Yet Another Spectacularly Organized American Institution

, , , , , , | Working | July 30, 2020

After being laid off from my job after nineteen years of working for the same company, I found myself bewildered, confused, and completely scared that my regular income was being cut off.

So, taking the time I would have spent working, I made sure to do all the steps you’re supposed to when you lose a job suddenly, including filing for unemployment.

In my state/country, unemployment tax is taken from your paycheck. I’m in my late forties and have never applied for unemployment, so in my eyes, I’m due some back, right?

I read all the rules and even did an online chat with the state’s unemployment department to make sure I was doing everything right. I filled out all their paperwork and soon began receiving my unemployment, which was maybe half of the pay I had been receiving but was better than nothing.

Everything was fine for two months while I got an updated resume and began searching for a new position. Then, I started getting letters in the mail threatening to cut off my unemployment benefit payments and perhaps make me pay back what they’d already given me because they had received information from somewhere — they wouldn’t tell me where — that I was receiving a pension.

Nope. I never signed up for one, so I didn’t have one. I told them.

Then, I received another letter saying they knew I had a pension, and unless I gave them the information about this pension, blah, blah, blah.

I told them again that nope, I didn’t have one.

Then, I got the letter saying my payments were being stopped because I couldn’t prove I didn’t have a pension — the old proving a negative argument.

If I disagreed, I could have a formal hearing. So, I said yes.

Six weeks later, I still haven’t received any payment and I am in the hearing.

The hearing officer is going over all the information they have, marking this page as an exhibit, that page as an exhibit, and so on and so forth.

I remain quiet as this is a legal hearing and, having seen their exhibits, I have a simple answer for her.

When it’s my turn to speak on my behalf, I say simply, “That exhibit you said you sent me? I never received it.”

It was a letter that, according to her, I would have simply check-marked that I never signed up for a pension and do not receive one, and they would have been satisfied.

She seems to be completely flummoxed and begins giving all sorts of excuses as to why and how every other communication reached me but this one crucial piece of paper, while I silently stew.

She wraps up the hearing with a good, old-fashioned, “Well, I’ll make my decision by the end of the week.”

You do that, sweetie, I think, but instead of giving vent to my months-long frustration, I shake her hand and leave. It still takes a few weeks for them to get my past-due benefits to me, which amounts to several thousand dollars.

Note that all this happened around the holidays, a time when people generally need every dollar they can get their hands on.

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When There’s No One You Can Call

, , , , , | Right | July 30, 2020

I am sitting outside my vet’s office waiting for my cat to come back. To cut down on contact due to social distancing, the vet has decided that we should call to say we’re here and they send someone out to collect your animal. This is outlined when they call to verify your appointment the day before, when the email is sent out two days before, and when you make the appointment.

A man parks his truck at the far side of the parking lot, three rows from the door, and gets out of his car. I guess what he is about to do, but before I can say anything, a woman in another car speaks up.

Woman: “You gotta call; they won’t let you in.”

Man: *Scowling* “F*** you! I have an appointment.”

Woman: “So do we! You gotta call!”

The man gives her the finger and walks his dog to the door. He pulls the handle but it doesn’t budge. He looks right at the sign that says, “STOP. STAFF ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT. PLEASE CALL [PHONE NUMBER],” and knocks again. The man tries to look in the door, pulls again, and starts pounding on the glass. A tech comes to the door and unlocks it. The man tries to open the door but she pulls it shut and locks it again.

Man: “Let me in!”

Tech: “I’m sorry, sir. You’ll have to go back to your car. We aren’t allowing people in the building.”

Man: “Bulls***! Open up!”

He hits the glass right by her face.

Tech: “You can go back to your car or we can call the police.”

Man: “F*** you!”

He pulls the door again.

Tech: “Goodbye, sir.”

I heard the other woman laughing in her car as the man stalked back to his truck. He got back in and peeled out of the parking lot in record time.

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Reviews Aren’t Just For Complaints, You Know!

, , , , , , , | Working | July 29, 2020

I was following a tractor-trailer through town. When we came upon a crosswalk with people waiting to cross, he put on his flashers and let them cross in front of him. That’s when I noticed the “Call this number if you have comments about our driving” sticker on the back of the trailer.

When I got home, I called the number. “I have a comment about a truck today,” I explained.

The receptionist got a worried tone in her voice as she said, “Let me get my boss on the line.” 

The boss answered with the same concerned tone and wanted to know the truck number and then asked me for my comment.

I told him, “I thought he was driving very professionally. He stopped for people at a crosswalk, he kept up with traffic, he always used his turn signals, and he was just an all-around competent driver.”

Mr. Boss seemed very relieved, telling me that calls to the reporting line are almost always negative. He assured me he would pass along the feedback. To this day, I can’t help but wonder how the boss went about delivering the unusual compliment to his driver. Was it, “Come to my office; we got a call about your driving today.”?

This story is included in our Feel-Good roundup for July 2020!

Read the next Feel-Good Story here!

Read the July 2020 Feel-Good roundup!

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Probably Should Have Asked Beforehand

, , , , | Healthy | July 28, 2020

My mom works as a night pharmacist in a retail chain.

Patient: “Hi, I had surgery the other day, and I just wanted to know what I had removed.”

Mom: “You would have to call your surgeon’s office. I can’t look that up.”

Patient: “But he’s so hard to get a hold of, and everyone always says if you have a question to ask your pharmacist!”

Mom: “That’s not really how it works.”

Everyone always says she should have just said “lobotomy.”

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What Kind Of Pickup Were They Expecting?

, , , | Right | July 26, 2020

I’m telling tales on myself this time. My best friend and I have been helping my mother with some projects and we decide to order a pizza to share. I have the local eatery on my phone as [Community] Pizza, so I open my contacts. My mother is telling me what to order as I touch the number to start dialing, which causes me to not hear the first few words as the call is answered.

Woman: “…my name is [Woman]; how can I help you?”

I am puzzled, because they don’t usually identify themselves when you call for a pizza, but I think maybe it’s a new policy.

Me: “Hi, I’d like to place an order for pickup, please.”

The woman sounds a little confused.

Woman: “Sure, how can I help?”

Me: “I need a large pizza with hamburger.”

Woman: “You… Oh! Oh, I think you want [Community] Pub.”

Me: “Oh, no… Who did I call?”

Woman: “[Community] Animal Hospital.”

It’s been a very long day and I’m a little frayed, so this is kind of the ridiculous icing on the stressful cake. I just barely manage to hold in my laughter as I apologize.

Me: “I am so sorry to bother you.”

Woman: “That’s okay; do you need the number?”

Me: “No, no, thank you, though. I have you both in my contacts and I must have touched the wrong name without realizing it. I’m really sorry.”

Woman: “That’s okay. I hope you enjoy your pizza!”

I was almost in pain at this point from not letting myself laugh. I hung up and told the others what had happened, and we all laughed hysterically for a few minutes. I then ordered the pizza from the correct place.

It’ll be a while before my mother lets me live this down.

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