July 15th, 2005

Andrei in the office

Maybe "The System" actually works

About a week ago I posted about a hearing. When I originally applied for unemployment benefits for leaving Earthlink I was denied benefits. The benefits decision is based primarily on information filed electronically by the employer (a series of checkmarks I am given impression) and an interview with the applicant (me).

I was dismayed when after scheduling 2 hours of my time to explain my case, the phone interview lasted approximately 4 minutes. I was asked about 5 pointed "Yes/No" questions and given no room to elaborate. One week later I received the mail that I was denied unemployment rights. I called up and the person I spoke with explained the appeal process.

I wrote up a two page document explaining why I felt that I had been worked to wits end; where the management structure had broken down; and most importantly the hostile situation composed of erratic and often insulting treatment from management.

This continued a few weeks later (last week) when I appeared (at least vocally) for a telephone appeal. I spoke with a judge in the L.A. Office of appeals. It was an actual court case with the whole rigamarole of approving evidence, taking an oath of truth (which happily required that I swear to tell the truth, no swear to a named deity), and answering questions about the case.

The judge was absolutely calm and asked appropriate questions. About 45 minutes later he notified me that I would receive his decision in writing in a week or so.

Today, in a bit of an off mood I fetched the mail. I have no idea why the mood is off, but there you have it. In the mail were the usual BoA statements, and some mail spam. Two items of interest: The County license for the cat. (Yay, she's legal), and the court decision. I wasn't optimistic. It's 'the system' and all.

The decision was the most tricky documentation I've ever tried to read. The first page was an bi-lingual enclosure (Spanish side up) on appealing an unfavourable decision. The next page was basically blank except for the case number and my address.

Then some pages stapled together from the court. Page 1:
Decision
The decision in the above-captioned case appears on the following page(s)

Aww, come on! This isn't a mystery novel, just hit me with the bad news.

Page 2:
Issue statement, Statement of facts, reason for decision (but no decision)
Page 3:
More reason for decision. Then... all the way at the bottom of the last page
Decision
(I so expected, final decision on next mailing)
The department determination is reversed. The claimant is not disqualified for benefits under code section 1256. Benefits are payable, provided the claimant is otherwise eligible.

For the most part, this should mean that in a bureaucratic amount of time I should receive all back benefits. I say for the most part because all this really says is that, "No, he didn't violate rule 1256. If you want to prevent having to pay benefits, you'll have to find another rule and claim he violated it."

1256 is the easy one. Other ones are incredible minutia. So... more as this progresses. I guess, I'm getting unemployment. Yay :-/