A Stately Summons

unI’ve heard from the State of Alabama, and they want to help me get a job!  Isn’t that great?  I got this really nice letter from the kind and caring people at the Department of Industrial Relations, and they want me to come in and talk to them about jobs.  The letter said that they felt they could help me find one.

Of course, they didn’t forget to tell me that if I don’t want their help, then I’d lose my benefits.  If I don’t have a list of the jobs I’ve been looking for I may lose my benefits.  If I don’t show up on time, I may lose my benefits.  In short, if I don’t do exactly what they “ask” then I lose my benefits.

Part of me is all “Hell YEAH!” over the letter.  I mean, basically the state is paying me to look for a job.  Good for them checking up and making sure I’m doing my job!  But at the same time, I have to wonder how many people actually get this letter.  I know several people have been on unemployment longer than I have who have yet to get such a demand to “put up or shut up.”  Sorry, not a demand… a request to “help.”

I suspect that since my claim is on the high end, they’d very much like to get me off the rolls as rapidly as possible.  From what I understand, my claim and benefits are on the high range, significantly higher than the average claim.  Then again, I was gainfully and well employed for years, why wouldn’t I be higher?

I suspect this is pure economics.  I’m on the high end, absorbing nearly twice as much money as other claimants, so I’m getting extra scrutiny.  But isn’t that discrimination?  If I show up next Wednesday to a lobby full of former white collar workers, I’m going to be pretty upset.  If the state is going to be all “GET A JOB” on me, they better be getting all job-centric on everyone.  If they are, I’ll gladly put up with their headache of an “interview” that I have no doubt will do nothing to help me find gainful employment and everything to make sure I’m doing it on my own.

But maybe I’m just feeling a bit of the victimhood that’s put us in this position.  That, by god, I’ve put money into the system for 15 years or more, and have never once prior to this made a claim.  And the first time I do, I’m called out on the carpet for it.  It’s a bit hard not to feel the victim of something sinister.

But whatever.  I’ll have my list of the places I applied.  And I’ll go from there.