Article 43


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Letting Go of the Older Employee

By Nancy (Range) Anderson

If you know me, you know my story. I was happily employed for 21.5 years at a company that I loved and respected and doing the kind of work that I absolutely adored and was very good at (Im not bragging; I have the performance appraisals to show it). My co-workers and internal clients were top notch and I smiled a lot because I liked coming to work.

One day (Ok, it was June 8th) our entire group was called into a conference room and told that some of us would be receiving termination papers. We were to go back to our work stations until we were summoned one by one to the conference room to learn our collective fates.

After several long and agonizing minutes it was my turn. My manager silently led me to the conference room where I learned that the program that I taught was being eliminated. But what about other programs? No. Im a professional learning and development expert and can writenew programsԅ No. But what about? No, no, no.” I was later told that I slammed the door on my way out. To this day I don’t remember that.

One thing that I failed to mention is that it was 2008, a year after the beginning of the Great Recession. I was also 53 years old.

Today I met with an intelligent, articulate, youthful-looking woman for a coaching session. While she has a high level job and feels very lucky about that, she is starting to feel subtle nudges of isolation and ageism. Knowing that organizations look for ways to pare down the work force, she continues to stay current in her industry. She refreshes her skill set, reads about current trends and has learned to appreciate the parts of her job that were changed when upper management brought in fresh, young talent to take over. Her story today reminded me so much of my own.

Just because someone is over the age of 45 does not mean that they are obsolete. Of course if someone is not pulling his or her weight and not meeting organizational goals, then by all means, do what is necessary to coach that person or terminate their employment. Termination is “at will” in many states so organizations have every right to eliminate people for whatever reason. Still, that doesn’t always make it right.

This is what happens when an older person is let go:

1. They have a harder time finding new, meaningful work. (Up to a year and longer for the long-term unemployed).

2. No one wants to pay them their former salaries. (Earnings may be up to 19% lower than their former salaries).

3. They may take a couple of part time positions to make ends meet. Those positions may have absolutely nothing to do with their skill set and are mostly lower level (lower paying) positions.

4. They wait many more weeks than their younger counterparts to find work.

5. Many times they just give up and never return to work.

One of the things that personally bothers me about being released is that I didn’t get a chance to retire. That sounds kind of silly but it’s true. Some of the work friends that I’ve remained close with talk about their retirement packages and retirement events. For a person who personally aligned with the company values and who allowed my career to be one of the things in my life that brought me happiness and fulfillment; not retiring with them was a huge disappointment.

I’m not naive, I know about profit and loss, changing skill sets and making do with less. I know that many organizations are young and energetic (I give job search coaching to young adults too). Still, it is so much harder for people at this later stage in their careers and in my very humble opinion, the folks who are doing the hiring and interviewing should take into account the skills, knowledge and better yet, Wisdom of the older job seeker.


Posted by Elvis on 06/30/15 •
Section Dealing with Layoff
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Two More Companies I’ll Never Do Business With Again

Did you read about my dealings with AMAZON and TAMOSOFT ?

Both companies lost a 20 year customer for good.

Here’s two more that recently did:


Why?  The last thing I bought from them arrived smashed. The box looked fine. The thing inside was messued up. I got an RMA from their website for hidden damage, and spent $27 of my own money mailing it back, What did they do?  Sent me an email they won’t accept the return because they got it back damaged.  What did I do?  Called and explained over and over again to half a dozen people what happened, who all told me they won’t accept a return damaged, insisting that I file a claim with the shipper.  I finally filed a claim with the credit card company who helped get my money back.

Discount Electronics

Why? Because they sold me a refurbished Dell computer with a OEM copy of Windows and a restore partition instead of reinstall disk.  I used the restore partion that can only be used once, leaving me no way to reinstall again. Dell and Microsoft told me to call Discount Electronics for a reinstall disk. Discount Electronics refused. So I’m left with a windows license, but no media to install it.

Posted by Elvis on 06/29/15 •
Section General Reading
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Compassion is the closest value to love itself. To be compassionate is not to take pity; it is to extend care to others simply because you see their need. - Deepak Chopra


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