Part of the fun of unemployment is trudging through the painful and wonderfully inefficient bureaucracy behind it all. For instance, telephone directories for most major companies can be convoluted, but government help lines take automation to an almost cartoonish extreme. After about fifteen minutes of the usual choose-your-own-demise style menu system, the New York Department of Labor hotline prompted me, at long last, to press 3 if I would like to ask a question. I was convinced that the next command heard would be:
"If you have an easy question, press "1." If you have a hard question, press "2." If you would like to ask your question in a high-pitched voice, press 3.""
And so on.
Finally getting through to an operator didn't help anything. I was immediately placed on hold for another ten minutes while being told by the robot voice that there was a "high volume" of other out of work suckers waiting to be gravely disappointed by their state government. So, when I did get through to a questionably live person, she suggested I write a letter.
ME: A what?
HER: A letter.
ME: On paper?
You see, this is why people jump at the chance to cheat the government out of ANYTHING because if you do play by the rules, which in this case I was trying to do, you go through so much more of a hassle than if you simply break the law. It is actually easier and less time consuming to go to jail than to spend weeks, months, and years attempting to file the appropriate paperwork for any given task in this country. Seriously. WRITE A LETTER? WHO WRITES A FUCKING LETTER EVER ANYMORE? I'll tell you who: Grandmothers and people trapped on an ISLAND.