On Wednesday, I had lunch with (among other people) a woman who was laid off a few months before I was and had similar issues starting up her unemployment. I thought I remembered her saying that she had gone to an office and had been turned away. I was partially right and partially wrong and it was the wrong part that was important. She had been turned away, but they had taken her name and contact info and someone had called her back. I asked her *which* office she had gone to and though she was vague, she gave me enough information to start figuring it out.
Thursday morning, I went to the office that most closely matched her description. It was with a small measure of trepidation that I went, as I do not make cold calls that often. I went into the lovely and mostly empty lobby of the office thinking
"no line? this can't be good." The lovely receptionist smiled at me welcomingly and I hesitatingly said that I was having issues with my unemployment claim. She made encouraging noises, so I pressed on and she began to take my information down. When she had gotten all the info she needed, she said that she was submitting my inquiry to the unemployment team and that someone would call me in 24 to 48 hours. I have to admit, I got a little teary-eyed when I thanked her for her help.
Since the office was a couple blocks from my old project, I stopped by to see the construction team that was still there, resolving end-of-project issues. I had a nice long chat with my friend, Christina, and then before I had even gotten out of their office (maybe 40 minutes from the time I had talked to the receptionist), I got a phone call from the unemployment office. The extremely competant and helpful gal helped me resolve my issue, make my initial claim, and told me when I should file next and for what weeks. Yay! A clear and unambiguous schedule!
So it turns out that while some parts of the unemployment office are difficult to get a hold of, if you know where the side door is, it can be remarkably simple and well organized.
My thanks to the two angels who helped me resolve my claim issue!