Friday, April 17, 2009
I lost the “day job” 6 months ago-how time does fly. According to the original little stubs, I was supposed to have 59 weeks coming to me.
Surely, I thought, that’s enough time to build up paying clients for my freelance writing career or find a position that has something to do with the journalistic world.
Many freelance writing friends are hearing (or not hearing) the same things:
We are now leaving the stories to our in-house staff
We have to freelance budget now, try back in 4-6 months (?!?)
This idea is great-we’re passing it on to our staff writers (what? I give you the idea and you’re not even going to entertain me writing it for you?)
Yes, this is a cycle and we’re all on the bottom of it. Take a look at the rather pathetic thickness of your morning newspaper-or the Sunday version for that matter. And your favorite magazine? Notice the features?
Oh, where was I? I said this was a rant about the unemployment office. Somehow I digressed, but I’m back now.
Anyway, seems 59 weeks in EDD terms is actually 20 weeks and then you’re supposed to request an extension. Trouble here is, they tell you to “immediately call your local unemployment office or visit our website.”
Lots of double and triple stuff going on here. I diligently called the 800 number. I called at exactly 8 a.m.. A taped message came on telling me that they were overwhelmed with calls and couldn’t help me at this time. I was told to either call back before 8 in the morning or after 6 and “talk to our automated lines”. What? The other option was to go on the site and look up the information on extending my claim.
“However doing both will result in the delay of processing your claim.”
Okay, I figured if I went on line and filled out the information there (as my daughter helped me do the first go round) I didn’t need their stinkin’ phone line.
HA and double HA!
I went to the “first extension” option. Which promptly took me to nothing but an e-book on information on who qualifies for the damn (pardon my French) extension!
Both the phone and the web lines did say that “new information regarding the governor’s new law extending unemployment benefits would be automatically given and that the packet would be ready by mid-April. If the EDD needs more information, they will contact you via phone”
I started my quest for my extension on April 13th, the day I received the last check. By the 15th, I still couldn’t get any information. By all accounts, April 15th is the middle of a 30 day month-is it not?
Thank goodness for the speaker option on my phone. You see, I’m still playing “phone options” and listening to tapes while writing up this rant.
I asked my daughter, the EDD specialist and commiserator in the world of needing unemployment benefits what to do-her knowledgeable reply?
“MOM, WELCOME TO MY WORLD.”
And now for the good news-as I was ready to submit this, my cordless phone with the speaker and I saw the mailman out front-since I was listening to the umpteenth EDD voice over, I paused and went to get the mail. Guess what! Yes, in 2 separate envelopes came the following: a letter telling me I automatically qualify for an extension and the paperwork to send it in for my first check in that said extension. Why didn’t the state save money and send these 2 measly pieces of paper in the same envelope?
And now I wonder-did my daughter get the good news as well?
They were advertising in Michigan to begin a new career as a free lance travel writer. I could do that. But after reading what you had to say, I'm wondering if I should hold on to my day job for now.
The real kicker is-the governor just said he was hiring more workers and transferring some from other depts to help out the EDD! the people there are so overwhelmed w/ applicants, they can't possibly help everyone in a timely fashion!
what a way to finally get a job!