Charlotte is 65 and wants to work. But she can't find a job.
The Whanganui woman has applied for 32 jobs in six months. She's had five interviews but no luck - and she suspects it's because of her age.
The woman, who asked to be known as Charlotte, wrote in a letter to the Wanganui Chronicle she was laid off late last year and despite several interviews has had no job offers.
"I have had several interviews and the positions have been exactly the type of work I am skilled in [administration and accounts] but it appears age may be against me.
"Yes, I turned 65 late last year. Does that now mean that I am unemployable? Am I now in my dotage?"
She also said several employers didn't bother to let her know whether she got the job or not.
Of the 32 jobs she's applied for, 17 have responded and five led to interviews.
Charlotte said two of those potential employers made no contact after an interview leaving her to presume she didn't get the job.
There were benefits to employing older people, she said.
"Many of us have so much to give, so much experience behind us.
"We are loyal workers and are prepared to work almost any hours, any days, fulltime or part-time."
Charlotte said she did receive superannuation payments but needed to earn more after her sudden redundancy left her struggling financially.
She also felt it wasn't time to fully retire.
"My brain is sharp, I'm healthy.
"I love to help people and to be around people and still have so much to give in the workforce. I am definitely not ready to sit back and do nothing."
After hearing the tale, Age Concern Wanganui manager Tracy Lynn said she didn't think it was a common problem in Whanganui.
"It's not an issue we've come across ... not as blatantly as that.
"The first thing that jumps to mind when anyone is having trouble getting a job is they must remember not to put a date of birth on their CV.
"You don't have to do that ... take your date of birth off your CV. Because if they can look at your date of birth and see how old you are that's going to be the first thing they do. Don't give them a reason not to at least interview you."
Marianne Archibald from the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce was more forthright - pointing out it was illegal to discriminate based on age.
"I think that age absolutely isn't a thing that employers should be thinking about when they're employing someone.
"There's huge value in employing people who are older."
There were also other factors that came into play when applying for jobs, Lynn added.
"Interviews have changed over the years ... maybe she needs to hone those skills.
"In anyone's case, there's some things you need to do. You need to do some research around the organisation that you have applied to for example."
Archibald said Whanganui could at times be a difficult place to find work.
"Jobs are pretty specific. I think there's probably quite a few applications for most jobs. Especially jobs like that, that aren't specifically high-skilled in a particular area.
"As technology increases and jobs become more automated it's going to be an increasing challenge. As people work longer as well ... 65 used to be long past retirement and now it's not really.
"It's a hard job market, it's going to get harder and as a community we need to think about that and think about how we're going to address that."
For more careers and recruitment information go to: www.yudu.co.nz