Every day, highly qualified, middle-aged professionals are laid off or forced into early retirement.
One day, they are riding high and the next, unemployed and seemingly unemployable. Job loss can lead to drastic lifestyle changes, getting by on a reduced budget, or living on the edge of poverty. Depression is rampant. Or they may just give up.

What are the odds that a former top international advertising executive, 56, broke, homeless, and an invalid in Tijuana, Mexico can make a new start? The medical treatment she sought in Tijuana is not working. She feels, as sung in a narco-corrido, “neither here nor there.” She is a bird unable to fly. Out of place, separated from her life, mourning her affluent past, and unwilling to come to terms with her present.

After an unexpected operation restores her mobility, she crosses the border to San Diego and starts job hunting. Her background and experience count for nothing. As a last resort, she takes a job as an $8-an-hour phone room research worker. A newcomer in the U.S. and in the ranks of low-wage earners, she finds herself out of her depth. In time, she learns how to survive in the fiercely competitive world of the working poor and avoid the “you’re terminated” sentence hanging over her head. She becomes a dominant force in the phone room, but this is not what she wants in life. Eventually, she parlays her two-year experience as a phone research interviewer into an entirely new career

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