Random Ramblings, Work

Phone Court?

It’s been a stress-filled day.  In fact, I’m so upset, I was close to tears.  I received a letter in the mail.   It seems I have a telephone hearing next week regarding the unemployment benefits I received a year ago.  That’s right.  A YEAR ago.  Who knew judges were conference calling eligibility cases?  It seems surreal, like something plucked from a dystopian novel. My former employer, my advocate/lawyer, the judge, and myself will all be on this same conference call.  Maybe this happens all the time?  Maybe conference hearings are quite common?  I’ve never heard of this before, but that means nothing.

In the meantime…I’m sick with worry.  I’m rehashing EVERYTHING that went on leading up to my release from my former company, a company I’d worked at for 15 years.  I will fret over every scrap of paperwork I saved from that time, making sure it’s ready and at my fingertips.  I will second-guess every box I checked on last year’s paperwork when I filled out my unemployment forms for the first time in my life.  But worse of all, I will be battling my demons from last year.  They’ve already begun to whisper in my ear telling me, “See? You weren’t enough.  Not good enough.  Not special enough.  If you were enough, perhaps your boss would have tried harder to find another position for you to work within the company.”

In my head, I know “being enough” had nothing to do with my release.  When my former employer closed my store, there too many “chiefs” leftover.  Some of us had to go.  In fact, my former boss frequently used the phrase, “It’s not personal;.  It’s business.”  But…it still hurts, like breaking up with a friend.  In many ways, it feels a  lot like I got dumped. Fifteen years is a long time.  My former job was a relationship of sorts.  After all, that’s where I spent a great deal of my time.  Working! Working! WORKING!  Even still, my former employer may have initiated the “divorce,” but I thought we parted on good terms.  I thought I was okay with the changes that happened to me as a result of my employer’s decision.  I’ve moved on.  They’ve moved on.  There’s nothing left to say.

Except now I have a court hearing—sorry, a conference call hearing.  And while I know I will bounce back from this strong, today I feel broken.  I’m cookie crumbs left scattered across the kitchen floor.  I’m sad.  Angry.  Hurt.  I want to put this chapter of my life behind me.  I don’t want to go back to where I was before.  I don’t want to feel the negativity burning inside me again.  I don’t want to feel used up and broken.  I gave away fifteen years of my life in exchange for a paycheck.  Fifteen years where I put my job ahead of my family.  No one twisted my arm.  No one forced me to work.  But that’s the truth of it.  And now it’s over…but it’s not over.  I’m ensnared in the past when I should be embracing my future.

18 thoughts on “Phone Court?”

  1. Hey Juli! So sorry this is happening. I know that in Illinois (which is where I live) conference calls of this type are common. Not sure if that helps you? At least you can make obscene gestures during the call and no one will know. Hang in there! xo Whitney

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Liked” though the issue’s hard. I hope that it’s pro forma. Unemployment itself should be pretty straightforward. You worked. You were let go. You earned unemployment. I don’t think it’s supposed to much harder than that. Maybe your attorney has some insight into what this is? If it happened to me, though, I’d find it hard not to be something of a wreck. It’s not supposed to make one feel this way, but it does. These intrusions into what already has been touch times target us at the center of our belief in our self-worth. If there were such a thing as objectivity (I don’t think there is), then the objective perspective might say, You don’t need to put yourself through this inside. And that would be right. But the questions and the stresses happen, anyway. If your employers have a this-is-nothing-personal approach, then you can use that, too. This should not be a battle or personalities, anymore than it will be a debate over skill.

    Hang on! Be strong, ’til it’s done. Then you may fall apart a little more inside, though only a little, then please move on. Thanks for sharing. It increases the support for you.

    — Christopher

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m trying to keep it together, to be professional. My paperwork is organized. I have a phone call meeting set up with the attorney, after that…well, all I can do is to wait and see. Thank you for your kind words!! 🙂


  3. I don;t have much to add to the above comments except that hubby had to have one of these once years ago when he was on unemployment. I don;t even remember what the deal was, or what the outcome was…so it was obviously something minor. i do know that if they determine you are overpaid benefits they can/will take it out of your state tax return for years to come – or at least they do in Missouri :p (he got overpaid by one check because they did not file the paperwork to stop the checks, and we assumed that it was from the previous week when he had not been working – like a normal paycheck is from the week before – Anyway, at 12$ a year with our state return it took them a long time to get it paid off – and no, that was not the incident the conference was over, interestingly. That was just delivered to us in an envelope.)

    Liked by 1 person

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