Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things that really grind my gears

In college, my opinion writing professor told us never to write rants.


He said it was pointless. Everyone bitches about everything on a daily basis – bad drivers, texting at dinner, rude homeless people who turn their noses up when you hand them a sensible breakfast bar (uh for example) – and he said no one wants to read about it. It just makes them really angry.


I always thought rant-writing would be something to bond over. Like, UGH I hate drivers who don’t use turning signals, too!!!


But, I took his word for it, and have never written about anything that specifically grinds my gears. Other than toolbags.


(Confession: I did write a blog post bitching about people who post photos on Facebook of their naked newborn baby boys in the hospital with their apricot-sized balls, but decided not to post it. Because it was a rant.)


Today, however, I’m breaking the rules.


Today I want to talk about the Louisiana Unemployment Commission. (Something even more horrific than baby boy balls!)


Have you ever had to file for unemployment? It’s not as easy as sobbing, “I GOT LAID OFF! HELP ME!!” and a magic check appears.


No. It’s far more annoying than that.


In order for them to even consider paying you, you will need at least an hour, a fax machine, a landline telephone (thanks mom and dad) and the internet, to click a million boxes that ask you the same thing over and over.


No, I’m not in the military

No, I was never in the military

No, I’m not married to anyone in the military


Then, you have to fax them your embarrassing “I got laid off” papers and spend another hour on hold waiting to talk to someone to make sure they received your embarrassing “I got laid off" papers.


In about a week (still not being paid), they mail you a letter with how much they’re going to pay you, which is only about HALF of what you were getting, and they send you a credit card to access your funds.


“But I don’t want a card!” you will probably say. “I want direct deposit to the account that’s already linked to my online payment things!”


You’d think they’d ask you if you wanted a card before taking time and money to mail you one. NO! No one asks you anything!


You then learn that if you want direct deposit, you must fill out another form they didn’t tell you about when you originally filed and....surprise! Fax it over.


And then spend another hour on hold on the phone making sure they got your fax.

I hate jumping through hoops.


Then you figure you’d be paid. Look at my “I got laid off” letter! It’s legit! Here is my bank account! Deposit money! GO!


It was now two weeks later and was getting more broke by the day.

I kept checking my bank account but not seeing any deposit.


During week three, I called the office to ask where my money was. I waited on hold for 44 minutes, only to be told that they don’t pay you for the first week.


“WHAT THE HELL?” I screamed. “LIKE A GRACE PERIOD?”


I then may have waxed on about how ridiculous this is, and how I’ve been working full-time for six years G-dammit, gimmie my money. I think I cried.


Then they tried to make me feel better by saying their office is super swamped and some people don’t get unemployment for two months after they file.


“WHAT THE F*CK??”


“You’ll get your payment on Monday,” someone finally said.


Monday came, and then Tuesday came, and I still didn’t get any money.


“WHERE. IS. MY. MONEY?” I asked another person, after waiting another 45 minutes on hold.


“Oh, you didn’t file on Sunday,” the second person said. “You’re supposed to file every Sunday for the upcoming week.”


“No one told me that.”


“Well, you were supposed to. Now your case has been closed.”


“WHAT THE F*CK??”


So then I had to walk through all of the original filing over the phone all over again--- NOPE, STILL NOT IN THE MILITARY!


A week after that, I got paid.


My first paycheck in five weeks!

It was exciting.

I got a pedicure.


I properly filed the next Sunday, as instructed, but then hit a snag the third week because I started working at a non-profit.


The problem was, my new job hadn’t paid me yet. So I did the honest thing, I clicked the “I worked at a job this week” box, but put $0 in the how much I got paid box.


And then I didn’t get paid that week from unemployment.


“WHERE. IS. MY. MONEY???” I repeated for the fourth time to an unemployment person after being on hold for another 45 minutes.


“You said you got a job.”


“I DIDN’T GET ANY MONEY FROM THEM!”


“Well if you’re volunteering then you shouldn’t have said you got a job.”


“I’m not...I just...haven’t gotten paid!!”


“You’ll get your money Monday.”


Monday came and Tuesday came, and I still didn’t get paid.

It had been seven weeks since I got laid off and unemployment had only paid me for two weeks.


By then, I had gotten a paycheck from my new job and didn’t feel like wasting 45 more DAYTIME minutes calling unemployment, so I dropped it.


I’M DONE WITH YOU PEOPLE! I thought. NEVER AGAIN!


Right?

Wrong.


Today, my new boss called me into his office to tell me he’s got something “a little awkward” to discuss.


THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMMISSION sent him a letter saying I fraudulently filed for unemployment when I had a proper job, and they are doing an audit on me.


And on them.


OMG.


WHAT???


My boss was very nice about it, saying it was probably just a misunderstanding since I didn’t get paid right as I started, and he’d fill out paperwork on his end. But unemployment was THREATENING TO TAKE MY FUTURE PAYCHECKS.


(See: Smoke coming out of my ears.)


“WHAT THE F*CK??!” I screamed an hour later, at the fraud investigator over the phone.


She said records show my new job started on the 11th. And I filed for unemployment that same week.

I’m such a criminal.


“BUT I HADN'T GOTTEN PAID YET!” I said. “I WROTE THAT I GOT PAID ZERO DOLLARS AND THEN I NEVER GOT A PAYMENT FROM YOUR OFFICE ANYWAY!”


“That doesn’t matter,” she said.

HOW DOES THAT NOT MATTER??


I now have to write a letter to an unemployment “investigator” explaining my “situation” to get it straightened out. And spend 44 cents on a stamp.


BASTARDS.


Oh, I’ll write a letter.

It may include pictures of naked baby boys' apricot balls.


-Jenny

2 comments:

  1. I think a good rant is the best way to comment on the human condition, so I don't think much of your opinion writing professor's opinion. If I couldn't rant, I wouldn't know what to write about. I love reading other people's rants and this was a quite entertaining one that could be filed under "you couldn't make this one up."

    BTW, after they've concluded their audit, I'd file a claim for your 44 cent postage. Think of the hours they'll have to spend processing it :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this rant... it makes for good reading.

    ReplyDelete

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