Today at 5:45 pm est. I ended my industrial career. It's been a hard long road. I have worked jobs that I make sure I kiss my wife in the morning because I was not 100% sure I would make it home. Why do we do it you may ask? If it was not for us older American workers your steel mills would not be what they are today. Railroad and dock workers would not move equipment and materials to have the appliances and vehicles we drive today. I have been an industrial electrician for 37 years. I have worked steel mills, rock quarries, bottling industry, Nasa, and towards the end bakeries and have done high steel construction during the times I was laid off. I earned a journeyman certificate with The Ibew with out going thru their apprenticeship and now teach for them in the evenings. Never went to an accredited college. I Got my degree from BKU (busted knuckle university). My degree is my body My degree is written in shoulders that are riveted together. One artificial knee that I have worn out and needs to be worked on again. The other knee is worn out and I am trying to keep my God Given knee as long as I possibly can. Fingers are twisted from being broken numerous times and the bridge inside my nose fell out recently from what the docs are saying being broken to many times, I just thought they were just nose bleeds!!! Three years ago I took on the Task of electrical build for a bakery that was being built from the ground up. Half way thru the mechanical engineer was fired. I was asked to step up and finish the project and an increase in wages and I was working toward settling down and running the maintenance department once we were running. We had been running for a year now and there was no sign of a promotion. There is a new engineer at our plant, a right young man, he’s making good money and is now running the shop. Ironically someone states I wish he had the experience I have. I think ” No Son, You really don’t, you wouldn’t want to pay the price.” I sit here writing this evening as I am looking at a clock with a reriement plaque and a couple of gift certificates wondering rather it was all worth it. I worked hard for the American Dream and I sit here reading MADE IN CHINA on the side of the box that the clock was in. As I type I can’t shake a weird feeling I am having. What has become of older American workers.
Tomorrow I apply for disability. I paid In all my working career. It is mine! If I listen to the majority I will have to fight for it. And fight I will, even if it kills me.
What has happened to the Older American Worker.
Retire in Peace