People want me because I am old! 40



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The worm’s turning. Something wonderful is happening! People want me because I am old!

After suffering years of ageism before retirement I am in seventh heaven because now I am wanted by employers.

After retiring in early 2010 we became grey nomads. We’re into our fifth year on the road and often find that we are going stir crazy just touring. You get very fat just sitting all day and your mind gets slower and slower and there’s only one remedy for both problems so we volunteer or work.

Five years ago when we approached employers in regional Australia we found they preferred backpackers because they were young. This is what we had come to expect in Sydney and we just accepted that in this country we consign people over 45 to the employment scrap heap.

It’s OK for the government to say they want us to work longer but ageism and its problems are not even addressed, however now nature seems to be taking its course.

Now when we approach an employer in regional Australia we are suddenly snatched up. The reasons for this are interesting.

  1. Employers want us because we turn up.

Really?! Wouldn’t anyone who wanted a job turn up? Not according to the people we’ve worked for. They are sick of workers who just don’t show and don’t seem to care that they miss a day’s work. They even fail to notify an employer who has a string of other people depending on the output of that person to do their job. Like the packers who have nothing to pack because no one has turned up to pick the fruit. Or tour groups with no guide.

  1. Employers want us because we work the whole time we are there.

We don’t have a rest because we feel like resting. We only rest at designated break times. We don’t slack off because we’re tired from a night out or because we need to check our Facebook page or answer a call. We still do those things but only at the allotted times.

  1. Employers want us because we really care about the job we do.

It is pride in our work that makes it enjoyable. If we didn’t take pride in doing a good job or in working as hard as we can we would have no self-respect and no respect from others and we value that.

  1. They want us because we know there are consequences for not doing the job the way the boss wants it done.

When an employer shows us what they want done we take note and we do everything they need us to do as part of that job. We never leave them for others to do because we don’t feel like doing them or don’t like doing them. We would have no self-respect if others had to pick up after us. And that’s why the worm has turned.

We are very excited to be welcomed by employers and can’t help but be surprised to be thanked for doing what we were hired to do. It blows us away. But what will happen when we are too old to pick up the pieces? Who will work then?


Tell us your thoughts below.

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Janne and Geoff Hardy

  1. This comes as no surprise. The boomers have a work ethic. Hopefully this will spread and older people who want to keep working will be able to.

  2. Yes there is work if you want to for older people

    1 REPLY
    • My old employers would have me back like a shot if I went as a volunteer! Imagine that – I used to earn $000 per week and now they want me to do the same work for nothing! Not even a bus fare!

  3. I know several people who have retired only to be begged to come back a few days a week. I’m not at all surprised by the revelation, I think it’s likely to escalate by the year.

  4. Well as soon as they know your age it’s a no go. Always turned up, loads of experience but maybe it’s different areas accepting the oldies and not all areas

  5. I have been in my present employment for four years, I am seventy one now and hope to continue next year if they still want me, I hope they do, dont feel ready to retire yet !!!!!

    1 REPLY
    • Love it! Hope they want you also! Wish someone wanted my medical terminology skills and PR experience etc! Being in the 70’s is confronting enough without feeling we are passed the Use By Date!

  6. Not happening for me ATM

    3 REPLY
    • I thought it was illegal for employers to ask your age, so now they are asking for photos, does that get around them asking your age? It is a joke, the government want us to work and there are plenty of us who still want to work, but what jobs are available?

    • The problem is that if you edit your cv to only illustrate 10-15 years you may get an interview. you then waste time and money on petrol etc only for them to take one look and you just know that, no matter how good you are, you won’t hear from them again. Or, as happened to me, one person offered me a position which I accepted. I was at home a couple of hours later when another person from the same company rang to say sorry, but a family member was taking the position and the person who had offered me the job had misunderstood this. She then went on to say I was ‘over qualified’ anyway!

  7. At 60 tried to get office work or shop work after 20 years working bananas am able to use a computer, word, excel etc couldn’t get a job. A banana farmer hired me straight away to pack bananas so ended up back packing bananas for another 3 years then my back gave out completly.

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