You Won’t Hire Me Because I Am … Old?
By Parveen Ahsan
September 3, 2013
After leading an active life, I suddenly find myself ‘shelved’ because of the age factor. True we all come with a predetermined expiry date, but until that date and time comes, to be ‘shelved’ because of the age factor is difficult to accept.
Trying to get a job is next to impossible simply because no one wants to employ an old person for a good salary when the employer can hire two for the price of one.
So, years of experience that one banks on, is of no consequence, and all your contacts are in your age group, so what does one do? Private companies do give you a handsome salary, but as far as I know there is no pension there, that is provided in government jobs.
I have been applying for a job and got called for interviews. Guess what happened? The prospective employers wanted to interview me, not because I had applied but, as one asked point blank, why a lady in my age group was job hunting? One even remarked that the year in which I had graduated, he wasn’t even born!
Curiosity killed his cat.
Abroad, you have a social security number and when you fall on hard times you are given ‘x’ amount on a weekly basis to tide you over till you get a job or your shelf life runs out. Abroad it is known as being on the dole, and like all schemes, there are scams. Why can’t we have something like that in place here in Pakistan? So what if there is a scam or two, what’s new? There are scams galore and everyone knows the small fish gets caught.
A couple of weeks ago, there was a story published about Roohi Bano falling on hard times, and needing help in whatever form. But she is not the only one.
Roohi Bano is a well know personality, and there must be many souls to look after her, but what about the millions who are forcefully sitting on the sidelines? There must be somebody somewhere who can create a data base and put us to good use. Instead of having grand ideas for a bullet train why can’t something positive be done to help the unfortunate old age persons, the disabled, and those who need monetary help.
While checking websites, I discovered that there are many government sponsored websites which gladdened my soul, but are out dated so quoting them will be of no use. However, according to the Punjab Employees Social Security website,
“The employer of registered establishments is legally obliged to pay contribution to the institution @ 6% of the salary and wages of his employees, drawing wages up to Rs. 15,000/- Per Month or Rs. 600/- Per Day by cheque or pay order / DD.”
Sadly the information on this website is also outdated. So one is back to square one!
So why in God’s name and all that is holy am I quoting out dated websites? Just to show how good ideas are there to be implemented. Or were they implemented but suddenly came to a grinding halt? Who knows?
There are employers out there who can give you a job despite of the age factor, but are reluctant to do so because they don’t know how to handle ‘old’ people. Can they scream at you? Do they handle you with kid gloves? Will you be a team player? Will your presence be good or bad for the company’s image?
To answer all these questions, let me just state that we are old, not useless. We have experience – just give us a chance.