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Thursday, 30 July 2009

Get a Job

By Brenda Adams who blogs at Jive Chalkin'

After retiring, I felt like experimenting with job hunting just to see if ageism exists and how companies treat senior applicants. I didn't exactly need a job, but what if I did and how would I handle rejection?

I applied to a furniture-making company as a sales associate. Here's how it went down:

I put on my best threads, panty hose and polish. Grabbed a Bob Marley CD. April snowstorm. Slippery. Cars backed up on the Trans Canada Highway. I arrived in the vicinity an hour early and spotted a Tim Horton's (coffee) on the corner. Jackpot. Ordered a "rrrrolll up the rim" (look under the rim to win prizes), broke a nail prying open the rim and found I'd won another coffee. Not bad so far.

Pulled out my Gazette and had a good read.

This is my first face-to-face interview since retiring. How will it turn out? Lets find out.

I parked in front of the building and went inside. Receptionist shot me the thousand-yard stare.

"Are you Linda?"

"No, I'm Brenda," I replied, grinning broadly.

"Linda, Lucy, they're all the same to me," cracked the woman, and went back to her pocketbook.

I almost said, "Then you won't mind me calling you Phyllis Diller.

There was a long pause as she bent her page down and gave me another bored look. Seeing I wasn't going anywhere, she thumbed me to the back where the real boss was.

I started walking that way and someone hollered, "Stop right there." When did this interview become CSI Miami? I froze, hands by my sides.

The short, red-haired, real boss walked toward me carrying a tiny Yorkshire dog in a sling across her chest. She shook my hand and explained that Tallulah was very sick and dying and, "I can't put her down."

The dog was wheezing and coughing like my old dishwasher. "She's on water pills," the boss whispered. Just like my dad was before he died. I still miss him."

We sat down on a showroom love seat, completely forgot about the interview and talked pets for an hour. Every now and then, boss lady scrunched up her face, wrinkled her nose and said, "Tallulah is letting off serious gas. Poor thing."

What could I say to that? Maybe you should bottle it and use it to run your company van? Think of global warming.

There we were, talking about how much we love cats and dogs. Now and then the boss said, "You are exactly the perfect type for this job." In all that time, her fingers never once touched my carefully typed CV.

"I don't need to look at this,” she claimed. “I know what kind of person I want."

Suddenly Tallulah rolled out of the sling and lay stiff upside down on the couch. I wondered if I should dial 911 right then and there, but she was just stretching.

We finally moved from dog to job. "Age is a plus in this line of work. Some of the others are 55 and 70."

Boss lady said she had lots more interviews to conduct and she'd let me know my chances soon. We shook hands. I left walking fast to my car. Pressed Play: I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot no deputy down, oh no. (Bob Marley)

Four months later, the boss called and offered me the job.

No thanks. I figured she hired and fired someone else, and I was to be the next sucker.

No thanks.

I enjoyed telling her I made my own job, and loved it.

Nobody, but me, can fire me.

Ha ha.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

I love it!!! I was teaching 3 1/2 hours a week and just lost my job. It was sort of by choice because I did not want the same class for three years in a row. The money would be useful but the stress of discipline with certain boys in the class, was too much for me. I don't want anymore bosses in my life. I want to be my own boss and not have to kiss up or be positive and smile, when I feel like screaming...I too have - at age nearly 66 - reached that point.

Hi Brenda,

You are a very good writer. I enjoyed reading your story and especially liked the remark you made to that rude woman."Then you won't mind me calling you Phyllis Diller"

Good for you. I usually think of these great retorts about two days after the event. I'm glad you were so quick...

Funny story! Delightful writing style.

Great story. I can see why you would want to be your own boss. You are so much smarter than the woman who offered you a job four months after you applied.

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