‘Considered useless’

Aged 49, the man used to be the warehouse manager for a large factory that closed down two years ago. His wife, who was private secretary to the general manager, also lost her job. The man could not find another job and began his own business. His wife is working as a cleaner. «If someone loses his job at this age, he cannot re-enter the work force,» he said. «After 40, you are considered useless. Everyone told me that at 47, with three children, I was unprofitable. They wanted young people. «These days, if you go to a working-class area, you won’t see a single house without at least one unemployed person,» he said. «If you haven’t had the experience, you can’t imagine how it feels. Everyone pretends to feel your pain, but no one really does. After health, the most important thing in a person’s life is work. If you don’t have a job, then you gradually lose your health too.»