This may sound like an oxymoron to you but it is the sad truth. I am very angry at my goverment, angry and frustrated. I feel betrayed by my country, pushed aside … and all because of my age.

I am 54 years old and for German standards too old to get employed, as a matter of fact with very few (and only rather recent) exceptions one of many thousands of (layed off) people who suffer the same destiny.

I was born in Munich, Germany, grew up, studied, worked and payed taxes there. My father and grandfather were born there so I can safely say I have roots in Munich, roots I am proud of … but sadly enough proved to be “worth” nothing at all.

I returned to Germany after a lengthy stay abroad having earned two additional RN (Registered Nursing) licenses, teaching license for CPR, do speak two foreign languages fluently, have 33 years mostly critical care and cardiology (mainly ECG) experience and guess I can humbly say, a considerable portion of experience which I would have loved to pass on – but I was denied opportunity to do so.

I had tried everything to find employment! Among other things I had put an ad in a popular paper on a Friday for the weekend-edition with the result that I was called the coming morning at 05:30 and asked if I’d be willing to perform telephone-sex which I, needless to say, vehemently rejected!

In addition I had registered, as required, at the Employment Agency. After an extensive interview with one of it’s employees I was rejected with the totally absurd response, I was overqualified, a notion which absolutely blew me away! Was I being punished for having studied more than a RN with ONE license? Did the experience I collected during these 33 years not count at all? Can anyone explain me the word at all please? I always thought it is of advantage to know more, to have studied more and accordingly have more experience and knowledge … in Germany and in this profession it seems to be the opposite though.

As a further attempt to find employment I had called “BAXTER”, a renowned pharmaceutical company, naively believing that my longtime experience together with fluency in foreign languages might be sufficient to acquire employment but again I was wrong. I do recall precisely a secretary having responded to my call and the first(!) question NOT having been “what are your credentials?” or anything along this line the way I had expected but “what is your age” … which totally perplexed me. I asked if nothing else would matter to them but age and received a confirmation of the previous answer repeating “we are sorry but we do not employ anyone who’s over 45!” I do not want to swear an oath if the number was indeed 45 but for sure in the neighbourhood … in other words again I was considered too old.

I tried hospitals and learned that there was an employment-stop meaning, nurses would leave but nobody would be hired in return … so again a dead end.

After a whole number of additional attempts and having grown more and more desperate – I’m not even starting to talk about having drained all my savings, I realized all of a sudden that there was no place in my own country anymore for me, I was not needed anymore – I became useless. I needed to leave my own country to plain survive. I became a refugee.

I do understand what and how refugees feel, the pain, frustration … the humiliation. I understand … because I became one of them.


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