For the first time in almost fourteen years, I’ve requested a payment from unemployment.
I’ll be honest, it’s not a great feeling. I’d really rather be working. Not that I think I don’t deserve the payment or that I begrudge anyone else their benefits, either. I paid into that system for more than twenty years, if you include both Illinois and Texas, and I am well within my rights to get my fair share back out of it.
But, I’d really rather be gainfully employed.
I have a friend who shakes his head in dismay at how eager I am to work hard. I think that’s what he finds so incomprehensible; that I want to not just work, but work hard at what I do.
It’s not that I really enjoy long hours or wrestling with budgets or any of those things, though I have to admit I do love wrestling with technology and bending it to my will. I love getting things done. Sure, most of what I do professionally can be undone with a couple of keystrokes, but, still crossing things off my to do list or watching the closed ticket count stack up gives me a sense of satisfaction.
I hate being out of work.
The last several times I’ve changed jobs, it’s mostly been under my control. At least once, in the past fourteen years, I interviewed just before a project failed and I was out on my ear. I was out of work for all of a week, not even enough time to actually request payment. And, it could have been less, but I wanted a bit of a break before starting the next thing.
I honestly could barely relax at all that week.
So, here I’ve been out of work for three, full weeks and I’m done.
The Texas Workforce Commission requires that I perform at least three job-search-related activities per week to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
I do that much every week before 8:30AM on Monday.
I know I love work, but that bar seems pretty low to me. Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean just applying for three jobs per week, but talking to a recruiter, or having a job interview, or going to a job fair, or even searching for new jobs on a job website all, apparently, count toward that requirement. In my job search log, I only record actual job applications made or email or phone conversations with recruiters or potential employers. I must seem like a real over-achiever to the Texas Workforce Commission staff.
Yes, I have the benefits coming. And, yes, I feel perfectly justified in requesting them. But, honestly, I’d rather be working.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Everyone deserves to be happy, but not if that happiness is dependent on imprisoning or enslaving another human being."
--Unintentionally ironic comment left on a blog