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On the dole

So I haven't been updating here; I have mostly been posting wee sentences on Facebook. And it came to my notice the other day that most of you probably don't know I've been sacked. They eliminated my position at the hospital. I can't blame them, the money was drying up and we were a department built around expansion, so we got hit hard.

For the first time in my life I am on unemployment. I am happy to report that I feel none of the shame I thought I might feel in admitting that. It really doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. I'm accepting some help that I have gladly offered to others when they were down (at least that's the way I think of it). But man, Uncle Sam doesn't make it very easy to get your payments. You have to fill out a little sheet every two weeks that says whether you were eligible to work, if you searched for work, if you accepted any work - that makes sense. You can't mail it until the Monday after that two week period, and then you wait another week for your first check.

If my experience is any example, though, that first check is not for 2 weeks of unemployment, it's only for one week. Several days later you will get a 3 line letter that will tell you that the first week was considered a "waiting period" with no further explanation. So 3.5 weeks after being let go, I have gotten one check for $450. Ouch. I am very fortunate to have a fiancee who is able to do things like pay my half of the rent without too much strain.

I wish I hadn't used ALL of my savings to buy my new car back in June. It's nice to have the lower payments, but it would be so much nicer to have that bit of security backing me up.

Anyway, I post this not to whine and moan, but mostly as a cautionary tale. I had managed to put a few hundred back in the bank, but that's going quickly. You might want to keep enough in the bank to pay your rent or mortgage for 2-3 months should some similar fate befall you.

And now that I seem to have some energy back, I'm going to go cut out some escort cards and the like for the wedding....

Ta ta!


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC)
Well, you've been paying taxes for decades to make sure this would be here in case you needed it, so I figure you're free and clear. Personally, I think you'd be nuts to even consider looking for work until after the wedding is behind you, but you always were the multitasker of the family... ;]

My savings ain't where they should be. I should do something about that, especially since the Furd doesn't offer an ESPP for me to cash out. Although I would love for them to offer stock in "Jim Harbaugh will fly the coop for Michigan after this year and our football program will tumble to Vanderbilt level"...
Aug. 31st, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
You are accepting help you've offered others; you are also accepting money that *you gave the state* for just such an emergency. And despite that, no, they really make it as monumental a pain in the ass as possible.
Aug. 31st, 2010 06:14 pm (UTC)
I was on unemployment for several weeks back in December - for me, I had to fill out a web form once a week to officially claim that I was able to work, and I was looking for work. I also had to take some classes to help me look for work.

And then, they gave me a choice of what class I wanted to take, the least insulting of which was advice on how to make my resume better. The state employee told me that my resume was way too long. Well, lady, I've already got calls back from search engine company and commercial operating systems company, and I crafted this resume to contain the information that I want to see when I interview someone. But ok, fine - you're the resume professional.

And then she proceeded to tell me about how to use the internet to look for jobs.

Good times.

I firmly believe you'll get to the other side of this just fine. If there's anything I can do to help between now and then, though, do let me know.

Edited at 2010-08-31 06:15 pm (UTC)
Aug. 31st, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
I was on unemployment for almost a year back in... 2005? It was single-handedly the most frustrating and debilitating time in my adult life. When I went to apply for the benefits in person, they treated me like I was the scum of the earth... and then, like the person above me, I had to take "classes" for continuation of the benefits. It was awful... all I wanted, was to find work. This godforsaken state treated me like I was the scum of the earth.
Sep. 1st, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
Having just filed for my last unemployment payment I feel your pain. It is a tough system to get any straight answers in. On the up side I was able to do it all via the internet so I didn't have to deal with snotty workers.
Sep. 1st, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
I sorta gleaned that's what happened from FB, without you saying it outright. I'm sorry. It sucks. =(

Good cautionary tale. We do not have enough in the bank to pay our mortgage for 2-3 months should something happen, and that's kinda scary. I'm not worried about Jon losing his teaching job, but we are slowly building our savings back up. I'll feel better when we have a few months' of Jon's salary saved up, at least.
Sep. 1st, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
You know I didn't so much mind the paperwork but I did get annoyed with the phone interview nonsense. But as others have pointed out we pay our taxes and that money is meant to help us out when our jobs go bye-bye. BTW, if you've got an updated version of your resume I'd be happy to throw it at our HR department again and see if it sticks this time. They actually posted the copywriter position online so I think they're officially hiring this time.
Sep. 1st, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
I'll get right on that! Now I'll be local to that job and your new department sounds amazing!
Sep. 2nd, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
There are a lot of strategies for living out the storm. I've been planning for unemployment for a long time, which is good, as I've now been on it a long time. I've also done consulting in there, which you have to be careful about (many more phone calls), but quite doable as a way to extend the life of your benefits (unemployment pays on weeks that the consulting does not, and possibly some on the same weeks depending on how much you make in consulting).

This is a great time to have the wedding planning be your job...
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Mrs. Dr. Mister

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