One of the secret benefits of being a substitute teacher is you are eligible for unemployment insurance when there is no work. And in the summer there is no work. Your responsibilities in order to receive a check every two weeks are to fill out a form stating that you looked for a job, declare payment for any legal services, and investing in a forty-four cent stamp to mail in the form. It is what many have called the greatest gig in town.
A few weeks ago I received a letter from employment development stating in very serious wording that I was to report for a private consultation on my resume. If I did not show up I would lose my check. If I was not there promptly at two in the afternoon my appointment would be cancelled, which would lead me to losing my check. I also needed to complete a form listing all the employers I’d applied to work for over the last two weeks.
I took this letter very seriously as my government check has been subsidizing www.pablochiste.com. Without this money I would need to put advertisements on this site which might lead to readers purchasing penile enlargement devices and enrolling in the University of Phoenix.
And so after filling out the form properly I left my home. LA traffic being what it is what seemed like a vast amount of time to get across town ended with me honking my horn and rushing through deep yellow lights so I would not be late. I entered the parking lot in an office industrial complex and ran to see a bunch of my fellow deadbeats waiting in the lobby. But the employment development division is efficient. Within a minute of arriving my name was called.
A kindly man in a fedora walked me to his cubicle. He had the energy of a man half dead. I tried to be enthusiastic. I did not know what this meeting might entail, but I wanted the end result to be to continue getting cash money.
“How are you today?” I asked with my award winning smile.
“Not bad and you?”
“I’ve got a broken wrist and no one wants to hire me but I can’t complain.”
“It sure sounds like you’re complaining.” (The man in the fedora did not say that last line. He was half dead after all. But it’s what he would have said if I made this whole thing up.)
He opened up my resume and glanced at the form I filled out so thoroughly for half a second. “OK, so let me check off that you showed up. That’s the most important step. What is it that you do?” he asked.
“I substitute and coach a swim team.”
“I love to swim.” He said with the energy of a man who was only one third dead. “OK, there’s two things. You need to check in to the website with your resume every two months or your checks will stop. Second you have to change your resume every three months or the checks will stop. This can include but is not limited to adding or deleting a period or comma in your resume. Any questions?”
“Well then that’s it.”
I was shocked. This was the appointment I had fretted over the last week? I had worked so hard in getting my act together so that I seemed like an eager job seeker. But then he added, “There’s one more important thing we have to do.” I held my breath. Would he call some of the businesses I sent my resume to? Would he ask me where I was planning to apply this week. No, he was concerned about a more important issue. “We have to validate your parking.”