I hadn’t worked for 13 years. Peter, my employment specialist, was very helpful. He helped me find work and also helped me resolve problems when I hit a few rough spots. I’m cutting meat and my employers are great to work for. They’re also happy with my performance and appreciate my experience. I’m feeling pretty good now that I’m working. The thing about being unemployed was that I was isolating myself and not getting out in the world. The work picks me up and makes me feel younger. It’s really satisfying. At 65 years of age, I felt like I was 85 because I was unemployed. Now that I’m working, I feel like I am going back in time.
Peter, Bob’s employment specialist, said that Bob’s resolve to work was the reason that his story seemed important. “He definitely wanted to work. It was a mental health need for him. He needed to work because he didn’t have anything to do during the day, was gaining weight, and feeling depressed. Even the look on his face was drawn. Once he started work, the change was unbelievable. He started losing weight–he looked happier and even younger. Initially, Bob didn’t want me to talk to employers on his behalf, but now he would like to ask his employer for a raise and he has asked for my help with that. He would also like to hear his supervisor’s assessment of his work performance, though we suspect that his supervisor feels pretty positive about him. That’s because when Hurricane Irene hit, his supervisor drove out to his house to make sure he was all right and that he had electricity. Bob feels really loyal to his supervisor as a result and I think his supervisor feels the same about Bob.”