Monday, May 23, 2016

Day One - Getting the ball rolling.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 - Sleep was elusive and I was functioning mostly through autonomous nerve responses.  First order of business was to get the unemployment insurance process started as soon as the State website was accepting applications.  The site was as expected, inefficient and didn't even ask for enough information to complete the application process.  It forced me to place a phone call for such rudimentary information such as the name of my former employer.  Really?

Very much to my surprise the calling process went well.  As expected I was placed on hold but given the option of hanging up and receiving a call-back in "more than one hour".  In not much more than an hour that call came in.  A young man that I'm guessing had some sort of disability by his precise and deliberate speech pattern.  He was very knowledgeable and didn't appear that he was reading from a script.

I did get slightly annoyed at one point after he informed me that a verbal hearing would need to be held in two weeks to determine if my vacation pay would delay the start of my benefits.  Seemed to me that given the facts presented it would be a simple matter of policy to determine that.  The company simply gave me a check for the value of my remaining accrued vacation time, really nothing to deliberate over.

The remainder of the day was very emotional.  I was overwhelmed by so many random thoughts.  How will I manage my budget?  Do I have enough money to get through this?  What are people saying?  What will I do now?  What type of work should I be looking for?  Should I relocate?

Random questions and random answers.

By mid morning the news started spreading through the office and my network of friends.  My phone began chiming with text messages, emails and social media notifications.  Even voice calls.

I couldn't believe the range of people reaching out to me.  Friends, co-workers, even customers and vendors from my former employer.  I actually felt a little shame in not realizing the support I had and that I've taken many of these relationships for granted.

This really was a highlight of my day.  Though I've been confident from the start that everything will turn out okay, this just reinforced it.  I'm now armed with some very solid references and a network of people looking out for new opportunities for me to explore.

As the day winds to an end the excitement begins to give way to anxiety.  Tomorrow I have to return to the office to collect my final pay.  Signing in as a "guest" will be awkward.  Pulling out of the parking lot will be emotional.  Why did I say I'd pick up my checks in person?  I could have easily just had them mailed to me.

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