Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Myth of the Unemployment Office

So, in a previous life I was a data manager for an agency that also ran the county's unemployment service. For about 6 years I witnessed the process of the urban myth we've all heard about the staff of this gov't agency: 
- inattentive
- inconsiderate
- rude
- (seemingly) purposefully unhelpful
- unnecessarily bureaucratic

Unfortunately, I have to say that for the most part, from what I've seen as a worker and experienced as a client, that's all pretty much true.  I don't even know why they list a phone number seeing as how the specific local office in NWI that I deal with dedicated no staff to regularly answering the phone.  I was so frustrated by the sadistic automated prompts that I actually let loose that angry know the kind of cry that results from that realization that you can't murder-death-kill someone or something the way your heart desires.  :-)

I called the local office, the office downstate in Indianapolis, and back to the local office and managed to get different answers to the same damn few questions!  Once I clarified all the contradictory info I had been given, their answers magically aligned. 

I'll extent to my readers the curtasy I wasn't given and will tell you to prepare yourself for this rollercoaster ride of misinformation:

Initially they tell you there's a 21 day waiting period before you get your benefits card.  A very nice woman told me the exact day the card was sent out (something they weren't supposed to do I later found out from another employee).  After I exposed that I knew that date they came up with well, it takes 7-10 business days to get it.  Ok.  Then I get a letter I'm the mail to confirm some info and I'm told the consequence of this letter is a 2 week waiting period for any further benefits.  That doesn't even really bother me because as of Wednesday I hadn't received anything yet!  And now I find out that this money-in-theory is delayed further??  And then the very next person I talk to says there isn't a delay??? So my thing is, is the frigging Easter Bunny real or not because right now that's a more concrete question than when am I going to get these benefits. 

Then, when all hope was lost, that angels personally flew in my proverbial golden ticket...the benefits card.  I will be able to pay my rent next week...the week after that I will pay my car note...the week after that I will pay my relatives back for their generosity...and the week after that I might, just might have a job.  I think I'll call that the Unemployed Affirmation of Faith.  :-)

Now I can breathe easier.  Knowing, or at least hoping, that every Monday I can count on my payments being automatically loaded to my card helps the stress greatly.  I have two good leads in jobs and great people in my team.  The occasional wave of depression will still hit I'm sure, but that's just part of being another brainwashed member of this market economy.

Oh!  So to end my rant on the experience of dealing with the unemployment office specifically, I'm sure that someone, somewhere has had a wonderfully helpful experience.   I believe this because there are very few absolutes in the universe.  However, I'd really like to meet that person to ask what in the heck they did to make it work for them.  Lol

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