| When I'm 64|
The Prime Minister has urged people to work past 65, describing them as a
huge untapped resource. Of course Johhny (I-like-my-job) Howard is about to
turn 64, and has said that we will 'assess his future' at that age. Everyone
thought this meant the 'R' word, and Peter (leader-in-waiting) Costello was
smirking in anticipation of getting the big chair. But more and more it's
looking like 'assessing his future' means no more than choosing the flavor of
his birthday cake, and the 'R' word might be 'Re-run'.
But the (ever objective) ABC's 7:30 report has jumped on
this and run a story on the number of aging Australians who are laid off, and
then unable to gain further employment.
59 Year-old Trevor Moir was featured - a former $100,000pa+ executive who was
'downsized', and is unable to get another job. He claims that he has received
over 200 rejections, and describes the look on people's faces when he turns up
for interviews before they learn of his age.
cry, 'the government
must do more for old people!', and the old favorite - 'victim', 'victim'.
Of course the 7:30 Report's segment didn't actually say what Trevor's
skills were. Clearly he was a skilled politician and manipulator
(that's what it takes to climb the corporate ladder in most organizations), but
apart from going to meetings, justifying his existence, and being 'overhead',
would could he actually do?
He didn't describe himself as an engineer, designer,
developer, or even an accountant or (heaven forbid) a lawyer. His job
Position Vacant: Executive. Someone to
wander around, go to meetings, give orders, and generally tell people what to
do. No special skills or experience in the field required. No need to
understand new technology (that's what the
junior is for), no need to use a computer (that's what the
secretary is for). $100,000+ package. Ability to step on people's fingers on
corporate ladder an advantage. Backstabbers welcome. Apply now!
Every large organization has at least one specialized 'executive' in
it. Invariably some of them fall foul of a new management (competent people do
get promoted occasionally even in large organizations) and, having no real
skills, they get 'downsized'. The only odd thing about this is the surprise
that these people get when it happens.
Of course Johnny (top-of-the-heap) Howard will never have to worry about
that. No-one expects him to have real skills beyond political manipulation, and
the chances that he'll end up answering to someone who is not a politician are
quite remote. He's seen the knife, and is back is well guarded.
And as for Peter's future? Sometimes even competent people get promoted in
large organizations - who knows what the field of applicants will look like?