Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life in the Unemployment Lane

Snow Branch
Raspberries to the NH Department of Unemployment Security for closing my claim request without telling me. I filed promptly on Feb 2. After 3 weeks of hearing nothing, I called yesterday. "That request was closed; you have an open claim in MA". Seems I had 2 (count them, two) weeks left on a year old claim in MA, therefore was not eligible to file in NH. So they closed it and failed to tell me. I've been waiting for absolutely nothing. I was advised I needed to refile when my MA claim expired...which of course, was last week. Can they reactivate the claim that takes 20 minutes to create? Of course not. I refiled. The agent I spoke with "promised" to back date it a week. Do I believe it will happen? Yeah right.
morning walk
Raspberries to the designer of the IVR system for MA unemployment. It's understandable that waits will be long...but get a load of this one: After waiting on hold for 8 minutes, the automated voice comes on and "due to long waits, you should call back later. Your social ends in 8, call back Thursday" Click. Click? You kept me on hold for 8 minutes just to hang up on me? Who designed this call flow?
tree trunks
I was thinking, there are many white collar professionals like myself out of work...can we just go to the unemployment office and help them spruce up their outdated technologies and processes?
Green Marker
So how are people doing it? I'm looking at my 4th week without a dime. Bills are coming up at the first of the month. I can pay them. I have reserves. But so many people do not carry 2-3 months of reserves. Bills go unpaid, cash is running out. I feel sorry for those people. I live under my means and I think I'm in the minority. The feds are extending benefits but what happens when you can't get past the bureaucratic local door?
sparkling snow
Thumbs up to DCU, my local credit union. The sent out a notice allerting us that they are suspending penalties for early withdrawal on CDs. It's a small gesture, but it meant something to me. I have money locked up in CDs and knowing I can use it if I need to, is a relief. I sent them a thank you note! I love my credit union.

Thumbs up to Angel, she is an employment recruiter who knows how to do her job. She knows what is going on in the region, she if familiar with every employer I've worked for. Unlike other recruiters who can't see past the current job they are trying to fill, she takes a more holistic approach. She's a joy to talk to.
And one last observation from the Unemployment Lane. NPR, could you possibly add some tough times success stories to your line up. I can not face the back to back dark stories. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, layoffs, is no one finding the light in this long dark tunnel?
light from above
Some days motivation is hard to find. But one morning last week, I awoke to the sun sparkling on fresh snow, and all seems good, I grabbed the camera and boots. Can I get a job doing this?? Hope your winter is winding down!


Lucky said...

Hi Gail,

Agree with you about most (all?) media outlets going 24 hours a day with doom and gloom lately. John Doyle with the Globe and Mail (Canada) had a small epiphany about it back in November after watching - of all things - Mamma Mia! Here's a quote from his article which I've printed out and hung on my office wall. Thought it might cheer you up a bit and hopefully put things in perspective:
"Cheer up. Banks may fail and companies go bankrupt. But people still meet and fall in love. They dance. They dote on their partners. They hug and kiss. They find pleasure in their children. They laugh when their pets get goofy. They don't only find solace in endurance, but in life itself, in the joy that just exists."

I really hope things pick up for you soon. Hang-in there.

Best regards,

SheRidesABeemer said...

thanks so much for the reminder, remaining positive is a good habit! :)

Baron's Life said...

Sorry to hear about your troubles.
You absolutely need to remain positive and keep hunting.
Something will come up. Downturns and slow economies have always existed.Keep a cool head, surround yourself with the right people, as you seem to have and you will win.

"Joker" said...

Hi Gail.

Saw your blog on Fasthair's list. I'm in MA myself, and also out of a job at the moment, but due to disability from injury in a m/c accident. Still, your post evoked much emotion in me as I've dealt with the MA unemployment system quite a bit over the last 10 years. For union construction workers, being laid off and collecting is more familiar than we'd like. When you mentioned waiting 8 minutes only to be hung up on, all I could think of is, "Yeah that's Mass alright." It also reminds me of our Governor's snow-job campaign slogan, "Together - we can!"

Good luck to you miss. I hope your funds hold out long enough for you to find work.

Lucky said...

Gail - Just so you know, I've now got two things on my office wall. The first is the quote by John Doyle. The second is your "Accomplishment" poster.

Good advice from you - thank you.


Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, at least as far as no job. I was let go Nov. 1st and went through the holidays with no job (had unemployment and a wife who still works).It was hard to keep telling the kids that I was going to be even more Grinchlike. Have a new job, still deciding whether this will be a long term situation or just a whistle stop on the tracks of life. Hope you find something that you like SOON!

Roberto Matasán Santamaría said...

Hi Gail,

My name is Roberto and I’m from Spain.

I’m one of your blog readers and I own a BMW K1200GT just like yours, that’s why I found you on the web.

Today I’ve discovered you are unemployed ( I’ve been in the same situation for the last 6 months) and if you let me, I can send your information from http://www.linkedin.com/pub/10/a61/a61 to one of my friends at The Comerce Group
at Boston in case they need someone.

They are just starting a new project for developing and implementing the IT System from MAPFRE (an insurance company from Spain which bought The Commerce Group).

Hope it helps.

Sorry for my English I need to improve it.

Best Regards and think positive!


SheRidesABeemer said...

thank you for the offer Roberto, a referral would be good. :)

Anonymous said...

I sort of wandered over to your blog a while back and have been lurking every so often. Sorry to hear about your work and unemployment difficulties. I hope that you can at least use a bit of the time to ride.

Its been a tough job market even here in VA where government jobs and support to the military are generally plentiful. Good luck getting on your feet soon.

Anonymous said...

Newbie to your blog....fellow NH motorcyclist to boot(VTX 1800!! Keep the faith while being unemployed and good luck using your white "color" to change things. Sorry, couldn't resist, guessing you meant to say "white collar". :-)

Thanks for a great read!!!

Steve Williams said...

You're right in your assessment that not many people have several months reserve at their fingertips if an emergency would arise. I think about that a lot and it would be cashing in things I would prefer not to cash in. Your lifestyle and economic habits are paying off now.

One thing I have to say. It was interesting reading your story of all the challenges you are facing and knowing how frustrating it can be and at the same time looking at the completely serene photos your are making. They say the photographs are portraits of the photograher. If so you are one centered and serene individual.

Good luck and safe riding!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

SheRidesABeemer said...

oops on the white color/collar people :$ I fixed it. Spell check doesn't pick up on that!

Steve, thank you for the compliment on the pictures...I never thought of the link, and it seems obvious when you point it out, between ones state of mind and the pictures one seeks out. I love the feel of a fresh snow fall, and enjoy being in it and glad I was able to take some of that inside with me via the camera.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your unemployement Gail, I really hope you find a job soon! I admire your positive attitude and the fact that you still have an eye for those who are worse off than you.


irondad said...

I agree with Steve on the photos. Of course, I'd have to as I'm not a really qualified photag myself!

Aaaargh to the civil servants.

Yeah for the folks like the credit union personnel and Angel.

I know it's easier said than done, but keep looking for the good. We all care deeply. All that positive karma has to be worth something!

K-Bike Rider said...

Hi, again, Gail !

I just read your "Life in the Unemployment Lane" and I, too, am living that love. The Kansas Department of Labor must have the same phone system provider. It hangs up if too many people are in the que. Of course, you have to input every number under the sun, including your SSN, to receive that high level of service.

Keep your head up, though. I'm on week #8 with little hope in my industry of 36 years. I do have one opportunity outside of it and should be back in the saddle in a week or so. Thank God, "Sales is Sales" !

Best of Luck....Steve (BMW MOA & AMA)

Anonymous said...

Hope you find work soon, if you haven't already.

Ride on,