The company had to let him go, he knew that this day was coming and he had learnt to put it behind him earlier. This was even before the company made an announcement about retrenchment plans. He was already in the list of all the bad apples, this had nothing to do with his work performance but that’s how he looked at it.

He felt like an incompetent employee for a long time now and they were about to cut him loose for it.

“What am I going to do now?” he said wondering how his life was going to be as an unemployed man.

“We are very sorry, Mr Derrick sir,” said the human resource manager of the company.

Derrick was a family man, he was a father to his children and a husband to his loving wife. The breadwinner of the family. He did not know how he would face his family if he couldn’t even look at himself in the mirror. He felt like a weak man; a man who could not provide for his family anymore.

This job had been his source of income for 12 years and he had to find other means to provide for himself and his family. The company offered him his severance package and his unemployment insurance fund eligibility clause was activated. This should help him and his family cover the bills until he found another source of income.

Jobs were scarce in the country he lived in and he was too old to find another job. He was sixty-five years old and this was way above the retirement age restriction. He was lucky they even let him work after he turned sixty years old, five years ago. He was one of the best performing employees and the company extended his stay. But that didn’t mean that he was going to stay employed forever, he anticipated this when they rewarded him for his hard work five years ago but decided to enjoy the moment while it lasted. This was a good choice to make and it kept him from stressing over nothing.

“We wish you all the best sir, thank you very much for all your hard work you gave to this company” said the human resources manager.

He was in tears when they told him these words, He didn’t know whether his tears were tears of joy or sadness. He felt powerless at that moment, something was absorbing all his energy and he could barely recognise himself.

“Thank you to everyone in the company for having faith in me for all these years,” said Derrick as he took his work stationary box and left the premises.

The entire work force at the company stood up and gave him a standing ovation, they gave him a send-off he deserved. A winning send off, the kind of send-off given to a war hero.

A man who inspired generations to come, a perfect example of a role model. Somebody who paved the way for those who found themselves lost on the way. This was a perfect send-off indeed.

Tell us: Do you know anyone who lost a job because of their age? How are they coping?