Opinion: Dear has-been, bunk off!

If job-seekers are rejected for being old, recruiters should at least have the guts to tell it like it is, says MIKE WELSH

I’M going to buy myself a 60th birthday gift later this month. A pet monkey that I can train to rip the face off the next person who tries to buoy me with the stupid saying: “Sixty is the new fifty”.

I’m hanging on to 59 for dear life, so if 60 really is the new 50, I’m really only 49. Phew, thank God for that!

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh

Which also means when I say I’m still in my late 40s on a resume, I’m not really lying, am I?

But if they swallowed that small exaggeration, they’d have to have me in for a “face-to-face” chat and that would be very awkward, especially when they smell the urine. The game would be up. I’m old.

Apparently, there are laws which prevent them from discriminating against me on the grounds of my “advanced years”. So, it’s easier for them to put back on the 10 years which, a stupid new cliché says I can subtract, and drop me a format letter/email to make sure I still feel a part of the system. Mathematically (not my strong suit), I’ve deduced that when seeking employment 50 is in reality the new 60.

Recently somebody suggested we should postpone retirement and think about working through to our 70s, because Australia desperately needs “your lifetime of unique skills”. Apparently, some “skills” are going to be in short supply in the next decade. Wonder what those skills might be?

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the anticipated shortage included the God-given gifts of the highly sought after wordsmith who knocks out those: “Dear Mike, thank you for your recent application for the above position. Unfortunately your application was not successful on this occasion. Your time and interest in the role is appreciated and we would like to assure you that full consideration was given to all applications received” letters. I’m too old to be ironic, but not too old to be sarcastic.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing for someone to say it like it is in a rejection letter? Brutal but balanced. At least we’d get a laugh with our rejection.

Dear Aged Person/Old Man/Senior Person/Has-Been,

What in God’s name were you thinking in making an application for the above position? We would love to say we were impressed with your 33+ years extensive experience in this field but, it doesn’t count for a stack of goat droppings here.

Here in the real world, we’ve got 12-year-old kids coming out of university at the rate of knots, all with nice shiny degrees, but with nothing to do. Thanks to the Clever Country they don’t have jobs to go to. However, we must, for the sake of appearances, continue dragging them off the streets and nursing them through a three-year degree. It’s just how the system works.

So you see, sunshine, you’re wasting your time and ours by foolishly putting yourself forward for jobs for which you’ve a green frog’s hope in hell of even getting an interview. Let me do us both a favour here. Not wishing to put too fine a point on it, you’re washed up, finished, ain’t gonna happen, pop. Why don’t you consider spending more time at the bottom of your garden where they tell tall tales of people working well into their 70s and other fairytales about the world needing your rare and valuable gifts?

But we wish you every success in the future you don’t have. You’re gonna need luck by the bucket full (sorry about the bucket reference), but while we’re being honest here, you are just too old!

If you spot an angry old man with a pet monkey roaming around the village this year be super careful of what you say to him. Although you’d be pretty safe. I understand it’s illegal to own a monkey. Homer Simpson was breaking the law.


This is from Mike Welsh’s blog “Mockery of Shockjockery, thoughts of an ex-radio shockjock”



2 Responses to “Opinion: Dear has-been, bunk off!”

  1. Tracey Spicer
    January 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Mike, I love the way you write. This is so true. You always deliver a serious message with the perfect dose of humour. Thank you!

  2. garykurzer
    February 4, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    Age is largely a marker of disposability in Australia. Never mind, both sides of government have a plan for “us” old folk’s superannuation: work longer (at the non-existent jobs)…. Hey granny! Can you drive a forklift? Do some roofin’?

    Intelligence (in whatever definable form), experience, foresight, hindsight .. bah! What we need is more labour .. so we can compete with them thar other countries, like China. Erm? Pardon?

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