Will Bueché

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Unemployment sucks

Posted in Personal by Will on Wednesday, October 19th, 2005 ~ 10am

I’ve received a taste of the lackluster services made available to the unemployed. I received a letter from the Department of Unemployment Assistance informing me that I am required to take a Career Center Seminar before a particular date or they’ll cut off my unemployment insurance (insurance which has so far sent me only a single week’s coverage).

So I use the touch tone phone system to set up my attendance at one of these in nearby Cambridge. The morning of, I race out there and find that I can’t find the office. The automated message had said look for a “futuristic building” near the subway stop, and I thought I knew exactly which building that was since that is a description that can only be applied to select buildings.

I find my way in to the futuristic building but there’s no office there. As the clock ticks towards the start of the class I desperately phone the Department in search of directions, and find that “due to the high volume of calls, people with social security numbers ending in (my number) should call back on Thursday.” So there’s no assistance there. Similarly, calling the actual office where the seminar takes place is ineffective as the answering machine says they only have a receptionist two days of the week. For lack of a human operator, I can’t find the frigging building.

So I drive home, and attempt to register for another class, but the automated system can’t schedule me for another class because it feels I was already scheduled for the class I could not find. And again, no way for a person with my social security number to speak to a live operator.

Seems there’s no help, so out of curiosity I try to locate the “futuristic” building on mapquest, and find that the building they call “futuristic” is not in fact the futuristic building at all, but is rather a run-down building from circa 1970, located above a mattress store. Technically it isn’t even a building in the stand-alone sense of the word, it is those unnoticed upper floors above a strip mall. It is one number off from the actual futuristic building, and the opposite side of the expressway.

Well, I have until 11/04 to get to another class. But I leave for New Mexico on 10/29 so maybe my policy should be “fuck that, and fuck you.” My only concern is that they might recind my unemployment insurance from today forward, rather than from 11/04 forward.

UPDATE: Ah I feel so much less stupid now! They called me back, and not only can I attend tomorrow’s session (they had ONE spot open!), but they told me that in fact I wasn’t exactly wrong – the directions on the DUI phone system are to the location of where they used to be located but aren’t located anymore! They were indeed once in the “futuristic” building, but are not anymore. I am so glad that it was the world that was wrong, and not me. (Typical).

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