Dont Mince Words

Phone fun with the EDD Comments Off on Phone fun with the EDD

Posted on September 02, 2009 by Marna

I don’t envy phone customer service reps in any business. It is a thankless job. But it has to be especially painful if you are working the phones for the Employment Development Department for the State of California.

My claim form hasn’t arrived, so another Outtie friend supplied me with a way to bypass the system and get a rep on the phone faster. I waited seven minutes for a human to answer the phone and this is what transpired:

EDD Woman: …(seven seconds of garble followed by) “How may I help you.”

Marna: “I guess you need my social security number to start with?”

EDD Woman: “No, I have that, it is tied to your phone number.”

Marna: “Oh, good. Well, I have received my Insurance Award notification letter, my Claim Filed letter, and the Notice of Requirement to Register for Work. But I’m in week three and I still haven’t received my first claim form.”

EDD Woman: “What is your Social Security Number?”

Marna: “I thought you said you had that.”

EDD Woman: “Please verify for me.”

Marna: I repeated the number for her.

EDD Woman: I hear clicking on a keyboard followed by, “Are you serious. For real? He can’t be?” There was laughter and it sounded like my phone rep was chatting with the woman on the other side of her cubicle wall.

Marna: After three minutes of listening to this woman talk to her friend, I broke in with “So, are you looking for my claim form status?”

EDD Woman: “What’s your address?”

Marna: “XXXX North Spaulding Avenue” blah blah blah.

EDD Woman: “Like the basketball?”

Marna: It was becoming apparent she didn’t have my record pulled up. “S-p-a-u-l-d-i-n-g”

EDD Woman: After holding with an open mic for another three minutes she said, “OK, we’re going to mail another claim for out to you tomorrow. Fill it out as best as you can.”

Marna: “Thank you.”

I’m sure I can fill that form out better than she can manage her phone manners. Seriously. For reals.

My workplace sabbatical- Week 2 Comments Off on My workplace sabbatical- Week 2

Posted on August 31, 2009 by Marna

Since my first week of unemployment was unseasonably cloudy, I gave myself permission to extend my slackness into a second week. I was on a mission to be less white as well as to socialize with my other out of work friends (outties).

I was very excited on Monday when it was hot and sunny, I just forgot to check the beach forecast. Ten miles west, it was overcast, but I was armed with a book and podcasts. I had enough to entertain myself until margaritas at hardship hour with my outtie.

Tuesday I went to an outtie’s house to float in the pool. We talked about educational marketing, social networking, boys, and job leads. She reminded me to reconnect with a mutual HR friend we know at an agency. Glad I did – his digital agency is hiring.

Wednesday a former coworker, who shared the same last day with me, and I went to the movies, catching an 11 a.m. screening of District 9. I’m not much of a sci-fi girl, but this was a good movie. Once finished, we got our popcorn lunch and strolled into Julie & Julia. The senior living facility must of purchased a block of tickets because this was the first matinee I’ve ever attended where the adult diapers and walkers outnumbered the strollers and pacifiers. The Julia Child portion of the story was great. Julie you’ll hate. Just another whiny 20-something with no career direction. But if you can see it for free, it’s tolerable. I wrapped my day with two martinis at Lola’s hardship hour followed by a hilarious game of tennis with the boyfriend. My backhand never looked so good.

I got down to business on Thursday and decided to clear out piles of old business cards in my desk. I wanted to build my network on LinkedIn so that my contacts outnumbered my Facebook friends. I also defriended former coworkers. Most of them aren’t “friends”. Seriously. But the ones that matter and I care about I added to LinkedIn. Friday I continued to look for jobs and respond to LinkedIn requests.

My unemployment claim form still hasn’t arrived. Oh, sweet broke California, do not disappoint me. Not now when I have tan lines to maintain.

My workplace sabbatical – Week 1 Comments Off on My workplace sabbatical – Week 1

Posted on August 23, 2009 by Marna

It is fun to watch the expression on people’s faces when I tell them that every career move I have made, with the exception of a move to Richmond, Va. for grad school and my California move, has been a result of a layoff or to avoid one. Confusion and concern are dominant reactions. Like a wife married to a beater, layoffs are something I’ve come to expect as a marcom professional. I look forward to them like a vacation because I can get caught up on my reading, writing, crafts, and other randomness.

This layoff is different because I’m not alone. I have lots of friends that beat me to the curb, which means I have playmates. My first week was designated as approved slackness. I was going to get tan and drunk all week long. Unfortunately, the marine layer didn’t cooperate, so I finished a book, and had two lunch dates with my various unemployed friends who are not really looking because there is nothing out there.

My layoff required me to layoff my dog walker. Now I’m home all day with the dog and I’m beginning to understand why my mom friends hate summers with the kids. I can hear his “I’m bored” moans under his breath with those “hey, you are home let’s play” looks. I’m mentally prepared to stay out of work a long time, because that what “they” are saying, but I can tell you that going back to work is going to be hard on this old dog. He likes having a playmate too.

When I moved to LA, the joke was to get anywhere you need to go between 10 and 2. That’s no longer the case because traffic is all the time. Stores are full and everyone is on the roads… probably because they don’t have jobs. My local Starbucks is mixed with the usual skateboard slackers and normal people like me. Same is true during my mid-day Target and Ralph’s runs.

Ditch the economic models and take a walk around. That will give you a real state of the union.

This is going to be a long vacation. Better get some more SPF 30.

  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 377 Posts, 132 Comments

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