Monday, September 23, 2013

Keeping Busy ...

Well, my work day used to end at four p.m. each day ... so, in essence, day one of my new unemployed life is just about over.   So .. was it successful?

Well, first I made myself a promise that I would not come back upstairs today.  I promised myself that I would stay out of the bedroom (where I used to spend most of my time) ... and I would keep myself busy.   I did a good job on both fronts ...

I set my alarm so that I would wake up early enough to be at the unemployment office right around the time when they opened.  I know what you're thinking ... and I tried to file online like everyone told me to ... but the system wouldn't even let me create a login.  So, I took my folder of papers and waited in line 30 minutes ... only to find out that the reason I couldn't file online ... was because I was a federal employee.

Uncle Sam doesn't pay into the unemployment system for his employees the way every other company does.  Instead, he has a separate system ... we apply for unemployment like everyone else does ... but the feds just agree to reimburse the state for us.  So I couldn't apply online ... because according to their system?  I didn't exist.

So, even though 99% of all claims have to be done by computer ... I am the "lucky" 1% who had to fill out the paper form.  Apparently I have to be hand-entered into the system ... they have to research my income ... I guess it's a much more of an ordeal when a federal employee files.  The paperwork that I found yesterday that per-certified me will make a big difference in expediting the process ... plus I brought copies of my pay statements and tax forms ... and supposedly that will help immensely as well.

I had been warned by several people that the staff at the unemployment office would be surly and unfriendly ... but honestly, that wasn't my experience.  Sure, they were stressed as hell ... there were only two people there to assist dozens of people.  But the woman who assisted me was genuinely helpful.  I think it's just a bad situation because they're incredibly short handed.  Worse, they warned everyone that the state will be closing the Decatur office as of Friday ... so everyone from Decatur will be coming to Springfield for help.  They're anticipating lines to be stretched out the door and wait times to be upward of two hours.

The state claims that everything can be done online ... so they're in the process of closing Litchfield, Galesburg, Quincy, and Danville.  How horrible that all those employees are becoming unemployed themselves.  What kind of a world is this turning into?  It's not true ... everything can't be done online ... I'm the perfect example.

After I was finished applying, I drove across town to do a little grocery shopping.  I came home and made some cupcakes ... Stoney's going to take them to work tomorrow.  I get to keep busy and his office gets cupcakes ... win/win!  I ran a load of laundry ... while that was going, I went outside, sprayed three wasps nests, and knocked them down.  I watched World War Z while I ate lunch ... and when that was over, I finalized my resume.  I stayed downstairs the whole afternoon ... which doesn't mean anything to anyone but me ... but it's a small victory.

All in all ... it was a good day.  I can't complain.  Stoney's invited me over for grilled cheese ... and tomorrow I start making lists of possible employers and filling out applications online.  If the weather stays this nice, maybe I'll even put a few Halloween decorations out.  For what it was?  Today was a fine, fine day ...

It's a fine, fine day
And nothin's gonna take it,
 Nothin's gonna take it away
It's a fine, fine day.

Tony Carey - Fine Fine Day

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