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~ 'The Heart and Soul of An Autocrat' or 'Plight of The Obsolete Man' ~ (369 hits)


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'The Heart and Soul of An Autocrat'
or
'Plight of The Obsolete Man'
By
Gregory V. Boulware, The Elder
http://hbcu.com/cgi-bin/blog.cgi?blog_id=3...


"In light of the events that have, I think, brought pride, belief, and hope back into the life-line of the American Populace; I was reminded of some text that was shared among a few of my colleagues while studying at the Berean Institute. The author was unknown. I have attempted to locate this person who wrote a profound passage that has and shall remain engrained in my mind and I think in the minds of a few others as well."

The following passage(s) resonates with many people; men (and women) of color, identification within this text:

“BEING BLACK IN CORPORATE AMERICA”
They take my kindness for weakness
They take my silence for speechless
They consider my uniqueness strange

Autocrat:
an absolute ruler, especially a monarch who holds and exercises the powers of government as by inherent right, not subject to restrictions.
a person invested with or claiming to exercise absolute authority.
a person who behaves in an authoritarian manner; a domineering person.

"My Way or The Highway!"

Ego Maniac:
someone who displays egomania, a tendency to refer to oneself excessively and boastfully:
Academic research appears to be a rat race of high-strung egomaniacs fighting over grant money, recognition, and their scientific legacies.
someone who displays excessive selfishness and self-centeredness:
Many have claimed that social media will turn us all into narcissists, egomaniacs, and internet addicts.

Obsolete:
no longer in general use; fallen into disuse:
an obsolete expression.
of a discarded or outmoded type; out of date:
an obsolete battleship.
(of a linguistic form) no longer in use, especially, out of use for at least the past century. Compare archaic.
effaced by wearing down or away.
Biology. imperfectly developed or rudimentary in comparison with the corresponding character in other individuals, as of a different s*x or of a related species.
verb (used with object), ob·so·let·ed, ob·so·let·ing.
to make obsolete by replacing with something newer or better; antiquate:
Automation has obsoleted many factory workers.

Senior:
Elder...
older or elder (designating the older of two men bearing the same name, as a father whose son is named after him, often written as Sr. or sr. following the name):
I'd like to speak with the senior Mr. Hansen, please.
of earlier appointment or admission, as to an office, status, or rank:
a senior partner.
of higher or the highest rank or standing.
(in American schools, colleges, and universities) of or relating to students in their final year or to their class.
a person who is older than another.
a person of higher rank or standing than another, especially by virtue of longer service.

"To Be Respected, Treated With Dignity and Respect!"

>

A few weeks ago while waiting to catch a train for home, I met an interesting man. We were both awaiting the train to similar destinations. Unbeknownst to me, we were both headed for the same departure stop. The on-time train was missed and we had to wait another hour for the next. We shared a bench and had not spoken. While glancing back and forth, observing the goings on of the busy platform, we eventually made eye contact. We acknowledged with a nod and smile.

"Damn shame, I've missed my train and have to wait an hour or more for the next one," I said.

He responded with, "I know what you mean, I'm waiting for a missed train as well." The man then made it clear that we were both waiting for the same train to the 'Fox Chase Station.'

We shared small talk for awhile, and decided to go for a beer while we awaited the train. There was a little deli not far from were we were standing. It was right atop the escalator stairway. Not far from lunch and to close to supper, a refreshing class of beer was very much welcomed. Our names were not exchanged. Albeit, we did note our being neighbors, residing not far from one another by a few blocks.

Then we began talking of life in general...especially our working life. I told him about my experiences in the transportation industry, he told me of his in the business administrative profession...and what a doozy of a tale. He told me of heart ache, disappointment, distrust, vile discord, evil intent, betrayal, and "the knife in the back syndrome." Oh what a story he told. It was way more interesting than the one I'd thought to share.

"Man, you know, I really don't know where to begin. After retirement from an insurance company, and way before that, a multiple array of jobs right out of high school, I discovered life after retirement. It most certainly sucks! Not only was there not enough money, I didn't have a damned thing to do. Oh, being off and not having pressure like we do when we are working was simply, bliss. After a few months, it sunk in...I don't have enough money. What do I do?
I've found things to do, but that ran out the door, chased by boredom. Many of the guys I'd hung out with were retired and just hanging around, moved away, dead, or simply, not around anymore. Besides, it was a boring and wasteful past-time. Surfing the 'Net,' seeking something that would grab my attention, I stumbled upon a network that catered to seniors, and seniors only! Seniors over fifty-five! I needed to know more. I researched and researched.
When I found the data that I'd been seeking, I knew that I had an opportunity to return to work...work that I wanted to do! Filing an application and being accepted, I was on my way to a new found beginning.

On the first day, I simply observed the operation and its people. The next day, I entered with the familiar phrase, "Hit The Ground Running!"

I took charge of the outer office area. There was no personal desk for me at that time, I had usage of six separate PC's and the desks of which they sat. I was doing okay. The clients, all seniors seeking training and work, came in to utilize that technical equipment for contact and job searching. Many had no technical skills while many also lacked formal education. That's where I came in. I was their 'knight in shining armor, their gateway to the "World Wide Web!"'

One of the program requirements for participation of persons in the program is having a resume and cover letter. Fortunately, I had the very skills and expertise they needed in order for them (those without access or the ability to have and submit resumes and cover letters) to function and remain compliant to and for continuation of the protocols within the program. Many souls have entered these doors with nothing except a frown upon their faces. Mostly from, confusion and or frustration. Ignorance was abound in many of the participants. The lack of education hindered many applicants from effectively filing the electronic paperwork on their own. I completely understood their fears and deficiencies. The pleasure that I've felt when those frowns were turned upside down...it pleased me very much in knowing that I was there, ready and able to help them; servicing their needs and supplying them with the exposure and technical ties that bind them to the Internet, like so many others...being in the loop. When they saw their name(s) on the monitor, they all failed to contain their excitement. Knowing that they were seen and recognized in cyber land was more attention than they have experienced in quite awhile. They loved the fact that they were no longer trapped within the ignorance of the "Great Digital Divide!" They felt like they belonged. They were made to feel happy knowing that they could apply and submit applications to employment and the various jobs that presented themselves. I was very happy in the fact that I was there for them when they needed me. No one else gave them the time or attention required to make them feel like they were not among the class of the "Obsolete." Once the application process were completed, many felt, and found themselves with the ability, on their own in surfing the Web to find and register for "Online" classes and employment application submission(s). There was pride and fulfillment in the air.

Then the 'Pandemic' happened.

Pre-Pandemic:
the office was a bustling site to behold. All of the offices were filled to capacity. Ten offices were utilized on a daily basis. People were constantly in and out of the area. There was not a day that wasn't busy. I worked directly with and for the 'Program Director.' He and I hit it off on the very first day of my participation in the organization. We found that we had a great deal in common. Albeit, I was several years older than he, we were on the same track. We also discovered that we were from the same neighborhood in our youth. That began the binding tie to our profound relationship.

My reputation as a "doo-er" seemed to get around. The reason I can say that is because someone approached me with a comment on my presence. The comment was of a positive nature, it made me smile. I smiled to myself more, inwardly. The person speaking to me could only see the half-smile that suppressed all that was being felt. That information was mine, personal. The suppressed half-smile was an acknowledgment of the appreciated statement. I was making a whole-hearted attempt in not showing that "pat on the back syndrome" while displaying appreciation. Even the top echelon of the branch has made an effort to let me know how well I was liked around the office. "Everybody Likes You!" He/She stated. That was a statement shared with and to the department head. This was what was said when the hint of confrontation became a scent upon the air.

When the order came in to evacuate all offices and work areas, the team scrambled and managed to re-organize or re-structure the training programs to the Internet..."Virtual Reality." With input from all sources, we were very successful. We managed to teach and connect many, if not all, of our participants on how to connect to the Net via their cell-phones, tablets, and PC's. It was very tough in the beginning...but before it was all over, we had connected with each and every one throughout the Network. They have, if not all of them, became masters at this craft, a new skillset. We all discovered a new way of teaching and learning. Man, I lived, ate, and slept that operation...my dedication to what I was doing for those people kept me excited and going for all of the two years of my contribution. In the third year, I was promoted to the position of Assistant Program Director with a bit more access to data that I wasn't allowed previously. I believed that all was great and would remain so for at least another year or two.
Then I remembered something that I mentally practiced and preached to my sons, young relatives, and acquaintances; "Beware The Slap On The Back, It might Hold You Back!" I usually try to maintain my convictions and be leery of promotions and such. "When You Move Up, Be Prepared To Move Out!" In other words, the job ain't yours if you don't own it! They, Management and whomever has jurisdiction over the staff, can remove you whenever they please. "Hired At Will!" "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show!"
In my case, happy to have obtained this particular position; I've forgotten my own words of advice and fell into the lake of forgetfulness. I was lured to sleep in thinking that I could remain and do the things in that position; as a senior who did not feel obsolete; not only gave me a sense of contentment and security, but assured my place of service to the people. I was awakened with the punch of reality when I was suddenly asked to resign. If I didn't, I'd be fired.

Needless to say, I was dumbfounded! Albeit, surprised as I was, I shouldn't have been. All my working life, this has most always been the end result, after one has been used til ones usefulness has run its course. I liked that job, that position. I hadn't planned on another. I thought, once again, this is it...the one. The final job, the dream job. And once again, at this late age, this stage in life, taken away. The dream, the poverty-free state-of-mind, gone."

While I continued listening to this man, I couldn't help wondering, why they hired him in the first place? If they were going to do this, why didn't they seek to hire someone younger and outside of the program. Why take on a senior and commit such a deed, an act of ostracizing him?
I gazed at my watch, checking on the time for our trains' arrival. When I looked at the man, I noticed him staring out into space with the look of dismay and weariness upon his face.

"On what grounds were they exercising this demand, what was it they've based this decision? Why do you think they wanted you gone? Did they give you a specific reason for this firing? How about the guy that signed you up? Did he not intervene in the decision? Was he not in on the discussion? What did he have to say about what has transpired?" I asked.

"I'll tell you my friend, what I've experienced and think." He too took a look at his watch. He then compared the time to his cell phone. I watched as he reached into his briefcase and bring out the train schedule. "I've had a run-in with the person that I'm, formerly, supposed to report. This person is the so-called supervisor as well as a couple of other titles in this local government agency. When I was recruited into this specific service branch as a bona fide staff member and teammate...there was some sort of dispute between the guy who signed me up and the person who performed the formal interview and paperwork process. The argument was over to whom I was to work. It was originally thought and perceived that I would be working with and for the program director, my initial contact person. That was the original plan before I was to be assigned. He and I worked on several projects and expected to continue, as we had in the past. It was originally understood that I'd provide services to all branches of the office staff and participants, as well. This is the work that I'd been doing all along. And I had no problems circumventing these duties, responsibilities, and more. Suddenly, I was to be working and reporting exclusively to and for this person instead of what I was currently doing. This person proposed and assignment that He/she perceived that I would refuse, because it involved the separation of another ex-employee. I reached out and discussed the situation with the guy that I trusted and believed in, the man who originally processed and recruited me. It became apparent that this form of thinking was frowned upon!"

It was getting close to the arrival time of our train. We both looked the time and started to make ready for our departure from the refreshment bar. The man addressed the questions that I'd posed in a very quick manner.

"After all the bull was set, and It was determined that the person who ran the office had jurisdiction over this situation. I was to report to this person for duty assignments and everything else. I explained, when asked, about why I'd not performed the assignment to which I was given, confronting the ex-employee about work-property submission. I explained that the assignment would be fulfilled and that I'd shared the thought of the assignment with the director and requested input and advice. That thought drew a disciplinary action from the so-called supervisor. He/She filed the complaint as insubordination, to which I was not guilty. The assignment had been fulfilled. But that did not stop the person from filing the affidavit at all. My explanation and the right to question and or think independently did not sit well with this individual. It was discovered that I was not a "Yes Man nor an Ass Kisser!"
It seemed (to me) that this type of person was and would not be tolerated. One, apparently, was "Not To Question Why - It's Do Or Die!" Damn, was I in the military service? Was this 'George Orwell's "1984?'"

At that point, the business relationship went sour. It was determined that I would be a hinderance to his/her way of doing things. It became possible that steps would be taken to remove anyone who did not comply or do things without question. This person would have to be removed. My friend, the guy who palled around with me, ate lunch together, shared laughter together, family stories together, walked and talked together, traded and shared advice and many a friendly conversation with...did and said nothing. We don't even speak after work hours any longer...no calls from him at all.
I was left alone.

So much for friendship...so much for loyalty and belief. So much for trust.

"You know, it wasn't so much of losing the job and the benefits (not health and welfare) of the job, it was the comradery that I really enjoyed. What hurt me more than losing the job, was being denied the right and privilege of returning to the program for senior employment and training. I was dejected and made to feel as though I killed somebody's momma, a criminal; not allowed to enter my office, let alone the building. They said that I had to make contact with a designated individual of the human resources department in order to retrieve my personal items...I was not allowed on the premises! The staff person of the human rights department, the contact, shared with me the fact and views of personnel, many who where aware of this situation, did not like it; the way in which I was treated. I was also being investigated by various investigative employment personnel agencies by the legal department; after the fact - this stuff was supposed to be done prior to employment, I thought.
What in 'God's name have I done to warrant such treatment? I was flat out denied re-enrollment back into the program, period! What does losing the administrative staff position have to do with my re-entry into a government funded agency designed to assist seniors in their time of need? How does an agency, a government funded agency who purportedly exists for the employment, health and welfare needs of seniors, turn its back, deny a senior the help and support requested and or desired; to support seniors, not turn it's back on seniors? Do you think they would have offered me a severance agreement if they didn't think I had a legal case? Oh yeah, an offer was made along with the threat of being fired. Two weeks pay and the promise not to besmirch my record and name if I promise not to sue. With the pressures and thoughts of being broke and disillusioned, I was destitute, anxious, and scared at the prospect of once, again, finding myself falling right back into poverty...yeah, I signed the damned thing out of fear and duress! The document states that I was not. Oh how I beg to differ... I was definitely under duress!
I guess, the proposal of offering a severance agreement would serve in their best interest...or to fool me, appease me, to make me feel better and not file a lawsuit. Did they think I had a valid case against them? I wonder. I am not the only senior to have been rejected and/or mistreated by this agency. I know. I used to work there.

Maybe something bad will happen to them in their life, experiencing the pain they have caused me, maybe they will become obsolete...how they in turn would feel if it happened to them once and or if they become senior citizens? ...Shouldn't think such things. 'The Most High' will handle this.

Time to go mate, trains coming."

And with that, we gathered our things, our walking canes, and headed out the door, carefully down the escalator stairs onto the boarding platform.

We didn't share the ride home. He sat in one car, while I sat in another when we shook hands, waved, and said so-long to one another. I wished him well as I took to locating my seat. I thought to myself, what makes an individual do the things of detriment and wickedness to another for no real reason...why hinder anyone, (especially seniors), as opposed to helping; made to feel useless, un-needed, un-wanted? I wondered how and what they, the management in this particular story, would do should they find themselves in the same boat in which they have created for needy seniors, and of course, this poor man?


~ End ~




Acknowledgments/Credits:

"LEGAL EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION"
"American workers of all races, colors, creeds, ages, and religions have bent over backwards to stay abreast of the changes in the work force."
http://legalemploymentdiscrimination.blogs...

"Another Report on AGE DISCRIMINATION"
"Are you over the age of Fifty (50)? Have you been searching for work, a job, credit, a home, a car, and recognition? If you have experienced the symptomatic discrimination and/or separation from the job market, credit allocation, and or many other things that have suddenly become allusive, you are a subject of Age Discrimination."
http://anotherreportonagediscrimination.bl...

"The Victory Dance for the Over Fifty Plus"
I've written about Age and Employment Discrimination in the past. A friend of mine, Jacqueline King supplied the cigar with the news for the victory dance while The EEOC supplied the cake.
http://victorydanceoverfifty.blogspot.com/

“The Un-Obscure”
"Albeit, the prediction, the prophesized, the anticipated time has come to pass, I wonder how many will now clutch their handbags when I walk into an elevator; when I stand or sit beside them?"
http://theunobscure.blogspot.com/

“Economic Blues – The Beat Goes On”
"The American populace is suffering in the worst financial crisis since the “Great Depression.” It’s simply amazing how someone or some entity is constantly trying to sell you and me something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a service or a product; they want us to buy it. Do they care if you and me have no money?"
http://economicbluesthebeatgoeson.blogspot...

~"The Unretirement Rate of Retirees In America"~
"Higher rent, higher food prices and longer lifespans often lead to financial challenges for many Americans, leading to post-retirement job searches. More people have returned to work after retirement, with a steady uptick happening over the last few months!"
NBC's Digital Report on "Money is Running Out': Financial Stress Drives Retirees Back To Work"
By
Jean Lee, NBC Universal
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/money...
"The Unretirement Rate of Retirees In America"
By
Gregory V. Boulware
"His body started to suffer the consequences of years on the road, and he began to worry that the continuous back pain and aches would worsen."
http://hbcu.com/content/376865/the-unretir...
http://hbcu.com/cgi-bin/blog.cgi?blog_id=3...

'Blogger'
https://www.blogger.com/profile/1091094619...

"Amazon"
https://www.amazon.com/Gregory-V.-Boulware...

“Twitter"
https://twitter.com/AuthorBoulwareG

~BoulwareEnterprises~
http://www.BoulwareEnterprises.com
https://about.me/gregory_boulware

#Woke #Seniors #SeniorLiving #SeniorEmployment #Disability #Handicap #1984 #GeorgeOrwell #Discrimination #Obsolete #Employment #OverFifty #HBCU #EEOC #AgeDiscrimination #PACareerLink #JEVS55+ #HumanRights #NBC #WHYY #PBS #NPR #Boulware #CNN #MSNBC #USDeptartmentofLabor #FairnessInTheWorkplace #Justice #PhillyTrib #onWURD #NAACP #Employee #Career #Termination #Honesty #Loyalty #HBCU #BlackWomenConnect #BlackInAmerica #Duty #Reponsibility

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Posted By: Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.
Monday, December 19th 2022 at 1:58PM
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