Unemployment Compensation

While I don’t know too much about Italian bureaucracies, because the Pope resigned, I’m pretty sure he won’t get any unemployment compensation.  But he may have gotten the better end of the stick anyway since he gets to spend several months in a summer residence in the south of Rome.  While that’s a pretty sweet upshot, you’ve gotta be firmly committed to what you’re doing, what with the spend-the-rest-of-your-life-in-cloistered-prayer consequence and all.

Me?  I’d wait for the severance package and then collect unemployment compensation after that.  Speaking of unemployment compensation…being able to work your way through the system AND eventually collect money is nothing short of miraculous given the unbelievably convoluted and confusing process.

Take, for example, the questions (aka hoops) you have to answer (jump through) every two weeks to keep that (what for all intents and purposes is basically a part-time, highschool job) “paycheck” coming…

First, you have to go to the Unemployment Compensation’s NEW site only to be told it’s “coming soon” (it’s been “coming soon” for SIX MONTHS NOW!  But really, what’s the rush?!  No rush.  Move along.  Nothing to see here, folks).  Then, you have to redirect yourself (no automatic redirects here, because you’ve gotta work HARD for your money…and we’re right back to “there’s an 80’s song for every moment in life” with She works hard for her money.  So hard for it, honey.  Though you never treat her right!).

Once you’re finally in the right place at the right time, you have to answer a series of questions that go something like this:

  • Do you really, really, REALLY wanna file to get money back out that you’ve paid into the system for 25 years?  Uh – check.
  • Are you frauding us?  We’ll frickin’ break your knee-caps if we find out you’re frauding us.  To prove that you’re not frauding us, do you promise to give us your firstborn son? (Well.  You wouldn’t want him.  I barely want him sometimes. But…) Check!

Ok, those weren’t real questions, but you get the gist of the tone that’s set when you file for Unemployment Compensation.  Basically, you’re treated like a fraudster and threatened with all sorts of consequences because you just want the money you’re entitled to.  So with this vague Catholic Guilt thing now kinda looping through your brain – “I didn’t THINK I was doing anything wrong.  But they’re TREATING me like I did something wrong.  So maybe I AM doing something wrong??  No, no.  I’m pretty sure I’m NOT doing anything wrong…”

You proceed with your walk through the valley of the shadow…

During this week, did you look for a job?   Yes!

During this week, if an employer offered you a job were you able to start immediately?  Yes!

During this week, did you turn down any job offers?  Wait!  Ah-ha.  I see what’s happening here.  You were trying to lull me into a “Yes!” thing, but the answer is really no.  Wait!  No.  The answer is No.

During this week, did you work at all?  You means BESIDES cleaning all the bathrooms in the house?  No.  No, I didn’t work.  Wait!  Work-for-which-I-got-paid?  No.  No.

Another question about working just phrased in a different way?  Uhhhh…NO!  Still NO!

Fourth question about working and/or receiving money?  Gaaah.  No.

Fifth question about receiving money or even THINKING about receiving money from a prior employer?  NOOOOO!

I understand that giving false information constitutes fraud and is punishable by law?  Did that question just say punishable by death?!  Phew!  I thought it said punishable by death.  But wait.  Why do I even care?  I’m not doing anything wrong.  Am I?  Ok…just stop and answer the question.  But re-read it first because you’ve been answering “No!” for the last several questions and now this seems like a “YES”.  YES!  Wait.  No, YES!

I have reviewed my responses and want to continue?  YES!  (as if I’d get all the way through this mindf#^*! and wanna bail!?!)

So.  That was just for Week 1.  You then have to answer the same questions for Week 2.  And then check off a few deeply buried boxes about “understanding” and “hereby applying” and “failing to comply” and blah blah blah…YES, I WANT TO FILE A CONTINUED CLAIM FOR PAYMENT!  Gaaaaahhhhhh!!!  JUST GIVE ME MY MONEY!!!!!!!!

Makes spending the rest of your life in cloistered prayer look like a walk in the park.

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