Get in Where you Fit in………
A favorite expression of one of my co-workers who is in his 60s. His saying came to mind as I was reading a Facebook post from a different co-worker who complains a lot about our job. We are all Museum Guards. Admittedly nobody goes to College to become a low paid Museum Guard but like many Baby Boomers who were laid off in the financial crisis and recession of 2006, 2007, 2008…… We learned the hard way that most employers do not hire people over 50. That is just the way it is. A difficult reality.
In our past lives we all had well paying fulfilling jobs but when you are faced with not being able to pay your bills or more importantly your rent you have to take what is available. Security is the one field that will hire over 50 people. Even though I went for other jobs both inside and outside the museum where I felt my skills would be put to good use once again even with me being a Veteran, a College graduate and having years of experience nobody will promote or hire somebody whose work history dates back to the 1970s. We 50+ folks are considered dinosaurs.
I understand my co-workers frustration because he is a talented illustrator but in order to survive in America often you must put aside your expectations and deal with current events. Do you want to eat? Or starve? Do you want to be evicted? Do you want your phone and utilities cut off? Your answer is probably No. Therefore you must do jobs that you are overqualified for and other little or no mental stimulation.
When I first started working at the museum I was frustrated, angry and I felt I deserved better. I felt I was owed something. Reality check. Life owes you nothing. My past achievements mean nothing. Whatever experience, knowledge or wisdom you have to share is not valued in a society that is mesmerized by youth, gadgets, devices, & apps.
You’ve seen those headlines in major financial publications that run articles like 40 under 40 or 30 under 30. You get the message.
And as my Aunts used to say, We are not spring chickens. Silicon Valley/Alley is not looking for folks in my age group. Then again I’m not looking for them either.
I am grateful that I had good jobs back in 1980s, 1990s & early 2000s. I’m glad I served my country in the military. Yes of course it would be nice if I had a better job where I could make a greater contribution but like I said before or better yet look at the media, TV, Movies, Internet, etc….. When was the last time you saw an actress over 40 in a leading romantic role or better yet one over 50. Rarely. Made my point. If the hiring manager or H.R. person is young enough to be your child you can be eloquent and erudite all you want but as soon as you leave the office your resume will go in the trash. This assuming you get an interview at all.
Once I made peace with my lot in life. Let go of my false expectations and concentrated on what I can get out of this job in terms of benefits, pension and healthcare my life became easier. The anger and frustration dissipated. As I’ve learned from Buddhist teachings desire is a source of unhappiness.
My heart is with my gifted illustrator co-worker because I was once in his shoes. He is a nice guy and I know he is doing the best he can for himself and his wife.
After having gone through years of tears I can appreciate my Get in Where you Fit in approach to life. I also admire him because as many of us who are in our 50s & 60s know middle-aged often brings sickness, disease, illness and injury. We have in common that our bodies are breaking down. Physically we are not the same as we were during our 20s & 30s. Pills become a daily regimen and we see more of our various health care practitioners than we do our own families. Yet Thankfully our minds are still strong and sharp. Even though the workforce does not want or need us we can direct our skills, talents, gifts and abilities in other directions.
It is good to vent but continued ranting and raving will only increase your sadness and frustration. And eventually it will only add to your current health and medical woes. Let. It. Go.
Peace is Acceptance and Adjustment to what life throws at you or takes away.
19 thoughts on “Get in Where you Fit in”
I love this saying, and even as a person in my thirties I think it still applies 🙂 thank you for your optimism
Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your comments.
As an over 60, I know exactly what you mean. Yet the irony is that ‘we’ [Baby Boomers et al.,] have a heck of a lot to offer. Oh well, maybe one day some doors will open for all of us. -hugs-
A sad commentary on our society and the media when they reject the very people who have the most to give. Next year I will be eligible to retire so I’m making plans for next steps. Provided all goes well I will retire from the museum and do something in my community. That’s my goal.
Please don’t take this the wrong way but aren’t you too young to retire??
No offense take. A valid question. I belong to a Union so Union employees have different retirement plans than non union staff. We can retire as young as 52 with 10 years of service. I’m way past 52 and next year I will have the ten years. Another option is to wait until I’m 62 so I can collect Social Security. The last option which does not apply to me is age 55 with 30 years of service. I was 49 when I started at the museum so there is no way I will stay there for 30 years.
Wow…so many options! And I’m surprised by your ‘normal’ retirement age. The Australian government has been progressively raising the retirement age to the point where now, women of my age have to wait until we’re 65.5 years old. I’m a year off
Thanks. Many options but I still won’t be able to collect Social Security until I’m 62. Ideally for Baby Boomers the government pays out the most money at age 66 but I’m not taking any chances. Getting my money at age 62. So for me it will be the 3 legged stool: Pension, Savings Plan & Social Security. Even when I leave this job next year I will have to get another job to tide me over until I reach age 62. I’m looking forward to making career changes and having more control over my time.
Best of luck! I’ll bet you never thought you’d look forward to the pension when you were in your 30s? I think, for me, that’s been the greatest shock.
You can be happy if you even have some job like I am happy I just got new job. (and even better if the job is not too bad or stresful like I can say). There are also many unemployed people these days!
You can also be happy being retired. We all realize that there are people who are unemployed but that is not the focus of this article. And you cannot compare yourself to other people. You don’t understand their circumstances. Believe me our job is extremely stressful and many people just quit. It has a high turnover. It is ridiculous to tell somebody you should be glad to have a job. That’s a form of shame. They are unhappy for a reason. Their feelings are valid also. Plus if you have not been there you don’t understand.
This is such a powerful, transparent and deeply analytical post. Desire is indeed a source of unhappiness. I am happy that you have found peace with your lot in life. For those who promote the ideals of an ageist society, they should wait for it. What goes around comes around.
Amen to that my Brother! I still have some small battles with frustration but at least it is not as bad as it was 9 years ago. Progress. Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting! Grace, Peace & Blessings.
I will cherish your definition of peace forever. Thanks for sharing. 🍁
Maybe I misunderstood something. I thought that you are happy that you have some job to do. You said you have let go of your expectations. I have also done that (like we almost all have to do at some point…I think). Like you said we have to eat and pay bills so we must do something. To have some job is better than nothing.
Also I didn’t know your job is stressful, I’m sorry for that. I have done that kind of job too. I never even had any special career. I wish I had but I haven’t. I have always done underpaid so called b-class job so I do know what you’re talking about. I just understood the aspect little bit wrong. I have to say if you do underpaid job which is stressful it’s real hard. I hope you have enough strength!
My strength is in knowing that I can leave next year. Obviously we need a job to eat and pay bills but that does not equal happiness. All it means is survival. Also the point of my post was ageism. Reaching the age of 50 and having potential employers reject you. That’s a lifetime of experience and wisdom not used. No need for you to be sorry for me. I can take care of myself.
Good for you…and I agree that ageism is terrible! It’s everywhere these days, unfortunately! Naturally surviving is not the same as happiness. I only said that it’s better you can survive with getting some money instead of getting any money. I have been in that situation too, I mean without money. It’s so stressful…but like I said happiness needs more than just surviving, that’s for sure!
Lose the expectations of happiness. Let go of false phony expectations.
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