So I'm doing a bit of freelance work right now, on a royalty basis.
I wasn't sure how to fill this out on this week's unemployment claim. They ask, Did you work or earn any money during the week of [whenever]? Well, I worked, but the work hasn't yet earned me any money, and because the money is based on future sales, I have no way of accurately estimating what it will be.
Given this problem, I submitted a question to the unemployment website as soon as I knew I would be doing the work, to make sure that I filled out the form accurately and correctly.
I got a call two days later -- at 7:15 AM, because of course an unemployed person is going to be awake at that hour -- from someone who had never heard of an unemployed person working for royalties before, but who said she thought it would be okay if I answered Yes to the "Did you work or earn any money?" question and then filled out the amount as $0.00.
Because -- and here's where I start nitpicking about the definitions of basic fucking English words -- the word or does in fact indicate that if you meet either one of the listed conditions, the answer is Yes.
But I guess when whatever government bureaucrat wrote that question wrote it, what they really meant was and, not or. Because yesterday I got a notice that my claim had been denied for failure to report wages.
Now, to be clear: I am not blaming the nice lady who I spoke to on the phone for this mess. She did the best she could with an unusual and unfamiliar circumstance.
I blame whatever nitwit wrote the question, and also whoever decided that the solution to the "Wait, this guy said he worked but earned no money" condition would be automatic rejection instead of, say, flagging the account and getting a human being to spend five fucking minutes reviewing it. Because of course in addition to my having submitted a question on the website and spoken to a representative on the phone, I also noted that I was working for royalties on the list of jobs I had applied to over the week (which is also an asinine requirement and which I have discussed previously).
Sure is nice to know nobody reads those fucking things, even if your claim is flagged.
Guess that reassures me some that nobody from DES is likely to stumble across a blog post titled Fucking Government Bureaucrats while I'm waiting for them to fix this and send me my check.
Hopefully I will get my money by the end of the week. In the meantime, I guess I learned my fucking lesson: when dealing with government agencies, never use any logic complex enough to destroy a robot in a 1940's science fiction story.
You can't tell them, because that would hurt and you mustn't hurt. But if you don't tell them, you hurt, so you must tell them. And if you do, you will hurt and you mustn't, so you can't tell them; but if you don't, you hurt, so you must; but if you do, you hurt, so you mustn't; but if you don't, you hurt, so you must; but if you do, you—