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.
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.