Getting Squeezed from Both Sides

Posted by diessos 1 year, 3 months ago to Economics
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So I know this will sound like a rant but I can't help myself. I'm a later boomer, born in late 1959.. now referred to Generation Jones. I first entered the IT workforce in the early 80's right as Reagan was elected. I entered a workforce that was dominated by baby boomers. They held the jobs, the management positions and the economic purse strings. Like many other Gen. Joners, I could never compete with them, no matter how hard I tried or how good I performed. In my "career" I was downsized twice, saw may salary see-saw and was never officially recognized for any of the good work I was doing. The Boomers, always kept me down saying and I was bypassed for promotions because "You are too young", "You are too inexperienced", "You are too green".
By the late 90's when I was no longer "too young", "too inexperienced", "too green", suddenly I was deemed to be TOO OLD. So I wound up reporting to people older than me to people younger than me within 3 years. Then the Y2K debacle, and theDot-Com meltdown hit and found myself out of work with no real prospects again.

So it took a dead-end job waiting for the IT profession to recover. Then the 2008 crisis hit and Odumb-ass got elected. Shot the whole economy to hell for the next 8 years. So I stayed where I was. So for the past 20 years I've sat in a dead-end job just for the decent pay and benefits and saving as much as i can for my 401K so I can retire and disappear somewhere.

Now, we have another set of Boomer politicians (senile Joe, Nervous Nancy, Chuckie Schumer, and Pocahontas) screwing up the economy again. Gas prices up, and I've been hearing talk of going after pension and 401K's. After all it's not MY MONEY IS IT?

So after 40 years of getting screwed by the Boomers, it's going to continue to happen. Then as I get older the Gen Xers and Millenials will say "Hey boomer.. you got yours.. now we are taking it for ourselves".

I'd like to know what it's like to WIN.

The election of Trump was the last gasp of a dying country.

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  • Posted by $ Abaco 1 year, 3 months ago
    Well, Trump really was a last gasp. I can see it in the equities markets. Sentiment, in contrast to what the news talking heads are telling us, is bad.

    I'm 8 years younger than you. I didn't seem to fall prey to the age-related issues you mention, but I'm not surprised by your comments.

    I don't mean to offend, at all. But, some thoughts come to mind. To sit in a dead-end job for many years is brutal. I couldn't do it. I did it once for one year. Ended up more broke when I quit after that first year - haha.

    I remember the scene in the movie Josey Wales where he says, "Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." My high school football coach would say, "Don't be denied" when directing me to run over defenders while carrying the football. Sometimes you gotta fight. Do whatever it takes to succeed. Much easier said than done. One should be willing to make a big career change, big relocation...whatever it takes. In the situation of getting squeezed from both sides as you describe there still remains winning options. You have to be very observant, flexible and, sometimes, plum mad-dog mean. In my case, I switched from the aerospace industry to healthcare. Healthcare is where the money is and the cold war ended just before I made the switch. Aerospace was a boon to engineers back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Then it shriveled. Now the government-healthcare complex rules the world and is in the mind of every thinking person...like working for The Matrix. But, in the middle of all that, even though I was busy with a wife and baby, I went back to the local university to study investing/finance. Before I finished my second class a firm I had been a client of offered me a job. Get skills that people will pay you for - skills that society is willing to pay for. Man...it ain't easy at times...
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    • Posted by 1 year, 3 months ago
      Oh.. I tried to get out. There were no jobs around. I had a few really good opportunities but the companies were sold and the jobs dried up. After a few tries, it was easier to just stay where I am and wait it out. I do have a great part-time job though.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 3 months ago
    Most 'boomers' got the same thing you did, screwed by looters with no prejudice based on age or generation.
    The people running government aren't boomers, they're looters. That has been true for 108 years.
    If we don't defend individual liberty, we are cowards regardless of age.
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    • Posted by mccannon01 1 year, 3 months ago
      "Most 'boomers' got the same thing you did, screwed by looters..." BINGO!

      Your situation (regardless of field), diessos, is not unique. Born in 1952 I am a boomer and have been looted (screwed) throughout my career while employed in similar and a few different ways as you. Abaco's advice to press for something better is good advice.
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  • Posted by dmshuler 1 year, 3 months ago
    If there's any lesson to be learned here in Galt's Gulch, it's that you eventually have to take a stand for yourself as they did in Atlas Shrugged. What are you willing to tolerate? When is it time to call it quits with something that is detrimental to yourself and/or society? A commune of smart and enterprising people living off the grid sounds great but, until I'm invited, I'll continue to show up at my dead-end IT job until I have the funds to retire.

    I think a redefining of what it means to "WIN" might be in order.

    My husband and I are both at the tail end of the boomer generation. We're both in IT. He made a great living for himself early in life running his own IT consultancy. Even though he eventually took on a regular full-time job when business dwindled, he still has loyal clients that he does "charity" work for. That makes him happy as well as his other hobbies outside of the day-to-day IT work he is paid to do.

    He was in a similar situation as you when he applied for IT jobs that were more interesting and had upward potential -- he was too experienced and/or over-qualified for the job. The kids that interviewed him didn't know half of what he knows and working for them may have been another fresh hell that he avoided. Ageism sucks for sure.

    As for me, after years in the Silicon Valley, I moved back home to Kentucky to be closer to my family. There were no great IT jobs in this area. After several year of complaining about it, I have come to appreciate my dead-end IT job for the benefits and pay without the political stress of an upper management job.

    Our jobs are simply fuel for the other things in life that DO make us happy. We have more time and money for family, hobbies, and charity work. At 57, my life less is less about work and more about my family, personal growth and achievements. I simply do not factor my job into the "winning" equation anymore.
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    • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
      Here here ,you make great points and have an excellent perspective.:) Living in a culture or society based on scarcity and acting with unethical greed is what suggests big financial success is winning. Self accomplishment , happiness and ability to look yourself in the mirror all while supporting yourself allows for your preparation to handle the inevitable set backs and tragedies a human life experiences during its course.
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  • Posted by shaifferg 1 year, 3 months ago
    Born near the end of WWII, to young to be a boomer, not a part of any generation identified by a name I recognized. Felt closer to the group 4 to 5 years older than me rather than my own age group. A member of the smallest class of students in elementary and high school for those 12 years.
    In addition to everything Ayn Rand wrote I also read the Peter Principle and later the Peter Prescription. Fortunate enough to utilize 6 months of Army training into a 30 year career. Wondered at times if I wasn't failing to follow what Rand implied but in my career activity helped over a thousand individuals to have a better life. Shrugged in 2001 and have enjoyed most of the past 20 years.(Death has claimed many I knew) Still helping a few on a different scale now. Spent probably 20 years practicing the Peter Prescription and when events no longer allowed avoiding promotion into my level of incompetence simply shrugged and walked away.
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  • Posted by $ Radio_Randy 1 year, 3 months ago
    Gen Jones...I LIKE that! I was born in '57 and my name is Jones.

    I was one of the fortunate ones, I guess...I held good jobs, that I liked, raised a family, paid off my house in 19 years, salted away a nest egg (separate from my employer's retirement program) and am now, comfortably retired.

    Now, I'm hoping to use that nest egg to move from Washington to Idaho, if I can afford to...the price of housing has skyrocketed there, in the past year or two.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 1 year, 3 months ago
    My dad was an electrical engineer - the education you got when computer engineering and computer science wasn't even real yet. My father-in-law as well. My father-in-law had to start his own company to get any respect. My dad was finally laid off by a fairly commonplace name and hasn't worked in the industry since. He, too, was laid off because of his age.

    I'm also in the IT field, and I'm in the same boat as you. I have twenty+ years of experience and an MBA, but I was passed over for promotion. I'd also like to know what it would be like to WIN. Let me know if you find out.
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    • Posted by $ Dobrien 1 year, 3 months ago
      I know your a winner. The rewards (financial from being level headed and honest make it appear like your losing but you have built a large wonderful family who has and are growning up with a great role model. If content of character is one of your objectives add it to your score card. Big money or big love what’s the real goal?

      “The best portion of a good man’s life.
      His little, nameless, unremembered acts
      Of kindness and love.”

      When push comes to shove there are many more of US than the demons. As you know our path to the distant future is much brighter and cooler then the looters
      And the frauds.
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  • Posted by mccannon01 1 year, 3 months ago
    Games played. Here's something I forgot to add. New York State had passed an age discrimination law that allowed older employees (us boomers as it were) to sue if there were lay offs that looked like the main reason was to get rid of older workers before they could get full retirement benefits, medical coverage, and other benefits. After working for a big company for 32 years a bunch of us boomers got downsized in 2004. About 6 months before the layoff in our division the company hired a bunch of 20 somethings. They got the boot the same time we did and the average age of all of us was under the state's radar for lawsuits. Hard to prove a plan was afoot, but it sure looked like a duck, if you know what I mean.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 1 year, 3 months ago
    I am a bit younger than you (born in 68) but have many similar experiences. Which explains why I have migrated to teaching. It's a place where I can work from inside the system, occasionally open the eyes of the next generation and ride a no sweat job until I fall over dead.
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