Pam Rainey: Seniors work out of need and by choice

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Sometimes my husband thinks I’m a bit too chatty. He gets annoyed when I talk to people I don’t know. But hey, I’m a Southern girl. I think it is perfectly OK to strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere.

For example, on an elevator recently, I admired another passenger’s handbag. I complimented her on it.

We were out of the city limits, and I learned she was from Denton — and lived within a few miles of us. Now, how would I have ever known that had I not opened up a conversation with her?

Recently while I was out shopping, my mouth ran away with me again. I was explaining to the gentleman helping us that my husband had recently retired. The salesman’s face grew sad and wistful.

Realizing I could be a bit too chatty, I wanted to suck the words right back into my mouth. Did you ever feel that way?

He went on to tell me he was way past retirement age, and said, “Oh, how I wish I could give up my job.” After pausing to gain his composure, he went on.

“My wife has had back surgery and can’t work, and we cannot live on Social Security,” he said.

His words were sobering to me. I hope mine were encouraging to him. I told him the truth. He was a valuable employee to his fortunate employer.

A few days before, while shopping, I observed a store attendant who had customer service down to an art. She made me feel comfortable, gave me a room to make decisions and was there when I needed her. Since I was in the service industry most of my life, I evaluate customer service almost everywhere I go.

Dressed in the latest fashion and the color of the season, she let me take the lead in the conversation. Smart lady. I learned she was older than me and had returned to the workforce after retiring to earn a little cash.

Both stories are similar to many retirees in our world today. These excellent workers not only have people skills but are dependable. They return to the workforce for a variety of reasons.

I noticed a retired pharmacist working at a drugstore, a retired executive working at a funeral home, an attorney well past retirement age still practicing law. I cannot express in words how effective all these people are in their jobs. No worries in doing business with them.

Whether you’re a senior needing extra cash because of the 2008 portfolio disaster, or simply want to die with your boots on, there is great news for you. Seniors have many job opportunities in our neighborhood. When I Googled “jobs for seniors,” quite a number of sites were available for review.

The most helpful website I found is called Employment Spot. It is simple and provides steps one can consider in preparing to re-enter the workforce. I especially liked the suggestions it recommends for preparing a resume, dressing for an interview and learning the difference between legal and illegal questions an interviewer may ask.

Also helpful is the list of companies that hire senior adults. They include Home Depot, Borders Group, CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Staples, Walmart, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless.

Isn’t it great news for seniors to know they are a valuable commodity? Whether it is a matter of choice or need, there are many avenues to follow in searching for employment, or, for that matter, volunteering. Often a job volunteering can lead to a job that pays.

Seniors, the most powerful group in America (and growing), deserve respect for a job well done in the past. They are a genuinely faithful workforce of the future … if that is the route they choose or need.

PAM RAINEY is a Denton resident of more than 40 years, and is a real estate agent who has helped many seniors make decisions about living arrangements. You can reach her with suggestions at RpmRny@cs.com or call 940-293-3117.


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