Mage Bailey of Postcards blog forwarded the story of a young man and his father – also age 55 - who has been unemployed for way too long.
It is hard to cover all the things I want on this blog and one that has fallen through the cracks is the relationship between us old folks and younger people.
It often seems that young and old don't know one another well enough or that not much empathy passes back and forth. American popular culture doesn't leave a lot of room for elders, most especially not a lot of room for interaction between young and old.
But it's there, it happens, it's going on in real life every day and Mage passed on one of those stories.
It's a father/son tale that the father posted on his Pedestrian Wanderings page at OpenDiary.
The father titled the story, Unbeknownst to Me and prefaced the entry with, “Unbeknownst to me, N [the son] posted this ad on Craigslist:”
”Hire my dad!
“The company he worked for folded last year and he's been pounding the pavement (and Internet pavement) looking for a job ever since. He's done plenty of interviews but hasn't managed to land anything and I'm beginning to suspect it's because he's in his 50s.
“Maybe they're worried he won't understand or adapt well to new technology, which is total bullshit. For example, he has a QR code on his résumé. You know those squarish barcodes from Japan? Yeah, one of those. It links to his LinkedIn profile. I don't even have that and I'm a hip Millenial! Also, he checks his Google Analytics every night to see who's visiting his art website. If you've got tech, he can use it.
“Maybe they're thinking he's planning on coasting to retirement or will feel entitled to a higher position. Wrong! The man hasn't coasted a day in his life. You hire him and he's your guy, no matter what. Kind of like Ryan Gosling in that movie Driver, only with less head smashing. (And by less, I mean none, I swear.)
“Maybe they think he's too set in his ways to operate in a dynamic environment. Wrong again! He's done lots of different jobs: newspaper photographer, worked in a printshop, as a delivery driver, admin assistant for fundraisers.
“The man is the face of being adaptable in dynamic circumstances. He even shot a rattlesnake in our garage once, though I suppose that wasn't really a job.
“He's also funny, personable and has no tattoos, piercings or felony convictions.
“So if you might want to hire my dad, e-mail me.”
Just wonderful, don't you think? If I had any jobs to hand out, I'd sure email the son.
I suspect other acts of kindness – between relatives such as this one and among friends and even strangers of disparate age – go on every day that we will never know. It's good to read one now and then.
The father mentions at the end of the post that his son had already forwarded a response to the Craigslist ad. Maybe by now there are more.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Joanne Zimmermann: Abby Tabby