TWITTER: @sirbacon123

07 January 2010

Driven to Tears

During the last 13 months, I have tasted pretty much every emotion on the unemployment menu, from “who cares” to “why me” and every side dish in the middle.
But only one time, has this grown man been brought to tears.
After one month of unemployment, I was lucky enough to get a little part-time job for a month, so I stopped filing for unemployment.
One month later, jobless again, it was time to re-file for the government’s goodies.
In my state, you can pretty much do everything online, except re-open a claim. To make that happen, all you have to do is talk to an agent on the phone, they ask a couple of questions and bingo, you are back on the list.
At least, it’s supposed to be that easy.
As you might expect, the unemployment office is a wee-bit overloaded. In fact, if you are not one of the lucky ones to get through when the phone lines open up at 7:30am, they don’t even give you the option of waiting on hold.
But they do give you a couple of very fancy recorded words of inspiration:
-- “try back in two hours”
-- “give us a call on a Thursday or Friday when we are not as busy”
-- “we know you are frustrated”
Well after days, and days, and days of not getting through, I finally reached my destination -- I was one of the lucky ones on hold.
I was willing to wait all day, if that’s what it took, because I was finally going to talk to a human being.
That sweet sound of hold music played like a symphony -- for 10 minutes... 20 minutes... 30 minutes and then at minute #35...
Nothing but my cell phone getting disconnected.
Are you kidding me!!!!!!
Getting laid off, after 25 years, made me upset.
Not being able to find another job, made me sad.
But getting disconnected after 35 minutes on hold, now that made me cry. I’m talking full-on waterworks.
I had finally reached my breaking point.
My one opportunity to speak to a real-life human being was gone and there was no way I was going to get through again that day.
Thankfully I found the energy to go through the same drill the next morning -- at 7:30am exactly.
This time I got through, and 95 minutes later, I was officially unemployed again.
Now that’s something to cry about.

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