#maximumwage: ‘It’s his age’

Updated
By Sherry Heidelberger
Sherry Heidelberger
Sherry Heidelberger

Exactly one year ago, my husband was fired from his employer of 37 years. After years of working his way up the ladder, he had finally made it. Plant manager. In his 40’s he went back to school obtaining his BS in Organizational Leadership, and in an effort to climb higher, returned to the classroom in his late 40’s obtaining his MBA. The ink was barely dry before they let him go.

A six-figure income and 5 weeks of earned vacation a year and the fact he was 55 all combined to make him too expensive. They got a guy for half of that, and one week vacation a year.

One year later, we have moved twice, spent all of our savings, filed bankruptcy, run out of NC unemployment in 26 weeks, and while yes, he did find another job recently, he could get only a temp position paying $9 an hour, doing work a monkey with a food wheel could do.

It’s his age. He gets replies often in response to his resume and they all say the same thing…we have chosen to go with a more “competitive” applicant. Competitive=younger.

It is also his education and experience. He is highly skilled in many areas. When a manager sees his resume, they think, this guy is a threat to my own job. He can’t even get an interview. Has yet to get an interview.

We don’t mind being poor, honestly we don’t. I draw a small disability check each month and thank God for it, or we’d be hungry, no doubt about it. And that’s what we do mind–and mind very much. We are young and healthy and well educated and yet, here we are.

My husband once laughed that he was going to have to make student loan payments out of his SS check…it’s not funny anymore, for he literally will have to.

Just a few more dollars an hour and we’d be okay. We wouldn’t have to worry our nights away and might get some rest. It’s a sad state of affairs but for those with children at home, it has got to be brutal. It is for them we pray. We had our time, we got there. What we found when we got there was that there was no there there. Nevertheless, my husband reached his goal in life.

We are happy and healthy and will carry on with dignity, as there is dignity in work, however little one is paid or respected for that work. We are blessed and grateful for one another and our kids and grandchildren. No one and no hard time can take that from us.

#maximumwage: 'It's his age'

Updated