He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

February 4, 2009

Adventures In Unemployment: In Which Jean Battles Bureaucracy and Manages Not To Blow Her Top

It has been a busy, busy week since the last time I posted. I wish I could say that it was all interviews and resume submissions, but a lot of it was simply errands and family stuff. My baby nephew's 1st birthday party was Saturday, and was full of adorableness and cake, and then Sunday we went to Big Sis's to watch the Super Bowl and consume chili. In between all of that, I've been organizing my office and the five million and thirty-six pieces of paper lying around our house. And then there was Monday. Oh, Monday. That's a funny story. Let me tell you it.

It all started Friday, when I got a letter from the unemployment commission telling me to come to their office by Monday and show my ID to complete my claim. I, being the obedient sort, and also wanting my money, dutifully complied. After walking around the business mall for half an hour trying to find the place, I eventually walked in and got in line at the reception desk. "Hi," I told the receptionist when it was my turn. "I received a letter saying I needed to come in and show my ID to complete my claim."

"Do you need an unemployment verification?" she asked as I was pulling out my driver's license.

I blinked, and stared blankly. "Um, it just said to show my ID."

"You probably need a verification," she said, handing me a form. "Here. Fill this out, and then take a seat over there." So I did.

Two effing hours later....

My name was called. I choked down my rising irritability and got up to go shake the nice unemployment counselor lady's hand. She led me back to her cubicle, where we both sat down and she turned to me with a smile. "Now what can I do for you today?"

I smiled back, because I'm polite like that, pulled out my driver's license, and repeated exactly what I had told the receptionist.

Her smile faltered, and she blinked and stared blankly for a moment. Then, "That's the only reason you came down here?"


"Oh. I'm sorry, but you received that letter in error. We did away with that rule last month. I guess our system hasn't updated yet and it sent you that automatically."

This is where I burst into hysterical laughter. I mean, what else could I do? "Oh, really?" I said. "You mean I've been waiting two hours just to be told I didn't even need to come down here?"

"I am so, so sorry," said NUCL as a hint of fear crept into her eyes. "The receptionist should have told you that. Even if she didn't know, all she should have done was taken your ID and made a copy and then sent you on your way."

I laughed some more, mainly to keep from swearing, and also because, well, it was perversely funny, and shook my head. "Wow. Two hours."

"I really can't apologize enough," she said, and then offered to walk me through filing my weekly claim online so that the two hours of my life I'll never get back wouldn't have been completely wasted. That took about two minutes, and then we were done.

"Again, I am so sorry," she said as she walked me out.

"Don't worry about it," I said. "It's not like it was your fault." Which I think she might have taken to mean, "Don't worry. When I come back here later all armed and postal I won't be gunning for you," judging by the worried look in her eyes belying her frozen-in-place smile.

So that, combined with a bunch of errands and a classroom chat session, was my Monday. Well, and watching Heroes. I have my priorities, people.

Yesterday was the first day since last Wednesday that I didn't have to go anywhere. I applied for two different writing/editing jobs, and spent a ridiculous amount of time unsuccessfully trying to get my Alma Mater to tell me my graduating GPA and number of credits over the phone (one of the applications asked for them). I was actually really surprised to find two potential dream jobs right here in Tulsa, and that was only after about two hours spent combing the listings. It's not like Tulsa is a publishing hotbed.

So that's what I've been up to, and why my blogs have been neglected. Today is all about rectifying that, and combing the freelance markets, and (still) organizing that office. At some point, my entire web network is going to get an overhaul, but that's still a little way down the To Do list, after "Blog" and "Clean Entire House" and "Get Back Into Writing Mode," among other things. Whoever said unemployment leaves you with a lot of empty free time on your hands obviously doesn't know my life.

1 comment:

The Bumbles said...

Keep writing. I appreciate it :0) Sorry I can't hire you.

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