This is my first, and hopefully only, bout of unemployment insurance. I must admit, I have found a number of inconsistencies somewhat troubling.
Search. Ask any of the staff how many jobs per week someone must apply for to receive benefits and you will receive different answers. Believe me, I asked more than a few. The title I previously held mattered, some of the time. One employee said that as a former TITLE, I only had to look for similar calibre, of which there aren't many, thusly a lower number of weekly inquiries. Another told me that was unacceptable and I had to apply to anything for which I am qualified, including the equivalent of 'flipping burgers' in my field. It would be inconsiderate to apply for jobs I have no intention of taking. Also, should I get a job offer, I cannot turn it down without disqualifying my benefits… excepting special circumstances, which have been explained, vaguely, at best. One employee told me CITY was acceptably too far away, another said it wasn't. A 'drastic' pay cut is considered unacceptable to one, but not another. I hope there is an official doctrine that determines eligibility regarding the aforementioned situations, especially given how the employees cannot agree on anything. I certainly hope it is not the sole discretion of the assigned case manager, thusly affording claims of discrimination.
Networking. DEPARTMENT seminars extoll the virtues of Networking as the most successful avenue to landing a job in this tough economy. Yet, networking is not a selectable option on the weekly reports we must file. Granted, most people who are impressed enough to pass me an email address or mobile number do not want me handing it directly over to a government agency, who may well bother them later. Proper networking does take time, especially when aiming for a TITLE position. Wine and dine, etc. There have been half a dozen Manager and Director-titled individuals I have charmed into welcoming my resume, none of whom consider our encounter the business of State record. Many of whom agreed to pass it along to their HR departments (with recommendation) plus anyone that might interest in meeting me. Those few efforts, which I cannot log, represented a solid two weeks of my unemployment thus far. My resume has traveled greater distance through my furtive networking efforts than all of my job applications combined. Sadly, there are not many jobs out there right now, of any calibre, no matter how much unpaid effort you expend aligning yourself as next for consideration.
Website. Not MOBILE compatible. I cannot download the Correspondence Notices. I have tried multiple browsers and multiple devices. I do not have an Internet-capable computer readily accessible to me. I live far off in the woods. I cannot afford the gas to visit the DEPARTMENT office several times a week. My local library uses keylogging software. I have no intention of giving their tech department, whom/wherever that may be, any of my logins, certainly not my social security number. Mobile devices are a reality of my generation and only growing more prevalent. As a government agency, DEPARTMENT has a greater responsibility to ensure compatibility and security. Oh, and your website is terrible. I have a few suggestions. That is an entire other letter, yet to be written.
Proposal. I am devoting significant effort in drafting a project proposal for a theoretical [audio] invention. I have only recently acquired the networking contacts to justify this attempt. Such a task requires immense time, which I did not previously have, while employed. This is also not a job-search method that I can log. One employee scolded me for my optimistic reach. "What if it doesn't work out? You're only wasting time." Even if the company toward whom I am directing my initial efforts does not take the bait, I may well leave a positive impression, which is certainly worth something. Besides, there are other R&D firms around. I could easily adapt the proposal and continue fishing. Much as I presently do with my resume.
Field. My primary skill is SKILL. Unfortunately, I spent almost a decade SKILLing solely FIELD. My case manager scoffed when I told her I had no desire to remain with FIELD. "Good luck finding anything outside your field." I was given the impression their goal is to encourage expansion of our potential job-search fields, thusly increasing the odds of getting on with our decimated lives.
Attitude. Two of the three employess I have extensively conversed with, talk down to me. When esteem is already deflated, that only stings more. Positivism is not an attribute I can assign any employee I have yet met, excepting the receptionist. I do not know how she manages... kudos.
I recognize my situations are unique. I am a square peg. I do not expect I shall encourage any change to the system. This does not discourage my desire to take a few minutes simply to clarify when I discover myself nonplussed.
I wish it were under better circumstances that I approach you again. It has now been five weeks since I have received my unemployment insurance. I went "hungry" last week.
I have called upon favors, friends, family, town welfare to keep me fed/sheltered. That only works for so long. Many of the people in my life are as bad off as I.
This is not the first time I have gone hungry on unemployment. The previous occurrence was when an attempt to file on your website failed. I have made sure not to let that happen again. It was a powerful lesson. Yet, here I am, of a different cause.
I founded an LLC. Apparently this is a show-stopper. I created it for Intellectual Property protection, as explained. I require protection for the invention I have been trying to sell. I cannot afford a patent right now, obviously. Also, there was that one "paying" day of jury duty that would have halted services had I not discovered, on my own, that it was going to be a problem.
I have called the office, made myself a nuisance, explained that I have no food. My situation has not been resolved. I have been stuck, for over a month, in the queue of a nameless adjudicator with whom I cannot plead my case. There is no telling how much longer I must wait for what used to be a quick resolution.
If I had not received my tax return on Friday, this weekend would have been financially disastrous. Still, ninety percent of it was taken to pay (now) overdue bills and late fees and penalties.
This is a result of the cutbacks your office has recently suffered. Your remaining staff is ill-equipped to handle the workload. I understand this, and sympathize. Please, feel free to use my situation as an Example to the powers-that-be that your employees cannot do their jobs promptly anymore. If an intelligent, resourceful person such as myself is going hungry on the program, I fear for those less fortunate.