I hate automated phone systems. Especially when trying to talk to the Non-Employment people.
During the shutdown at work, I filed a claim with the Non-Employment folk. Not that I needed the money, just to cover things in case future unscheduled time off happened. Here lately, that seems to be a big concern for a LOT of folk. And I do not relish the thought of having to wait a week of "waiting period" in the event I need a paycheck.
So, I made the phone call and answered all the questions. Then listened to all my answers repeated back to verify all information was "true and accurate":
"Did not work"; check
"Available for work": check
"No Holiday pay": check
"Received Vacation pay": check
"Amount of $XXX.XX": check
And so it went for what felt like a full week at work. I guess they figure if you are off work, you have time to waste on the phone instead of looking for work. "Earning your wages", so to speak.
Three days later I get my "Official Looking Letter" in the mail. They tell me they can't process my claim as I "worked hours", but didn't declare my income. To please call the number above and talk to a "real person".
*Most curious Captain. And illogical.*
Oh sure! Early afternoon, the day before Christmas, and EVERYONE with a bad claim will be calling in. Especially since the offices would be closed till the following Monday. I tried anyway. Hey, you never know.
No luck. All I got was a recording asking me all the information needed for the computer to go look for my stuff. After giving everything but a pint of blood, it tells me that "due to the large number of calls waiting, please call back" --*CLICK*
*Hal. Open the pod bay doors....Hal?*
My sights were now set on Monday. EARLY Monday. VERY EARLY Monday.
Monday morning I hit the phones EARLY. No good, busy signal. Called back, busy. Called back, busy. I called back so many times I lost count. But I LOVE speed redial. Wore the printing off the buttons.
After several "...busy, call back later. *CLICK*" routines, I finally got into a "holding pattern" to speak with a live person. 45 minutes (no lie, I timed the whole mess) after listening to countless "in-house" advertisements on how to use their "automated phone systems and Internet access" (both of which, by the way, tells you NOTHING, won't let you find out ANYTHING, and the "best fits your need" navigation system is as ambiguous as a political promise) I get the "Gatekeepers" robotic voice jump into my ear and tell me "due to technical difficulties, you will have to call back." *CLICK*
I went to lunch at that time to protect the structural integrity of the house. The idea of punching a wall flashed through my mind and was immediately followed by a flash-back of what a broken wrist feels like. Hence, the "leave and lunch" idea.
After lunch, and settled down, I started calling again. At 1:40 I finally got put back into a "holding pattern". 2:35 a "real person" answered. And that wall started looking good again.
All snotty and condescending, she says, "Well, of course your claim wasn't processed, you had worked time you didn't report."
M: I didn't report any worked time.
S&C: Exactly. You only reported vacation time.
M: That's all I had. And that's what I reported. And YOUR phone system repeated back to me that I had no worked hours, but had vacation pay to the tune of $XXX.XXX
*It's quite elementary Dear Watson*
S&C: So, exactly...when was...the last time you..."physically"...worked?
M: The Friday before the week being claimed.
*keyboard/calculator noises in the background* S&C: Your claim's been corrected and will be processed. Is there anything else you need help with?
S&C: Then have a good day. Goodbye. *CLICK*
I think the "Gatekeeper" was a wiser hire than that "real person".
*Don't you agree, Mr. Anderson*
And it wasn't just me. A coworker and I have been trading e-mails during the time off and comparing notes. He filed on the computer and he's had similar problems with both of his filings (he's filing for all of his time off). And had to do the same thing, call and wait. He said the person he talked to (coincidently, around the same time I got through) sounded like they were a call or two away from a nervous breakdown. And he has at least one more round of this to do.
Institutes happen. (sometimes)
(pop quiz: who caught all the references? c'mon, they were easy.))