Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ruminations While Being Unemployed

As our final paycheck day approaches at a rather glacier-like pace, what has occurred in the past three weeks of mostly sitting around?

Is it a good idea to go to employers' place of business when you can fill out applications online at home? Most employers direct you to their computers to fill them out anyway. There are some positions that are not posted online though, and employees usually hear about them first or are posted in human resources offices.

Herein is the power and convenience of the internet - questions like: do I qualify for unemployment insurance, how much will I expect to receive?, is it taxable income?, how many weeks can I collect?, etc. These may be questions that you might forget to ask the human resources department when they issue your last paycheck. These things pop up in my mind at random times of the day.

After a call from a coworker asking about severance pay, I told him I don't remember seeing it in the personnel handbook which was last revised in 2009. So after his call, I dug out the Human Resources handbook from my filing cabinet and I was surprised that there was a section about severance pay, although it wasn't fully explained but rather just referred to an obscure line mentioning a policy and procedure number. So off to the portal I go (and I'm glad this is still accessible). The search function didn't reveal anything but with further exploration, I found the policy and procedure manual with the aforementioned obscure number. Basically what it says is that the company does indeed a policy for severance pay but it's up to them to decide whether to pay it or not. The policy doesn't even have a calculator which shows how many weeks of severance pay to be given based on how many years of service to the company.

Here's an idea: since it's been chaotic at our former workplace and if we really want to help our former PHLB co-workers, we can sign up with the registry College Hospital uses and tell them we are available to work at College Medical Center. Provided of course we are not in their do-not-return list.

My excuse used to be I didn't have time to go places because I was working a lot. Now that I have the time to go places, my excuse is that I don't have the money to do so.

Time to compile my duties and responsibilities as a Behavioral Health Worker by copying and pasting from my blog and adding it to my resume.

Also time to consolidate bank accounts to lower the monthly balance requirements so I can avoid monthly maintenance fees. That's because I'm losing direct deposit of paychecks which the bank requires in waiving the monthly maintenance fee. Better still if I move my account to a credit union since their balance requirements are much lower.

Should I sign up for the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare so I can have health insurance next year? I've blogged about this earlier this year: An Obamacare Loophole For Early Retirees?

And lastly, should I pay off my mortgage with whatever savings I have left to decrease my monthly overhead drastically? How many months will the leftovers last? I won't know till I receive my final paycheck. Unemployment is so darn inconvenient! Let's just call it forced retirement without money to spend.

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