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11:20 am - Weds 6/3/2020

One Unemployment Check Before Society Collapses

Well, it feels quite accurate to say "We are living in historical times".

As a man "of a certain age" (I just turned 59 last month) I've had that thought before - when Nixon resigned, when the Soviet Union fell, after the Rodney King verdict, on 9/11, etc. - but I don't think I've ever felt it this keenly.

With an amoral, wannabee authoritarian dictator in the White House, a global pandemic wreaking death and destruction all over the World, and the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police (Leading to a week of protests in the US, and the aforementioned "wannabee authoritarian dictator" threatening to declare martial law) things feel about as "historical" and tumultuous, as they've been in my lifetime.

(And I'm gonna leave it at that. Because I just keep thinking, as the protests go on, and loads of mostly old white people tell black people how they should feel, how they should protest, and how "All Lives Matter", "Shut the fuck UP!". I just don't feel like the thoughts and feelings of white people - of any stripe - should be paramount at this point.)


So on the personal front...

In happy news (Though not quite as happy as I'd imagined) I got a notice from Unemployment in yesterday's mail.

First off, I was pretty impressed at the turnaround time; I faxed the application on the 23rd (Saturday) and the 26th was memorial day, so they got it and got something back to me within a week, when I was expecting it to take three weeks or more.

And my big fear was that I'd fucked up the application, meaning they'd send me back something wanting more information I wouldn't have and asking me questions I wouldn't know the answers to.

But turns out I did good - Some people I talked to before applying said their application had been returned to them with corrections (In terms of earnings that hadn't been noted. Which isn't you cheating Unemployment, in this instance, but you cheating yourself), and mine was not.

So yay me.

Instead, I received an "application for continuing benefits", I think it was called. Which confused me initially (This is my first time applying, remember) - At first, I was afraid this was the follow-up thing I was getting because I'd fucked up the application - but it actually meant I'd done everything right, and now they just wanted me to report any income since I'd been unemployed.

(WW's layoff verbiage had also been confusing, saying we were "terminated" immediately, but would be considered WW employees through the 29th - Probably clear to you that meant they were paying us two weeks severance pay, and that's how Unemployment took it, but it left me confused as to what constituted "my last day" with the company, the 14th or the 29th.)

So I filled out the "continuing benefits" form, feeling pretty much the same way I did with the initial application - worrying I wasn't doing it right.(And as an actor, it's hard to do it right. They give you one tiny space for each week you're reporting income, to put in the name and address of the place you received income from, and I had received income over that time from doing Cameos, in addition to residual checks from the Coke commercial, from Shameless, and a good half-dozen other entities).

But based on the conversations I've had with people who've applied (Like Mike M) and my own experience with the initial application, I now feel that if I make a good- faith effort to be accurate, and I'm clearly not trying to cheat, I'll be fine.

(Hope I'm right on that.)

Still don't know how much I'm gonna get (when I get something - with the income I reported for the last couple weeks, I imagine it'll be a while) which was the big thing I was hoping to find out.

But I'm glad my week-long effort to figure out the application worked out and that there will be unemployment checks coming my way in the relatively-near future (I think I'll get at least one before American society collapses totally and we're thrown into some Mad Max-ish dystopia).

In "Jim Tries New Things" news...

Started a podcast last week, using the Anchor podcasting app I'd downloaded weeks previously (I've done four "episodes" so far).

I call it The Jim Hoffmaster Experience - Not terribly original, I know, but it has the virtue of telling the listener exactly what they're going to get - and have been trying to keep each episode to ten minutes (Though they've run longer with each successive episode - I need to get control of that).

I was happy I was keeping with it, in spite of the distinct feeling I didn't know what I was doing...but current events brought me up a little short - It seemed awkward to do it without referencing what was going on, but as an old white man, I genuinely feel I'm just about the last one anyone needs to hear talk about the current unrest/

But I want to figure out the way back "in" because I don't want to peter out on this. I've gotten some nice feedback so far, and I'd genuinely like to see if this could turn into something (And Cary B. and Jane R. have both become monthly "subscribers", so I have to at least earn my $10-a-month. Would also be nice if I could work my way up to enough listeners to get paid for ads.)

And last night I attempted my first Tik Tok video - I figured out how to video myself, learned the simple dance I wanted to attempt, and did a number of takes till I finally said, "Fuck it, that's good enough...!".

And when I posted it, there was no sound because of "copyright infringement" in the US.

(Tik Tok was something my friend Hillary had suggested, saying there was a place for "old people to make fools of themselves" for viral acclaim. And in a post-WW world, I am looking for ways to make myself into something online, hopefully for money.)

So, not the most encouraging beginning, but I'll give it another go, because why not? It's not as if I have anything else on my plate right now.

And if I'm really serious about trying to make Weight Watchers the last "day job" I ever have, I am going to need to make some effort and take some chances (Have considered a Patreon, but I have no earthly idea what I would do to warrant it).

But speaking of "making some effort and taking some chances", I feel the urge to "Anchor".

So, till next time...


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