Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Thinking out Loud - Is the #Economy Really #Strong? for Individuals 60 plus? #Opinion #DianaMarySharpton w/"Stayin' Alive" Bee Gees #MusicVideo #KeepItMoving

Thinking out Loud

Cartoon (b)
Being smart was key; being careful was critical.Being lucky didn’t hurt.” 
― Kate Brady

On June 28, 2018, I was laid off from the Education industry in the State of Texas. The determining factors announced were the loss in "student enrollments" and then because I was "At Will", I  was advised that I could apply to any open positions within the organization and/or there was always the option of unemployment and food stamps. There it is! This is after fifteen years of service in Education and six months from potential retirement options. The decision to eliminate my position was based on a recommendation from the Department Executive Director.

It is my contention that government is moving towards the "At Will" practices currently enjoyed by the business for profit sector and that is removing older workers be it they can be replaced with cheaper employees to improve the bottom line. Government does not have profit but it does have a bottom line.

Last time I looked it up, the practice is illegal to fire/layoff employees based on age. The age group protected is 40 and above. Government/Education has written policies/guidelines that holds managers to a process in decision making that eliminates age discrimination, when followed, in theory. This is what makes government employment attractive. It "was" a more secure working environment. Hmmmm

Sadly the value that these individuals bring to the table with their vast experience, education and knowledge makes up for their higher salaries irrespective of the industry they work in. I am sure if presented with a choice they would take a salary reductions vs the alternative in loosing everything.

Secondly every predatory organizations known to man is out searching for these unemployed people that are panicked and desperate about their financial future. These folks are more than likely to make bad decisions.

Where is the State of Texas or President? Why are they not protecting this group of people from financial fraud and misrepresentation. Why don't we as a nation place more value on experienced service? What happened to our culture and commitment to the community we service by turning our heads to these impactful eradication practices on families by business and more recently by government?

The Story-Now:

Cartoon (a)
I was invited to a seminar on the pretext that they would assist in resume development, interview coaching and help find that perfect job fit. Well as the saying goes "Never look a gift horse in the mouth" (1) and off I went to the seminar.

Seminar Setting:

The conference room was filled with older individuals, recently laid off, at the top of their career, making $100k plus, (i.e not me) and facing the prospect that no organization wants to hire them because of AGE and salary requirements. I was shocked at the crowd introductions!

Two younger men presented the seminar. One discussed how to look for a job "Job/Resume Hook-Up"and the other discussed a "Financial Hook-Up". The Classic "One-Two" approach.  Find your victim, play on their desperation's and get their money. How did they find me?

Phase ONE: Present the CAKE with Icing based on urgent needs. Looking at the faces around me, a job that sustains current life styles, skill sets, car/house payments and statute are all in play. The presenters advised that they would take the time to learn about each persons needs/focus and align their resumes with a "position description" propitiatory word focus program which would garner higher job interview results. They also offered 500 hundred interview questions, the psychology behind them, and a resume coach for one hour. I believe they search for candidates on LinkedIn because they referenced it so much. Probably when one turns on the "looking for a job" option on their profile. Reminder: Turn this functionality off!

They asked that we provide them a copy of our resume and two links to the most current job applications submitted. The latter portion of this requirement was troubling to me at best. Why would they want this private information? A question came up as why and their explanation was to demonstrate the word focus program. Being a trusting person, I shrugged it off and continued to entertain the presentation. So then we moved into Phase TWO.

Phase TWO: Nail your pigeon. At this point they brought in the meat of the seminar. Part of the requirement was to give them a "Snap-Shot" of our 401k, IRA, and/or any Retirement Financial Instrument. They implied that they could get us financial retirement stability, "if we were interested", when we made the appointment to visit the "Job Resume Coach". WOW!!!  Double WOW that 60% of these desperate people stuck around to move forward.

Thinking out Loud: 

Cartoon (c)
The old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" certainly does focus on suspicion, cynicism, and doubt but then one is sixty, unemployed, needs to keep-up an unsustainable lifestyle, and works in a state when "AGE" is not valued.

What do you give up if it is your current retirement plan? That's right, everything.

Next: most employers will see through applicants that lie, provide embellishments, and fictitious experience in order to get a job interview via a doctored up resume.

The state of Texas owes it's citizens a much better representation to avert lifetime crisis's as presented here; however this will probably fall on deaf ears. All we have is a vote please do so come November.

My opinion: be careful. I personally left the seminar "to think it over" and now that I thought it over, I am saying no. I will keep on dealing with the cards that were handed to me. There is no quick fix to anything in life.

PS: To lighten the mood, I am adding some music, it is all about "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees.

Love you Sugar!


1.        Idiom: Gift Horse.
           A gift horse is a horse that was a gift, quite simply. When given a horse, it would be bad manners to inspect the horse’s mouth to see if it has bad teeth.                    This can be applied as an analogy to any gift: Don’t inspect it to make sure it matches some standard you have, just be grateful and say thank you!

                  Where does it come from? As with most proverbs the origin is ancient and unknown. We have some clues with this one however. The phrase appears                    in print in English in 1546, as “don’t look a given horse in the mouth”, in John Heywood’s A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the                              prouerbes in the Englishe tongue.

2..              Cartoons: 
3.    Video:

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