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Who is Lynda H.?


Lynda H.

Lynda H.
BirthdaySunday, September 04, 1949
Genderfemale
Member SinceMonday, August 16, 2004
Last ActivitySunday, September 23, 2007
LocationHouston, Texas, United States United States
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About Me
About Me

 THE JOYS OF BEING A BABY BOOMER 

Introduction

 

My brother and I were oil-field brats - and when I was growing up, my dad worked for one of the then major oil companies and we lived on plant premises in housing they provided. We moved from place to place at their whim much like the military- BUT in this case, if you wanted to keep your job, you went where they transferred you (now living as an oil field brat would make a great story-maybe I‘ll tell it in another article!). We didn't have much when I was a kid ("much" as in material things like we have today) but ... we were loved and we knew it; we had a roof over our heads, good food on the table and clothes on our backs.

 

Because of the way I grew up, I grew up knowing that if I worked hard, and showed my employer loyalty, he would take care of me in turn. I have always believed this; never worried for one minute about ever not having a job - until one morning I woke up, and found myself  unemployed (for the 3RD time in 9 years).

 

Since that time, I have gotten an education I really didn't want, and I am still unemployed. (UPDATE: JUNE 06-  I STILL BELIEVE IN MIRACLES -  I GOT A JOB - !!!! MAKING DECENT $$$$$-CROSS YOUR FINGERS THAT THIS ONE STICKS!)  

 

Some employers won't even interview me; others think I'll be bored (they tell you that to your face); and others flat out tell me I am over-qualified. I even had one "head-hunter" tell me to not be so open and honest - I scared the employers off!  So, after a year of being unemployed, out of benefits, and broke, I have turned to the Internet to try to make some money. (I'll have to let you know how this turns out; so far I haven't earned one thin dime).

 

Which leads me to here. The road to here has not been an easy one. I have gone from making $75,000 a year to practically nothing - something which my creditors just can't understand - some of them don't even try. I am only 1 person trying to survive, keep my lights on, food on the table and a roof over my head. Living in Texas hasn't made it any easier. (God knows, I am a native Texan and can’t imagine living anywhere else) but Texas doesn't have any programs for Senior Citizens, or anyone needing help, for that matter. Nothing; nada. I was told once by someone that the Red Cross would assist with mortgage payments (1 month only). BUT, after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, their resources are naturally channeled elsewhere.

 

AARP has a system designed to re-train seniors and assist them in finding jobs possibly with companies who have signed on with AARP to hire Senior Citizens. The Seniors are usually paid a minimum wage for the 20 or so hours a week that they work while they are retrained. Do they get a permanent position at the place where they are retrained? I don’t know. Can you pay your bills and live on minimum wage - what is it these days; still $5.15 an hour? What do you think? And don’t try to work more than 40 hours a week- they will send you home.

 

I can't live on that! And, retrained to do what? Be a greeter at Wal-Mart? Be the happy sunshine person at McDonalds and star in their next commercial? Learn to be a receptionist and answer phones (as if you don't already know how to do that). Learn how to use the computer? Again - duh. (I realize not all Senior Citizens are familiar with switchboards and computers).

 

Take someone like me for example. I know how to use a computer, answer phones and run a busy switchboard system; I am not good material for the McDonald's happy person, nor would I make a good greeter at Wal-Mart!  (Obviously I have issues that need working on!) I can't take a job that dictates standing on my feet all day because I have arthritis in my hip and ankles - after a day of standing, etc. I can't walk the next day. - BUT I'm not disabled according the Social  Security guidelines (I have a friend who's mother was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to continue working. It took her daughter over 6 months to get her paperwork approved by Social Security {and it was submitted more than once} so she could get disability benefits.  She died 8 months later. But the point I am making here is the Social Security Administration didn't think she was disabled). Now I ask you - does that make sense to you?

 

So back to the original question. What does a baby boomer do that is in their mid-fifties, has worked thru the changing workplace for over 30 years and has no retirement (had to live on that till it was gone), no job prospects (just about exhausted all avenues there) and nothing in the bank (oh wait-I have -882.32 cents in checking and 16 cents in savings - where can I spend it where it will do the most good?) I can go back to school? on what? to do what? start a new career in my mid-fifties? I have no idea what career. My God, these are supposed to be the best years of my life- the Golden years - and all I can do is worry about where my next meal is coming from and am I going to be living under the freeway next month!

 

I think Senior Citizens everywhere should ban together and march on Washington or their State Capitols and carry banners that say “Need Work, Need Food, Need a place to live, Need Help!”  And in this instance, “Now What can You do for Me?”  (we were also the “Ask not what your Country can do for you, but ask what can I do for my Country?” generation). (John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech, January, 1962).

 

So where do we go from here? I don’t know. I search for answers daily. And I know it is only going to get worse before it gets better. Which scares me. My life span (today) is roughly 77-80 years of age which leaves me another 20 years to figure it out. I wish myself Good Luck!

 

keep watching this space for the next chapter; "ALL ABOUT ME" ... GROWING UP IN THE 60'S!"

 

 

NB: I refer to Senior Citizens in this article. I probably should say Baby Boomer, but not all Senior Citizens are Baby Boomers and not all Baby Boomers are Senior Citizens (yet). SO let’s just say I am talking about the 50+ age group, most of which are Baby Boomers or anyone born in the mid to late 1940’s through the early 1950’s. And remember, even though you may be in your late 40’s now, age discrimination can rear it’s ugly head  anytime. And one of these days, you'll wake up and realize...OOPS! - I'm a Senior Citizen!! ???

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