Tag Archives: Ageism

Those poor crazy rich Texans


I have to start by saying that for the most part, I love my state. It’s big, beautiful, friendly, and where I have lived most of my life. Texans do have a particular mindset, and believe themselves to be independent and rebellious in nature. Having said that, the politics can be mind-blowing — really. And sometimes, I can’t help but think how sheep-like so many of these Texans are — not rebellious and independent as they seem to think.

Reading the paper a few weeks back, it was brought to my attention that in the midst of all the important things going on right now, the Texas Legislature may reconsider  HB619. This bill caps the sales taxes on boats and yachts costing more than $250,000, to no more than $15,625. It would also eliminate sales taxes on boats sold to buyers from out of state.

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Seriously . . . ???

Apparently, the Texas Gulf Coast yachting industry and associated jobs are ailing. I wonder if that has anything to do with all the unemployed younger baby boomers who should still be working . . .

I’m certainly confused on how that helps the industry as a whole, if they are enticing out of state buyers who will pay no taxes or any other boat-related costs in this state, other than enough fuel to sail away. Again, economics is not my strong suit, to say the least!

I’m sorry, but in my book, if you can afford a boat or yacht that costs more than $250,000, as well as the maintenance, slip, and fuel costs, well than you can probably afford to pay the full amount of the taxes. Y’all let me know if I am being too tough here . . . yeah that was meant to be facetious 😉

I never cease to be amazed at the gall of my state’s government and the entitlements of the top one percent. Do y’all ever feel this way?

So far the bill was defeated, thank goodness – clear minds prevail for now.

As a side note – it’s pretty scary when Donald Trump is the current leader in the polls for Republican nominee. I can’t wait for the debates 🙂 I don’t think there’s a decent candidate coming from this state – they are all crazy, narrow-minded, single-focused zealots. Bat-shit crazy, I tell you 😉

I often question why I still live in this state – but then I remember all my family and lifetime friends I am surrounded by. I took off over 25 years ago living in the Ozarks for a few years, but we came back and times are different now. Most specifically – there are grandchildren ❤

Anyway, just something I was thinking about . . .

(Wow – there’s been some changes on the WP format – I have been away too long!)

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What’s going on??


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to spend any time with my WP family. I have missed your posts and writing my own, as well. So much has been happening in the world of late, honestly more than I can keep up with some days.

The Supreme Court has been quite busy. I must admit, I am happy with much of what they have done. What other people do in their own lives that doesn’t affect me shouldn’t be any of my concern, or anyone else’s. Same-sex marriage, the Affordable Care Act, and abortion rights in Texas, among others, were all championed by the justice system and reasonable thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) needs some work, especially in the states that refused to assist its citizens by setting up a state marketplace. But, by and large, it was the right thing to do.  When I heard Ted Cruz signed his family up, I thought had you supported a state exchange in Texas, the prices would’ve been more reasonable – but Ted was against the ACA, vehemently if I remember correctly. Is that irony?

There’s been all kinds of racial incidents with the police. I was truly shocked and saddened by the church shooting in South Carolina.  The victims families handled it with such grace and dignity, from what I saw, though I have truly tried to limit my intake of the news lately.

Then there’s the escaped convict incident – I was surprised when someone said to me, regarding the first escaped convict’s shooting death, “I hope he had a gun, you know since he was white and all.“ (Not touching this one . . .) I can say so much, but just can’t right now. He WAS an escaped convict and he did have a shotgun.

I keep hearing all over the place that jobs are up and unemployment is down. I can’t help but ask myself, “Where the hell are they getting these numbers? Where are they looking?”  My husband is still unemployed, as are many others I know that are in my age group. And that’s just in my neck of the woods and what I hear from my contacts nationwide. I was working part-time, but my little part-time gig is about to come to a close in two weeks – no money coming in.

My daughter gave me a Starbucks gift card for Mother’s Day and I had one more coffee left on it and stopped in at my fav Starbucks, which is inside my grocery store, so I see the baristas frequently. The lady working that day is about my age and got laid off from her good job a year and a half ago. While we were chatting, she shared that they hired a new lady last week who’s real nice, has a Ph.D., but got laid off from a government contractor over a year ago and this is the only place she could get hired. She, of course, is in my age group, and is now making $7.56 an hour.

Does anyone realize what’s happening here . . . the age discrimination, much of it involving insurance coverage. The insurance companies HEAVILY influence hiring decisions, it’s not just the employers. I think we would be amazed at just what all the insurance companies have influence over!

Our age group has a huge effect on the economy with our traditional buying power. But many of us are living on our retirement savings 10-15 years before we are supposed to, and paying a penalty for it, though it is against our will and our better judgment – it’s done out of survival. Many were expecting to make up for lost years over the next decade and have nothing left to fall back on.

When cars are repossessed and houses are foreclosed on, and this group is now reduced to government aid to survive – more people now on what is often referred to as government “socialism” – this country’s backbone is going to begin to start to crack, splinter, and break.  And if these 50+ year-olds are unfortunate enough to not be able to afford COBRA or the ACA, many will fall into the category where they don’t fall into the age group that can get Medicaid or Medicare. People in this situation and age group are SOL and better hope/pray that nothing serious happens, or they could be most majorly screwed . . .

Though I will admit, I have not done my homework regarding the actual statistics; I can’t help but believe this is the one of the first times in history where fifty-plus-year-olds have been singled out to be extinguished from the workplace. (If I am wrong, please educate me!) If this trend continues, I see some serious hurt for the future of this country – I’m not an economist, but common sense and history tells the story that what may come is unprecedented and could be catastrophic.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE: Regarding my gig . . . well my instincts proved to be correct. Definitely too good to be true.  The guy I was working for isn’t too motivated, canceling every training session we had scheduled for really lame reasons like, “It’s been a rough day, I worked setting up your email, and I need a drink, so I’m outta here.” Or early one Saturday morning, “Sorry I cut out, my neighbor needed help and I said I would, not sure why ‘cause I’m usually not that neighborly.” You know that kind of stupid shit.

When it came to him selling policies to the appointments I made on these mostly 2-8 year-old leads, he canceled and we rescheduled a few for reasons that were not important. I had a list of about 35 people I had talked to that he needed to speak with for various reasons – high risk, specific questions not related to exact cost but involving health issues, etc. He finally got appointed to sell the high-risk policies he found were best and last Saturday he told me he was calling them all. When I showed up, he said he couldn’t call them because he had set up the online account to access what he needed to quote them prices, but forgot the password and wouldn’t be able to get it on a Saturday. Seriously . . .

Then when he told me a few days later he couldn’t afford to pay me any longer, but if I wanted I could still make calls and he would give me my commission – but he couldn’t afford to pay me for calling.Then he had the nerve to tell me that now he was really going to have to hustle and start working his book business. I’m thinking, dude, why haven’t you been doing that all along.

Long Term Care coverage is his specialty, but it is not cheap, typically. I’m working leads that are years old, and he had me listen to training tapes that were on cassettes and 20 years old – what does that tell you. During our discussion I reminded him that things have changed in the last 20 years – people don’t think the same, communicate the same, research purchases and purchase the same, and marketing and sales have changed considerably. Yeah, he didn’t want hear that – he’s four years younger than me and living in a bubble of some sort.

Anyway, now I have two avenues to explore – my established career, and my new inexperienced career. Maybe one of them will get me somewhere. It’s been two years – I need a break . . . a real one. I don’t consider any of this wasted time, as I have now learned many new things and have earned licenses and certifications in new areas.

Oh, and the fig tree is a monster producer. I have canned over 50 jars so far of various fig jams and preserves. It was fun and I think I have another two weeks or more. My kitchen is covered in figs in various stages of ripeness and jars everywhere – and I am growing weary!

Oh!! And what about that Bill Cosby – TV’s All American Dad and his fondness for Quaaludes, among other things?? Wow, so TV and real live aren’t the same?? (YES, I am laughing at that fucking piece of irony in the midst of all else . . .)

Anyway, just some things I was thinking about . . . (and my mind still reels, but this post is already wayyyy too long . . . but got something else coming soon  . . .)

I Passed!!!!


Oh my goodness – I passed the insurance exam, and now can apply for my license to be a producer for Life Health & Accident Insurance!! And I made a pretty respectable score, better than I was expecting. (Yeah, I was stressing just a bit!)

I haven’t had to take a test like this in a long time and though I have always been an above average student and an excellent test-taker, I was a bit worried. I am a lot older and my memory, in my opinion, doesn’t seem to be as good, and in all honesty this isn’t something I ever saw myself attempting to obtain.

Life can lead you down some strange and unexpected paths throughout your lifetime. At least mine has, that’s for sure. I’ve always been a good writer, and love the craft. I have spent the last 20 years working as a writer, which in all honesty I never anticipated, or even dreamed of, in my twenties. I can be a natural-born storyteller, and can have a roomful of people cracking the fuck up and fully engaged. I tend to make people think in different perspectives. I’m not always what one might expect 😉 I like that about me, and I think others do, too.

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Be open-minded . . .

Having said all that, I am not a salesperson, and have NEVER aspired to be. BUT, from my own experiences, I know how important and advantageous safe annuities and Long Term Care insurance can be to one’s future. Right now I am setting appointments, and will now be making commissions 🙂 Never worked on commission before, that’ll be different. And here’s to having mentors – people who may see things in you that you might not see.

Well, here’s to a new path, new adventure, new experiences, and hopefully some income that’s not from our 401K. Stopping the bleeding there would be awesome . . .

Anyway – I want to thank all of you for your support

I have a wonderful family, and it continues to grow larger (just had a new great-niece born three weeks ago), and more great friends than I can count, but my blogging family is important to me, too. I miss y’all when I am absent, just like with my other friends and family. I miss reading your posts, and will be blog-bingging/stalking you soon! And I know I have been so neglectful of my blogs, but I am hoping to start posting more regularly. Thanks for sticking with me 🙂

Oh, and I just have to say . . . I will miss Doobster . . . Mindful Digressions can be such a pleasure . . .

Just something I was thinking about . . .

February Already?!?


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I want to thank Yvette over at Priorhouse Blog for the awesome billboard image she made just for me ❤

I can’t believe it is already February! February, really . . .

Each year that I celebrate another revolution around the sun, it seems that my revolutions get faster. And though I feel a bit like my ass is on the front-end of a rocket, I also feel as though I am on a slow free drift out in the middle of the ocean – no land to be seen, anywhere.

I can’t remember the last time I actually wore a watch – well yes, I can, it was 19 months ago. Often I have no idea where my day goes – it’s just gone. I wake up and then before I know it, it’s way past normal peoples’ bedtime.

Though I spend a large amount of time searching for a job, and working on other ways to make a living, I also spend a lot of time doing mindless/relaxing/time-suck activities – but they are activities I enjoy that when I worked I did not have time for.

Here’s a good for instance – I had planned to re-work my resume today, which may or may not need to be done. Instead I have spent a good part of the day catching up on a few of my fav blogs, though there are many more I want to get to!! [Okay by the time I finished this post, I did get my resume re-worked 🙂 ]

I have get to make three batches of apple butter this week, and blueberry jam, since blueberries are on sale at the grocery store and I have had many requests for that one. For some reason though, I am feeling quite lazy today . . . though I like a little winter, I have had enough. I feel for all y’all getting the brunt of this winter, mine is mild compared to yours.

I have started working on my posts about our food supply and how fucked up it is. Those are forthcoming. I keep writing myself into a corner in my novel – not sure what’s up with that! My blogs are all being neglected (yeah, I laughed out loud at that one!).

There’s a couple of very interesting jobs I have applied for in the last couple of weeks. I am so hoping to get an interview for at least one. Any extra prayers, good thoughts, finger-crosses, rabbit’s foot rubs, whatever I can get – I’ll take them!!

Loved the fight at the end of the Super Bowl game – what a shining example that was for the youth of our country 😉 (Yes, that was meant to be snarky!)

They keep saying unemployment is going down, but I know more and more people who are unemployed than I have ever known before, and sadly many are in the 50+ age group. Most of us aren’t being counted on the unemployment rolls anymore. I do live in an area where there have been many different industries laying off employees, and are continuing to do so.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I bought each of my granddaughters a giant card. I was thrilled that they were $3 a piece and were Made In America 🙂 (which honestly is the only reason I bought them) AND I found them at Walmart of all places.

I also want to send a shout out and thank you to Doobster at Mindful Digressions for the honor of his nomination for the Premio Dardos award. According to Doobs, “Premio Dardos means “Prize Darts” in Spanish. It is an award given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.” I haven’t named my 15 bloggers yet, as I have decided to add that widget of the blogs I follow  – I like that idea because in my opinion they are all worth reading!!

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Just a few random things I was thinking about today . . .

Happy New Year


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Happy New Year and Welcome 2015!!!

I am finding it hard to believe that 2014 is now behind us – it flew by so quickly, or so it seems in my world. Having said that, I’m glad it’s over!

I am looking forward to a new year, a new beginning, new adventures and opportunities. I’m excited, and a little apprehensive, regarding the challenge of learning to make a living outside the box, as we don’t seem to fit in the box anymore and the box is what we know and are accustomed to.

Though I seem to find myself in unfamiliar territory, I do try to find the blessings in this “uncharted path” I am on, and there are many!!

I want to take this moment to send lots of good cheer to you and yours in the coming year! Here’s to a wonderful 2015, especially on roads less traveled . . . may they make all the difference!!!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

word cloud for year 2015

Fine & Boycott the Bastards


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Okay – so in the last three days I have had to call Comcast, Chase and my local credit union. Do you know where their customer service call centers are located – The Philippines (yeah, I asked!), every last one of them, even my credit union (which I must say surprised the shit out of me).

It’s no wonder people here can’t find jobs . . .

And don’t get me wrong, I want people in the Philippines to be able to work and eat and raise their families, but not at the expense of American’s doing without these jobs that President Bush-43 called the jobs of the 21st century.

Now, mind you, I have been out of work for over a year, though I am not a customer service person, but this kind of business practice affects us all!

I think everyone who does business this way should be heavily fined, and if possible boycotted!

Okay my rant for the day is done . . . (yes, this pisses me off!)

Just something I was thinking about . . . something I think about often, as a matter of fact! ☮

 

 

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


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Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

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Feeling Spanked


There are times in life when things are going well, then all of a sudden out of the blue, when you least expect it – feels like a mushroom cloud over your head while you are choking on the fallout. Definitely been feeling a bit slapped around lately 😉

Then I remind myself . . . I am stronger than any shit that gets thrown at me!! (Just thought I would share that, in the event anyone else out there is feeling the same!!)

Party on Wayne . . . Party on Garth . . .

Just something {random} I was thinking about . . .

Why Do We Keep Giving Our Jobs Away?


This is an article I originally wrote back in December 2004 about the problem of outsourcing American jobs to other countries. I recently found it and was surprised at how nothing has changed in the last ten years and this piece is still pretty spot on. Actually things may be even worse. There’s a greater number of aging baby boomers to work some of these jobs, and they are having an even harder time, often being terminated from their jobs 10-15 years before retirement age, now dipping into their retirement savings to live – but that is another story for a different day.

I hope this trend of corporate greed at the expense of this country’s health and welfare changes soon. Personally, I think if you outsource jobs to other countries that can be done by American workers, you should be heavily taxed. I think companies who maintain their workforce in the United States should be given tax breaks, at least for a period of time.

I note in my article I am NOT an economist or historian, nor am I necessarily politically inclined, so I don’t know all the background about these types of things, but I know enough to know they can be done judiciously and pragmatically. Of course, this will most likely cut into some profit margins – so though it can be done, I am sure it would be a fight. In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share it with you & see what you think.

 Outsourcing American Jobs Dangerous Trend

I love to read Molly Ivins’ nationally syndicated column. Today’s article was Ivin’s review of two books. One of the books mentioned, “When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor” by William Julius Wilson, discussed the problems with joblessness in the inner city ghettos. She uses a quote from the book discussing his solutions, which she states as critical for all of us not just for poor inner-city blacks – “The problems of joblessness and social dislocation in the inner city are, in part, related to the processes in the global economy that have contributed to greater inequality & insecurity among American workers in general & to the failure of U.S. social policies to adjust to these processes. It is therefore myopic to view the problems of jobless ghettos as if they were separate from those that plague the larger society.”

This made me think, as I read, that a large percentage of the American workforce is now in danger of this “jobless ghetto” syndrome. I heard President Bush say, during one of the debates, that the key to ending unemployment and government assistance needs is EDUCATION for 21st century jobs. The way I see it, the market is becoming considerably service and technology based. The jobs of the 21st century are huge in the area of technical assistance (development, programming, maintenance) and customer service. These are also the jobs that have been outsourced to other countries, for considerably cheaper labor costs. This is a dangerous trend that has been on the rise in the last five years.

Now, I am not an economics or history expert, but the way it appears to me is that in the last half century jobs have increasingly changed in proportion concerning manufacturing and service-oriented jobs. In the early years of this country up until the first half of the 20th century, manufacturing was a huge part of the economic base. The last half of the 20th century saw a large majority of these jobs being outsourced to other countries because it was cheaper for the manufacturer. This left the service-oriented and technology fields as a way of providing jobs for American citizens. As proved from my last five calls to Dell, and other computer parts manufacturers they are involved with, ALL of their technical support has been outsourced, often times to places where the technicians’ English is accented so heavily, even if they are the most intelligent in the world, I can’t understand a word coming out of their mouths.

If we are sending all the manufacturing, customer service-oriented and technology jobs overseas, what jobs does that leave for Americans? Medical professionals, lawyers, dry-cleaners, and fast-food/restaurant jobs are a few of the jobs left. Do you recognize the large gap in salaries between the first two jobs I mentioned and the second two jobs – the haves and the have-nots?

Do not misunderstand me, I understand the importance of a global economy, but in my opinion we have taken the concept entirely too far. When there is no balance, a considerable amount of middle-class jobs disappear from the U.S. landscape. If this trend continues, jobless ghettos could be as common as tent cities during the Great Depression.

Just something I was thinking about, something I think about often actually.

(And RIP Molly Ivins, you are missed by many!!)

Unemployed in Your “GOLDEN” Years


It’s hell to be in your fifties and be looking for work. I know quite a few people who are over the age of 50 and have all of a sudden found themselves unemployed. You can’t help but wonder if they are discreetly weeding out older workers. A man I know had a pre-interview assessment test with one of the manufacturing plants. He is an Instrumentation & Electrical Technician. He assumed he would be given a test regarding his skill set. When he got there, the test was given on a computer. The HR person told him to sign in, where she promptly watched him type in his name, last four of his social security number, and his date of birth. The test he took was not what he was expecting. It was multiple choice and asked questions like:

On the job site, do you value safety above productivity?

All the time, most of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never

When you are on the job site, you consider safety to come first:

All the time, most of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never

The average person misses how many days of work in a 6-month period?

Zero days, 1-3 days, 4-6 days, 7-9 days, or more than 9  days

Regarding the last question, he told me, hell he didn’t know what the average person does, he’d never taken a survey before – that’s never been in the scope of his job. (I had to laugh at that!) There were quite a few weird vague questions like that. And as far as safety goes . . .  that is always number one!

Within two hours he heard back from the plant and after judging his “assessment tests,” they determined he did not have the qualifications they were looking for. He was a little shocked, especially since he knows someone in management there and they had mentioned there had been a big shake up and many people were let go, some for not knowing how to do their job. We both agreed the test they gave him was an odd way to gauge if he knew how to keep their factory running, as well as understood electrical and instrumentation basics, processes, and proper safety precautions.

My daughter and I talked about these types of personality assessment tests years ago when she was in high school, as many retail establishments use this type of screening in their initial applicant hiring process. She told me she was really good at taking them, as she knew exactly what they wanted her to say – regardless of what her real answer might be. She also usually got whatever job she applied for. One of the places she worked, she was good friends with the hiring person’s girlfriend, and he told her straight up that she was the only one he had ever seen who had made 100% on that test.

My point is, it’s a game, and many people figure it out at some point in time. I personally am not sure how this would validate anyone’s professionalism or work ethic. For older employees trying to find new jobs (especially those who haven’t had to look in awhile), this is a screening method many are unfamiliar with and the unspoken nuances aren’t as well known. If I owned a company, this is NOT a screening process I would utilize. I don’t want to hire a bunch of people who essentially just kissed my ass by telling me exactly what I want to hear . . . and being dishonest in the process.  But then again, that’s just me. Having said that, I have had to take a couple of those tests and looking back on it, don’t think I was interviewed for those positions. Which doesn’t surprise me – I’m not big on playing games.

My friend said he’ll know what to do next time, too . . .

I have some friends who work as government contractors at one of NASA’s space centers. Late last year, the contract they worked on was rebid. Their employer won the bid, but bid the work so cheaply, concessions had to be made and one of those was the lay-off of about 50 people at the beginning of this year. Every single person laid off was over the age of 40, most being in their 50-60s. People who had years of experience and had devoted their lives to the space program, regardless of the capacity. BUT they were also the oldest, many there a number of years, so they commanded higher salaries, typically more vacation time, and possibly higher medical expenses due to their age (as well as being out on disability for surgeries).

I asked my friend if this didn’t smack of ageism to them and if they were going to file a grievance with the EEOC. Of course they didn’t, as most of them were hoping to get picked up on another contract so certainly didn’t want to burn any bridges. For some of them, the space program was all they knew. And though government workers and contractors often get a bad rep, some of these people worked really hard for their money, and made significant contributions to the overall goals of the nation’s space exploration plan. Unfortunately, a high percentage of my friend’s friends are still unemployed – I ask about it pretty regularly. Nothing like using all the money you have saved for retirement to make ends meet when you are let go from your job with another 10-15 years left until you can really retire. I can just imagine how unsettling and frightening that must be!

Not sure how this growing trend is going to affect our nation’s collective knowledge base, as well as the economy, and how our country deals with its aging population.

I’m curious, what are your thoughts or experience with this . . .