Here is the Ad I posted in our local paper last week: “Wanted! Strong, hard-working, high school senior who wants to earn extra money after school, moving heavy boxes, cleaning roof gutters and other yard work. $15/hour.”
Only ONE person answered my ad. The guy pictured above. Yup. Not only was he older than I am, he arrived at my doorstep wearing a back brace AND a knee brace!
“Um,” I smiled as I opened the door. “You aren’t exactly a high-school senior,” I said.
“Oh,” he countered. “I didn’t see the ‘high school’ part. I just saw ‘senior’….and I’m definitely that!” Understatement.
According to Fact Tank, by 2022, 31.9% of the work force will be people over 65! If my gentleman caller today is any indication, they are right. Putnam Investments recently published a survey, which found that 7 million previously retired folks have even returned to the work force! That rate is projected to jump to 67.5 percent by 2022.
Scientific studies prove that when men, in particular, retire their risk of clinical depression and even suicide rises sharply. The research shows that, “A man is about as likely to ask for help for depression as to ask for directions, and for much the same reason. It’s part of the male code, part of masculine culture.” So I’m glad that my retiree showed up for his sake, as much as mine.
Well, my ‘senior’ spent about 4 hours at my place and did one heck of a job. (Though I was a bit nervous when he first headed up the ladder). In fact, he was far more thorough than the last high school senior I hired. Not only that, we had interesting, thought-provoking conversations and given our ages, we certainly had lots in common.
But here is my real concern: how come not one, single teenager responded to my Ad? Are they over-booked? Or do they just not need the money? If things were ‘right’ in the world, people over 65 would not HAVE to labor for $15/hr. If things were even ‘righter,’ teenagers would!!!
Very interesting and not surprised you didn’t get the senior you were initially looking for. There’s lots of yard work, leaf raking, etc to be done and you never see any kids asking for work like the old days. Oh boy, do I sound old!! Forwarding to my Dad (who’s 93). He will love this.
I think teenagers feel this kind of work is beneath them. Work ethic is not being taught. They are being told everything is free, free, free!
I’m a baby boomer, just turned 62, and grew up with a strong, hard, work ethic. When I was a teenager, I always had money since I always worked around the neighborhood cutting lawns, landscaping, shoveling snow, maintenance work. I never asked my parents for money, I earned it. I’ve retired from my career with the government for over two years but I’ve been working at other part-time jobs to keep busy, feel productive, learn new job skills and earn money. I said earn not entitlement or handouts or welfare. Most of my co-workers are in their teens, 20s and early 30s and I can easily outwork and outlast any of them. One co-worker remarked that I am twice as old as everybody else but have twice as much energy.
Employers are slowly realizing that older workers are more dependable, more professional, harder workers with a better attitude to their job than their much younger counterparts.
This is SO true! In fact, everywhere you go now, older workers are re-appearing–and it is wonderful to see. They are behind the bar at Starbucks, checking you out in grocery lanes and even valet parking cars!! I am thrilled by the change and think we are all the better for it. Thank you for sharing this…and glad you are OUT there!!
Great story but sad to realize this is the state of the world that is destined to get much worse. Many boomers saved nothing. They will live into their 90s….how will the survive?