What's So Funny About Unemployment?

A funny little unemployment blog for your (un) enjoyment

Archive for February 2010

Bunning blocks unemployment benefits extension

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If you’re losing your unemployment benefits and/or COBRA benefits extension because the Senate didn’t pass it, this  Huffington Post story will explain how one Kentucky senator (and former Detroit Tiger) held them up Feb. 25:

Jim Bunning Repeatedly Blocks Unemployment Benefits Extension, Tells Dem ‘Tough Shit’.

The senator was apparently more upset over missing a Kentucky-South Carolina basketball game than he was over his filibustering the vote on the bill until almost midnight. (He didn’t like the way the bill funded the extensions.)

Hey, here’s a thought: He could have registered his objection, allowed his colleagues to vote on the bill, gone home to watch the game, and let his unemployed constituents keep their benefits! Unemployment in Kentucky is over 10 percent. And unemployed people do vote, you know.

Written by Joanne

February 27, 2010 at 5:34 am

The things I miss by not working …

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A good friend of mine sent me an email yesterday saying he’d seen a slight “wardrobe malfunction” in his office and that it, of course, it was inappropriate for him to point it out.
“See what you miss by not being in the office everyday.  Then again, some days you’re not really missing anything,” he told me.
Ah, yes, the little things I’ve missed … or that I haven’t missed … such as:
  • Having to drive in on snow days like Monday. Because I worked for a newspaper, after all. And news happens on snow days.
  • Scraping my poor little car’s bumpers on the parking garage pillars.
  • Drinking too much coffee club coffee to get through the day.
  • The smell of someone else’s burnt microwave popcorn from the nearby microwave.
  • Stress (although being without a paycheck is stressful, too).

Written by Joanne

February 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

Email your Congressperson! Unemployment and COBRA benefits are in danger!

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One of my job support groups just sent me urgent emails saying that unemployment extensions and COBRA subsidies — and that little $25 extra benefit we’ve been getting from Uncle Sam — are all about to expire. Unless Congress acts to renew them by the end of February.

A group called Unemployed Workers has the details at their site: Unemployed Workers Home.

They urge you to call and/or email your Congressperson and senators now. Urge them to once again extend unemployment extensions and the COBRA subsidies when Congress is back in session this Monday, Feb. 22.

Here’s the link to where you can send your rep and senators an email on this issue, courtesy of Unemployed Workers.

Personally, I need my COBRA plan for my health — and the COBRA subsidization has greatly helped my budget’s health.

Written by Joanne

February 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Some news on the job front

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Over the last few days, I’ve had some interesting news on the job front. And on the personal front as well.

First, on Tuesday I received an email asking me to come to another Midwestern city six and a half hours away and three weeks from now for a civil service exam. It’s  for a Librarian I opening I’d applied for weeks earlier. Score high on the test, then get a chance at an interview. Simple, right?

I have my masters in library science, and there aren’t a lot of openings for librarians here in Michigan at the moment. So I’m going to go take the test. My car and I can manage the road trip (although one friend and fellow librarian suggested taking the train).

Second, on Ash Wednesday, AKA Pazcki Day here in Detroit, I ate a doughnut. And my TV decided to quit receiving over-the-air digital signals. (No, I do not have cable TV. Don’t want to watch much of it. Can’t afford the bill for it. )

So to the shock of several of my Facebook friends, I am apparently giving up broadcast television for Lent. This will give me more time and incentive to concentrate on job hunting. And I still have books. And my DVD player. 😉  But I miss seeing the Winter Olympics.  😦

Back to the job front.

Yesterday afternoon, after a polite follow-up voice mail to my latest interviewer, I received my latest job rejection letter email.  😦

Last night, after a referral from a former colleague and exchanges of emails, I received my first contract for freelance work.  🙂

Speech! Speech!

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I’m making a speech this Tuesday, Feb. 23, about this very blog and how you too can start your own blog at WordPress.com.

I’ll be one of the speakers during the Birmingham Toastmasters Open House at The Community House, 380 S. Bates in Birmingham, Mich., from 7-9 p.m.

So if you’re curious about blogging, about Toastmasters International, or what I look like, come on out and join us. The price is right; it’s free.

Written by Joanne

February 19, 2010 at 7:00 am

A tale of two (different) cities in one recession

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USA Today’s featured front-page story today compared the city with the second lowest unemployment rate — Lincoln, Neb., at 4.1 percent unemployment — to the city with the second highest unemployment rate,  Merced, Calif., with 19.8 percent unemployment.

Recession takes uneven toll in Lincoln, Neb., and Merced, Calif. – USATODAY.com.

The two metropolitan areas are of similar population. However, there are some big differences between them: Lincoln is a highly-educated Midwestern college town and state capital which was relatively unaffected by the last decade’s real estate boom/bust cycle. Merced is a mostly agricultural inland California town affected by the real estate bust and the cyclical nature of agriculture.

It’s an interesting comparison. As the story says, it’s almost like there’s no recession in Lincoln. Meanwhile, the people of Merced are struggling to get by.

The answer seems to be in having a stable economy. But not every area — or industry — is so fortunate.

Surviving Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, readers.

For those of you who are happily coupled, why are you reading this blog? Go have a happy day doing whatever happy couples do on Valentine’s Day.

For those of us who are single (like the WSFAU staff), however, Feb. 14 is more of a day to be survived than celebrated.

This year the dreaded date does fall on a Sunday, on Chinese New Year, and during the Winter Olympics. So we suggest spending the day going to church, eating Chinese food, and watching the Winter Olympics.

If all else fails, buy yourself some chocolate. Just not in one of those heart-shaped boxes.

Written by Joanne

February 14, 2010 at 11:32 am