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Corporate Downsizing Is a Predator's Game

May 18, 1997

Don't you people ever read Dilbert? Corporate managers will stop downsizing when their profits go belly-up for good ("Job Prospects Look Hot for 'Geezer Boomers' in 2020," April 26). That will happen when hell freezes over.

I was a graduate engineer and a good employee. For the first 10 years, I was on the fast track, max raises every evaluation period. I was making pretty good money, but nothing like that of the corporation's vice president and board chairman.

And it wasn't true that I was making "too much" or "costing too much." I enjoyed my work, I had enough money for a decent life. But that's not how corporate VIPs live. They play a predator's game, going for the jugular.

Toward the end of my career, age discrimination set in: Snide remarks from bosses and middle managers lying about my supposed suddenly "inadequate performance," although they couldn't come up with details. It set in at age 45, like throwing a switch.

The last week of my career, I received a $300 "suggestion" award for an idea worth hundreds of thousands. I got the award and was laid off in the same week.

Even now, you guys are still saying "older workers cost too much." That is a lie. MBAs and golden-parachute CEOs cost too much. They cut the throats of useful employees like me.

CLYDE CARMICHAEL

Bakersfield

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