The only ordeal more soul-withering than a job interview is the job fair. There is your competition right around you. They all look younger, smarter, more experienced in the game, and way more likely to get the offer.
Only once did that work out for me. Despite my age (over-50) and that the recession was just abating, I did get hired. It was such an aberrant experience that ABC called to interview me on the 6:00 P.M. news. I had blogged about it, the producers did the math, and there David Muir was, asking me what I thought when I sized up the competition. Here is the tape of that interview.
Well, late afternoon today an over-50 neighbor came bounding back into the complex. He was dressed for business. "Oh, you have a job?" I asked. "No, I was at a job fair." Then I noticed the six-pack of beer peeking out of the cheap package-store bag. The guy is not a drinker. I told him I was sorry and if he needed help with resumes and such, I was here. He didn't miss a beat in his stride of supposed self-assurance.
Should I have gone over to the package store and bought him another six-pack? After much deliberation I decided not to. It would be an invasion of privacy. You bet, I know how down he feels. And Christmas is only 10 days away.
To paraphase that old Coca-Cola commercial, I wish I could buy everyone over-50 who attends a job fair a six-pack.