Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Always Ring Unemployment Twice

Unemployment. As great as it is at keeping money in your pocket and helping to pay your bills is really terrible. They make it damn near impossible for you to get a job.

I'll explain.

I recall a scene, about 6 years ago when I temped for one day, against my better judgement. I made $150 and it ended up costing me $1900 thanks to Unemployment's rules and regulations as well as the misinformed individuals behind the counter. Before I took the temp job, I called to see how I had to file. The rep told me to file normally for the week and claim the one day on the following week's claim. So, that is what I did. Apparently, that was wrong but it wasn't her fault. It was my fault and I ended up having to give unemployment $1900. I tried to appeal it but it became a he said/she said thing and UE, being a Government agency is ALWAYS right.

Lesson learned: When you have a question for Unemployment, call and ask more than once until you get two answers that match. Also get the Rep's name so you have a name to hate for the rest of your natural born life. You'll never get this person fired or even reprimanded. You will just harvest a hatred for that faceless name FOREVER.

I'm getting really bored sitting home and waiting for someone to hire me so I started thinking about taking on some part time work. So, I call UE to find out how taking a PT job affects your eligibility to collect.

Here is where it gets tricky. They don't allow you to take classes to enhance your marketability or career goals unless you take them at night. Their rule is that you have to be eligible for work during the day in the event a job comes up. Ok fair enough. However, they say it is ok for you to take part-time work. Umm . . . ok and if you work PT during the day doesn't that mean you can't go on interviews as well? You file your hours the same week you work (ok, got that from my past mistake) and then UE deducts 2/3 from you UE benefit check and you get the rest. Really, this only works out to be maybe $50 more a week and honestly, not worth the trouble.

So, yesterday, I went on an interview and they want to give me some test stories to write because I have been away from Journalism so long. While my AP skills may be a little rusty I'm a firm believer in the fact that as long as you never stopped thinking, you can still construct a sentence. Oh and when you minored in Journalism and every job you have ever had included writing, you probably didn't forget how to report a story. But whatever. So, giving me test stories means that they have to pay me freelance rates and i have to fill out a tax form and UE will get wind of this and I know how to file for PT work but how on god's green earth do you file for freelance work? So, I had to just write the editor and ask him if i can go unpaid to avoid going to jail or getting penalized by UE.

See, impossible.

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