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‘I cannot find a job. I feel like a failure’

Unemployed for more than a year, for a second time, a 52-year-old Warwick woman has called on Government to pinpoint how many Bermudians are currently unemployed.

The former bank executive, who asked not to be named, was made redundant in 2009. Two years into a $60,000 pay packet she said funds dissipated quickly with the high cost of living in Bermuda.

She spent $24,000 in one year on rent alone at $2,000 a month. That, coupled with food and utilities, translated into heavy penny pinching for two years.

In 2011, she landed a two-year employment contract, now she's back on the unemployment line.

She reached out to this newspaper after reading about the plight of another woman who was turned down for financial assistance and was desperately seeking employment.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be unemployed at this age (52). Even with the experience I've acquired I cannot find a job.”

After exhausting all of her finances and resources she wrote: “I feel like a failure.

“At least if I was locked up I would be able to get the medication I need, dental care, doctors visits etc.

“How is it that a criminal can receive all these benefits and someone like me who has worked all my life contributing to the system trying to do the right is unemployed through no fault of my own yet there is no unemployment insurance or anything to assist me in my time of need?

“I am so far beyond frustration,” she said.

As a single woman with no children she said she takes pride in her ability to sustain herself without assistance.

But after countless reject letters in response to job applications she remains unemployed.

“I keep telling people of my plight in hopes that I can somehow get a break and become employed again, to no avail.

“Many are receptive and listen at least, but others are so caught up in this ‘me, myself and I' syndrome and don't seem to really care because the economy has not affected them or their family yet.

“It's me today but it could be them tomorrow. I want to work and can't find a job,” she said.

With 30 years of experience and a solid work ethic she's not alone on the unemployment line, a line that sees hundreds of applications for one job.

“I know several others who are out of work and looking in the newspaper daily to find no jobs.”

“The promise of 2,000 jobs in five years by the new Government does little for people like me,” she said.

And while she agreed that a one-stop shop is needed, she said the Department of Workforce Development “is of little help”.

“Not everyone wants to be a waitress or a nail technician,” she said.

“Creating jobs over the next five years does nothing for me today and I don't see jobs being created.

“It makes me feel very alone out here. I hear all this talk about entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship doesn't give middle-aged women like me health insurance. And at my age you need insurance. Without it I can't afford to go to a doctor or a dentist.

“Are you living or just existing because right now? I feel like all I'm doing is existing.

“We need real numbers on unemployment in Bermuda. To me it sounds like not even the Premier knows. And inquiring minds want to know,” she said.

“I haven't seen anything from this new Government besides them throwing out numbers they're not even sure of.

“We need real numbers to say whether there's 5,000 unemployed Bermudians or 10,000. It's hard out here with no jobs on the horizon. When you have 400 applicants for one job what chance do you really stand for one job?

“I want people to know that there are a lot of people out here who are suffering. It could be your neighbour, sister, or cousin.

“People need to come together and be empathetic to the plight of unemployed Bermudians. It could be you tomorrow.

“I need to work if I am to survive. I'm another one of those women who don't qualify for financial assistance until I'm flat broke and my rent is in arrears.

“So where do I turn? Do I turn to a life a crime?

“I'm thinking I have to keep trying to find employment and when my funds do finally run out, I guess I'll be out on the street.”

With family members struggling as well she said she continues to fight the feeling of giving up on life.

“I know that's not the answer, I'm beyond frustration and I'm looking to hear something more than political rhetoric.”

In the interim she said: “The Bermuda public needs to know the plight of Bermuda's unemployed.

“We are out here trying to do our best to find work, however, we're suffering in the meantime. And it's bad.”

No work: A former bank executive with 30 years working experience has spoken of her plight after finding herself unemployed for a second time in four years.

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Published October 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 23, 2013 at 11:49 am)

‘I cannot find a job. I feel like a failure’

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