Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Our friend Gloria writes: "Maybe I am too old to work again, after all I have hit the magic number of 55"


Our friend and colleague Gloria Nieto posted this on her SF Gate blog ("Social activist looking for a job"). I don't know what to do except to repost it here (and try to make other people feel as awful as I do?). -- Ken
An Open Letter to My Senators

Dear Senators Boxer and Feinstein:

My last unemployment check came the first week of April.

Yesterday I went out to talk to someone about some work and I could not find her. I almost ran out of gas trying to find her.

After putting a little bit of gas in my car so I could continue looking for work this week, I now have $7 left.

I have been unemployed for over a year. Despite what lots of nasty people say, I do not sit around waiting on that check to come. I have interviewed on numerous occasions only to finish second every time.

Maybe I am too old to work again, after all I have hit the magic number of 55 where apparently employers draw the invisible line. All my peers without work are experiencing the same phenomenon, we are all too old. Of course no one is going to come right out and create a law suit for themselves by admitting this.

However, look at the fastest growing age group and they we are. Friends in IT tell me they are terrified of losing their job if they have gray hair.

I make a lot of effort to give back to my community. Last weekend I volunteered with the local La Mesa Verde program to assist a family planting a garden in its back yard to produce their own healthy food.

But Senators, where is the understanding from Washington that so many people are hurting? We need another unemployment extension. It is time to act on our behalf, without fear, the same way we have to face each day, despite rejection after rejection.

We, the unemployed, are staring over a precipice, looking at loss after loss. Our homes gone, our lives destroyed through greed, avarice and an uncaring system that has spit us out as collateral damage, unneeded any longer. We need you to listen to the pain, the anguish. the cries of us weeping from all the loss.

That was me crying in my room last night, maybe you heard me? No one in DC seems to hear those moments of terror and pain and loss. Did someone hear us?

I was wondering what I was going to do on Monday with $7. Eat maybe? Probably not.

Perhaps someone could see into my room last night as I lay weeping on my floor, asking for someone to believe in.

Please do something to help. Really, our lives depend on you.



I wrote Gloria a note letting her know that I was going to be reposting this. For what it's worth -- not much, that I can see -- I added:
I wish I knew how to provide some tangible help. Meanwhile, thanks for your courage in sharing this, which can't have been easy. Believe me, it's occurred to me that at my age (OLDER than you!) if I found myself separated from my job, this is the boat I'd be in too.

Labels: , ,


At 10:04 AM, Blogger Bula said...


The magic number is not 55. I am 49 and experiencing the same. We have 22 year old college graduates working for peanuts(if they can find work).

I like Paul Krugmans idea. Lower SS and medicare eligibility to age to 60, temporarily, to open up the workforce to those jobs from people who would retire.

That would create, perhaps, a million jobs or more.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Ida Jurie said...

I'd be shocked if Gloria's Senators answered with anything but meaningless words. The first step in this country getting better is to face the reality that you can count the number of people in Washington that give a damn on one hand and get rid of the rest.


Post a Comment

<< Home