Fired or Promoted?
Posted: April 22, 2007
Another senior moment not to be overlooked is getting fired.…No matter how you say it, for most it is unpleasant even though perhaps expected, sooner or later.…
Another senior moment not to be overlooked is getting fired. Now there are nicer ways of saying this like making way for the next generation, being laid off, given a furlough, a reward for excellence. No matter how you say it, for most it is unpleasant even though perhaps expected, sooner or later. True, some seniors would rather be laid off than retire and some seniors want to work forever, also for various reasons. There is a certain amount of pride in being gainfully employed which doesn’t set well with being unemployed, regardless of age. And there are those with such expertise that employers cannot afford to part with them just as there are those who are so high up in the earning bracket that employers want to get rid of them.
Now, however, we are concerned only with those who have been promoted (i.e. given permanent leave) reluctantly. Getting fired can be traumatic. It can destroy or greatly damage self-esteem. It can negatively impact the pocketbook seriously and for those who have no other interests or hobbies, it can be devastating. Too much leisure with no way to fill it can result in any thing from distress to catastrophe. Just as some can hardly wait until that retirement moment, others dread it, fearfully or anxiously.
It is true that seniors are working longer and possibly even harder than ever (except for the era of not working for an employer -- like farming). Their skills are often recognized, appreciated and rewarded. My late brother-in-law retired although not entirely willingly but was immediately rehired as a consultant. He didn’t even lose his desk, but had better hours and a finer remuneration. It didn’t last too long, however, which was disappointing.
So why do seniors have these bitter moments of an enforced retirement? Possibly because the company is in dire straits and must reduce expenses. Or, some young upstart has designs on the senior position and finds ways to take over. Some seniors have been lulled into lethargy and aren’t worth as much to the company as they were. Others have become so well established (set in their ways) there is little or no room for improvement much less innovation.
Others have risen to their level of incompetency and have resorted to political shenanigans which in time revealed their inadequacy. And probably not a few have unendeared themselves to their superiors, deliberately or otherwise. Some become so possessive that relinquishing a position is downright traumatic. Others would love to run and hide but dare not lest they are found out. And some actually grow out of a job that has become redundant or antiquated.
These are a few of many possible reasons why it isn’t enjoyable to be terminated prematurely or even at maturity. The old adage 65 and out is no longer necessarily the watchword anymore. There are those who plan to retire early and relish the idea until it happens. And there are those who plan to work longer and plan accordingly only to axed unexpectedly. These senior moments are often bitter, excruciating, unforeseen and irreversible. Failure to prepare, both for the inevitable as well as the inexplicable, does not always account for miserable senior moments although it does account for more bad instances than necessary.
Search all articles byDan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community. • E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
* For web-based email, you may need to copy and paste the address yourself.
** opens in a new tab or window. Close it to return here.