Sunday, January 27, 2013
Some days, it feels like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back.
I'll start with the good news.
As many of you know, a couple of weeks ago I found a Fitbit on the ground while out walking. Debated about what to do, but after talking with some Spark Buddies, decided to see if I could find the owner. A week later, yes, I found Liz. Happy endings for everyone. Liz got her Fitbit back and I got a $15 gift card as a reward. So, my good deed for the week (paying it forward) was to return the Fitbit.
Well, a Spark Buddy (who has requested anonymity) thought they would "pay it forward" to me. How ? Yesterday, I received a brand new Fitbit One of my own !
Long story... so, this is the abridged edition. a Spark Buddy had an accident with her Fitbit. She knew it was her fault, but decided to contact Fitbit to see if there was a way to replace her unit. They agreed replace the damaged one and sent her a new Fitbit. At some point, the package went missing and Fitbit sent her a second one. However, the first Fitbit eventually showed up at her door and Fitbit says to just return one. What happened next ? She contacts customer service, tells them what I did for Liz and asks if she can give ME the second Fitbit. What do they say ? YES !!
So, I now have my very OWN Fitbit One !! I can't tell you what a kind and considerate gesture that was on my spark buddy's part and Fitbit's !! I haven't hooked it up yet. Will do that this week though.
I was truly touched and just at a loss for words for such a kindness ! There really are some pretty wonderful people here on Spark !
That's my good news. What's my not as good news ? My unemployment benefits are on hold for two weeks. Technically, my claim is being reviewed.
As you know, I took a two week "temp" job to one, make some real money and two, enhance my resume. Well, I knew I'd lose my benefits while I worked. That was fine. What I didn't know was how difficult it was going to be to RE-OPEN my claim !!
Last Tuesday, I spent over an hour waiting on hold to finally talk to an agent. Told the agent that I only worked for two weeks and that I wasn't offered further work beyond being "on call". On call status meant that I only worked when they needed me. Could be a day here or a couple of days there. Turns out I needed some sort of paper from the university indicating that my job was only two weeks and I was in effect laid off again.
Mind you, when I called, I hadn't even been paid by the university yet. That's why the information wasn't in their records. So, at the time, I gave them the address of HR for the university. They are supposed to contact them for whatever information they need to re-open my claim. In the mean time, I can't receive any benefits until my status at the university has been settled. That's why I have to wait two weeks. I have to wait to see IF they are going to allow my claim to be re-opened.
So yes, I could lose my unemployment benefits because I decided to take a two week temp job. I'm telling ya, they do NOT make this easy. Hopefully, the university will tell them what they need to know and I can get back my benefits. If not, it means I'm going to have to find something fast. I don't want to have to work for $8 an hour, but if I can't get back on unemployment, I might have to in order to pay the bills.
Now, the news isn't totally grim. On Friday, I was contacted by an IT staffing agency who saw my resume on a job board. Talked to their HR person about a contract job that is open that I might be suitable for. Well, I agreed to let this agency present my resume to the company. So, on Monday, I will hear back on whether or not I get called in for an interview for that job. It's a contract to hire position. I didn't quite have all the things this company was looking for, but because I have lots of other skills, they could give me a chance.
Let's keep all our fingers crossed. The job search (as many of you know) hasn't been easy these last few months. I knew UI would run out eventually, I hadn't planned on being "screwed" so early. Mind you, I haven't lost my benefits yet. But still a person shouldn't be PENALIZED for taking a two week temp job !!
Oh, so if the unemployment numbers go down in your state, it might not be because people are getting jobs. It could be a result of people being kicked off UI because of RED TAPE !!
Staying calm, trying to stay calm. But yes, did a little stress eating earlier. feel slightly better now.
PS - a friend talked me off the ledge. He said a two week wait to reopen UI benefits was perfectly normal. still, I loathe red tape !