In the round file

As you know, yesterday I turned 66 and as one often does on a birthday, it reminded me of a former birthday when I was working outside the home...

Still engaged to Chris, I was needing to work to save for our wedding and for a deposit on our home. I had previously worked in office administration, school offices and employment agencies. I ended up in a Human Resources office in customer service for those looking for employment. It was a plum job in our capital city, Melbourne.

The day my eyes were opened to the fact that employment agencies don't care if you find a job or not was in fact my 45th birthday and it was my job description to short list the many resumes that came to our office. Those who were deemed appropriate for a certain position were put in the short list for an interview with one of our human resources personnel and others were placed in the "round file" aka the bin for later shredding.

I had prepared a short list of highly skilled and suitable applicants for jobs and I truly believed they would have been worthy of an interview. To my shock, they were dumped back on my desk and I was given strict instructions to cull them further from now on and put any applicants who were 45 years old or over in the round file. I was so angry!

Protesting, I said that many were people with school aged children just trying to put bread and butter on the table and pay off a mortgage or rent. Further, I stated that they were in the middle of their child raising years and needed a job. I also pointed out that "today" was my own 45th birthday, and here I was, chucking them into the round file! 

Their only response was "do as you are told" and later on, as was the custom on a birthday,  I brought in a cake to share with them at lunch, their response was to boycott both myself and my cake. 

Finally, I was made to take note of the poor applicants who were put in the round file for shredding and tell them that unfortunately they were unsuccessful at this time. In response to their questions and protests, I had a script I read from... "I am sorry, but there were so many applicants for this position and unfortunately you weren't as highly qualified as them... yada yada"  they couldn't even be honest to their clients.

I was saddened and angry with these girls who really had tickets on themselves and who, in spite of doing professional courses and having degrees in Human Resources, had no people skills or compassion. It really was the pits to be forced to lie to these applicants just trying to make ends meet and provide for their family.  With Chris's permission, I quit working there and went on to work in office administration until we were married.

Why do I tell you this? you ask. Because I don't want you visiting the Pit of Despair and thinking you are of little value to the workforce. It isn't you. It's them. And the only choice you have is to know that not all Employment Agencies are like them and you have to keep trying.

Keep your head up, and your confidence intact. And pray for an agency that values the older worker. It was something I did for every application I had to place in the round file and for everyone I had to contact as unsuccessful. Prayer changes things, so remember that with God, we are never placed in the round file and lied to.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

So teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12


  1. I changed careers, not just companies but a whole new career path at 50 because one company took a chance on a grandmother who only had 15 years for them. Best job and company I ever had. However, by the time I retired, it had been bought by a group that requires advanced university degrees and indulged in age discrimination. Hopefully there will be a swing back to respecting experience. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. That is wonderful, Phyllis. Unfortunately the older worker isn't thought of much today. Yet I believe we have a lot to offer. They say here in Australia that they don't discriminate regarding age, but that isn't true. They do and are. It's a hard world for the unemployed. Thanks for having a cuppa with me today. Blessings, Glenys

  2. Hello Glenys, yes, it's becoming harder and harder for older workers to find a job these days. Unfortunately it's often younger people in positions of HR manager, or hiring manager who make the decision on who to hire. And I think they'll go for the younger and highly educated applicant every time. Age and experience seems to count for very little these days. Wishing you good health and love for your birthday and every day.

    1. Thank you for those lovely birthday blessings and for taking tea with me today. Blessings, Glenys


Thank you for visiting with me today. I love to hear from you. I may not always be able to reply right away, but I will respond to every comment you leave. Blessings and comfort, Glenys

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