It constantly amazes me how much I can accomplish when I don't have a job sucking up all of my time. I really don't want to go back to work ever again - not, mind you, that there is any risk of that happening any time soon. The job market sucks; I doubt I'll have the option of going back to work again unless I hone my skill saying, "you want fries with that?" The way things are, I should probably be down occupying Wall Street, save for the fact that I have an aversion to sleeping outside sans a daily shower for extended periods of time.
Also, True and Madeline would start to miss me...I think.
I finally came to a decision regarding cashing out my pension from my former employer. In the end, it came down to this: we needed the money now, not forty years down the road. So, I cashed it out and wrote a letter to Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Office informing them that I did so (as required by state and federal laws).
According to the UC handbook and the website, my action should not adversely affect my compensation benefits. The pension in question was one that I had paid into and I took it all as a lump sum, not having the option to cash it out in instalments or partial payments. All of the above conditions should exempt me from finding my compensation reduced or worse, terminated.
I can't say that I trust those running the show at the UC offices, however. I wrote my letter detailing everything I could about my actions - crossing all of the Ts and dotting all of the Is as it were. I told them to call me if they needed more information. I did end up receiving a phone call from their office, but I was unable to answer it because I was driving at the time. True ended up answering my cell phone for me and she told whomever was on the other end of the line that I couldn't talk at the moment - driving and cell phone conversations don't mix.
The next day I receive a letter in the mail from UC. They want me to fill out a survey telling them the same information about my pension which I'd already outlined in the letter which I'd written to them previously. I'm irritated by this, but I figure that it is nothing more than bureaucracy inaction. However, the final section of the survey struck me as odd: at the bottom of the final page it said, "statement taken from claimant by phone" followed by the date they had called me. I put the completed survey in an envelope addressed to my local UC office along with a letter which noted that there was no possible way a statement could have been taken from me as no one had spoken to me on the phone before I'd received their survey.
I confess: I am worried about losing my unemployment compensation. By all rights, I really shouldn't but I can't say I have a great deal of confidence in those working at the UC office. If this is their twisted way of trying to encourage people to get back into the workforce, I say that it is sick and counterproductive. Stress doesn't motivate people; it leads them to an early grave. At this juncture, if my compensation is terminated, I am going to acquire an attorney. I'll fight this to the bitter end. It's not like I don't have the time - I'm unemployed.
So, what have I been doing with my time when I'm not battling bureaucracy or sighing in disappointment at the local job postings? Well, I've been busy trying to get people to pay attention to my new CD. It's awesome - seriously. Would I lie to you about such a thing? No, I wouldn't.
Alternately, True and I have been working on turning our living space into an actual home. This has involved a lot of cleaning, a bit of decorating and some furniture assembly. Let's face facts: stacking the baby's clothes on top of our dresser wasn't going to cut it forever.
In addition to juggling my home life with my music, I also decided to try my hand at producing someone else's creative endeavours. For the first time in my life, I not only recorded someone else's performance, but went outside of my expected genres and laid down a hip hop track. I'm actually confident I'll be writing more about it later as the initial studio session was quite auspicious.
Eventually I'd like to record more people; use the experience I've gained from producing my own albums all of these years and help other musicians get something polished onto a shiny disc or download. Maybe someday people will actually pay me to do it...now that would be a nice job.