Earlier, he gave many reasons for not retraining...but the real reason, I believe, is that he could not accept that the skills he has are not in demand. Two years of coming close to a new position, but just missing out every time has now led him to believe that retraining might be the ticket. Is that scary? Sure. Does he want to work? Yes. Therefore, he has his answer, and I hope to continue to stay in touch as he retools and seeks alternate employment.
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