I hope you never have to go to the unemployment office. However, if you do, you should know that it isn’t all that bad. I went in and they sat me down at a computer to fill out an online form. I did it and then stood up to see what I should do next, at which point several workers flocked around me.
“You shouldn’t have finished it yet,” they said sternly, and began to try to figure out what I had done wrong. After a bit they told me to go sit down and wait.
I waited for a while and then asked what I had done wrong. I had not in fact done anything wrong. I just wasn’t supposed to finish that fast.
After a while, a nice man came and told me the stunningly small amount they intended to give me for unemployment benefits if I was still unemployed in a couple of weeks, offered to go through the questions I would be asked each week when I filed, and gave me a list of websites for my job search. A nice woman then said that if my employer was closing I was a dislocated worker, and they could send me to school. However, I have a couple of degrees already, so she took it back.
She did send me to see someone at the Adult Education Center.
I mentioned to the woman there that I had California certification to teach Adult Basic Education, a Master’s degree, and 15 years in the classroom teaching ESL to adults. “Oh, wow!” she said. For a moment, I thought she might just offer me a job.
She then explained that in our state, people who teach adults have to have K-12 certification. I am therefore not qualified to teach for her, even though someone with a brand new B.A. who has never taught adults is.
I did not burst into tears until I got to my car.
I tell you, this crying is going to be a problem. I am a cryer, I have to admit. I cry over particularly beautiful music, sad parts in books, the commercial on the TV where they show the dog in the pound who says he is a good dog…
Mostly I can talk calmly about being unemployed now. I’ve done it several times. I have a meeting tomorrow with an SEO firm. They are not advertising for workers, but they are willing to meet and discuss what I might have to offer. If nothing else, I might get ideas. I do not expect to cry at them.
But the whole visiting dozens of places with my resume and a smile bit — I am not sure I can do that yet. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time wallowing.