View Full Version : For one redundant Computer Operator, life sucks

18th November 2012, 21:42
I'm really feeling sorry for my father, a former IBM Mainframe Computer Operator who's really been feeling the pinch since being made redundant four years ago. :ohwell

Suffice to say the markets been tough out their for many IT workers who've been made redundant these past four years and find it difficult to find any work whether contract or permanent but particularly for former mainframe staff, over a certain age.

Although hes had expose to Unix & Wintel Operations before being made redundant, its always been in a multi platform environment. Which means that many employers still tend to label him as a Mainframe Operator or feel his Unix and Wintel skills are 'not up to speed' compared with the younger guys.

Of course I try to re-assure him that many of the UK Banks, RBS, Lloyds, etc and the Building Societies & Insurance companies still have IBM Mainframes at the heart of their systems. But he still gets depressed as these vacancies are few and far between and when they do crop up, my father gets turned down due to the amount of 'Cherry Picking' taking place at interviews.

A Couple of years back, he really made an effort to get into Unix Computer Operator / Administrator roles and this is what happened:

Attends the first Unix Operator interview and although his background in Computer Operations is good, they feel he doesn't have sufficient Unix Command Line experience to get the job.

Therefore he goes on a Unix Administrators course, to gain all the necessary background command line knowledge & Administrator experience to do the job.

Attends the second Unix Operator / Administrator interview where although the candidate shows versatility in his mastery of Unix Commands, he has no limited knowledge and experience of Unix Shell Scripting.
Again he enrolls on a Unix Shell Scripting course and even gets a certificate following the course.

Attends the third Unix Operator / Administrator interview where the client is impressed by his Unix knowledge and his ability to do Shell Scripting but we really expect the successful candidate to work on server virtualization using VM Ware as well as SQL databases. Also their other concern is the amount of time hes been 'out of

Undaunted he enrolls on a VM Ware virtualization & SQL course which adds to his technical abilities to carry out all the functions required of a Unix Data Centre Operator.
Computer Operator attends his fourth interview which happens to be with one of the companies who are hoping to fill the same Unix Operator position they advertised months ago.

The fourth interview goes swimmingly not only is the client impressed by the Operators abilities in Unix but also by his motivation in acquiring all the other necessary skill sets that the Client could possibly need for the Unix Operator job.
Then the interviewer blows his hopes right out of the water by saying ‘you do realize that the company has taken on a lot of government and defence related work recently and we do expect applicants to be ‘SC Security Cleared’.
Candidate replies by saying that ‘although I don’t hold any government SC Security clearance,
Although he has been Baseline Security cleared in the past and therefore willing to put undergo SC Security Clearance.
Interviewer replies by saying, ‘I don’t think you really understand what were looking for here, as we really expect the successful candidate to either hold current SC Security clearance or have held it in the past.
Appointment is conditional on obtaining SC Security clearance in a relatively short time scale and therefore we will are only really prepared to wait for those who have SC Clearance or have held it in the past, in order for it to be place, in a reasonable amount of time.

9th January 2013, 22:05
What they really meant but dare not say of course is that he is too old!
The sad fact is that the older you get in IT the offers seem to become thinner on the ground!

Not saying he should give it up yet though!

The thing is, some Managers just feel threatened by someone with more experience than them.