Have you ever been the victim of ageism? If so, what was it like?
I have been a victim of ageism at Birmingham & Sheffield universities. Both told me I was too old to study and would not finish the course, although I am working in the subject I wish to study and have been for 24+ years.
I remember that an employment consultant told me that at 50, it wasn’t worth returning to University because I was going to retire soon. Had she seen my future, I wonder because I am still working? And that hasn’t been easy since I turned 50, either.
My old workplace – a newsroom – suggested ten vacation days yearly but permitted me to schedule only six at a time. So in February 2019, my spouse and I planned for our 6-day May holiday. We spent on the flight, the rental car, and the cottage in the English countryside.
Then, in April, I was fired. After virtually ten years on the job without any explanation. I was 68 years old. So we said what the hell and tacked several days in Wales and London onto the end of our vacation. It was the loveliest holiday we’ve had in more than ten years. When we back, I got sick and nearly died.
So I made my mind to start writing about my wasted youth, guessing it might be the last thing I ever could write. The concept had been fermenting in my brain for more than four decades, and I kept postponing it. After converting the script into an eBook, it emerged almost instantly on Amazon’s Performing Arts Best Sellers list. I’m thrilled I got sacked, and I’m incredibly grateful for that misspent youth.