Call Back

If you are just tuning in; I was laid off back in February  and I also filed for my disability back in August.  I had recently received a letter from the TWC (That’s the Texas Workforce Commission, not Time Warner Cable) to contact a specific person at my “local” office to discuss my resume and confirm if I had found work yet(Mind you, my unemployment was just approved on 2/25/2016 and I have just sent in my first payment request). I called this person, left a voice mail, and also replied to the form email that I had received on their website.

Today,  I called this person & spoke with them. I have never been more infuriated by another human that I can recently recall. For the sake of anonymity we will refer to this person as the most hated character in all of Harry Potter: Delores Umbridge.

Delores Umbridge: Hello? Texas Work Force Commission.

Me: Yes, my name is Jeff, is this Delores Umbridge?

Delores Umbridge: Yes, how can I help you?

Me: I received a letter in the mail and an email via your website to call your office and speak with you regarding my resume` and if I have found work?

Delores Umbridge: OH! Yes, I received your voice mail and your email reply.

Me: (Then why didn’t you fucking reply or call me back, ass hat?) OK, so what do you need from me?

Delores Umbridge: Basically, I just need to follow up with you and see if you have started work and if not how we can help you out.

Me: Well, um… wow [see above:”…my unemployment was just approved on 2/25/2016 and I have just sent in my first payment request”] , OK well I have some limitations due to my disability and my disability claim that I filed back in August.  So, right now I am looking for a part-time job in the IT field, preferably with a 3rd shift, but ideally with a telecommute that will be willing to pay me the equivalent of $13.62 per hour on a 20 hour work week.

Delores Umbridge: [dead silence for about 5-7 seconds] Wow, that’s going to be kind of hard to find. Most IT jobs pay extremely well. Have you thought about looking for something besides IT? Is that what you have done in the past?

Me: Yes, I have almost a decade of experience in the IT field in various roles. Unfortunately I had to walk away from one of those nicely paying IT roles, and take a 65% cut in salary due to my disability and work in a limited capacity. When job cuts came, I was one that was let go.

Delores Umbridge: Well, you say you have a disability, can you not lift or walk?

Me: I do have issues with those things; however my main issue is mental health related.

Delores Umbridge: [dead silence for about 5-7 seconds] OK, OK, so what about jobs like overnight stocking?

Me: I do not see myself being able to physically keep up with the demands of that job. As I said, I have both physical & mental limitations.

Delores Umbridge: OK, well what are some of the mental limitations?

Me: I do not do well in large groups of people due to my anxiety for one.

Delores Umbridge: OK, well I know that {Name of Local County College} has part-time admin openings. I know you don’t like being around people, but you may be able to do that.

It was at this point of the conversation that I honestly just quit listening to her. She obviously didn’t understand that I have a mental illness that limits me in what I can do. When she said: “I know you don’t like being around people…”, it was obvious that she didn’t get it and I wasn’t going to fucking explain it to her. She was just a low level bureaucrat that was programmed to do a function in the Texas State Government machine. I do remember at one point in the rest of the conversation that I told her that I was looking for a job (using multiple sites) that suited my needs, and that I felt I could do; however I was not going to go become a Walmart greeter just to appease the TWC.

I have honestly never been so angry after a phone call. I know that I have had to try and find solutions for people and these solutions have to be within certain guidelines, but I would always color outside the lines. Besides, we aren’t talking about a cellphone or computer here. We are talking about a human that is struggling and is trying to get to a place where they can stand.

Delores Umbridge simply wasn’t fucking listening. So, neither was I.

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