The Scary Stuff

After a night of post-Halloween parties and a day spent in bed watching West Wing on Netflix, I got up from my stupor to read the stack of mail that’s been sitting on our dining room table for the last couple of days. In between the mountains of credit card applications, Christmas catalogs, and restaurant fliers were two letters for the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

I was hopeful that this was finally the letter that told us how much we would get for unemployment. We’ve been low-ball estimating the number for the last couple of weeks. Whatever the money was, we guessed that it would pay our rent and car payments until we could find that open window. It would hold us over for a little while. It would make things ok.

We were wrong.

The letter wasn’t a note about how much he would be getting. No, it was a letter asking for a follow up interview regarding the rules of unemployment. Apparently, there is a good chance that my husband actually doesn’t qualify for his benefits.

Cue freak out.

My husband was fired two days after returning from our pre-approved honeymoon. While he struggled at his job (which he had for about six months), he was never given any written warnings or was told that his job was in jeopardy. So, all in all, his firing was a complete surprise to everyone. His colleagues all seemed shocked.  And, of course, they gave him zero time to collect or document anything that may have been said or sent (email or phone call) regarding his employment there.

I’ve been searching the web for any info on eligibility interviews but I have come up with pretty much nothing definitive. The consensus is that being “discharged” or “fired” from a job will automatically raise red flags. Got it. But there is zilch about what the interview is actually about or if it is a sign that the employer has or will fight the unemployment claim. Knowing this job, they will.

All I can do is just sit back and wait for Tuesday when he is supposed to call. Or hope one of the last couple of jobs he interviewed for will pay off in the long run. Either way, all I know is that the holidays are coming. Our bills are getting closer. And we’re already living on the edge. We cant wait much longer for a decision either way.