Good morning, everyone - I'm back, more or less.
Let's spin that airlock wheel and get going, shall we?
Freeper callousness is an amazing thing to be sure - but this one.....
Unemployed at 62, his plight may be a sign of the times (Barf alert!)bostonherald ^ | 3-11-03 | Margery Eagan
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:40:19 PM by Jimmyclyde
Unemployed at 62, his plight may be a sign of the times
by Margery Eagan Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Here in the living room of what feels like a cozy English country cottage - china-blue walls, hand-painted antique chairs, latticed windows and fine woods - it's hard to believe the once-comfortable occupants are down to their last $2,500.
Not enough to pay their $2,000 monthly rent and $1,200 health insurance, never mind food or heat or gas.
But that's the very scary story of North Easton couple Dick Wilcox, 62, and his wife, Michele, 56. Dick was laid off from his $65,000, mid-level insurance company job a year ago. He cannot afford to retire.
And as a nation obsesses over war, its politicians seeming to forget the crushing effects of a jittery economy, Dick Wilcox has joined the unenviable ranks of older, unemployed, white-collar workers who can't find another decent job.
``It's like all it takes,'' Dick Wilcox said yesterday, ``is one crack in the system and you can go from having a really good lifestyle to being literally homeless.''
To prevent that is why he's spent three months now, morning after frigid morning, at busy Canton intersections. He wears fat mittens and a hooded parka over a neat suit and tie. And like an upscale version of your average street corner beggar, lifelong, middle-class taxpayer Dick Wilcox stands with a mix of humiliation, desperation and defiance behind the 4-by-6-foot plywood sign he made in his basement. And he begs, too.
``I NEED A JOB. 508-238-3226.'' That's what his sign reads in big black letters. ``36 Yrs. Exper. Insur/Mngmnt.''
Dick Wilcox has dropped off hundreds of resumes at companies and office parks. He's sent out hundreds more online. He's had two interviews and not a single job offer near the $50,000 he needs.
Now his severance, unemployment, modest savings and pension are almost gone. Michele Wilcox, who raised three children and supplemented Dick's income with a home crochet business, brought in just $9,000 this year. Her small business is yet another victim, it appears, of a shrinking economy.
A year ago, the couple planned to help an infertile daughter finance an expensive overseas adoption. They'd hoped to replace a 12-year-old car. Now, even if both find $10-an-hour jobs tomorrow, they're on the brink of losing their home.
Dick Wilcox, who has a can-do, take-charge aura about him - and unique ideas on making older workers more attractive - says he's still a bit stunned by it all. ``When I first lost my job I said, `Well, it's not the end of the world. I'll go out and find something else . . .' I never expected . . . this.''
Here is the good and bad news. Last week, his story made the front page of The Wall Street Journal. Since then he's had hundreds of phone calls, mostly from other older laid-off workers who are discouraged, too, ``and practically crying on the phone,'' he says. ``Out of work nine months, 14 months. Unbelievable, terrible stories.''
But he's also had calls from other media outlets, including nationally syndicated radio shows, cable TV's NECN and two of the three big morning network shows: ``Good Morning America'' and ``The Early Show.'' But the morning shows keep delaying him, he says, because of war stories.
Meanwhile, he says, not a single politician has called. ``They'd much rather debate the war than talk about the economy because they don't have any solutions. They just keep promising the economy's going to turn around. . . Now they don't even say it anymore and we've got tens of thousands out of work.''
Although media coverage has led to at least one promising interview offer, Dick Wilcox is taking no chances. He plans to be out again tomorrow morning, the corner of Route 138 and Washington Street, where people have climbed over snowbanks to shake his hand or bring him Dunkin' Donuts. ``One woman tapped me on the shoulder with tears in her eyes. She said, `This is the gutsiest thing I ever saw anybody do.' ''
He says that when he first thought of the sign, he was afraid to tell his wife or children. He was embarrassed, scared he'd seem like a failure, like ``some idiot'' standing in the road.
Yesterday, Michele Wilcox said she'd admired her husband's daring. Yesterday Karen Wilcox, their oldest child, said her father ``had proven us all wrong'' for ever fretting about his sign. She said her father had worked hard all his life and that when she heard him last week on the radio, ``I had tears in my eyes. . . . I'm so proud of him.''
***************************Unemployed at 62?
It's called retirement.
To: JimmyclydeHe really expected to find another job at 62? Doesn't he know that most employers are NOT going to hire a 62 year old man or 59 year old woman for that matter. Most employers don't like to hire anyone over 50 unless they are CEO's. There is a real prejudice in the work force when it comes to hiring older people..
To: JimmyclydeOne word: MOVE.
To: Extremely Extreme Extremist.Three words: Paper or plastic?
To: KC_for_Freedomthis guy has to be a dim bulb if he spends his time with a sign on the street..
To: KC_for_FreedomI don't understand why there is no sympathy for this man on this thread.
Can't any of you put yourselves in his place?
I read about him in the Wall Street Journal last week and I really felt for him and his wife. So he was making $65,000 per year? He was also raising three children to adulthood and that probably took most of his earnings. The one thing I didn't understand was the $2,000 per month rent. I wondered why they didn't own a home. The main thing brought home to me by the article in the WSF is the age bigotry that exists. It actually begins when people are in their 40's and gets progressively worse. Now that STINKS.
To: Jimmyclyde.Oh, no--not this sob story again! (There was a thread last week).
Hey, Mister, get a job, get a life, send the old lady out to work.
Many of us have been there, done that. We didn't alert the media.
To: MikeWUSAFEverything about this article is a lie. I'd be surprised if the guy even exists.
Ah yes, and welcome to Boston liberal columnists..
To: vikingcelt>>I don't understand why there is no sympathy for this man on this thread
There is some, its the the juveniles on the thread the somehow make themselves feel better by spitting on those down on their luck...sounds to me like the guy worked his whole life, and now finds him out of work probably for the first time in 45-50 years and doesn't have enough put aside to retire at 62...what a slouch...a true parasite on society...
Most of the smart-ass attitudes on this thread are just one layoff notice from a complete attitude adjustment.
To: freeper12Boo Freakin Hoo, let me get out my viola. There are tons of jobs, TONS, in the insurance industry, it is one of the few industries still hiring.
This doofus wants another coffee drinking, 35 hour per week memo producing job. He is a dinosaur who needs to learn to walk again..
To: matthew_the_brainHe is a dinosaur who needs to learn to walk again.
But here is the problem that older workers face. If you say he needs to walk again, he is in essence the same as a kid just coming out of college. Who would an employer rather take on?? If a company has to pay to train somebody, they would rather train the younger worker. This is why saying that an older worker should retrain is fine and dandy, but even then they still face an uphill battle.
To: freeper12Thanks for your comments and, yes, I wonder what these posters here with their smart-ass comments will do after that layoff notice comes. It's not exactly easy out there these days...especially if you are an older, white American male...
To: freeper12It's always great to kick a man when he's down.
Some of us have dreams of grandeur to retire at 55 or 62. The only problem is things happen along the way, mainly life, kids, a bad market and before you know it the plan has vanquished. The land of critcal mass is not achieved and a job loss turns your world on it's ear at the ripe age of 62.
Then comes the second guessing, not just yourself but others. Shouldn't have bought the new car in 1983, should have skipped those vacations with the kids in the 80's. Was prime rib every Christmas wise?
He seems to be trying, I wish him good luck.
..To: vikingceltWhen the blue-collar jobs were going, and the factories closing, I didn't think it would happen to me and my friends.
Last week I ran into a guy I knew years ago. A few years back, he was a middle-manager for software quality assurance for IBM. Last week, he rang up my purchases at the supermarket. My brother-in-law was a consultant for KPMG a few years back. Now he sells tennis stuff
The new reality is that there is no job that is secure. Not manufactoring (gone to china), not construction (taken over by illegal immigrants) not technology (outsourced to India or China, or taken over by H1Bs).
There was one smug freeper on another thread who was not worried. He's a sales rep for an outsourcing firm. He does not yet realize that the people in India who currently man call centers will also be able to make sales calls.
To: Jimmyclyde.Why doesn't he just pull himself up by his bootstraps and become an investment banker or something?
To: vikingceltI don't understand why there is no sympathy for this man on this thread. Can't any of you put yourselves in his place? I read about him in the Wall Street Journal last week and I really felt for him and his wife. So he was making $65,000 per year? He was also raising three children to adulthood and that probably took most of his earnings. The one thing I didn't understand was the $2,000 per month rent. I wondered why they didn't own a home. The main thing brought home to me by the article in the WSF is the age bigotry that exists. It actually begins when people are in their 40's and gets progressively worse. Now that STINKS.
It is the true nature of Conservatism to be heartless I am afraid.. especially YOUNG and well educated conservatives.
This is a heart breaking story..
We raised a family and never accumulated alot of savings..by the time you put your kids through college and pay for the weddings there is little left to "invest" So you trust your last ten or fifteen years of work will restore what being a caring parent took from you..
Wait until some of these iron men find themeselves on the unemployment line..
There used to be an old saying.."When your neighbor looses his job it is a recession ..when you lose yours it is a depression"
It is my guess this highly trained man mocked the unemployed too until he met them in the employment office..