I worked for AARP in two different cities under their senior worker program. El Paso and San Antonio. When I moved to San Antonio I had to take an incredible number of tests to verify my claims of knowledge and skill. I was placed at a caseworker position with The Catholic Charities. The job started well and I was enjoying the work if not the pay. But the female supervisor at the Catholic Charities was an absolute micro-managing Nazi and she and I did not get along. So that did not work out. Since I could not find other work in San Antonio I moved to Colorado Springs. When I contacted the AARP office in Colorado Springs I was told that AARP does not allow senior workers and employees to move or transfer and work for AARP. The Colorado Springs office would not even talk to me.
I started my work with AARP in El Paso, Texas. The position they placed me was only part-time and the pay was not much above the Texas minimum wage. This poor job position forced me to apply for public assistance (SNAP) and seek other sources of food and support. When I found that I could not survive on the hours and wages this position paid I lost my living quarters in El Paso and ended up returning to San Antonio to live with a friend. When I applied with AARP in San Antonio I was informed that they do not allow employees from one location to transfer and work in a different location. The female managing the AARP office in San Antonio was horrible to even communicate with. She treated me like an intruder. And SA is my home town.
Why did they do this? I am not happy to know about such a thing as they advertise to 50 plus people?
As I approached my 50th birthday, I was unceremoniously laid off from my job at AARP national headquarters. My position was "eliminated" but an identical new job was created in another department and given to an contractor who worked in my group and who was half my age. I was left with no position or help from HR or my managers in finding another position in the organization. I was the only one laid off from my eliminated department as everyone else was given a position. I was ont surprised as I suspected that he was hired to replace me. In the year or so that I was there, I noticed that every single meeting that I attended was made of 25-30 year old employees that looked like they were fresh out of college. I asked myself where are the over 50 employees in the ranks? Every department was head by a more senior manager and staffed almost entirely with youngsters. Reviews from former employees on Glassdoor.com will verify this. What happened to me was the height o f hypocrisy and underhanded politics for the one organization in America that is supposed to look out for workers over 50. The job market was at an historic low when I was thrown out. I left a federal job that I could have retired from to join AARP because I believed in what it is supposed to represent. I found out the hard truth at the expense of my career. I advice everyone who will listen to not trust AARP now.
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After reading the comments by those who express their perspective of age related discriminating practices by more than a few employers, I felt very concerned for older workers that need/desire employment. I wonder if these employers understand that it is not just the revenue from young adults that keep them in business. I wonder how they would survive if the older generation would stop supporting their businesses. I also wonder if these employers understand the principle of sowing and reaping? I am grateful to your agency for providing the results of your survey and your commitment to provide older workers with reliable job leads.
-- Marie Moore, AARP