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Well, for those of us living  in the land of the permanent busy signal, hell has gotten even more absurd.

So here's the deal: in Tennessee, to file for unemployment, you can start on-line, but you come to a point that you have to call a phone number and SPEAK with a federal unemployment specialist. There is ONE person who does this job in Nashville. For the last 15 days I have been calling and calling. The phone is "answered" and you go through a nested set of "options" until you get to this message: "due to call volume..." blah blah blah and a hang up. Then you press redial, and blah blah blah, hang up, redial. Ad nauseum.

Let's start with this: "it is difficult to reach the claims center at times because they handle 500 calls at a time."

And, just when you think you have reached the bottom of this never-ending well of frustration (that even the man himself, Jean Paul Sartre could not have come up with) comes this:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development is being forced to furlough 369 of their own workers due to the partial federal government shutdown, an official said today.

Twenty-seven employees were furloughed Wednesday while 342 will temporarily lose their jobs beginning Monday until the budget impasse between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will be resolved.

Here is a bit of the history, just so you know they know:
But the reality is the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is seeing a huge spike in federal workers making claims for unemployment benefits.

"Military claims were seeing like corps of engineers, IRS workers, TVA workers so there is an influx of calls," said communications director Jeff Hentschel.

Hentschel says federal employees cannot file online. They have to call the claims center.

"Most federal employees did work a day this week and that would disqualify them from receiving benefits," he said.

He says there could be some delay because they have to verify these workers through their employers, many of whom are also furloughed.

Since we worked Sept 30, we cannot file for that week. So we miss a whole week of thos GENEROUS benefits to start off with. The Catch 22 "gotcha" follows the insane system of "holding hell" of Huis Clos. Which you can't reach because of call volume.  "There could be some delay."

Yes, I work for a Federal Government that resembles life in Nurse Ratched's ward with Republicans in charge.

Are you feeling "postal" yet?

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