Monday, July 18, 2011

The Literal Endless Loop that is the Unemployment Hotline

Because I was unemployed twice in a year, my unemployment benefits from my FIRST job still haven't expired and won't until August 7th. Basically, this means I could've quit my new shit job at anytime and still gotten unemployment BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT. Fuck. I could probably have a newer, better job already!

So I'm worried that when my unemployment benefits run out on the 7th, I will have to file another claim (even though I believe I already have) and then I will be without unemployment for like 4 weeks (because it takes fudge-packin' forever!). To rectify this burning fear, I decided to brave the NYS unemployment hotline.

First, I go through about 10 minutes of automated prompts and messages that keep telling me to go online to the same website over and over. There should be an option like "if you've already gone online or are archaic enough to refuse to even try, press 8" because there's no point. Does anyone actually sit through 6 prompts to go online and on the 7th one say, "hey, maybe I'll try the internet?" NO!

After these excruciating ten minutes of button mashing, the Voice tells me "Due to unusually high call volume, we cannot take any additional calls at this time. To schedule a call back for a later time, press one. To end this call without scheduling a call back, press two." (sidebar: why do they always give you that option to hang up the call by pressing a button? do some people need to hear the Voice say, "good-bye" that badly? just hang up!)

So I pressed one to schedule a call back. The Voice made me enter my phone number, say my name, pick a day of the week and then pick a time without any guidance - they didn't even tell me their office hours! So I picked Tuesday at 9:00 AM. "Sorry," the Voice replied, "there are no available slots at that time." The Voice paused then, I assume to let me swear, furrow my brow and shake my fist at the sky, and continued, "To schedule a call back for a later time, press one. To end this call without scheduling a call back, press two."

Fury raged inside my brown body, my freak fingers curling in anger! What am I supposed to do here... just keep guessing times and hope that one works out?! I angrily slammed the one button, entered my name and number again and picked Tuesday at 3:30 PM. "Sorry," the Voice said again, without a hint of remorse in his tone, "there are no available slots at that time."

Before I could smash my phone into my window to help relieve the lava boiling inside me, the Voice gave me some hope, "To hear the next available time slot, press one." Hope cooled the lava and my finger soared to the one button as a smile crossed my face.

"Sorry. There are no more available time slots. To schedule a call back for a later time, press one. To end this call without scheduling a call back, press two."

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