I didn’t just leave my employ of yet another “cubicle” position, I sneaked away like an abused spouse in the middle of the night, with their secret escape bag already packed and barely breathing a noticeable breath as I headed for the exit. There were 1000 more just like me…gaining weight by the month, completely un-fit, can’t walk from here to there without exhaustion and stressing over making sure the timed pee-breaks were exactly when the corporation timed them to be.
My ride had pulled up to the curb outside, I swear I could have jumped through the passenger window had the car needed to roll through! I got inside, threw my bag onto the back seat and started to cry. My sweet husband put his hand on mine and laughed a little bit while telling me that everything would be alright. I did explain to him they were tears of joy, like getting out of prison after being unjustly convicted, I was free!!
I’m one of the countless wives that got her Bachelors degree, married poorly, (the first time) moved around a little bit and when the kids were big enough, started working the cubicle circuit. It seemed, if there was a decent paycheck to make, it came at the price of being in a call center. My career building years had passed me by and while raising my 4 kids, I missed out on networking and building lifelong friendships that step in to give you an advantage, later in life. I’ve sold glass, done insurance claims, counseled people on their debt and cold called for businesses until the cows never came home.
Now I sit, older, less attractive and cynical about how the opportunities are scarce if not non-existent for a 55 year old female in this job market. Let’s also walk around the quarantined elephant in the room. If you don’t know somebody, or you have not had the straight path of career building to carry you forward, it does not matter how intelligent you are. It does not matter what your military background is or that you could probably straighten out your boss’s office, home, who’s embezzling and fire and hire a winning staff to kick this business into gear. It does not matter that I have never called in sick, never come in hungover, worked hard enough to produce with the best of the younger staff…it does not matter. When I am in the middle of filling out an application for a job that is open, I am redirected as soon as they ask for my graduation or birth date.
I am searching for answers, I am searching for more of us. I am searching for my new beginning. I cannot go back to the coal mines. I want to thrive, I want to enjoy my day being happy and content. I do not want to spend it in a self-loathing, unworthiness of “is this all there is?”.
I am looking for my bootstraps to pull myself up, they are around here somewhere.