I had a lovely day yesterday, that ended a bit bittersweet. News from a friend that her husband at 62 was fired in such a way the company could make it look like retirement, thus he can not get unemployment as he looks for a new job – not easy at his age. On top of this, his work has been in shipping and warehouse most of his career. What irks me the most, is that it is a very well established and successful publishing company here in Tucson. While I like to believe that those who are invested in printing material for educational (as this company does) and recreational reading are above the mediocre line of morality, sadly, I have been disappointed in this. A man who is just 3 years shy of full retirement, is put out on a place where for the rest of his life he and his family may only have $725 a month that he can provide as income to his home. A family that has worked hard, and never had more than working wage, thus little savings. And this may now be gone in the blink of an eye, the modest home gone, and possibly the family torn apart.
The owner of the company is one of the wealthiest businesses here in Tucson. Known as a philanthropist, and a respected citizen of the community. The old saying, “Charity begins at home” obviously was not something he learned or applied in his business model. True, there is possibly something that the employee did to tick off the employer. Possibly still is the move to save money by pushing out an older employee who has been with the company for many years to save money. So I will say, that there is part of the story I do not know for 100 % certainty. But I do know what my friend, his wife, has told me, and what I have heard from her for years about the treatment of her husband, especially as he aged.
Maybe he did slow down. Maybe he was not able to move as much weight, but look at the years he did this, years that were fledgling years for the company, that built the wealth and respect of this business. Is not the labor of a man worth more than a 2 week notice that he is going to be retired? No pension. No party. No reward except to now wait for his last paycheck? The owner of this business will never have to worry if he has a home to live in, or have to make the choice of eating or having a roof over his head. Yet, a loyal now former employee will spend his golden years living like this. Sad that this still occurs.