Friday, October 26, 2012

Pondering On Stable Jobs And Late Retirement

This week, I met someone who wanted to apply to our company. I was surprised to find out that she was already 53 years old. I was deceived by her photo on her resume which probably was taken 10 years ago or who knows more. I didn't want to think about it anymore as a new realization dawned on me. As I continued to skim her resume, I found out how experienced she was and somehow I felt bad for her. Why? Because she is currently jobless and she is over aged. Yes, that's right. I said the word, over aged. I thought age doesn't matter? Truth be told, it does. Unfortunately, it matters too much in my company and I am deeply saddened by that because I know that one day, I might just be this woman.

I decided to follow the protocol. I gave her the exam and after passing with flying colors, I knew I had to conduct an initial interview. I was disturbed. I didn't know what to say but I didn't want her to see all that. I did my job and told her that she should just wait for the call of our manager which I personally know will never arrive. I lied to her. I could have said her the truth but it was uncomfortable and I knew it would hurt. Somehow I had to tell our supervisor to please be more specific with their job ads next time. I wanted to avoid such experiences as I have a soft spot for people who are older than me. I told my supervisor to add an age limit to their job ads so that old applicants will not waste their time here. I also didn't want to face anymore of them. Not because I am mean but only because I do not have the heart to face them.

I am currently 27 years old. I am not an old lady yet but in the future, I know I will be. As uncertainty gnaws at me, I feel scared of what the future might bring. I don't want to be jobless or homeless. I don't want to be useless. I want to be busy and fruitful. I was not born to be idle. I reflected on the choices that I have made in the past and somehow I regret some of them. I wish to change some of them but I know that it is not possible. I wonder what my like would have been like if things were different. I guess I will never know. Maybe I need to find more stability in my life especially in my career. I want to stay in a company for a long time but things don't always work out for me. Perhaps I should stop being picky. I should be more of a grown up and just suck it up.

I don't want to ask myself questions like: When I am more than 35, will companies still hire me? For sure, some will. Call centers aren't that picky. Some education related companies aren't as well. But do I still want to keep on looking for jobs until I am more than 35? Actually, I don't. If possible, I want to just have a stable job or a business that I can run. At this rate, I don't mind both at all as I am in need of money after all. Going back to the woman that I met, I realized how late some people retire. My mom retired early only because she wanted to concentrate on my younger sister but she does have a business so that doesn't count. My father, however, is a workaholic. I don't think he wants to slow down soon but he knows he has to do it. He isn't getting any younger after all. Besides, I want him to enjoy what he has worked so hard for too. I don't want him to work himself to death.

In the Philippines, many people do not have the liberty or the luxury to retire young. Lucky are those who come from rich families and do not need to work so hard every day. Whenever I see or meet old people who continue to work, I feel my heart breaking for them. I don't want to be like that when I am a frail, old woman. I want to just sit on my rocking chair and just watch as my grandchildren play around me but will I have the luxury to do that? I don't know for sure. The Philippines is a third world country after all and many people here believe that the only answer to poverty is to either work in a call center or to work abroad. I didn't have that kind of mentality then as I have been abroad for more than 6 years as a student and I know that life is not easy when you are in another country. But then again, that doesn't really count because I didn't work then. I just hope that somehow someday, that woman that I met this week won't be me. That is all I am thinking of right now.
 From now on, I will just rant but I will not back down and will not quit. Quitters never win after all. I am just going to think that I will feel better after ranting and that there are people out there who are probably having things harder than me. That would be a comforting thought at some point.
 Would you hire someone who is more than 50 years old in your company? If I was an owner of a company, I might reconsider but that depends on if the person can still do the job or not. Otherwise, I will just have to turn the person down. Something that I really dread doing...
Somehow I don't want my retirement to be this way. Hopefully, someday I will be able to afford my own retirement...

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