(These posts will appear when there is something to report)
Unfortunately, today’s report isn’t good news. With my severance package drawing to an end, it was time to sign up for Unemployment Compensation. A pain in the butt (filling out governmental forms always is) but no big deal. I’ve done it before. In fact, in many ways, Unemployment is infinitely easier than it was the first time I went on it back in 1983 or so. At that time, you had to show up, in person, every week to make your claim. There was a small card you had to present, along with your assurances that you were actively searching for work.
Today, it’s all done online. The rules said I have to apply for a minimum of two jobs per week. I’m averaging more than twice that. Easy peasy.
We went away for a long weekend to see some old friends and had a great time. That ended with a crash when I opened the letter from the Virginia Employment Commission. Because I worked for the church, and churches are exempt from paying unemployment tax, I am ineligible for unemployment compensation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Congress included that exemption in the original legislation that set up the system decades ago. Non-profits are often included as well. They can choose to pay the tax but most do not. I want to note that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has set up a program to make sure that lay employees are eligible for this program.
My feelings about the church, in general, choosing this path of “care” for its employees are waaaaay to complex to take on right here and now. Perhaps another day and time. Most folks make a lot of sacrifices to do God’s work on a professional basis. This just seems like the final insult. As I said, a topic for another day.
What this means is that in the short run, things are much more urgent than before (and they were urgent then). We are tapping into savings and lines of credit in ways that I don’t like. At the moment we have no choice.
On the bright side, I am applying to become a substitute teacher in the local school district. It fits my experience and skills and can bring in some short term money, while we search for a long-term solution. There are a few other ideas we are exploring as well. Not fun.
So I will keep my head up, my eyes open, my heart strong.
Waiting to see the next chapter in my life.
Whatever it turns out to be.
And I’ll keep you up to date on how that goes.