Bureaucracy In Action

As most of you know, I recently found myself within the ranks of the unemployed and am really just loving the ever living shit out of dealing with bureaucracy in action. I’ve decided to swallow what little pride I’ve left and apply for whatever crumbs the Lonestar State chooses to give me, but I’m wondering if it’s worth it all. Let’s start with the Texas Workforce Commission aka the Commissars of Unemployment. I filed the day following my departure from Walgreens (more on those cocksuckers later) and jumped through all the hoops of the actual filing itself only to be forced into signing-up for the WorkInTexas job search site. Besides being generally kludgy overall, it’s a cast-iron bitch to even get your account set up. I’m a very literate computer wonk and a rapid reader, so the instructions were pretty straight-forward, BUT the security built into the system makes me wonder if the ‘crats here in Austin, should work for Ft. Knox. The system is so full of obvious bugs that even the Orkin man would despair. It takes about 10 frustrating attempts merely to establish a username and password combination. This of course, followed by the ‘security questions’, you know information about what color fingernail polish your 1st Grade teacher wore on Mondays in April?, the name of the 2nd guy from the extreme left in the Verizon commercial group of about 60 folks and the blood types of 3 generations of the maternal and paternal side of your family?. Once you finish this you get to solve 2 quadratic formulas and finally, finally you’re given the keys to the kingdom, that is in about 4-6 weeks [Side note: Here in Austin, your ass can and will be evicted in about 3 weeks or less, do the math]. That is unless you time out during the application process when your colon is ready to explode and you get to start it all over again, but this time it tells you pointedly that an account has already used your email and kindly either set-up a ‘free’ account or use another, and the games begin afresh. What do you get, a shitty, hard to use search engine that only returns results for jobs totally unrelated to what you might actually be looking for. They don’t care if you have a graduate degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology, we just know that stenciling dumpsters for a local garbage disposal company is just the ticket you need to employment nirvana. Waiting time to see the 1st penny- 4 to 6 weeks, IF and only IF your former employer provides the needed information in a timely fashion. If they contest the case, welllll you’ll be worm-food long before you get a hearing to even start the arbitration process. I foolishly thought I might save time, by filling out the required information online and then stopping into the local office to expedite the process. That was a waste, however, being the observant cuss I am, I witnessed a family that spoke NO eeeglish, walk into the office and happily leave (while I cooled my heels) with their own freshly minted benefits card in the SAME fucking visit. No waiting, no docs other than a consular matricula (saw that too) and bingo !!! You win the prize !!!!.

Then, and THEN one gets to applying for Food Stamps, now known as SNAP benefits. You fill out the form, wait and wait and wait for someone to call you to tell you when your appointment to discuss your case with someone 3-4 days hence concerning your application. Again, I jump through all the hoops wait for the phone call and am pleasantly informed that they need information to proceed, LOTS of information. Your Driver’s License number and a copy, your last 3 pay stub copies, proof of residency with an item of snail mail, that you actually live where you say you live. (Note, the representative actually has all this information directly in front of them the entire time). I tested the system by juxtaposing one digit in my DL and she immediately told me that was incorrect, my bad. Of course they still need copies of all. (Remember the folks above? They got that same-day, no questions except a few sentences by an interpreter. The results in another week (or two) I’ll get a card, IF I provide the necessary documentation.

Just keep in mind that tidbit in the news recently, that our friends in Foggy Bottom spent $150 million producing pamphlets for distribution south of the border, laying out exactly how to get immediate benefits from your friends in the US and taxpayers of Texas.

Feel better yet kids? I know I sure do and but I haven’t decided how to decorate my Taurus yet and where to put the recliner. Decisions, decisions. I did get my parting shot in to the last snotty ‘crat in when he had the cojones to wish me a happy weekend for fucksake. I pointed out that when you’re unemployed every day is a weekend, without the club scene on 6th Street though. That is, unless one doesn’t Habla. So the next time one of the socialist shit-weasels comes out with the line about the poor unfortunate neighbors to the south are just looking for jobs Americans won’t do, spit in the their faces for me wouldja? I’d shovel shit right now for $10 a truckload, but I don’t have a shovel or the gas in the car to get to the Turdatorium.

F.E.T.E.

PS-G-d Bless you one and all for everything you’ve done for me now and in the past. The Life Suckage meter drops a lot knowing you have friends. This too, shall pass as the Book says.

-Carry On

22 comments

  1. 1
    LC SecondMouse growls and barks:

    Generally speaking, residence in the state of Texas is, all things considered, to be preferred to a wide variety of alternatives, especially these days. You seem to have located the unfortunate exception to that generalization, namely, Austin.

    Us Texans are fairly embarrassed about Austin. We don’t like to talk about, but we have managed to confine most of the raging liberal-tics within its city limits. This seems to suit them just fine, as, regrettably, the seat of state government is there as well, and they are hard at work attempting to suborn the state institutions to their twisted purposes, so far with limited success.

    I wish you immediate success in finding gainful employment, so that you no longer have to negotiate with the devil that is the modern statist collective of soul-crushing, power-craving apparatchiks.

    Send me a message if you decide to consider Houston. I might be able to help.

  2. 2
    LC Roguetek growls and barks:

    i’m currently -in- austin. I also know of a tech outfit that’s hiring, if you speak linux.

    Misha has my number, call me, and I’ll put you in touch

  3. 3
    LC Gladiator growls and barks:

    This Is No Ordinary Scandal
    Political abuse of the IRS threatens the basic integrity of our government.

    By PEGGY NOONAN

    The president, as usual, acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. He’s shocked, it’s unacceptable, he’ll get to the bottom of it. He read about it in the papers, just like you.

    But he is not unconnected, he is not a bystander. This is his administration. Those are his executive agencies. He runs the IRS and the Justice Department.

    A president sets a mood, a tone. He establishes an atmosphere. If he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. If he is too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads too. Presidents always undo themselves and then blame it on the third guy in the last row in the sleepy agency across town.

    The IRS scandal has two parts. The first is the obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression of conservative groups. The second is the auditing of the taxes of political activists.

    In order to suppress conservative groups—at first those with words like “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names, then including those that opposed ObamaCare or advanced the Second Amendment—the IRS demanded donor rolls, membership lists, data on all contributions, names of volunteers, the contents of all speeches made by members, Facebook FB +0.46% posts, minutes of all meetings, and copies of all materials handed out at gatherings. Among its questions: What are you thinking about? Did you ever think of running for office? Do you ever contact political figures? What are you reading? One group sent what it was reading: the U.S. Constitution.

    The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration. The Journal’s Kim Strassel reported an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot, who’d donated more than a million dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney. He found himself last June, for the first time in 30 years, the target of IRS auditors. His wife and his business were also soon audited. Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government’s attention. He told ABC News: “It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare.”

    Franklin Graham, son of Billy, told Politico he believes his father was targeted. A conservative Catholic academic who has written for these pages faced questions about her meager freelance writing income. Many of these stories will come out, but not as many as there are. People are not only afraid of being audited, they’re afraid of saying they were audited.

    All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.

    It is not even remotely possible that all this was an accident, a mistake. Again, only conservative groups were targeted, not liberal. It is not even remotely possible that only one IRS office was involved.

    Lois Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, was the person who finally acknowledged, under pressure of a looming investigative report, some of what the IRS was doing. She told reporters the actions were the work of “frontline people” in Cincinnati. But other offices were involved, including Washington. It is not even remotely possible the actions were the work of just a few agents. This was more systemic. It was an operation. The word was out: Get the Democratic Party’s foes. It is not remotely possible nobody in the IRS knew what was going on until very recently. The Washington Post reported efforts to target the conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency by May 2012—far earlier than the agency had acknowledged. Reuters reported high-level IRS officials, including its chief counsel, knew in August 2011 about the targeting.

    The White House is reported to be shellshocked at public reaction to the scandal. But why? Were they so highhanded, so essentially ignorant, that they didn’t understand what it would mean to the American people when their IRS—the revenue-collecting arm of the U.S. government—is revealed as a low, ugly and bullying tool of the reigning powers? If they didn’t know how Americans would react to that, what did they know? I mean beyond Harvey Weinstein’s cellphone number.

    And why—in the matters of the Associated Press and Benghazi too—does no one in this administration ever take responsibility? Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t know what happened, exactly who did what. The president speaks in the passive voice. He attempts to act out indignation, but he always seems indignant at only one thing: that he’s being questioned at all. That he has to address this. That fate put it on his plate.

    We all have our biases. Mine is for a federal government that, for all the partisan shootouts on the streets of Washington, is allowed to go about its work. That it not be distracted by scandal, that political disagreement be, in the end, subsumed to the common good. It is a dangerous world: Calculating people wish to do us harm. In this world no draining, unproductive scandals should dominate the government’s life. Independent counsels should not often come in and distract the U.S. government from its essential business.

    But that bias does not fit these circumstances.
    Peggy Noonan’s Blog

    Daily declarations from the Wall Street Journal columnist.

    What happened at the IRS is the government’s essential business. The IRS case deserves and calls out for an independent counsel, fully armed with all that position’s powers. Only then will stables that badly need to be cleaned, be cleaned. Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again.

    And it would be shameful and shallow for any Republican operative or operator to make this scandal into a commercial and turn it into a mere partisan arguing point and part of the game. It’s not part of the game. This is not about the usual partisan slugfest. This is about the integrity of our system of government and our ability to trust, which is to say our ability to function.

  4. 4
    DJ Allyn, MPSE growls and barks:

    I am sorry to hear about your plight. I’ve had to endure the “un-enjoyment” thing myself a couple of times in the past — it is NO picnic. The hoops you have to go through is almost a full-time job all by itself — and for a mere pittance.

    I had to leave the country to follow the work, but I am sure you won’t have to be that drastic. Perhaps a move to Houston or Dallas might be the answer. A friend of mine just gave me a tip that you might want to check out. It is a job listing website called INDEED.COM If there is a job posting ANYWHERE online, Indeed will find it and list it there. You might also try Craigslist for jobs that don’t get posted anywhere else.

    I hope things work out for you soon.
    DJ Allyn, MPSE recently posted..COUNTING DOWN THE MINUTESMy Profile

  5. 5
    The Mulatto Maker growls and barks:

    DJ Allyn, MPSE says:

    Perhaps a move to Houston or Dallas might be the answer.

    Or, if you don’t mind going a bit further… they pretty much hand out jobs at the state line here in North Dakota. I was unemployed roughly once a year from the time I got out of the Army (had the good fortune to ETS a few months before the economy took a shit). Came to Fargo, haven’t had to worry about a job since a few days after I got here.

    …Climate’s a tad less temperate than you’re accustomed to, though. :em06:

  6. 6
    Tallulah growls and barks:

    When the Going Gets Tough, the Weird Turn Pro.

    Speaking as a longtime freelancer (I haven’t had a STAPH job in 20 years!), I’ll just mention the things I do to pay the rent when a regular client tanks:

    Post my skills on Craig’s List. I use the blind email and don’t answer anything that sounds hinky. I just draw up a letter of agreement detailing the scope of the work, deliverables, and fee, and both parties counter-sign. (That actually reassures people, once they get over their initial surprise: it protects them as well as me). I always specify half the money up front, half on completion. I’m a writer and editor, and I have some nice, gilt-edged credentials.

    There are some well-to-do people in the world who want your skills, no doubt. Oh, and I love cash. Just sayin’. ;-) Once picked up a roll of bills worth $1200 from a wealthy Argentinian in the Harvard Club: for editing a book on Wittgenstein!

    Make a game of it; get really creative; talk to everyone you know who freelances. For us, it’s a lifestyle. Amazingly liberating, actually: no boss to crawl to to beg for a raise. I’ve had my own insurance, too: joined a professional association and got a reduction ni the premium, but now, thanks to Ofuckface, the premiums are eye-wateringly high.

    Good hunting!

  7. 7
    kmhendu growls and barks:

    Hey jackboot have not heard from you in quite a while. Give me a call. I don’t have your new number. You know who this is. We have much to discuss.

  8. 8
    LC Light29ID - The Imperial Asshole growls and barks:

    Oh fuck brother how I fell your pain…Just try going through the system with an elderly mother (85) who actually believed the whole Social Insecurity bit during the 50′s through the 80′s and didn’t save one goddamn dime because “I paid into Social Security”. Home “visits/inspections”, regular vivits to the local Reichssicherheitshauptamt and account monitoring because, well, they just know I’m sitting on a pot of gold somewhere and they damn sure will find it because everybody is out to cheat the government.

    Now we get by on, after rent, $375 a month. And fucking people ask me all the time why I’m so angry…

  9. 9
    LC Light29ID - The Imperial Asshole growls and barks:

    The Mulatto Maker @ #:

    Anything available for an old fucker like me?

  10. 10
    LC Jackboot IC/A growls and barks:

    Second Mouse-

    LC SecondMouse says:

    Generally speaking, residence in the state of Texas is, all things considered, to be preferred to a wide variety of alternatives, especially these days. You seem to have located the unfortunate exception to that generalization, namely, Austin.

    Us Texans are fairly embarrassed about Austin. We don’t like to talk about, but we have managed to confine most of the raging liberal-tics within its city limits.

    Absolutely and to make myself more clear I’d rather do this here than in any other place on the planet. As to the prog-nazis that live and work here I saw a bumper sticker than other day that read “Time For 78704 To Secede” I about drove off the road laughing at that one. Sorry guys it’s a local thing. There are two distinct areas of this fair city. North of the river is the abode of the proggies and south is where real people live and a bastion of conservatism-That’s zip code 78704.

    LC Roguetek says:

    i’m currently -in- austin. I also know of a tech outfit that’s hiring, if you speak linux.

    Unfortunately I don’t. They have signs from here to Bastrop advertising for Linux speakers- I think AMD is up to something BIG. Misha has my number too buddy. Why not get together sometime soon and commiserate my friend..

    DJ Allyn, MPSE says:

    A friend of mine just gave me a tip that you might want to check out. It is a job listing website called INDEED.COM If there is a job posting ANYWHERE online,

    Dave-Thanks for the tip my friend, I’ve been using them for over a year, since I’ve been trying to bail out of this line of work. They are INDEED the best search engine out there and don’t bombard their users with Tech School and online college ads.
    LC Jackboot IC/A recently posted..We’ve Got Proof: Australia IS Bloody Well Out to Kill Ya!My Profile

  11. 11
    MikeG growls and barks:

    Come on up to Minnesota, LC. They have giving away free money down to a science around here. They bus people in from Chicago and Milwaukee just to get rid of the left overs. If there is one thing I have learned working with (not FOR) the county and state government it’s that if you fill out the right form or talk to the right people, you get pretty much anything around here. Just as long as you don’t smoke. They are in the process of siphoning of another buck a pack in taxes in part to build the Vikings a new stadium. Where you won’t be able to smoke. Madness.

    Anyway. If the Texas employment office is anything like Minnesota’s, take there money but avoid there “help” finding a job like you would a $2 hooker. Useless. In all my years and many jobs (there were a lot of the when I was younger,) they have NEVER helped in finding me a job. Got all of ‘em on my own. Seems the only people they are capable of keeping employed is themselves.

  12. 12

    Yeah, I was about to recommend INDEED myself. The time I’ve spent on UI has been sucking as well, but I finally got a job, starts Monday. YAY!!!! 8 bloody months. Never had that happen EVER in my life! Ovomit has fucked life up something wonderful, hasn’t it? And you know when shit started sucking a bit under Shrub, right? 07, when the CONgress went left universally. Up to that point we were fairly financially healthy as a nation. How is it more don’t see that point? :em03:

  13. 13
    The Mulatto Maker growls and barks:

    LC Light29ID – The Imperial Asshole says:

    The Mulatto Maker @ #:
    Anything available for an old fucker like me?

    Probably. Our unemployment rate’s been hovering near 0% for a few years now. (Actually 3%ish, but when I first moved here a guy told me that 3% is just people who don’t wanna work.)

  14. 14
    bruce growls and barks:

    i know what it is like to be out of work because i could not buy a job when i came home from viet nam and my wife and i eat a lot of beans and rice.my wife can make a meal out of beaks and feet we were poor but managed to survive with out govt help.the employment shit heads are not going to help you neither will the affirmative action bums at the welfare office because you are the wrong color.look for any thing,can you paint, paper or due construction work under the table to hold you over.did you hear the excop question the irs punk?i think this is going to blow up in bongo’s face!

  15. 15
    bruce growls and barks:

    ate

  16. 16
    DJ Allyn, MPSE growls and barks:

    LC cmblake6, Imperial Black Ops Technician says:

    Never had that happen EVER in my life!

    You aren’t a spring chicken any longer either.

    Like it or not, the older you get, the harder it is to find a job, especially in a flat employment market. The reason is that an older person usually demands more money than a younger one. Employers can almost hire two for the price of one if they get some younger person with a little experience.

    Age discrimination is a real thing. Most employers will NEVER give that as a reason for not hiring you, because you would then have a serious handle in which to take them to court. It is much the same as who would YOU choose to hire — a fat ugly chick or the pretty thin one?

    Of course there ARE exceptions to this rule. Sometimes there are jobs where expertise trumps age and beauty. Good thing, because other wise I would be shit out of luck.

    ===================================

    JB: Tallulah has a great point. I am sure you can do a LOT of things and make them marketable. Craigslist IS a great place to offer your services for a fee. It allows you to pick and choose what you want to do, set your price for doing it, and allows you room to make a more permanent base for yourself.

    I have a friend who had been unemployed for a while and just decided that he needed to think outside the box a bit. He and his wife are in their mid-fifties, so finding a job was getting real hard to do. So he put an ad on Craigslist offering his services as a caretaker for a resort or property. He posted on Craigslist in several destination places where there were resorts that would be closed for part of the year, and he started getting calls from several different places throughout the country.

    He ended up as a caretaker for the winter months at a small resort on Copalis Beach on the coast of Washington from September through May. He gets free housing, a stipend of $3500 a month, and an expense account for repairs and maintenance. His time there is up in a couple of weeks and he plans on going on vacation for three months and will be back again in September. He says his life is a lot like being retired. He is active, takes it fairly easy, isn’t too far away from everything, and he wouldn’t trade his life now for a brick and mortar job ever again. (he used to work at Boeing as an engineer)

    The point is, you can decide what it is you would LIKE to be doing as a freelancer, and use Craigslist to put yourself out there. You don’t have to rely on some “boss” to decide whether you can have a job and all of that crap.
    DJ Allyn, MPSE recently posted..COME AND GET YOUR ODDMy Profile

  17. 17

    There is – like DJ mentioned – also the ability to “follow the work” By that I mean go expat. I’ve done it for the better part of 15 years now. I spent the last half of 2011 and all but the last month of 2012 in the US – took a bit of a break – but I’m back overseas and I don’t see me returning anytime soon.
    In those 15 year’s I’d say I’ve done well enough, with the draw back being I’m gone for home and hearth 90% of the time.

    It’s a great gig if you have few attachments, if you have family type environment that requires your presence then – not so much.

    The biggest advantage well two actually, are the age discrimination at least in my field (IT) is muted to a point as to be almost null – they look for people with many years in the field first and are mostly willing to pay for it.
    Secondly – you shield a dump truck full of money from the IRS. I’d have to sit down and calculate it but I’d be comfortable saying I’ve probably saved right around a mil in tax liability in those 15 years.

    Some gigs are just down right fun – Google “Regan Test Site” That is just one example – spent four years rubbing elbows with true ‘rocket scientists” watching some of the most cutting edge tech in the world in action and being part of the future defense of the country – add in some cool chances like being able to dive some of the worlds most secluded locations – (how many divers do you know that can afford a trip to Bikini Atoll to dive the Saratoga, I did it – on a 3 day weekend just for grins) and an environment where no one gives a damn if you wear a pair of shorts to work ….and it wasn’t a bad gig at all.

    Make no mistakes, The sequester has hit us – there is no doubt about it – I’ve seen a majority of contracts start to pull back others have swallowed up smaller ones, some have just turned out the lights etc – but there are still opportunities out there. Anywhere we have a boot on the ground – there’s a job waiting to be filled.
    LC IB CiSSnarl5.7 Imperial Foreign War Correspondant recently posted..We’ve Got Proof: Australia IS Bloody Well Out to Kill Ya!My Profile

  18. 18
    SDN growls and barks:

    it tells you pointedly that an account has already used your email and kindly either set-up a ‘free’ account or use another,

    I just went round and round with the developer team on my current project on this exact issue last week. What part of “if any of the transaction fails it all has to roll back” is so hard to understand? :em08:

  19. 19
    LC_Salgak growls and barks:

    Friend, I understand COMPLETELY. I just went through 6 weeks out of work. Despite paying taxes and such for the past 15 years (since my last extended unemployment. . .), I got the princely sum of 3 whole weeks of unemployment comp and $276 bucks of EBT (as they call Food Stamps/SNAP up here in Virginia.

    After 4 visits to the employment commission and Social Services. After a not-QUITE-as trying online application for each.

    But the piece de resistance came last week. I had been back to work since the 29th of April, and got a letter directing me to attend a pre-employment search techniques workshop. I replied, using the response card, that I would NOT be attending, as I had already found employment. And thought that was the end of it.

    The day before, I get a call on my cell, it was the Virginia Employment Commission. They were wondering why I hadn’t confirmed my attendance for the workshop the next day. I told them I had no need of it, I had found a job three weeks prior, and started two weeks prior, as was reported in my weekly check-in with the Commission, AND on the reply card.

    At that point, they threw a fit. Didn’t I know I was jeopardizing my eligibility for benefits that week ?? I told them, once again, that I hadn’t filed for benefits for two weeks, AS I HAD A JOB. . They then threatened to “roll back” the benefits earned from the day I was “invited” to the workshop.. Which I told her was fine, as I hadn’t filed for benefits THAT week, either. This totally infuriated her, so she threatened to roll back ALL unemployment paid, to which I told her I had a PDF of every report to the commission and all paperwork received in a file folder, and could I please have her full name, employee number, and supervisor’s name, as I would need them when I spoke about this to a buddy of mine in the Governor’s Office in Richmond.

    Needless to say, she backed down. And something good DID come out of the time off: my new job was a raise, and a started a TOTALLY evil blog, the Catalog of teh Burning Stoopid. . . .

  20. 20
    bruce growls and barks:

    salgak i think you ran into some affirmative action!

  21. 21
    LC LOBO growls and barks:

    I fucking hated dealing with those morons. Stupid assed class teaching you how to fill out an application, that they ONLY teach you four fucking times…..in one week.

    And I read a Facebook post by a friend of ours. I dunno who here has seen or knows what I’m talking about. I’ll let those in power break the news, but I’m praying for you Bro.

  22. 22
    LC_Salgak growls and barks:

    bruce says:

    salgak i think you ran into some affirmative action!

    Oh, what would lead you to think that about Meez Lopez ??? :em05: