How I Hit The Grey Ceiling, Part 2

Harold Mitnick By Harold Mitnick, 10th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Retirement

The second installment of the mental travels of an involuntary retiree

The Grey Ceiling, Part 2

How I Hit The Grey Ceiling, part 2
I hope that many of you have read my personal memoir of “How I Hit The Grey Ceiling, Part 1.” As sad as that story was, it was just the beginning.
I tell this story more as something for which you may need to be prepared, rather than as just a tale of, as Maynard G. Krebs would have said, “Wow is me.” If you are old enough to understand this reference, than you may find yourself in this situation, sooner than you thought.
At the ripe old age of 59, I found myself greeted in HR with documentation that stated “thank you for your decision to take early retirement.” While I was in the annual cost cutting, end of the year layoffs, I had been with the company for 12 years, and could not just be let go.
So, here I am, 59 years old, with a small pension that would be cut by 4% for each year that I signed up prior to being 65. Basic math puts that at a loss of 24% of my total pension, which I could not afford to take. So, that is on hold. Also, without a raise, which I could not get due to being maxed out for my position, I was also looking at close to half a million dollars of salary between this time and my actual planned retirement, and you can see why this was quite a shot in the head.
For the first few days, I’ll admit, that I was having a heart ache about every hour. Of course, once I figured out the logistics, including pension, severance, and employee health care, I relaxed and thought, “I’ve got this.” Seeing that I had worked for this company for 50 to 60 hours a week, for the last twelve years, this was a quite needed break.
So, I took a few months off and just relaxed. I did not even apply for unemployment compensation until close to the end of the year. It turns out that was a big mistake in many ways. It seems that the Republican congress had even figured out schedules to work that against my favor. I got my initial unemployment from the state. After that, I received unemployment compensation for several more months. However, as the jobless rate continued to improve, those that had not become employed lost their benefits because they had not found suitable employment.
The most insulting phase of being unemployed has to do with the experience of dealing with untrained, inexperienced “employment counselors” whose skill sets, are outdated by half a century. I have had my benefits threatened, on a regular basis that insist that I apply in person, to petty functionaries, that do not exist, for corporate level, jobs.
For example, I hear statements like, “if you do not apply, In person, with records of whom you have spoken,” you will be disqualified for this program. Of course, anyone that has been trying to get a new employment assignment, in the last 40 years, knows that this is not how the world works.
HR department exist, only to prevent applicants from getting to the hiring managers and then to figure out how to disqualify employees and former employees from getting earned benefits.
Please look forward to future installments of my antiquarian search for employment and security.


Jobs, Retirement

Meet the author

author avatar Harold Mitnick
I live in Florida with my wife Catherine. I have spent many years in the IT industry, and enjoy cycling, golf and many outdoor activities.

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author avatar Rose*
20th Nov 2013 (#)

Are you able to get a temporary job just to get "in the door" somewhere? Once inside you can network and bypass HR.

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