Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNoReBloPoSweKniThaMo Day 4: Crankypants

Here's by daily National Novel Reading Blog Posting Sweater Knitting Giving Thanks Month---oh wait, that would mean that NaNoReBloPoSweKniThanMo should really be NaNoReBloPoSweKniGiThaMo...or something like that. Let's just call it Wednesday for short, okay?

On the novel reading front: I read 3 pages yesterday. My face burns with shame.

On the blog posting: This is the 4th blog post in 4 days. Do I have to point out that I'm making a new blog post every day if that notification is, in fact, inside a blog post? I think I'm already falling out of love with the National do-whatever-everyday-for-a-month concept

On the sweater knitting front: I have been knitting a single sweater sleeve for approximately 100 years now and it still isn't long enough. I have to finish the first sleeve, knit the second sleeve, finish the body of the sweater, block it and sew on buttons to meet my goal of having a new sweater to wear by this weekend. I don't think I'm going to make it.

Things I'm cranky about: Age discrimination. It happens a lot and it is damned hard to prove.

I know too many older adults who have lost their jobs because their small business employers can't afford or don't want to pay increased premiums that insurance companies charge for adults 50+. Imagine being you are fired from a long term job for a made up reason when the age clock flips from 54 to 55. You are hired immediately at a new job because of your experience, but then let go again for a completely daft reason when it comes time to give you insurance. Or maybe you are lucky and they keep you on through December, when it is time to pay the next years premium. You're another year older and then whoops! You are suddenly the only person "downsized".

It takes you longer to get a new job now, because after 35 years of steady employment you've suddenly blown through 2 jobs in 2 years. Finally you get a new job but "whoops", HR suspiciously asks if you are on anyone else's insurance and before you know it you are let go at the end of your probationary period. Lather rinse repeat.

Finally, finally, you are 65 and getting medicare. Unfortunately, life circumstances won't allow you to retire for several more years if at all. You don't need the employers insurance and you can finally find a job again without being worried about being fired, except now you have had 10 years of spotty employment because you had the audacity to age. Who the hell is going to hire you when there are 48 year olds lined up to take your job?

You think this doesn't happen? When I worked at the yarn shop, I talked to several 55-65 year old single women who would come in and share their version of this story with me. It pisses me off. It was never the hot shot lawyers, the professors, or the mid-level corporate managers who have this happen to them. It was always the secretaries who worked for small to medium businesses. Think about it. Businesses can't afford the higher premiums, which are considerable, nor can they say that the employees age is the reason they are getting fired.

This is a public health issue, a feminist issue, an older adult issue, an economic issue and a class issue. Why the hell aren't we doing something about it?

On the giving thanks front: I'm thankful that I have health insurance. I'm thankful that Sesame Street is still around 40 years later. And as always, I'm thankful for yarn.

Day 4: Progress continues

I'm knitting knitting knitting on my February Lady Sweater made from my own Cotton Slub yarn and still not done. It's the downside of being fat. I'm happy with who I am and accepting of the size I'm at, but if anything can give me a complex about my size it's how damned long it takes to knit a sweater. I'm estimating that adding full sleeves plus extending the length will put me just under 4 skeins to knit this, or about a $40 investment. Not bad.

This is what I've accomplished so far. I am sorely tempted to finish it off right now, but a cropped cap-sleeve shrug isn't my style as much as I want it to be.