13 March 2009

State of California, I'm terribly sorry that your offices are overwhelmed but your citizens are even more overwhelmed -- 'effing fix it.

Close of biz today I'm officially a statistic and I might be a basket case before too long.

In case you haven't heard, the very broke state of California and the Employment Development Department have made a complete cock up of the process for the 10% of the population now unemployed. Nice huh?

I've already tried once this week to contact/figure out the nuances of filing for unemployment.

I was so stressed out on Wednesday that I forgot to ask for a copy of the paperwork before I left my former office.

Suddenly that matters because I'm supposed to know (and gods know I need to know) when the severance pay is supposed to kick in.

The online form has "help" for things that are pretty obvious and no help for things that are more confusing. I have several degrees, proficiency in English and I can't figure out the damned thing and worse still, the form informs me that if I get it wrong they may deny my claim -- terrific.

Maybe I'm over thinking but how am I supposed to know if you are asking how much a made full tilt over the last 18 months or how much per week or what. There's no explanation for this field. Then there's the severance thing total lump amount? Weekly amount? My I don't know what date it starts issue. Sigh.

The toll free number is overwhelmed so all you get is a recording that cuts out and drops you off.

Oh, and BTW, tax dollars paying literally a nickel every time that recording plays and directs you elsewhere.

The ever so helpful web page's Find an EDD Office link takes you to a Google map of Sacramento -- so helpful if you happen to be living in San Diego.

You can get it to give you San Diego but even then the EDD office types you can actually locate are for Employers doing the payroll tax issue, Disability Insurance Offices and One Stop Career Centers -- none of which, as far as I can tell, can offer any how do I fill this out help.

If you click around you can find a list of "EDD Workforce Services Offices" but those locations don't track to the map office locations and none of them are sensibly convenient.

Apparently, they closed most if not all local offices back in 1995 so now it is all telephone hell and bad web applications that may well lead you right back to telephone hell.

It's all getting reported but no local idiot news team or other bodies are taking the initiative to sort it and act as ombudsman. Based on the reporting I've seen it may be a big YMMV story of whether going to a local office, if you can find one, will make it better or worse.

Remember how I said I liked the IRS? Perfect case in point, you can find an answer to a federal question. State of California? Not so much.

Photos on the day are other signs of things not working, broken or otherwise lost along the way.

BTW, remember the tree that fell in the rain back in January and then got a reprieve? It's gone.

Didn't think it could survive, hope my roots are stronger than its and I can survive and maybe even thrive from this latest knock down.


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