And still I empathize. It sucks to have put in so much work for so many years only to find it somehow doesn't count. It sucks to have educated oneself in whatever way, only to have it pointed out that the paper upon which that degree or certification is printed is faded – and they look directly at you when they say "faded." It sucks to be treated as if not being in an office for ten or 20 years means you must have been under a rock without a computer or a clock. It sucks to be talked to as if the Internet, email, and indoor plumbing must be new things for you. It sucks to realize you're being afforded little more regard than an ex-con applying for the same position. And all this assumes you even got your foot in the door for an interview.
I won't tell you what some of you told me years ago: "It gets better." For some it's true and for some it's not, so it would've been best if you'd just kept that little gem to yourself. But now you're out there, trying to do your thing and it’s not working. You already know it's frustrating and mind-numbing and makes you want to punch walls in every office in which you do manage an interview. I will tell you this: It gets different. It also gets stupid – ever more stupid the longer you pursue it. Take it in stride. Take it all with a grain of salt. Occasionally and in the evening, take it with whatever beverage suits your fancy.
At the end of the day, take the advice you yourself gave out so many years ago: Take a job, any job. Employers today think brains become stagnant after being unemployed for ten days, much less ten years. Keep looking for work when you're not at work. Take the bus or the train. Take your lunch. Take walks. Take a day to decide on that new blouse and then don't buy it. Take that money to the bank. Take your spouse on at least one date a month. And if you still have children at home, don't forget to take them to school. The last thing you're going to want in this life is your nursing home picked out by someone you left stranded on the side of the road.