Recession kills! Literally!- המיתון הורג

It will probably be a very short post, in  memory of a friend of mine who, I learned today, took his life in May. He is survived by  a wife, and 3 kids. What promted this  awful act of despair? The sheer fact that he was a 47 year old technical expert who worked for one of the major cellular providers here in Israel (Partner/Orange) and was laid off more than 2 years ago. For over 2 years!  He has been trying to find alternative position. He was not some sort of a  C-level management “star”, “just” your ordinary average guy with an apparently unrealistic desire to put ‘bare essentials’ on his family’s table.

He went through the usual abuse of the job search sadiistic hell here in Israel, with:

1. Placement firms interviews, followed by “no matching vacancies – don’t call us, we call you” answers.

2. “Objective expert” external “assessment

3. Dumb endless recruitment “processes”, aiming to determine his fit into organizational “culture”. etc.

4. Zero results – he simply couldn’t get a new job.

So despite his loving family’s support, he deteriotaed into depresson and  couldn’t take it anymore, so took his  life in May.

For God’s sake, he just wanted to work. He was 44 when this nightmare started.  And guess what – no one of the platoons of the heartless, autistic creatures, aka briks in the employment damb, he met on his way, will be held accountable for his death. There is no one to blame, but the “situation/recession”. Which is not really true, because it bears faces of all those malevolent and haughty so called “experts/decision-makers/management wizards”, who, on a daily basis, deliver verdicts on human lives.   I just wish each and one of them, to go through the same hell he went through.

May his soul rest in peace. Mine, isn’t (at peace).

P.S – will be happy to learn of a similar cases. You can leave your feedbacks in the post, below. We are not talking statistics anymore, it’s human lives at stake here.

המיתון הורג – במובן הכי ישיר של המילה.

זה יהיה כנראה פוסט קצר יותר, לזכר ידיד שהתאבד במאי, כך נודע לי היום. הוא השאיר אחריו אישה ו-3 ילדים. מה גרם למעשה יאוש נורא זה?  העובדה,”שהיה איש טכני בן 47, שעבד בפרטנר (11 שנים) ופוטר לפני כשנתיים, באחד מסבבי ה”התיעלות”. במשך יותר משנתיים! הוא ניסה למצוא עבודה חדשה. הוא לא היה “כוכב ניהול  שחיפש משכורות בכירים….רק אדם מהישוב שרצה להביא אוכל בסיסי הביתה. שאיפה לא מעשית, כנראה, בימינו.

הוא חווה את ההתעמרות הרגילה של חיפוש עבודה כאן בישראל:

1.  “ראיונות” בחברות השמה עם “נתקשר אליך כשיהיה משהו מתאים”. נחשו מה, אף פעם לא היה.

2. “אבחונים” אובייקטיביים חיצוניים, של “מכוני הערכה”.

3. תהליכי גיוס מטומטמים וארוכים, שבאים לבדוק את התאמתו ל”תרבות הארגונית”.

4.  והשורה התחתונה – אפס תוצאות. הוא לא יכל למצוא שום משרה חדשה.

 אז למרות התמיכה הרבה של משפחתו האוהבת, הוא נכנס לדיכאון עמוק ולא יכל לקחת את זה יותר ושלח יד בנפשו במאי.

אלוהים אדירים – הוא רק רצה לעבוד! הוא היה בסך הכל בן 44 כשהסיוט החל.  ואף אחד מגדודי האנשים המתעללים והאטומים שנקרו בדרכו, ברגים (חסרי ראש ולב) במחסום התעסוקה, לא יתנו דין וחשבון על מותו. הרי אי אפשר להאשים אף אחד, פרט ל”מצב/משבר”.  מה  שלא נכון, כי יש לו פנים, אפילו רבות, של כל אותם ה”מומחים, ומקבלי החלטות” המלאים בעצמם וחשיבותם, שחורצים גורלות של אנשים לשבט או לחסד ברמה היום-יומית. אני רק מאחלת לכל אחד מאותם הסדיסטים לחוות את אותו הגהינום.

תהיה מנוחתו עדן. ולי אין מנוחה מהעניין.

נ.ב. – אם ידועים לכם מקרים דומים, אשמח אם תשאירו כתגובות בפוסט, למטה.  וגם – תפיצו את הפוסט. צריך לעצור את מחול השדים הזה. זה כבר לא מספרים, זה פיקוח נפש.

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18 thoughts on “Recession kills! Literally!- המיתון הורג

  1. Vicky dear,
    An extremely emotional and touchy note. It is truly a sad situation. I know many many similar cases of depression and in my humble opinion, it is only the beginning… In this country, a person who is 40 years old + and an hour, is considered old. In the States, they are bringing back the 65 yr olds to ran companies because they realize the talent, the expertise, the know how and the comfort. Kol Hakavod for writing. Yoram

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  2. Hi Yoram,

    Thanks for the comment. Would really appreciate your sharing the post – even one employer/decision maker who changes their ways following this story, is a GREAT PROGRESS!

    Just FYI: I have sent the link to this post to: Yair Lapid (our Treasury minister), Ofer Shelach, Naftaly Bennet, Tzahi Hanegbi. Haven’t heard from any of them. To say nothing of all the ‘entreprenuers, businessmen’ etc in my network….

    I am not naive, but wondering how many more have to follow this path before this abuse stops.

    I wholeheartedly wish all of those autists, who are now wallowing in their self-smugness, feeling immune (because still at the steering wheel), as of course this “will never happen to them”, to get the taste of their own medicine as asoon as possible.

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  3. When companies are pushed to the limit to present profits, so the owners who might be pension funds are making a gain, there are other people which pay the full price on the other end. We can see it with the High Tech companies and will see the same happens shortly with TEVA.

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  4. Tal, you are right of course – for the big ones. However,there is also this whole bunch of SMBs, where the immediate owner is the sole boss. And they are no better.

    Big or small, employment ethics MUST change in the private sector. Or they will have no workforce and no clients at all. And guess what? NO PROFITS to take home. I think they are in denial about that.

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  5. Dear Friends,

    Let us trust that the future will be good for all in all. Reach out to those whom you can. We are never alone in our challenges.

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  6. Yes, Christina, reaching out and helping ‘thy neighboure is’ the essence we seem to have long forgotten. In our doggy-dog universe, which we single-handedly robbed off its initial basic solidarity.

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  7. Maariv fired all the local newspapers staff six months ago. Their southern newspaper had a staff of people that worked 10, 20 and 30 years on the same position and salary as the city of Beer Sheva has a high rate of unemployment. I don’t see how I get here even a basic job.

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  8. Daniel, thank you for sharing. Yes, I know the situation in the media is dire. What really depresses me is that wherever you poke with a finger, you have this huge gaping wound of problem and despair that nobody seems to care to fix. It’s high-tech, it’s media, it’s everywhere…..And the 10%-90% divide is all too valid. We, the “little” people are on the wrong side of the equation.

    I would appreaciate your sharing this post in your networks. Maybe it will reach one open-minded employer.

    P.S – I sent it to Yair Lapid, Naftali Bennet, Ofer Shelach and Tzahi Hanegbi. Needless to say that none responded. So sad.

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  9. This discussion makes me think about the effects of bad management: it used to be just people losing their jobs. Now it went further down the slippery slope – they are losing their lives. To say nothing about the impact on their families.

    And nobody’s accountable.

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  10. Dear Vickie,

    I came across your blog via the LinkedIn Israel Network Group to which I am subscribed. It shook me. I am almost at the point where your husband’s friend got to and hardly a day goes by when I don’t contemplate suicide as an option at least as a fleeting thought.

    I’m 58 years old, made Aliyah from NY/NJ 29 years ago and am one of the founding families of the yishuv Hashmonaim near Modi’in. I’m a computer engineer by trade, I like the high-tech work and there was a time when I was a rising star or at least holding my own with respect from colleagues.

    The past decade has not been kind to us. My wife and I are not in the best of health. I came to Israel with a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) but it was dormant for many years. Roxane was in good health but she now suffers from early-onset dementia diagnosed at age 55 and had to give up her job and driving. She is now disabled with a modest pension from Bituach Leumi. I now have a wife who is a companion just like my ten year old granddaughter. She never liked to cook so I’m happy that she doesn’t try. She is content with a volunteer job sorting mail and weekly Torah study classes every Tuesday. I have the emptiness where there once was activity.

    In 2007 I had three separate independent new illnesses: diabetes, a macular hole which led to effective blindness in one eye, and thyroid cancer. My Crohn’s disease discomforts came back with a vengeace – stomach cramps, bleeding, low blood counts… Still, I did not consider myself disabled. I was out of work the minimum time necessary to recuperate from surgeries and no matter how I was feeling I dragged myself in. Undoubtedly it affected my work and sociability. since six years later I’m still adjusting the thyroid replacement medication to balance the dosage the doctor wants with what my stomach aches can take.

    At some time my boss, most recently my bosses boss decided that he wanted me out. He cut my salary and told me that there were people gunning to get me out. Only now do I realize that the “many people” totaled one. By last Pesach, before the sale of the company to an American m multinational I was gone. My last day was erev Pesach.

    Since then the job market for older employees has hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve been unemployed for seven months. Unemployment runs out in a few weeks. I am the veteran of well over a dozen failed interviews. Just getting a dozen interviews sounds impressive to some of my colleagues who have been in similar positions.

    There is no shortage of work. I had three jobs (one of which I quit) that are not paying me. So I do not lack for things to do. I just have to worry about the 5,000 shekels a month that I’m taking out of savings every month. This will jump to 10,000 when unemployment ends.

    Is it any wonder that I’m depressed? I’ve been seeing a psychologist for several years now. If it weren’t for him I probably would be dead already. However I’m starting to believe that psychologists are only for the wealthy or the criminally insane. If it’s a choice between food or therapy you know what will win. I’m not a violent person but I can be impulsive. Last month I smashed to bits the computerized clock that I built 35 years ago as a first wedding anniversary gift. I’ve kept it going all these years but when it got cantankerous a month ago I just hurled it into the floor. I may yet try to put it back together. Either way it’s only a thing.

    Fortunately I am blessed with bad health. A few paragraphs ago I wrote that I did not consider myself disabled. Now I do. I filed Roxane’s disability requests so now I can do mine. I may not have one illness that makes me disabled but perhaps I can “win on points” from the ten or so categories that I checked on the form and the eight different doctors I visited this month to get their medical reports.

    I’m filing my claim as soon as I hear back from the company where I interviewed almost two weeks ago. It went well. A friend of mine told me that as of last week I was still in the running. I’m just no longer believing it possible.

    And when my disability claim is denied? I don’t know what I’ll do. I know that Yair Lapid, the treasury boys, and the government will be just as happy if I cease to exist. There was a discussion on the radio today, Reshet Bet, about how arbitrary the definitions are for benefit claims and how there is no definition of how much it costs for someone “to live with dignity” or even what that entails.

    I’ll just have to wait and see.

    Sam

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  11. Sam, as you might have surmised already, your story is, sadly, rather typical of the present Israeli reality. A good friend of mine, a German, has been unemployed for about 2 years now, in the general 5 year period during which he was in and out of work. Through all those intermissions he got a diginified welfare support, relelvant to the job market training courses (paid by German government), so he could get back on track.

    Israel is a welfare state only by name. You know the facts by now. When people need it the most, government fails them miserably. And I don’t see any remedy on the horizon. Had you and your wife been haredim, you would get a generous support to cover your mundane needs. If you are a productive, decent citizen, you get trumped on. Sorry,but this is how it works here. Nobody gives a damn. Especially, our “champions” in Knesset. Because they, personally, have nothing to worry about.

    FIY, I sent this post to some business fat-dogs in my network as well. Just to make them aware of the direness of the situation. They haven’t even bothered to write a polite empathic note. Just silence. And they don’t need any regulation to change this harmful practice whithin their companies.

    Dunno what the solution might be.

    P.S. – just a small amendment: it’s my friend’s husband. Well, they’re both my friends.

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  12. Hello vickie1!
    I’ve wrote about similar problems on my blogs.
    It’s getting worse wen you have sickness or disability
    The market just look at you as a product in the last year I am unemployed I have some skills but because of my problem I simply can’t find a job.
    My doctor told me that there are more depressed people just because of the economic problem!! Many people get psychiatric help
    because of this.

    I’ ve wrote to Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett on their Facebook pages
    I didn’t get any answer..

    Rachel

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  13. Rachel, sadly the mental health ramifications of chronic unemployment are rarely discussed. Moreover, if such a person gets an interview, he’s expected to hide his sadness and show up up-beat in the “things couldn’t be better” cheerful spirits. What a cruel demand. Recruiters see it as a pressure test. No matter what circumstances, we are supposed to be human robots.

    Legislation is not the solution. Change in the corporate business
    ethitcs” – definitely.

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  14. For years we wished our country to “be like America”. For years we strove with lots of blood, sweat and tears for such a goal, at times (perhaps still) not knowing what exactly we want our life to be (US, LA, NY, Europe etc.). Finally, some of it came true, somebody made it happen… only for a terribly cruel price. He, they adopted all that’s cruelest and harshest to imitate. Only, as typical to our people, we do everything better… And if it’s mixed with the prevailing mentality and hardships, born and kept since ’48, no wonder it became so much unbearable.
    I noticed how everybody tells and complains about his/her hardships and finally it ends with a sigh and disappointment.
    It’s obvious that those in charge. at the helm are not going tho move a finger for any of us (plebeians).
    Is there someone, are there some brave enough as to rally up the people in order to really make a change happen, not to expect it from others? There was a “vague” attempt with hundred of thousands of people marching. And i see it extinguished of its own, like candle.
    Sadly, change, only, eventually will happen, but unfortunately, many like me and others will perhaps not live to see it. After all our dreams and what we went through only to see it all vanquish in a “roman style of slavery” or Middle Age poverty and exploitation.
    All i can say, God help us. God help us… from ourselves. Our own people make this to us. Nothing seems to have changed, nor learned during all the 2,000 years.
    Again, God help us.

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  15. Holden, I have nothing to add,you said it all. One small comment though, I don’t know of any government anywhere that can pass a law ordering people to become human. Most of the evil here has nothing to do with regulation, but with all things you so correctly described above.

    P.S.- same subject, earlier post: http://wp.me/pnMvn-54

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  16. This is truly heart breaking. It is especially sad for me to know how much Israel has become just like it is here in the U.S. There is little “hope and change” here as promised by Obama.. Capitalism is systemically flawed and will always be an inhumane system. Everyone suffers not only during down turns in the economy but when there is over production and they seek out cheaper labor costs, the human cost will be too high. We need a new paradigm.

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  17. Definitely Hank. However, who will bring this new paradigm forth? I don’t see any mass demand for it. Occupy Wall Street is seen like some sort of “entertainment” fringe phenomenon. Europe’s under heavy seduction as well.

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