We live in a culture fraught with bad manners towards the older employee. Having recently heard of yet more truckloads of people being unceremoniously dumped, it gets me wondering where this will all lead.

Sure, it’s not just us boomers but for the most part, when you hit the big Hawaii 50, you best circle the wagons. There isn’t a boomer out there whose butt cheeks don’t clench when their 26 year old colleague sprints by them after locking their bike at the company stalls. The message is, we bring the place down.

I had a male colleague say to me proudly, “I pitched you to an organization for a video and told them that you were being age discriminated against!” I almost passed out on the spot. What you told them, was I am old and unemployable! We don’t need to feed that mule anymore thank-you! By the way, he is 1 year younger than me but I guess for men, it takes a bit longer to hit.

When my father retired after 30 plus years at Canada Customs, there was a lovely dinner send off with a plaque and watch to honour his dedication and commitment to the organization. Today’s version of that is to be hustled out the door by security like a common criminal. Literally, that happened to a friend’s sister at a major media company that is well known for its long standing phone service. She had been there 30 years and was escorted out with a don’t let the door slam you in the ass farewell. Disgusting.

Cue a generation, sinking into pits of depression who will use all there retirement savings to put food on the table. Their self worth stripped to the wood.

But, not to worry, the government has a plan. We will all become entrepreneurs.  There is a lot of buzz about the rise of the entrepreneur. There are even government initiatives to encourage new business ventures though after some research a few years ago, I found that if you have successfully made up to 5,000 bucks a year in your line of work, they don’t feel you need any assistance.

Don’t worry if you have not a whiff of business sense because they have a crash course for that! You can finally open up that tea tree oil or vintage model car business you have been secretly dreaming of.

I am one of the entrepreneurs and though there are some advantages, (like I will never fire myself), there are some pretty scary moments that go with it.

The thesaurus terms used to describe my position are:

-mogul

-impresario

-magnate

-tycoon

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I began my quest as a video producer magnate when I had exhausted all avenues of employment in my field here in the Niagara region. After years of working in the big smoke for broadcast television, (you know that industry that is now a ghost of its former self with legions of former producers, editors, camera people wandering the streets dazed and confused wondering what hit them.) I now walk the fine line of scraping up work both here and in Toronto. Until recently, I sat in my state of the art office ( my couch or dining room table) most days in variations of lounge wear unless I have to be out in the world on shoots or meetings.

Working from home has its benefits for sure but one must be careful to make sure that you don’t fall prey to a few minor pitfalls. For instance, this little impresario hasn’t washed her hair in 2 days. When I do emerge from my cave , blinded by the hustle and bustle of work outside the home, I have to remind myself repeatedly that I am in fact wearing mascara again and if I insist on rubbing my eyes, will look like a depressed raccoon by noon. And the attention span issue, I have found that I’m not used to people talking longer than say a sound bite anymore so am often found distracted during meetings that last more than 8 minutes. In fact, I usually miss vital facts because of the persistent voice inside of me saying, ” Oh for god’s sake when are they going to shut up?? I want to get home and change out of this unnatural outfit!” Or I spend the entire meeting fighting the urge to slouch in my chair and put my feet up on the seat beside the potential client while yawning and scratching inappropriately.

Through discussions with like-minded tycoons, I have come up with a few do’s and don’ts that you may find helpful if you are fortunate enough to find yourself unemployed and launching an exciting career as an entrepreneur!

 Do’s:

-make sure to talk to at least one other human being during the week just to make sure your English skills are up to scratch

-try to hold conference calls in your driveway to avoid the telltale signs of the home office such as kid yelling in the background,” Mom can you get me? or relentless dog barking

-answer the phone with confidence and professionalism even if it is the 12th telemarketer call before lunch

-keep to a tight schedule set the alarm and stick to it, lunch 2- hours max and try to keep the afternoon nap to under 3 hours or you will lose valuable time being groggy

-while sitting in a public establishment either waiting for a meeting or just pretending to be waiting for a meeting, furiously check your iphone or whatever you’re packing. In fact look slightly exasperated but not hysterical

-practice pitches on your dogs, it may feel silly at first but if you can’t hold their attention than you’re screwed

 Dont’s :

-under no circumstances turn on the television before 5pm even if you are pretending to check the time or weather. This is a no -brainer for any magnate and we all know this will lead to the Y&R so No, No , No!!!

-try to not start undoing your pants as you are walking to the bathroom because you will inevitably repeat this behaviour in public

- make promises you can’t keep like showing up for breakfast meetings

-start drinking during the day, “it’s five o’clock somewhere” doesn’t apply to the grueling mandate of the entrepreneur

-show up at the grocery store in your pajamas during work hours, it leaves the wrong impression

-ever ever ever get sick or be in a position to need a dentist, you have NO BENEFITS!!!!!

-procrastinate by spending hours on fb or blogging during open for bidness time, it sends a message to the world that you aren’t taking your career seriously

So my fellow moguls, magnates, impresarios, let’s get out there and conquer the world. This is our time to trail-blaze while established industries like Bell, CIBC or Walmart are collapsing, with CEO’s down to commercial flights and one BMW.  It’s our time to really live the dream! Six more hours til quittin time…

Let us know what you think!