Today my 51-year-old father filled a backpack with pens, folders, snacks, etc., and with an excited smile kissed my mother and headed out the door for his first day of class.
After a life-time of working as an engineer for various corporations, my father found himself laid-off the week before Thanksgiving.
The day was like any other, he even got a free flu shot at 9 a.m., but by 11 a.m. he was carrying the contents of his cubicle out of the building. With a few tactful words, my father’s world, and my family’s world was tossed on its head.
Since then, my dad has found himself competing with fresh-faced recent grads for jobs that he could do in his sleep. (Kids like me). Why would anyone want to hire an old dog for more money when they can get a young kid to do the job for half the price?
Well, most companies wouldn’t.
So my dad, as optimistic and good natured as ever decided to take matters into his own hands and enrolled in a college course.
I have to say, the thought of him sitting in a classroom never fails to leave me beaming. I hope his classmates are nice to him.
When all is said and done, it really puts things in perspective as I plod tirelessly through my job-hunt. With a home, a wife and two kids to worry about my dad is handling all this uncertainty better than I have been. And what responsibilities do I have, other than watering my plant and taking the garbage out?
The moral of this story: whenever I feel like I’ll never get a real job I think of my dad walking out the door with a big backpack on his back or cracking a text book and I feel like there is hope.