Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – jerk out of work edition

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.
1 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:40:19 PM by Jimmyclyde
No, asshole – retirement is when you finish up your stint with your company at 65, or 67, or whatever the fuck the age for full SS benefits is by the time you finally get there.
Getting booted into the ranks of the unemployed at 62 is called “getting shoved off on an ice floe”.
To: Jimmyclyde
He 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.
3 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:44:39 PM by areafiftyone (The U.N. is now officially irrelevant! The building is for Sale!!!)
YaThink
To: Jimmyclyde
One word: MOVE
5 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:45:13 PM by Extremely Extreme Extremist
Two words: “With what?”
I also have three words for you, if you need some more. the first one is “Go” and the last one is “yourself”.
To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Three words: Paper or plastic?
9 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:46:52 PM by JIM O
Wrong three words, but thanks for playing.
To: JIM O
ROTFLMAO
12 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:49:55 PM by mtbrandon49 (BOHICA)
Yep – being unemployed at 62 is a real knee-slapper
“And then I told him: ‘Paper or plastic?’ HAW HAW HAW HAW!”
To: KC_for_Freedom
this guy has to be a dim bulb if he spends his time with a sign on the street.
16 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:51:52 PM by RolandBurnam
That, or desperate. I think it’s one of those two.
One Freeper dimly gets it:
To: KC_for_Freedom
I don’t understand why there is no sympathy for this man on this thread.
You’re kidding, right?
Can’t any of you put yourselves in his place?
Now Iknow you’re kidding.
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.
19 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:53:47 PM by vikingcelt
Stop me if you’ve heard this one –“Paper, or plastic?”
Geddit?
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

22 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:55:03 PM by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
Are there no workhouses?
More milk of human kindness after the link, sausages.

Of course, “johngalt” has the usual Freeper get-out-of-reality-free card:
To: MikeWUSAF

Everything about this article is a lie. I’d be surprised if the guy even exists.

Ah yes, and welcome to Boston liberal columnists.

23 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 1:55:44 PM by JohnGalt
Are you aware that your heroine died collecting welfare?
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.

30 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:03:11 PM by freeper12
Of course, the smart-asses on the thread can’t let that one go by:
To: freeper12

Boo 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.

52 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:15:36 PM by matthew_the_brain less
Fixed your handle for you.
To: matthew_the_brain

He 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.

61 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:21:12 PM by dfwgator
To: freeper12
Thanks 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
66 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:24:33 PM by vikingcelt
To: freeper12
It’s always great to kick a man when he’s down.
Have you forgotten where you are?

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.

68 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:27:09 PM by sox_the_cat
To: vikingcelt

When 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.

90 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:52:09 PM by SauronOfMordor (Heavily armed, easily bored, and off my medication)
And there you have it.
To: Jimmyclyde
Why doesn’t he just pull himself up by his bootstraps and become an investment banker or something?
95 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:54:47 PM by Mortimer Snavely (Is anyone else tired of reading these tag lines?)
Heh.
To: vikingcelt

I 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..

121 posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 3:45:05 PM by RnMomof7
Thus endeth the lesson.
In case you’re wondering about this week’s theme, let me explain the relevance.
Last week, I was “downsized” from my tech job of 14 years.
I am 62.
Tagged , , , , , , ,

17 thoughts on “Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – jerk out of work edition

  1. Athenae says:

    (((((Tommy))))))
    Hey, Mister, get a job, get a life, send the old lady out to work.
    Aren’t these the same brain trusts who’ll say a woman’s godly place is in the home taking care of her mayunn?
    Assmunches.
    A.

    Like

  2. Harry says:

    Sorry to hear, Tommy.
    Add another hug.

    Like

  3. Hugs and best of luck, T.
    .

    Like

  4. David Terrenoire says:

    I am sorry to hear that, Tommy. I share your situation and it sucks.

    Like

  5. liprap says:

    Oh, Tommy. I am so sorry. ((((((Hugs))))))

    Like

  6. adrastos says:

    In the same boat myself, mon ami.

    Like

  7. Kevin says:

    I’m so sorry, Tommy.

    Like

  8. Elspeth Ravenwind says:

    (Tommy, you know I already know and am sending you good vibes on a great opportunity)
    RE: heartless assholes on the Freeper…
    Isn’t dear ol’ Slick Rick Perry already pulling on the teat of retirement and he isn’t even moved out of the governor’s mansion?
    Shouldn’t there be a friggin’ law against that? Cripes, that Ten Gallon Ass-hat WILL (sadly) NEVER want for money…and yet he is siphoning off $$$ because ‘well hell, it’s okay!’…
    GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

    Like

  9. Geeno says:

    I’m frankly surprised by the amount of understanding the article got in Freeperland. Not as much as one would like, but a lot more than I expected. Perhaps there’s hope after all.
    Naaaah.

    Like

  10. Dee Loralei says:

    So sorry to hear, Tommy. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    Like

  11. bill says:

    The main dipshit over there says, Go out and get a job, loser! I guess he missed the part about the resumes, or maybe he just thinks our guy should pull a gun on the nearest HR person and force him/her to hire him. (Ladies, weren’t you just charmed?) Also notable in all the publicity hoo-hah was how few employers seem to have called this guy. Tough shit, for sure; business is a cold, cold world, which, to me, is another example of why “corporate personhood” is such a farce.

    Like

  12. Scott S. says:

    Many, many condolences, Tommy. I expect to be on that boat in a few years. :/

    Like

  13. Kibitzer 2006 says:

    Tommy, those last two lines knocked every bit of snark right out of me. Whatever I say is going to sound shallow, so I won’t try.
    –Kibitzer

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tommy T says:

    Thank you all – it really helps.
    You’re good people.
    Tommy

    Like

  15. azportsider says:

    Aw, shit, Tommy. That really sucks! I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pinacacci says:

    Aw, geez, Tommy. Good luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. frazer says:

    Sorry to hear it, Tommy. All best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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