Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Uncle Sam (Adams): Massachusetts Unemployment Benefits

Greetings, fellow person of inadvertent leisure! While you're reeling from the trauma of being separated from your source of income, stability, and self-esteem, allow me to help steady you by providing a candid description of the benefits awaiting you! Indeed, rays of light ever shine betwitxt even the darkest clouds.

In plain English, that means you will now get paid to look for a new job, if you qualify for  Unemployment Insurance (UI).

Employers typically contribute toward unemployment, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts administers the funds. That means Uncle Sam (Adams) will step in if you and your job get separated "through no fault of your own," which is bureaucrat-speak for "Yo ass got laid off but don't worry boo, I got you. I got you."

Now your job is to hunt for jobs. In that spirit, I present your new job description:


Position: Job Hunter 
Reports to: Uncle Sam (Adams)
Status: Full Time
Location: Variable
Start date: Immediate

Position description:
The Job Hunter is responsible for securing a job. He or she must devote at least three days a week searching for viable employment opportunities.

Responsibilities include:
  • Using job search engines such as or JobQuest.
  • Having a LinkedIn profile with a decent photo, as opposed to a "dorky" one, thanks for the feedback, dad.  
  • Keeping a work search log that conforms to the document on the
  • In the event of being randomly selected for re-employment assessment, the Job Hunter must bring the work search log, an updated resume, and industry research results.
Essential Skills/Qualities:
  • Imagination -- Necessary when overselling qualifications.
  • Thick skin -- Useful for interrogations by well-meaning family members about job search.
  • Resilience -- Key to getting back up after multiple rejections.
  • Strong liver -- Uncle Sam (Adams) also wants you to drink, obviously. See poster above. 
  • Candidates should also have at least one supportive human in their lives.
Compensation and Benefits:
Job Hunters who qualify for unemployment benefits receive half their average monthly salary, divided into weekly increments. Job Hunters must claim benefits weekly, either online or via phone robot.

As a bonus, the state may also take pity on those paying exorbitant COBRA health insurance premiums. Please apply to the Medical Support Program to see if you qualify.


At first, I was too proud to even contemplate unemployment benefits. I was like, "I don't need help!" But you know what, dear reader? I do. Everyone does. We all have bills to pay. If I have to turn tricks for Uncle Sam (Adams), I shall do so.

Note: I believe "turn tricks" refers to prostitution, but I am too lazy to confirm.

Fiancé gave me a minor lecture yesterday when I mentioned my frustration with the work search log. For the lucky many who have never seen it, the work search log has multiple versions that use different instructions. It also requires Job Hunters to use three different methods to look for work, including "Informational Phone Interview," "Walk-In," and "Resume Filed Via Web."

Why, yes, I like the nineties, too!

My main gripe was that companies these days only want online applications, and how dare the government dictate the ways in which I conduct my search, to which my husband-on-Saturday said: "I don't understand why you're complaining. You get paid to look for work and list it on a piece of paper." He also gave me a death glare, which is very rare, and extremely effective because of his caterpillar eyebrows. I shut up.

This morning I went for my re-employment assessment. There were a bunch of us up for review, but the Career Center had the staff to keep up with the numbers. My lady was named Margarita. Sadly, I was not offered a drink named after her. She checked to make sure I had all the things I needed -- resume, work search log, a re-employment goal (I listed mine as "Improve LinkedIn profile"), and the results of my industry research. Did you know that Writers get somewhere between $30K and $90K in Massachusetts? And employment in the field is up by 13%? Heyyyyyyyy~.

Now here I am, having just submitted a couple more writing-related applications. Will one of them bear fruit? Will my interview next week follow the same classic pattern of them seeing my face, and then hiring someone else? Will the new Star Trek movie suck as badly as early critics say? Tune in to find out!

In the meantime, I have a wedding in three days. Mine, as it turns out. I might be a little distracted.

Now I must leave you, friend, so I can debate taking a nap versus going to the gym. It's going to be tough.