Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Natural Order of Things?

“The federal government is creating a new national seniors council and will spend $14 million on funding for seniors across the country” (Yahoo News).

Not sure what the government hopes to achieve with this program. I expect that at the very least we will see a communication link between seniors and the federal government. In any event, the shear number of the baby boomer generation will be a political force in the years to come. All levels of government would be wise to keep tabs on what we are thinking.

An article on the Charity Blog Network includes,

“When older people are faced with a work environment where they are discriminated against, feel unwelcome and are not appreciated for the great value that they provide to workplaces and to society in general, it is only natural that they feel that they should take their retirement savings and go travel, pursue their hobbies, or do other things leading to their self-actualization. If workplaces can provide the respect and dignity that help old people to feel fulfilled in their jobs, it is far more likely that they will want to stay in them. As such, the responsibility for this evolution is shared by us all.”

These news items remind me of the last few years of my employment.

Is it possible or desirable to change the fact that older workers often end up feeling this way? Maybe it’s just the natural order of things…and we should’t try to fight it. I believe that “survival of the fittest” applies to both Canadian workers and Lions in Africa.

Good luck trying to get mid-life employees to be concerned about co-workers who are able to retire. The younger employees would like to see the older ones leave so they can apply for their vacant, often better paying jobs. Many of the younger employees envy those who are able to retire. They would love to have their mortgage paid off and be able to sleep in or go fishing or golfing whenever they like. Image getting paychecks and not having to go to work ever again?

This can sound like paradise to a lot of 30 or 40 year old employees who don’t enjoy going to work all that much. Many retirees who don’t have to work envy those who have jobs and take employment at low paying jobs just to have a reason to get up in the morning, to feel they are contributing, and to have regular human contact. I guess the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

It’s just the natural order of things, an inescapable reality.

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