Unemployed IT horror story – on the scrap heap


From Aussie contractor site Brainbox

This was received in response to another of our unemployed IT horror stories.

Not Alone

I recently fell upon your website and was very interested in seeing that I am not alone in my predicament.

Unlike many IT people I was trained in Biology and had a senior technical position in a university. I studied at TAFE at night to expand my technical knowledge and found that I had abilities with these new things ‘computers’.

Like Mike, I was regarded as somewhat unusual, tinkering with these new things ‘microprocessors’ and I joined the ‘computer industry’ over 30 years ago.

Things went well for many years and I had great employment in some of the larger computer companies of the times and attained the highest possible technical positions in these companies in Australia.

Career Reversing

As the industry declined I found my career reversing and ‘higher level’ technical jobs disappearing as users became more sophisticated and capable and hardware becoming disposable and simply replaced rather than repaired.

The attitude in the industry has always impressed me with its conservatism. When mainframes, minis and ‘superminis’ had their ‘reign’ they were the ultimate. Various languages, such as FORTRAN and COBOL, were the ultimate and would endure to the end of time. The PC is a toy and will never take off!

At 56 I am now on the ‘scrap heap’, with a wealth of experience in the industry and a portfolio of 140 unsuccessful job applications. And to add insult to ‘injury’ I was awarded a Centenary Medal for my services to the Australian community earlier this year.

It is a matter of accepting that the world is changing fast and ‘today‘s newspapers are tomorrows fish wrappings’ as various languages and skills come into vogue and decline into obscurity. This is not only in ‘our’ IT industry; it is going on all about us.

Throwaway Society

We are now experiencing a throw away society where there are less and less skills required as manufacturing brings ‘finished articles’ from buildings to food, where few skills are required in their preparation and presentation.

It was easy to point at those people in Centrelink who were ‘dole bludgers’, when I was on the other side of the fence. Now I am there, sort of on the dole, I will do ANY work that presents itself. I can tell you it is not fun when you leave home at 5 in the morning and get back at 11 pm and earn $48.00 before tax!

I will never surrender!

As a “support professional” I am willing to do any work and your help will be appreciated!