Monday, June 21, 2004

Unemployment Insurance

This morning I arose early and began to make my phone calls. Most of them have been fruitless, but one in particular was quite unexpectedly surreal.

I didn't know that a 1-800 number could be used for Phone Sex.

I dialed the number that appeared on the official stationary of the Institution, a body that is devoted to the wholesome, family-values-loving, tax-supported edification of the young. Who should answer but a recording of a breathless young woman, welcoming me to the Pilgrim Phone Service? I thought at first that the UI people might have farmed out their answering services to a third world country, populated by breathless young women. Then she told all callers who were under the age of 18 to hang up. That was my big clue. I hung up, and tried again (I reverse numbers a lot, so there was a chance that a second try would yield the desired results). Again, the breathless young woman greeted me. I hung up again and called the Secretary and she transferred me to personnel. The Personnel Lady said she had other calls coming and promised to call back later. She was not breathless at all.

If this was a subtle ploy to discourage employees from getting UI, then it failed miserably. Nice try.

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