Oh GOD, as if the recession and the layoffs weren't all heart-rending enough, now the poor old geriatric retirees are being forced to shuffle back into the workforce. Why is economic collapse so sad?

Now instead of whiling away their "golden" years in a recliner, knitting, while cat hair piles up around them to the point of engulfment, old people are finding that they have no money, so they have to set out to compete with teenagers for shitty minimum wage jobs and—if they're lucky—become that old lady working at Burger King who is obviously deaf and enragingly slow but so heartbreaking by her very presence that you could never bring yourself to complain. Would you like to hear some horrible, sad stories?

Mr. Dase had been working at a local Veterans of Foreign Wars club as a bartender. But he had to leave in August because it required too much standing. He looked for other jobs, applying at Big Lot stores, but he never heard back. "Who is going to hire an 81-year-old man?" he asks.

Oh please Big Lots just fucking hire him.

Ms. Bennett, the laid-off machinist, had worked steadily since she entered a dress factory at the age of 17, taking time off only for the births of her seven children and a quintuple-bypass surgery in 1995...
Her children, including her oldest, who is retired, want her to retire. "I don't have the money to do that," Ms. Bennett says. "I couldn't plan for retirement because I was raising seven children, and it just took all the money."

For the love of god please somebody just give her some money.

"I was waiting to see if [Mr. Hopkins, the blind owner of the failing coffee shop where she worked for 18 years] would call me back, and he hasn't," says [unemployed and indebted 76 year old with bad knees] Ms. Appleby. She lives modestly, with Timmy, a 13-year-old white spaniel mix, amid piles of papers, boxes and a lone black-and-white photo from her high-school graduation. "I was fine with Social Security and my job. I have to find other work."

Look I have like $45 in my pocket right now for you just don't ever tell us these stories again, Jesus. [WSJ. Pic: Flickr]