We all have pressures in our lives — it’s part of growing old. New pressures replace old pressures. Society puts pressure on us.
In 2000 I stopped working. The economy was decent & hubby’s job was going well. We had just moved into a condo near the beach. Fast forward to 2004. Hubby’s phone business was starting to suffer, a little. By that time we had moved inland, but in a golf course country club environment — all was still pretty good. 2008 – we sold the house to move into a 55 & over community — no golf course or country club. We had downsized and hubby’s phone business was going rapidly downhill. Clients he had depended on residual revenue were closing up shop or going bankrupt.
By 2010 I had started to look for work. My skills had started way back in the late 1970’s with DOS computers, then word processing ‘computers’. I did some programming (DOS) & then data entry. As a typist, I could do statistical typing & of course, the typical letter or memo. I didn’t have to be a ‘team player’ & worked independently. I had a job to do & didn’t need someone looking over my shoulder. I could go to the bathroom when I wanted & knew that my breaks were 15 mins in the morning, 15 mins in the afternoon at an assigned time. I worked 9-5, 5 work days a week. Technology & I progressed together; I learned how to use a PC & even got my first home desktop computer back in 1991.
It quickly dawned on me during my job hunts that my personal, not computer skills, were outdated. Yes, I was proficient with the latest computer software. But I interviewed with people much younger than me. Interviewers told me work weeks were now 7 days a week, with your ‘off’ day during the week. Work hours were no longer 9-5. Sure, I had done overtime in the 1990’s, but not a lot. However, this wasn’t overtime — this was working at so-called ‘odd hours’ & on weekends.
From 2010-2012 I worked (briefly) at different jobs. There was always a frenzied pace. Younger people could work circles around me, and not just physically. There was a backbiting atmosphere; every person was out for themselves. In my younger work days the workers worked together as a unit, helping each other out, giving out work tips. It was ‘us’ against ‘management’.
Today’s work management encourages this gladiator environment. We are pitted against each other; whoever is more successful at their job gets to keep their job. Most workers no longer ‘give out’ helpful tips to guide the newcomer. The newcomer is perceived as invading the work turf & is a threat to the oldtimer’s job. This has created a cutthroat work environment.
At my present job I have to ask ‘permission’ to go to the bathroom. Fellow workers my age do not adapt well to raising their hand to ask a younger supervisor if they can can take a bathroom break (as in, can I go to the bathroom?) Most of the workers my age just get up & go to the bathroom. As for breaks, we also have to raise our hands to ‘get permission’ to go. If the phone lines are too busy, we have to wait. That is fine with me. What isn’t fine with me is that you have to raise your hand every 20 mins or so to remind the supervisor you still haven’t gotten a break.
I’m 59-11/12 yrs old. I don’t mind doing the job but I do mind being treated like a child. As for my fellow workers (young & yes, some old) in order to get the best leads (sales) they resort to methods I find beneath me. This was not the work world I started out in back in 1975. It is a hostile world with constant pressure on your back. Making money has always been a company’s goal, but present times have created a world of pitting worker against worker.
I may have dread turning 60 but for the first time I wish I was of Social Security age.