I wanted to work, not file for disability
age discrimination john donaldson
Name: John Donaldson, 59
Place: Inola, Okla.

I've been a refrigeration mechanic, an engineer and an electronic technician. My positions have always focused on solving problems that other people don't want to deal with.

I was laid off from my latest job in 2008, at the age of 55. At the time, I was working at a plant that produces school photographs.

During my five years there, I increased their productivity 80%.

But the fact that I would no longer be employable in the recession came as no surprise. I'm handicapped from two spinal injuries. The combination of my disability and age are really making it difficult to get another professional job.

I am one of those people who wanted to tough it out for my family. I could have filed for disability benefits 30 years ago, but I was determined to stay employed until retirement.

I made attempts to find employment again, but I gave up in 2011.

Now that I'm on disability, I'm trying to find any job where I can work 20 hours a week or less. I'll do any menial task, even shuffling papers, but I don't get any callbacks. It has been very hard on my family.

  @AnnalynKurtz - Last updated February 26 2013 09:31 AM ET
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