Since many of us Boomers decided along the way to spend money and enjoy life while we are still young and healthy to do so… rather than chuck it away into retirement accounts and 401k‘s so that we can live the life of Reilly while dealing with diabetes, arthritis, and altzheimers… we are finding the need to stay in the workplace longer to continue to make ends meet. This is not necessarily a bad thing.. in fact, there’s the noticable trend that when people retire from working many end up meeting their Maker a lot sooner. But when we reach a point where we have to leave from our appointed careers (either as a result of forced company retirement or our health and age have begun to limit our effectiveness) and we want to continue to work, we end up getting jobs with far less responsibility and far less physically demanding. So we end up back where we started in life… working for minimum wage (many times part-time) in fast food, the local Wal-Mart (in my day it was Sears or K-Mart), or being a security guard.
But just because we end up with these minimum wage jobs doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten our previous careers and responsibilities, knowledge and training. A lot of us were former entrepreneurs, CEO’s, managers, and other corporate potentates who planned budgets, directed projects, and walked the halls of power within our own little kingdoms. Just because I stand for 8 hours a day making sure people coming into the store don’t bring in drinks and don’t take pictures doesn’t mean I am vegging in retirement. The torture is seeing business incompetence all around you… bad managers, faulty supervision, poor workplace attitudes, and terrible customer service… and not being able to do anything about it. We have to just shut up and remember that we are fortunate to have a job in this economy that welcomes us older folks.
Whether you’re in security (like myself), flipping burgers or cooking chicken, or greeting customers at the local Wal-Mart, you are likely going to see things that back in the day when you were a grand pooh-bah in the workplace you would have never tolerated. As we all know, there are no guarantees in life.. we are not entitled to anything other than that in which we strive for. After all, we are in these jobs because we did make choices in life… and for good or bad, this is how it plays out. At the end of the day we can go home knowing we have family and perhaps that special person in our life waiting for us.
There are a couple solutions you might consider. One is start up a business (again) and show the world how much better you can do things. Another option is to start a blog and rant in oblique and non-identifying terms about the idiocy of your employer… but be careful not to mention their name.