Older People Working Menial Jobs?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Ms. I, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    In your area, have you noticed that more older/elderly people are working at fast food places, Starbucks, retail, etc. due to the economy?

    I sure have. It's too bad, but better a job than no job I guess.


    (When I say "menial", I don't mean to say "menial" to be degrading at all. I said it strictly because the definition basically means not needing many skills or advanced skills to do the job, but of course, EVERYONE's job is valuable to them...or at least it should be & no one's any better than anyone else. I don't care if someone's a ditch digger or a CEO. :))
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Many older (and younger) people in my area work lower paying jobs because we live in a tourist-centered economy. I don't know anyone who feels their job is menial. They work these jobs because they want to continue being part of the work force and continue earning money without the stress of their previous career.
     
  4. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    A few. I see them a lot at fast food places more than anything, or sitting in the classroom with me. I'm in the process of earning another degree and I have had quite a few grandparents in my classes! I think it's fantastic to have a good mix of people in classes besides just the regular 18-22 year olds.

    The majority of people I see working in the fast food industry are college-aged kids. I don't know how they do it because I could never in a billion years do that job. Kudos to them!
     
  5. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I'm not a fan of calling someone else's job menial, but yes I've seen more elderly people working.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I have not seen too many around where I live but there is one older guy who works at Home Depot (I think he is a greeter if they even have those there). Every time I go there with my husband this man is there. He has to be close to 70 years old but looks to be in good health. Since my husband goes there at least twice a week he started chatting with this guy and it turns out he is retired but was just looking for something to do to pass the time. Good for him!
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    That's great guys! My aunt's about 76, but is still very spry. Even before she retired from her city job of 45 yrs, she started working at a sports arena. She's been there now for about 13 yrs & loves it.

    Great Speechy, I'm curious to know what degree are you working on?
     
  8. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Thanks! Mathematics :)
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Wow, 2nd Masters I assume. What do you plan to do w/ that? Not get out of SLP I hope or are you?!
     
  10. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Well, the actual name of the program is called Mathematics and Statistics. But betray speech therapy? Never! I just enjoy math but I have currently have no plans for the degree. After I receive it will probably just collect dust in my desk. It's just nice to have.

    Next, I want to become a licensed mortician! Then... oh, who knows lol.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I see a lot of people coming out of retirement. Some need the income supplement, some are bored. My dad went bonkers after a year of retirement and started coaching wrestling again, but refused the paycheck. It depends.
     
  12. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I was going to say what cat did--I think some people pick up a job for something to do. My grandfather worked for years at a nursery after his retirement. The pay was a nice bonus, but he did it so he had a reason to get out of the house and keep busy!
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Not really.

    However, around here there really aren't places to work, and all of those are minimum-wage retail jobs taken by the typical workforce age. We don't have any other kinds of places to work other than the school system.
     
  14. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I also don't like the term menial which feels disparaging to me, but to answer your question - yes. Some need the money because they didn't have a pension or adequate savings, some do it for spending money, some just like to be out in public with people, many had investments which went south the past few years, some were bored with retirement, some need money with the rising costs of medical, gas, etc. Sometimes it is a relief to work a job where you aren't in charge, have to make the decisions, etc. and can just do it after a lifetime of responsibility.

    I know many people who had planned to retire early on the strength of their investments and property purchases who now say they may never retire because they forsee it taking too long, if ever, to recover the money they have lost the last few years. That makes it even harder for young people entering the job market. I know in our district many younger (probably pink-slipped) teachers complain the older generation teachers aren't retiring, but it is easy for them to say when they don't have to live on the reduced income from retiring early.

    A friend of mine is in that situation - her program is closing and she will have to bump another teacher. People talk that she should retire but working another 2 years would mean $300 more a month in retirement. That is a lot of money when you are single and have no other source of income and would like to have some money to do things.
     
  15. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    OK, I don't mean to say "menial" to be degrading at all. I said it strictly because the definition basically means not needing many skills or advanced skills to do the job, but of course, EVERYONE's job is valuable to them...or at least it should be & no one's any better than anyone else. I don't care if someone's a ditch digger or a CEO. :)

    (I'd adding this in my original post so others know I mean nothing demeaning.)
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think the reason that lots of Senior Citizens work minimum wage jobs is varied.

    For some, it's a way to spend the time.

    For some, it's a way to put food on the table.

    For some, it's a job that they can leave at work, perhaps unlike the career to which they devoted much of their lives.

    For some, it's a way of supplementing their pensions and Social Security, of of building up a vacation fund.
     
  17. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Definitely. But this is a huge retirement/snow bird area. I think quite a bit of the older generation has trouble adjusting to retirement... though I must say Dad's taken to it quite nicely :)
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I haven't really noticed it around where I live, but I agree that they probably do it for a variety of reasons. I'm sure that when I retire (and that's a looooooooooooong way off) I'll probably get bored and pick up a part time job just to get out of the house.
     
  19. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    My dad retired for one year until he couldn't take it anymore. He worked with troubled boys at a multi purpose center for the last 12 years of his life. He made like 10 dollars an hour. It wasn't for the money. He often said that these were some of the best years of his life. I know an 80 year old woman that works at Waffle House Saturday and Sunday morning as a hostess. She does it for the companship as she does not need the money. I don't think of any jobs as menial...and all require some type of skill.
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    People take jobs to make ends meet, to feel fulfilled, to keep busy. I don't question why anyone takes any job...in this economy, I applaud them.
     
  21. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I definitely know that it has become common to leave or postpone retirement due to necessity rather than choice. I find it rather heartbreaking. Retirement feels like a pipe dream for my generation; I'm not optimistic about the future of social security and pensions.
     
  22. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I would take such a job due to bordom. I am retired and find plenty to do. Some days I just think and try to solve the meaning of life.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Let us know what you figure out!:D
     

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