Pay It Forward
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 !