Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pain, Frustration and a Five Minute Meeting

I have seen the seventh level of hell, nor shall I ever want to see if again. It's the straight and narrow from here after. I have found this level not on the ethereal plains, but right here on Earth. It has a sidious name... the unemployment office.

I woke up early and got to the closest office and made it there within 10 minutes of the doors opening. I thought to myself that the line couldn't be that long. What I found in side was a mass of humanity that filled the waiting room and at least one other conference room. I was 100th in line, I know I exaggerate at times, but I was literally the 100th person. I thought it was going to be a long wait, but never did I believe that it would take six hours.

The mass of people there was far ranging from the people you would thing would be at the unemployment office, to people in dress clothes to construction guys that all they needed to hear was "you two, come with me I have a mess of dry wall to put up." I was a hybrid in my jeans and a nice pullover. Then there were the extremely strange people, one guy thought it was a great idea to wear a coat that only said one word "Smokers." Not that bad, it I saw the back with a giant blunt on it. Then he was called into an office for an interview. Another guy had skulls with knives through them all over a jacket.

After listening to all of Bill Simmons podcast, I was three hours into my wait and everyone in the conference room started talking. Most of us came in around the same time and a few of the newer guys (I am in this group) wondered if this is normal. The pro in the group a former mechanic Mack was a hold over from the day before.

he room of people all had the same look, frustration, boredom and lack of hope. Except when someone would pick up a clip board and would start to say a name. All you can do is pray "please say J Dog, please say J Dog." Alas 99 times I was thrown down to the canvass and had to pull myself up. "Maybe next time."

Finally I was called and brought back to a little cubicle where I feared two things:
  1. They couldn't help me and I wasted a day.
  2. I forgot some paper work and had to come back tomorrow.

fortune smiled on this beleaguered soul and I got an answer. It appears that who ever told me that I could start filing my claims could not read a calender. It starts this weekend not last. There were some other clerical errors that were fixed and I turned in a direct deposit slip so the trip wasn't for not.

Hopefully I will not have to go back to that office. For my sake I hope I can stay away. I do have a plan. Get there round the same time, check in, wait 10 minutes, leave, eat something, sleep and come back three hours later.

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